Kerry King: Elton John Is Hard Rock

In a new conversation with American Musical Supply, Kerry King shared his top non-metal influences.

When the interviewer asked if there was any kind of music he is into that’s not metal, the guitarist replied:

“I mean like hard rock, ’70s rock but that could be anything from Elton John to Deep Purple. Deep Purple to me is they’re a metal band. I don’t think many people call them that but they’re pretty metal to me.”

It seems that Kerry sees Elton John as hard rock, and obviously, Deep Purple is a metal band to him.

Chris Cannella stepped in and said:

“Run a keyboard through a Marshall. That’s pretty metal.”

King added after him:

“John Lord was like God.”

King Likes Deep Purple’s Fast Sound

Kerry also thinks Deep Purple and Ritchie Blackmore were a big influence on thrash metal. He told Rolling Stone in 2017:

“As for Blackmore, I love Deep Purple and I love Rainbow until Dio left and he really started trying to go the pop route with Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner. I would credit his work in Deep Purple as an influence on thrash. If I [was to pick my favorite Deep Purple album], I probably would have gone with [1972’s] ‘Machine Head.'”

According to the guitarist, Deep Purple were faster than Black Sabbath:

“On ‘Highway Star,’ it seemed like Ritchie was more interested in playing faster rhythms than Sabbath. It took Sabbath quite a while to get anywhere remotely fast. I would say that happened probably in the Dio era with like ‘Neon Knights’ and stuff like that; that’s thrashy to me, but Blackmore was way before that.”

Kerry also has a favorite from the grunge world. In 2022, the musician talked about his admiration for Alice In Chains and their late lead singer, Layne Staley. praised ‘Them Bones’ for its heaviness and haunting vocals. He really liked Alice In Chains’ first two albums, especially Staley’s standout performance.

You can watch the rest of King’s interview below.