EXODUS Guitarist: 'I Made A Crushing Record That Is Second To None'

Vampire Magazine recently conducted an interview with EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt. Several excerpts from the chat follow:

Vampire Magazine: You are the last remaining original member of the band; is "Shovel Headed Kill Machine" a Gary Holt album, or did the others also contribute to the music or lyrics?

Gary Holt: "Yes, I am the last original member remaining. I wrote all of the music and almost all of the lyrics, but I did that on 'Tempo of the Damned' as well. Everybody in this band has always been allowed to contribute as fa r as their performance and stuff, but somebody's got to be the band leader, and that just has always been me..."

Vampire Magazine: The artwork could also have been for a death metal album, which brings me to the next point: the production has a little less sharp edge than "Tempo of the Damned", but the album's sound has more of a crushing groove. Coincidence or was that a goal you had in mind, as a kind of influence from death metal?

Gary Holt: "Hey, someone else said that too, about the death metal… I got exactly what I wanted, I wanted it to be a bit more raw and that is what I put into Andy's (Sneap, the producer) hands. And a lot of it has to do with the fact that we recorded this one in considerably a shorter time than we did 'Tempo…', including the rehearsals. Just from the moment that Paul [Bostaph, drums] joined the band, we were in the studio in like three weeks. So that is why it is more raw, almost like live energy you know; we just didn't have the time to over-analyze, we went for it and wanted it to be super in-your-face and crushing."

Vampire Magazine: Here's a point; the new album is 100% EXODUS, no question about it. Some people, let's call 'em vinegar pissers, say this is a safe move (give the fans what they want), but somehow I can't imagine Gary Holt and a safe move…

Gary Holt: "Nothing safe about what I do. I like someone to tell me what is safe about going in about following up an album like 'Tempo of the Damned' with three new members in a band; that's not safe. I am not concerned with what others say. I made this album for myself; I made the album I wanted to make. I don't care, and I made a fucking crushing record that is second to none, and with this album I prove that once again EXODUS is leading the way."

Vampire Magazine: Funny thing about Rob Dukes, the new man behind the microphone. He was the band's guitar technician. How the hell did you discover that he could sing as well?

Gary Holt: "That was just one of the strokes of luck, because I had hired a different person to do my guitar check at the MEGADETH tour, and he wasn't working out, he wasn't doing well. And when we played Hollywood, a friend of mine who also worked at that venue said, 'I know this guy and stuff, let me give him a call.' So we send the other guy home on just a kind of passenger bus and hired Rob. And then we got to know each other on the tour, and that is where he told that he sang in all kind of punk bands in New York, and he never done anything like this. But when we needed a new singer, he wanted to do an audition. To be honest, I didn't know that he was able to do this at all. But he is my friend, so I saw him as doing a favor to a friend and not refuse him an audition for that reason, but he came in and just blew everyone's mind…"

Read the entire interview at Vampire-Magazine.com.

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