I know what Exodus’ place in history is, and how much we did for it, and that’s enough for me.”
Gary Holt: Hello?
Wikimetal (Nando Machado): Hello, is Mr. Gary Holt available, please?
GH: Yeah, this is he.
W (NM): Hi Gary, this is Nando from Wikimetal, I’m here with Daniel, one of our co hosts. How are you?
GH: I’m doing good, how are you?
W (NM): We’re fine, we’re very happy to have you on our show. First of all, let me tell that it’s a real honor to have you on Wikimetal. We believe that Exodus is one of the most important bands in the history of metal in general, and I think you are the main responsible for carrying on with the band for so many years, and always keeping a very high standard, since your first album, which, at one stage in my life, I was totally addicted to. So thank you for everything that you’ve done, and welcome to Wikimetal.
GH: No, thank you. Glad to be here.
W (Daniel Dystyler): Excellent, Gary, this is Daniel. We briefly met when you were replacing Jeff Hanneman on the Slayer concert here in Brazil. It’s an honor to talk to you. I’d like to start asking you how did you first start thinking of playing guitar and how did you start listening to metal?
GH: You know, I grew up on hard rock and stuff, like a lot of guys, and then gravitated through Judas Priest, and I always listened to Black Sabbath and stuff like that, you know, I just always wanted to play guitar, so I got a chance and got my first guitar and just started to practice, you know?
W (NM): And who were your main influences as a guitarist back then?
GH: Oh, Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, Angus Young, Ronnie Montrose, Eddie Van Halen… There’s too many to even count. Mostly old classic guitar players, you know.
W (DD): What’s the importance, in your opinion, of “Bonded by Blood” for the creation of thrash metal? In my opinion, it’s an album that changed music for good and influenced thousands of bands around the world.
GH: Yeah, I think so, it’s a very important record, you know, one I’m very proud of. It’ll always be kind of one of those critical thrash metal albums.
W (NM): In your opinion, what was the importance of the Big Four to promote metal in general?
GH: Well, it certainly does a lot for thrash metal, you know, this is the profile of thrash metal, and I think that it’s good for everybody.
W (DD): And since we’re on the subject, don’t you think it should have been “The Big Five”, with Exodus in the lineup?
GH: Oh, you know, I don’t really trip on that kind stuff… Those were four bands that became the biggest thrash bands out of the many other bands. I know what Exodus’ place in history is, and how much we did for it, and that’s enough for me.
W (DD): Well, that may be enough for you, but we would love to see that.
GH: Yeah, you know… Who knows?
I don’t believe in regret, I think everything happens for a reason, so you know… I’m just perfectly happy with where I’ve been, where I’m going, where I am now.”
W (NM): Changing the subject, we have a classic question on our show, one that we ask every single person that we interview: imagine yourself driving your car, or maybe listening to music at home, and then a song comes up that you just can’t stop yourself from head banging, wherever you might be. Which song would that be, so that we can listen to it on our show right now?
GH: Metallica’s “Damage Inc.” has that effect on me.
W (DD): Excellent. Can you announce the song?
GH: Yeah, this next song is Metallica’s “Damage Inc.”
W (DD): You just did a tour with Sepultura in Europe. Tell us a little bit about your relationship with them.
GH: Well, I’ve known Andreas for a long, long time, you know… And I met Paulo when we played at Via Funchal when I was substituting for Jeff. And, you know, I’d never met Derrick or Eloy, he’s like the best drummer I’ve seen in like, twenty years, that kid’s insane. And it was tons of fun, you know, before the end of the tour we played “Refuse and Resist” with them, Andreas played “Piranha” with us, and the last couple of shows we had some absolutely ridiculous jam sessions… We were doing Iron Maiden, “Wrathchild”… And then we just started torturing any song we wanted, we played “Living After Midnight”, a really horrible version of “Seek and Destroy”, you know, all kinds of stuff, and it was tons of fun.
W (NM): Do you know that Andreas is the “King of the Jam Sessions”?
GH: Oh, yes, I know that. I knew that a long, long time ago. He’s the undisputed “King of the Jam Sessions”.
W (NM): Talking a little bit about the past, what do you think was the importance of Paul Baloff in the creation of thrash?
GH: Oh, you know, Paul was like… He was the face of thrash metal, you know, the guy made one album with Exodus and then a live album… And he’s just a legend, how many people achieve legendary status with one album? He was like thrash metal’s main leader, he was… The definitive thrash metal front man.
W (DD): Gary, I think once… At least once a year we grab a video and get all my good friends and re-watch that video, at least once a year. So I have to ask you: what do you remember of “The Combat” tour?
GH: Oh, it was a nut, you know. We were out with our good friend Slayer and with our heroes, you know, “Venom”, so it doesn’t get much better than that, you know, it was a lot of fun, a lot of alcohol, but, this is one of my fondest memories, many of them are from that tour.
‘Bonded By Blood’ is a very important record, you know, one I’m very proud of. It will always be kind of one of those critical Thrash Metal albums.”
W (DD): Gary, can you choose a song from Exodus that you’re really proud of having written, so we can listen on our show now?
GH: Yeah, let me think… I would have to go with “Beyond the Pale”, from “Exhibit B: The Human Condition” record.
W (NM): So what are your plans for the future with Slayer? Do you have any news regarding Jeff Henneman’s health condition at the moment?
GH: I have no idea, I’ve just been really busy with Exodus stuff… I know Kerry and Dave are writing and depending on Jeff’s writing… Hopefully Jeff will be able to regain his health and return to his rightful place. If the time is right, or they need me, they know that I’m always there for them, because they’re like my second family, you know, so we’ll see. But hopefully Jeff will be back and healthy before too long.
W (DD): Gary, is it true that you like foreign movies?
GH: Oh, yeah, I love foreign films, you know, Hollywood makes a lot of shitty movies.
W (NM): Gary, of you could start all over again, your career all over again, what would you do differently?
GH: I wouldn’t do anything differently, you know, it’s like… Because I don’t believe in regret, I think everything happens for a reason, so you know… I’m just perfectly happy with where I’ve been, where I’m going, where I am now.
W (DD): We are very excited with the upcoming Exodus concerts here in Brazil. What can the Brazilian fans expect from the shows here in April?
GH: Absolute mayhem. It’s going to be nuts.
W (NM): How does Exodus choose the songs to be played on the show after nine great studio albums?
GH: It’s not easy, you know, we just try to mix it up, we obviously want to play new stuff, we obviously also have to play our classics… We just kind of try to switch them around as much as possible.
W (DD): Can you give an advice to a kid that will start playing the guitar, or is thinking of putting together a heavy metal band?
GH: Just practice hard and stay to your craft, and you know, fallow your own creative path.
W (NM): I know that you’ll probably still be touring for a while with your last album, but what are the next plans for the near future with Exodus?
GH: After the New Year, I’m going to start playing guitar again, and writing, because, you know, I just got home and I’m not playing any more guitar for the rest of the year… Just taking the holydays off and, you know, start writing, and I’ll be back in the studio in the spring.
W (NM): So you’ll be releasing a new studio album, right?
GH: Yes, yes.
W (NM): We’re just about to finish here. Could you leave a last message inviting all the Brazilian metal heads and headbangers to the Exodus shows in April?
GH: Yeah, I Just tell everybody to come on down and they’ll see something they’ve never seen before.
W(NM): I believe you completely, Gary. I’d really really like to thank you for your time, it’s been a real pleasure speaking with you, and we hope maybe we can have a couple of beers when you’re down here.
W (DD): Excellent. Thanks so much for your time, thanks for your patience with us, and we’ll be promoting the Exodus concerts as much as we can here.
GH: OK, well, thank you very much.
W (NM): Thank you, Gary. See you.
GH: OK, bye bye.