Former Slayer member and current Exodus guitarist Gary Holt recently showed up on Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon. During their conversation, Holt recalled his time in Slayer and Slayer’s retirement, a frequently discussed topic lately.
As it is well known, Gary Holt is the primary songwriter of Exodus, and he is also the only constant Exodus member since the band’s foundation. Furthermore, Holt was involved in the band Slayer between 2011 and 2019 to replace Jeff Hanneman temporarily, but he was acknowledged as a permanent member after Hanneman’s death in May 2013.
Slayer achieved great success with their twelve studio albums and received many awards. However, they decided to retire and organized their farewell tour, which started in May 2018 and ended in November 2019. Slayer co-founder Kerry King lately reflected on his regret over the band’s decision to retire and said that it was too early. He thinks that it was a mistake to disband and he hates not being able to play with his band anymore.
During the conversation, Gary Holt was asked about Kerry King’s statements about Slayer’s early retirement and told him that it was difficult and sad but also positive. Holt reflected that he was excited to be back in Exodus after closing a chapter with Slayer. The guitarist also showed his gratitude towards Slayer as they helped him boost his popularity and profile.
However, the musician added that some people were worried that Exodus’ small gigs wouldn’t fulfill him after performing in stadiums with Slayer. Nonetheless, this never became an issue for Gary Holt, as he said he’s never cared about that stuff.
Here is how Gary Holt replied when being asked about Slayer’s break-up:
“It was very difficult. I missed being in Exodus, I missed being there. When they announced privately that we were going to do a final two-year farewell tour, it was both sad, and also a positive thing for me.
I had a two-year countdown on my return to Exodus. I had accomplished everything I could’ve hoped with Slayer – I mean, I’d be foolish to say it didn’t boost my profile.
A lot more people know who the hell I am now, and because of that, Exodus. But I really missed it. You get some haters out there online, like, ‘Good luck going back to playing clubs!'”
He went on to say:
“I went, two months after selling out The Forum for two nights [at the very final Slayer shows], I was back in Europe, taking a shower in some dirty backstage shower that you wear your flip-flops because you don’t want some foot fungus.
And I didn’t give a fuck, I loved it. It was awesome, cool. Where are the towels? I never had a problem living like that. It’s like – Exodus plays, we’ll do seven to ten shows in a row before we get a night off – because we need to, we need to make money.
Slayer never did more than two in a row in the last few years, and it was awesome. I was pampered and staying at the finest hotels, but I also had a lot of downtime, sitting around and like, you know, what else do you do?”
Holt, later on, talked about the Exodus’ journey and their current position within the music industry. The guitarist also touched upon his feelings for Metallica and expressed his admiration for their discipline and the way they play.