» Gary Holt - Exodus
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As my last act of defiance, I chose to see Exodus, in lieu of the Celtic Frost reunion tour, playing the same night, elsewhere. Last time I passed on Exodus to see Dragonforce; not realizing I would witness their wiley antics twice more in only three months. I chose my weapon surreptitiously and booked an interview with the leader of the insuit circus - Gary - and then there was one - Holt; who has experienced quite a changing of the guard until his most recent solid - shovelheaded killing machine - line-up, featuring Paul Bostaph and Lee Altus.

This is now my sixth time facing the metal command, and I am priviledged to have seen them with each of their vocalists - including the late Paul Bailoff. This was early Wednesday evening and I could feel the parasites sifting through my brain dead entity. Boy, did I feel altered and razed like a caged in Hell - chemikill overdose patient. The piranha had eaten away at my memory, as I grilled Gary, avoiding all verbal razors, knowing truth reigned within. Like father - like son this inner battle would be one - til death do us part...

MettleAngel: Gary, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview.

  • Gary: No problem man, I usually hide from interviews, but it's cool.

MettleAngel: I know you probably get asked the same questions every night - so I'll try to make this interesting, as I'm a big fan and have followed you for over 20 years.

  • Gary: Well, thanks.

MettleAngel: Now you have been in the band for a long time - even back when Kirk Hammet played guitar for Exodus?

  • Gary: Yeah, I go way back, not to the high school days; but I've played on every album.

MettleAngel: You have also known Lee Altus from Heathen for quite sometime. After all, Paul Bailoff was in Heathen even before Exodus. I know Lee's dream was to play in Exodus. Now You have been touring for a year straight for this new CD which came out almost exactly one year ago, correct?

  • Gary: We took some time off in July and August, but we've been touring for most of the year. We will be returning to Europe in November, then we will play Turkey for the first time ever, and Moscow will be a blast.

MettleAngel: Yeah, and for those shows you get to play the classics. Last year when Wendy and I saw you on our 5th anniversery, I gave you shit for not playing the song Exodus. You played Bonded By Blood and a few other older tracks. Any chance of resurrecting those killer songs from Pleasures Of The Flesh?

  • Gary: We mostly play the newer songs for the kids who are just getting to know us. We may add The Toxic Waltz back into the list next year. We do every now and then play Last Act Of Defiance, though.

MettleAngel: So you do admit that there are some excellent Exodus songs, which you wrote over the years, beside the Bonded By blood staples.

  • Gary: Oh yeah, I'd love to play some of the older songs really, it's a time factor. Tonight we only get 30 minutes.

That's because Hatebreed is headlining. They are the ones who put you on the Monsters Of Mayhem bill, is this true?

  • Gary: Yeah, and we are so grateful to them for this. They are huge Exodus fans themselves. Jamie called us up and personally invited us on this tour.

MettleAngel: I'm not a big Hatebreed fan. I think they are all great guys, and I respect that for which they stand; but I just cannot get into their hardcore growl laden sound; which is strange because I love Agnostic Front and Sick of it All, and the early New York punk bands.

  • Gary: Yeah, they are heavy grind, raw and really intense: I dig them.

MettleAngel: Well, I'm grateful they invited you and Napalm Death onto this tour. I know they picked each band who played this festival. Now are the fans really getting into Rob's vocals. He's the perfect blend of retro Zetro and Paul, with some Tom Araya slaying vocals.

  • Gary: Yeah, I agree, he sounds a little bit like Tom on certain songs. The kids love him, he has a lot of energy and aggression when he performs.

MettleAngel: Do the older fans miss Paul or ask about Zetro?

  • Gary: Most fans are glad Zetro's gone - they don't miss him at all, they dig Rob, he's widely accepted. Hatebreed draws a good crowd. This fan base gives Exodus more exposure, which is a good thing.

MettleAngel: Do you still encounter old school Exodus die-hard fans at show or is it mostly new fans and ass younger audience?

  • Gary: In the states it's kids and new fans, who've never heard us and want to check us out; in Europe we constantly run into our older fans.

Do you see metal now, especially in the states, making a strong comeback?

  • Gary: It's way better now than it was even ten years ago.

MettleMaiden: What about the thrash pits, it seems that they have evolved from moshing into Mortal Kombat try-outs!

  • Gary: Yeah the Kung-fu fighting motif seems to be the norm. (Jack joins in) Jack: I'd like to see a professional martial arts guy get in the pit and take them all out (he mimicks Jet Li).

MettleAngel: That would be so cool. Everytime I've seen Exodus live I couldn't wait to waltz it up in the pit. Nowadays, especially tonight, since I'm so brain dead - I just step aside.

  • Gary: Yeah, I can't do that anymore either.

MettleAngel: Gary, you released a live DVD with Zetro. Any plans to do a DVD with this line-up and Rob on vocals?

  • Gary: That's in the works - but it's a ways off...

MettleAngel: Then a new album is your prority?

  • Gary: Yeah we will focus on that first...

MettleAngel: Now I read recently that you were supposed to be reissuing Bonded By Blood with a bonus disc of bands covering Exodus songs to celebrate the albums 20th anniversary?

  • Gary: Yeah, that too is on hiatus. I just don't have the time right now, unfortunately.

I see, touring is the priority, so we'll just have to wait. Now let's talk lyrics. You have always had a knack for writing witty lyrics on all the Exodus releases. On the new album there is .44 Magnum Opus, Death Amphetamine (about Rick's addiction), the title track which is about a crazy dog, and my favorite song Altered Boy. Did Altered Boy come from personal experience or was it influenced by all the media hype?

  • Gary: Well, I've never been raped by a priest, I've never been that lucky! (laughs)

MettleAngel: No wait, that's not what I meant. I'm talking about those false cases where someone besmirches the clergy just to get rich. I've known many priests - some who've been accused of paedophilia wrongly. I used to be the only male teacher in an elementary school. If someone does not like you, they can falsely accuse you. Even if you are, indeed, innocent; your reputation is instantly destroyed. I know men who have been falsely accused, by influential wealthy parents. It's just like that Matt Dillon character in the movie Wild Things.

  • Gary: That's what I mean - sex is sex - so why not get paid for it by the Catholic Church...he he he.

MettleAngel: OK, this is getting too serious now. You used to be married right?

  • Gary: Yeah, like ten years ago. I have two daughters, my oldest is 13.

MettleAngel: So you are a proud parent too. Lee is also a father as he just had a daughter.

  • Gary: Yeah, and we all want them to grow up to be knock-out lipstick lesbians - so I don't have to be a grandfather or deal with boys hurting my girls.

MettleAngel: Lipstick lesbians - I'm quoting you on that...

  • Gary: Back to the church thing - let me clarify...I'm saying I wouldn't mind being raped by some hot, young nun, then suing the church and just retiring.

MettleAngel: OK, now I get it. That's not paedophilia, it's more like liberal ecumenism. That's a far cry from having a rosary jammed into your ass, or being molested by a priest . Thanks for taking the time to indulge me. As usual, you have quite a sense of humour.

  • Gary: No problem buddy, but now I have to warm up, as we go on in an hour....

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