Josh Niva of Anchorage Daily News spoke to EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt about the band's upcoming "Tempo Of The Damned" album ahead of the group's July 31 performance at Chilkoot Charlie's in Anchorage, Alaska. "I tend to not get nervous. Maybe it's because I have such a tremendous ego," Holt said, laughing. "But I'm confident that this is the best album we've ever done. It's brutal, super-heavy, flawless. The drums are huge, bass is huge, guitars are huge. It's just huge."
According to Holt, the days of nu-metal are coming to a devastating end, and he's more than happy to be the one to put it out of its misery.
"Nu-metal is meeting its death," the 39-year-old guitarist said. "People are starting to want more than two notes — they want riffs, chaos, and we're ready to give it to them.
"And they want guitar solos again, which is good since I do a lot of them."
As previously reported, the long-awaited follow-up to 1992's "Force Of Habit" was recorded at Prairie Sun and Tsunami studios in Northern California with producer Andy Sneap (SKINLAB, ARCH ENEMY, NEVERMORE, MACHINE HEAD), and was mixed at Sneap's Backstage Studios in Ripley, England. It marks the group's first release since the death in 2002 of founding member and singer Paul Baloff.
Baloff's death was a shock to hard rock community's soul and served as a reality check for Baloff's bandmates, a group as notorious for their partying as they were for their music.
"Paul is a brother, and his death was a huge, crushing blow," Holt said, "but it was also a wake-up call lifestyle-wise. I was right there with him. And if he hadn't died, this album wouldn't have been made. We would have all continued using drugs."
Holt said his band is quickly starting to learn this machine runs just as well without alcohol and drugs. He's not ready to give up smoking yet, though.
"You've got to have one vice," Holt said of his cigarettes. "But we're happy, clean and I'm stoked on what's coming out of the amps. And I found my creative drive again, which I had hid in a brick wall. It's funny: I slowed my lifestyle down, and the songs got faster."
"Tempo Of The Damned" is tentatively due in October through an as-yet-undetermined label. Read more.