Gary Holt says that he is ready to contribute to the songwriting on SLAYER's next album.
Holt, who is still a member of San Francisco Bay Area thrash icons EXODUS, has been the touring guitarist for SLAYER since January 2011 when the band's co-founding guitarist, Jeff Hanneman, contracted necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, from a spider bite in his backyard. The infection ravaged the flesh and tissues of Hanneman's arm, leading to numerous surgeries, skin grafts and intense periods of rehab that forced him into semi-retirement and left him near death at several points.
Holt did not write any of the music on SLAYER's last album, 2015's "Repentless", although he did lay down guitar solos on most of the record's twelve tracks.
In a brand new interview with Ultimate Guitar, Holt stated about the possibility of composing material for SLAYER's next effort: "I'm certainly well prepared to do it.
"I get a lot of people saying, 'Oh, yeah, he plays for EXODUS, but can he write a SLAYER song?'
"You know, quite often the difference between an EXODUS song and a SLAYER song is just note selection. It's all thrash metal.
"You can differentiate the subtleties like KREATOR is more melodic than EXODUS and SLAYER is more chromatic.
"I've played in the band long enough to where I think I have a good enough insight into how a SLAYER song goes versus an EXODUS song.
"So I'm ready to go if and when the time arrives."
In a recent interview with Brazil's Wikimetal, SLAYER guitarist Kerry King confirmed that there is a chance that Holt will be more involved with the creative process next time around. "It's a possibility, for sure," he said. "We haven't really talked about that. I mean, the ideas have come up, but then I know Gary's still full-heartedly into making EXODUS records. I think if the opportunity arises, I'm definitely open to it, but I also understand that we've got a band to write music for as well. So I'm not against it. It's just something that we haven't come to that bridge yet."
Hanneman eventually died in May 2013 from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver. He is credited for writing many of SLAYER's classic songs, including "Angel Of Death" and "South Of Heaven".
Kerry previously told LA Weekly that part of the reason Holt wasn't invited to write any material for "Repentless" was the fact that not enough time had passed since Hanneman's death. "I thought a long time about this, but I didn't think SLAYER fans were ready for that yet," he said. "Even though Gary's a household name in thrash, I didn't feel that the first SLAYER record without Jeff should have Gary Holt contributing as a writer."
Hanneman's last appearance with SLAYER was in April 2011, when he played an encore with the band at the "Big Four" concert in Indio, California.