EXODUS – Bonded by blood!

EXODUS – Bonded by blood!

Gary Holt viste seg å være en ufattelig jordnær, hyggelig og pratsom fyr. Å stille spørsmål til han viste seg å være nesten umulig siden han lo og begynte å svare før du var kommet til poenget. Ca. 742 "You know" har blitt redigert ut av dette intervjuet siden Gary brukte frasen så ofte at man skulle tro han fikk betalt for det.


E-T: How far into the tour are you now?
Gary: Shit. We still got a long way to go. The last show is Desember 12th

Exodus_1.JPGE-T: Exodus has of course been a major part of establishing the whole brutal thrash metal scene from it's beginning…
Gary: Yeah. He he. We've been around since the beginning.
E-T: …So I am wondering what inspires you to keep creating extreme music?
Gary: Well, you know sometimes my body feels like it want to slow down, but my mind doesn't so I just keep pushing myself because I love doing it. If I didn't love doing it, then it would become too difficult. I am 42 years old, and I just want to play faster! I don't want to be like the other older bands that are preparing themselves for retirement. I still love doing it. As long as I am having fun I will keep doing this
E-T: That's good. That gives me a couple more concerts to look forward to.
Gary: O yeah. I am nowhere near done yet!

E-T: Between Tempo of the Damned and Shovel Headed Killing Machine you have changed almost the entire band.
Gary: Yeah. It was just one event after the other and it ended up that way.
E-T: But when you listen to the band it still feels very much like Exodus.
Gary: It is always going to sound like that, because that is just the way I write. But I just could not be in a band with Zetro anymore; Jack has been here for 10 years now. Tom started to have some mental breakdowns but I was lucky enough to have Jack Bostaph available and it was fucking amazing to be going from a drummer like Tom to a drummer like Paul. When Rick could not overcome his own demons and decided to quit there was no question who I was going to get, and that was Lee. I've known Lee for 21 years; he is a Bay Area legend in his own right!
(Tom Hunting. Drums 1980-85 + 1997-2005.
Steve "Zetro" Souza Vocals 1986-1992 2004.
Rick Hunholt. Guitar 1983-93 + 94-2005.
Jack Gibson Bass
Jack Bortaph drums 2005-.
Lee Altus guitar 2005- )

Exodus_9.jpgE-T: Does the band feel like "old Exodus" or does it feel like a new band?
Gary: No! We have been putting a new band together forever. Like I said, I've known Lee(???????) half my life, and I've known Paul since like 1986/87. Paul is the newcomer, I've only known him for three years, but the vibe is definitively there and that can be seen live.
E-T: I guess that it makes it more fun to play that way too?
Gary:  Yeah. We are having a great time!

E-T: What do you think of the metal scene today compared to when you were starting out?
Gary: It is definitively good right now, but when we started out it was a really exiting time. It was like twenty million bands out of the Bay area and twenty million clubs. I don't think anything can ever approach that. That was a fucking awesome time.
E-T: You were in the middle of a local scene exploding, like the Norwegian black metal ten years later, the German thrash metal scene…

Gary: …And the whole Gothenburg thing. Yes, it is pretty good right now with so many good bands out there.

E-T: What do you think drives this kind of local connections?
Gary: It is hard to define what creates it; I think metal goes in cycles, it never dies. In the mid-nineties, at least in America, it was all shit. It was just a bunch of guys wearing girl's clothes and jumping up and down a lot. They didn't even know how to play their instruments. Musicianship does not go away. People will eventually learn to appreciate people who can play their instruments rather than guys based solely on image.

Exodus_2.JPGE-T: What do you think is the difference between the American scene and the European scene?
Gary: The American scene has gotten a lot better, but people will still pack them in to see legendary bands like Saxon. They can't really get over to the states, and that is a shame since they are such a great influence on me personally. The three best shows I've ever seen was Saxon three nights in a row back in the early eighties. There was a chain of clubs in the Bay area called The Stones owned by the same people and Saxon played three nights in a row and it was amazing! Unfortunately the people in the states do not appreciate this. I think they get hung up on age too, they don't understand that the older bands can do it better because we have experience.
E-T: You mentioned Saxon as a personal influence, you yourself has of course been a great influence on a lot of band and ganders in fact. What other influences do you have?
Gary: Well, it comes right back. There are many bands out there that I have met, and they talk about what an influence I am and have been with Exodus and I am flattered, but their band sounds amazing to me. There are people out there I've never met, like (ZILENZO?????) from Dimmu Borgir, we mail each other all the time, but have never met. I love Dimmu Borgir and he said that when he heard the new album it led him to drive at a very dangerous speed on the highway. He looked down and suddenly he was breaking every law in Norway, and I think that is very cool that my new album made him come close to crashing or something. He he he.
I don't want him to crash, but the point is that the album has got energy and makes you want to do everything fast. I've got a million friends that way, like the guys from The Haunted; we're like best friends and earlier this year we did some shows in Australia and Japan where I got up on stage and played Piranha with them. Per was like in heaven, we played it that fast, he was just shredding, and it was totally cool

E-T: Is there anything else you want to share with us about the new album or the live shows?
Gary. No. I am just working on the next songs now.
E-T: Can we still be expecting more brutality?
Gary: He he he. We've taking it to a whole new level, it is going to be super heavy.

Exodus_3.JPGE-T: You haven't written all the lyrics yourself bit I see that they have evolved quite a bit from the early days and become more social conscious.
Gary: I write most of the lyrics. Some of them are up to date, but on the last album I just got back to some good old fashioned blood & guts witch is always good for me. I don't want to get up on a soap box and preach, I'd rather just kill shit!
E-T: Witch lyrics do you think has the most aggression? When you tend go into the blood & violence fantasy or when you look out the window and see how the world is?

Gary: I don't know. I'm not too big a fan of the world at large anyway so there is enough inspiration for hate just looking out the window.

E-T: As a closer, what can you at this stage tell us about the next album?
Gary: I'm not divulging any secrets. He he. Just trust me; it's going to be the fucking pinnacle of fucking thrash metal brutality!!! The album is titled and everything, but I'm not saying anything yet.
E-T: Not even the timeframe?
Gary: Well.. We are hoping to be in the studio by March. It is going to be insane, so insane that I don't know where I am going to go from this one. How much heavier or faster can you get?
E-T: Do you think we'll ever reach the limit? Can we reach a point and say: "This is the most brutal album that ever will be made"?
Gary: No. We'll just keep finding new limits, I mean that there are no limits and that is the beauty of heavy metal. There are no rules, I just write what I like, and hopefully the fans will like it too. You can't write for other people, because then you are fighting a loosing battle, you might as well be a pop band. That is what they do, they write for the masses, the sheep.

E-T: Do you feel that the fan base for Exodus has been loyal throughout the years or is it constantly changing?
Gary: It's definitely changing; the crowd has gotten a whole lot younger. Especially in the states, the old fans have gotten married; have got their little white picket fence. There are mortgages and children and their wives don't let them go to shows anymore. But we are seeing tons of kids as young as 14-15 years old showing up, and they know everything about the band and that is really cool.


Written by Harald Eilertsen of IMBALANCE