EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt recently answered a fan question on the band's official forum regarding the lyrical inspiration for the lead-off track on the group's upcoming CD, "Tempo of the Damned". Asked if the song, titled "Scar Spangled Banner", was a "putdown on America," Gary said, "First let me say that I'm a proud American, but I am not proud of this countries leadership, Democratic or Republican. The song is a reflection of the world's view of America and our foreign policies. I am as conservative as they get, having more in common with some of those gun-toting yahoos in some of those militias than any liberal. But we are the most violent, indifferent society on the planet. I love my country, but hate politicians and as an American it is my right to question and critique my government. Simply put, I don't trust a politician, Democrat or Republican, as far as I can throw them."Oh yeah, one more thing. Let's hope our government brings our men and women of our armed forces home [as soon as possible]. Brave Americans that they are, they need to come home, safe and sound." EXODUS' first studio album since 1992's "Force of Habit", "Tempo of the Damned" is due in Europe on February 2 (the two-year anniversary of late EXODUS frontman Paul Baloff's passing) and in the U.S. on March 9 through Nuclear Blast Records. "Tempo Of The Damned" was recorded at Prairie Sun and Tsunami studios in Northern California with producer Andy Sneap (MACHINE HEAD, SKINLAB, ARCH ENEMY), who previously worked with the band on their acclaimed 1997 live album "Another Lesson In Violence". EXODUS filmed video clips for "War Is My Shepherd" and "Throwing Down" in late November with director Maurice Swinkels. The latter cut is a reworked version of a song originally written for and demoed by WARDANCE, the ill-fated mid-'90s act formed by EXODUS members Gary Holt (guitar) and Tom Hunting (drums). Both clips are expected to begin airing very soon.