“It’s really cool being part of a video that’s not just some crappy music video from the Eighties or Nineties,” Kerry King tells Rolling Stone about Slayer‘s gruesome new clip, “You Against You.” “It’s from a real Hollywood director who has a lot of friends in the biz who stepped up and wanted to be in a Slayer video. That’s what makes it cool to me.”
“You Against You,” a breakneck track on the group’s latest, Repentless, serves as a prequel to last year’s video for the album’s title track. Conceived again by director BJ McDonnell (Hatchet III), the clip focuses on how the rioting, eyepatch-wearing prisoner in the first video wound up in jail. From the opening shot of a man impaled by dozens of knives to bloody shots of gun violence, including one man who gets a bullet in the eye, “You Against You” is an action-horror flick as much a Slayer video.
The guitarist’s strongest memory from the band’s portion of the shoot, though, was the weather. “It was cold as shit that day,” he says with a laugh. “It’s funny, because when we did ‘Repentless,’ it was probably the hottest day in southern California. For this one, it was, like, 45 degrees, which isn’t awful, but it was real windy, and the wind was coming off snowy mountains. I made the choice early on that day, like a lineman in football, not to wear long sleeves. That was a bad idea.”
King nevertheless explored the shooting location, which belonged to an aircraft-parts collector. “Everything there was cool,” he says. “I just walked around and took a bunch of pictures.”
Slayer are currently supporting Repentless on the road, where they’ve been playing some of the longest sets King can remember, nearly an hour and 45 minutes’ worth of music. They’ve featured “You Against You” at a handful of dates.
“‘You Against You’ is about people who, despite having every opportunity to succeed, are their own worst enemy and they fail constantly,” he says, refusing to name any particular inspirations. “This one, for sure, is the most punk song on the record. It’s just got that old-school, West Coast punk vibe to it. I wasn’t searching for that, that’s just how it panned out.”
Beyond the tour, which could extend well into next year, King says he’d like to make another video that will continue the eyepatch man’s legacy of brutality. “There’s talks of doing another one,” he says. “The prequel is the same director as ‘Repentless,’ and it was really cool how the two come together.”