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 Post subject: Live-Metal.Net Interview With Gary
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:06 pm 
Whipping Queen
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Gary Holt and the Exodus thrash metal machine

Exodus guitarist Gary Holt

March 20, 2010

As one of the founding members of the San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal band Exodus, and one of two remaining original members (the other is drummer Tom Hunting), guitarist Gary Holt has endured just about everything imaginable within a band. From numerous lineup changes, the death of former vocalist Paul Baloff, then his replacement, Steve "Zetro" Souza leaving the band and battling three decades of musical trends, fans could argue that in 2010 Exodus is stronger than ever.

With a new album in the bag (Exhibit B: The Human Condition, due May 18) following 2007's The Atrocity Exhibition - Exhibit A, a DVD; Shovel Headed Tour Machine (Live at Wacken and Other Assorted Atrocities) and now the opening slot on Megadeth's Rust In Peace 20th Anniversary tour, Exodus is where they belong: back at the forefront of the metal scene.

Prior to the Rust In Peace tour's stop at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, MD on March 16, 2010, chatted with Holt as he lounged in the back of the Exodus tour bus. Gary is a laid back, funny guy who seems to feel no pressure from the rigors of touring and the musical business. He's doing what he's been doing since 1980 and right now things seem to be better than ever.

Holt talks about the band's upcoming album, the Megadeth tour and current Exodus vocalist Rob Dukes. I guess the obvious question: How did you get hooked up with the Rust in Peace anniversary tour?

Gary Holt: It wasn’t any big deal. Dave [Mustaine] was doing this tour because the original [American] Carnage tour—Tom [Araya, of Slayer] had to have his back surgery. So he decided to do this. He called us up and called up Testament, and we said, “Sure, it sounds like fun.”

You guys have known Dave for a while, I take it, from back in the day?

Yeah, a long, long time.

Where do you think Rust in Peace ranks in the all-time great thrash metal albums? Is it better than Bonded by Blood?

Nothing’s better than Bonded by Blood. [laughter] But it’s awful damn good. I love the album. I don’t even know if I’d say it’s my favorite Megadeth album because I love Countdown to Extinction and it’s fuckin’ such a great record. And, of course, Peace Sells is right there. It’s one of Dave’s top three, although his new one is really, really good, Endgame. It’s hard to say. It’s hard to rank things anyway. Where do you put something? You have to take in so many different factors—the time it came out, what it meant to a genre—so there’s a lot more to the importance of a record than just how good it is, like what it did to inspire other bands and kickstart a genre that helped kickstart the next one and the next.

I saw you guys open up for Arch Enemy back in January. You had a pretty good response. I saw you guys at the Recher Theatre in Towson, the very first show of the tour. Do you feel the Megadeth crowd is more Exodus than the Arch Enemy fans?

I don’t know. For 90 percent of the Arch Enemy tour, the crowd response was such that we felt like the headliners anyway. But our audience is really young now and this tour, ever since we got back into the States, the audience has been kind of old. [laughs] We came back in the States and the first two shows were all seated venues, so that sucks for an Exodus show. And then the last two weren’t seated, but the audience was showing their age. We want to see a pit, we want to see some mayhem. The first shows in the States and the Canadian shows were just insane. They were fuckin’ great and then we got back here. So we’re hoping the U.S. audience can pick it up and deal with the hip replacement later and start getting a little fuckin’ crazier.

I just watched the Live at Wacken DVD. A couple of the segments, [vocalist] Rob [Dukes] was always saying things live that he’s not supposed to say, that he’s regretting later and you guys are all on him later and whatnot. Is there anything recently he’s said that you guys were just like, “Shit, shut up!”?

I don’t know. He always says something. [laughs] He’s in a zone up there and so he’s gonna say whatever pops up in his head and I don’t want to neuter him. I don’t want to make a heavy metal eunuch of him.

He is who he is.

He is who he is, and he’s gonna do what he’s gonna do, and for the most part, I don’t cringe too much. But occasionally something comes out where I’m like, “Fuck, I can’t believe he said that.” But that’s OK. That’s who he is.

The other interesting part of the DVD was the show where they actually cut the power off on you guys. Tell me a little more about that.

I haven’t watched the whole thing since going over the edits and stuff, so I’m not exactly sure. I know in South America they turned the lights on on us—

Maybe that’s what it was. Yeah.

Until we had to bribe the cops to let ‘em turn the lights back down.

That’s what it was. That’s what I’m talking about.

That was in Columbia, I believe.


They just wanted a little payback. That’s all. It’s a different world down there, but the most insane fans in the world, though.

You guys have a new album about to come out.

Yep, yep. May 18.

Exhibit B.

[Exhibit B:] The Human Condition, yes.

Tell us a little background info on that. Is it the second part of Exhibit A or is it entirely different?

It’s its own entity completely. The real only link from Exhibit A to this one is musically, where the last album ends and fades out is part of the intro to the first song on this one. The outro to the end of this album is a retooled version of the intro to the last, so it kind of bookends them. But it’s super crushing, it’s super aggressive, more melodic than the last couple of records. It’s a little more old school at times without being retro at all. It’s kind of got a vibe of some of our earlier stuff. It’s a little more organic, I think. It’s very lively. It’s fuckin’ great.

What is the meaning behind the album title?

The human condition—the general makeup of the mindset of the human species—cruelty, violence, ignorance, arrogance. All of the things that make us a species like no other.

You had your ex-vocalist, Steve [Souza]—he did a song or was it whole show he did with you guys recently?

Just a song. I talk to him from time to time, and he hadn’t seen us since his exit from the band. I said, “Why don’t you come on up and sing something with us?” [Paul] Baloff used to always come up and sing with him, so I figured it was an OK thing to do.

So there’s nothing more coming out of that.

Hell no. He came up and sang one song, and people are like, “Is he coming back in the band?” I said, “Dude, we just fuckin’ recorded a new album. If he was gonna come back in the band, don’t you think we would’ve had him sing it?” [laughter] It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. How can anybody even think that? Everybody knows we just recorded an album. He sang one song, half of it—he shared vocals with Rob. It’s funny, you know, maybe had the Internet existed when Paul would come out and sing with him, maybe everybody would’ve been speculating on Paul’s imminent return. There wasn’t that World Wide Web back then. People read into things way too much. An old guy who’s a friend of mine now after some rough times—it’s not like we talk more than three times a year—but he called me up and wanted to come to the show, and if he was gonna be there—I know he wanted to come up and do a song.

It’s only fitting.

Yeah, sure, come up and do a song.

Has it been more difficult sustaining Exodus’s career with the three different vocalists and different lineups altogether?

No, things are going really smooth right now. This lineup’s been together for quite a while and it’s going to stay together, and everybody’s committed, dedicated and everything’s going great. The new album’s fuckin’ amazing and we’re gonna be out on the road a long time for it.

So what’s next after the Rust in Peace tour?

We’re gonna go home, go into rehearsals for most of April and then Lee’s gonna go off to Europe and do a little three-week tour with Heathen. Then we come back, rehearse some more and start touring right after the release of the new album.

I’m not sure if it’s my personal opinion or not, but Rob almost seems like he comes from a hardcore kind of background. Maybe it’s his look.

Not at all. It’s just that when a guy’s bald headed and has a fuckin’ goatee, people think it’s a hardcore background. It’s not at all. Rob grew up on the same metal we all did. Actually, I don’t ever see him or hear him listening to hardcore, although we’re friends with a bunch of ‘em and bands I really like—Agnostic Front and Hatebreed, to name a couple. If anything, Rob listens to more stuff like Clutch. He loves Clutch, but who doesn’t?

It’s like people just have this image in their heads of Exodus, with the long-haired, wild frontman. I guess Rob’s just a different look.

Well, he’s got a permanent yamaka on the back of his head called a bald spot. [laughter] He’s growing his hair out a little bit right now, but I’m about to tell him to shave that shit anyway. He grew his hair out at first and had the big wildman beard, and he looked like Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. I liked that look. That was a good look for him. He looked like he came in fuckin’ off the street.

On the DVD, he had some derogatory comments toward Muslims. Was there any backlash or anything then or now?

People accuse of us being this right-wing band, but we’re a band of many political views. I’m a liberal who supported and voted for Barack Obama. [Guitarist] Lee [Altus ] and [bassist] Jack [Gibson] are dyed-in-the-wool Republicans. Rob’s actually quite liberal. The song’s about radical Islam and terrorism, but sometimes maybe Rob just spouts it out in a way that people take it in the wrong way. It’s not an anti-Muslim song, it’s an anti-extremism song.

Do you have stories you’re able to tell about Dave Mustaine through the years? Anything that could be put to print that could be fun?

I don’t know what he wants me saying. [laughter] Him and I, we share a lot of great stories when we get together. We talk about the old days, but maybe those are best left between him and I. [laughs] ... y-holt.htm


 Post subject: Re: Live-Metal.Net Interview With Gary
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:19 am 
Fabulous Disaster
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Thanx for sharing the interview! :D


 Post subject: Re: Live-Metal.Net Interview With Gary
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:43 am 
Fabulous Disaster
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Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 4:28 pm
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Good find!

I'm curious as to what Dukes has said on stage that Gary gets pissed at lol.


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