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Band Photo: Exodus (?)

Formed: 1980
From: San Francisco, CA, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Exodus News

Below is our complete Exodus news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Evile To Open For Exodus in April

Earache Records issues the following press release:

Still tearing up venues around Europe opening for Megadeth, fast rising UK thrashers EVILE have announced a tour with Bay Area legends Exodus in April.

The band will play the following shows in Europe:

08.04.08 UK London - The Underworld
09.04.08 UK Leeds - Rio's
10.04.08 UK Ireland - Voodoo Lounge
11.04.08 UK Glasgow - Cathouse
12.04.08 UK Sheffield - Corporation
13.04.08 Netherlands Groningen - Versa
14.04.08 Netherlands Eindhoven - Dynamo Club
15.04.08 Belgium Vosselaar - Biebob
16.04.08 Germany Hannover - Musikzentrum
18.04.08 Germany Essen - Turock
19.04.08 Germany Saarbrucken - Roxy
20.04.08 Germany Munchen - Backstage

Joining the tour in the UK will be Earache labelmates Gama Bomb. More...

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Exodus Thrash Classics Back In Print

Caroline Records has announced the March 11th release of two classic remastered Exodus albums, "Impact Is Imminent" and "Force Of Habit," as limited edition Japanese-style mini-vinyl CDs, offering a scaled down replica of the original vinyl release in CD format, complete with inner sleeves. Both albums will be available digitally as well.

Arguably the first American Thrash band (Metallica’s Kirk Hammet was a founding member), Exodus came from the Bay Area scene that created Metallica, Megadeth, Death Angel, Testament and Vio-lence. Exodus jumped from Combat Records to Capitol in the early 90’s, supporting these releases on tours with Pantera, Suicidal Tendencies, Anthrax, Motörhead, Black Sabbath, Metallica, and Megadeth. Both "Impact Is Imminent" and "Force Of Habit" have been out of print for over ten years and command high prices on the secondary market.

Exodus has just completed a US tour and will start European dates in London on April 8th.

Here are the album reissue track listings: More...

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Exodus and Soilwork on Fuse TV's "Talking Metal"

This Friday, February 29th at 12 Midnight EASTERN / 9 p.m. PACIFIC, join “Talking Metal” hosts Mark Strigl and John Ostronomy as they host a jam session with Bay Area Thrashers EXODUS in New York and get a Swedish metal lesson from SOILWORK in Los Angeles. You can visit FUSE’s “Talking Metal” website here.

EXODUS just completed a headlining tour in support of their latest album, The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A, with Goatwhore, Arsis, and Warbringer. To check out notes from the last day of the tour, visit lead vocalist Rob Dukes’ MySpace profile here.

SOILWORK will be returning to North America on February 29th for the Scum Of The Earth Tour as direct support for Throwdown through April 3rd in support of their latest release, Sworn To A Great Divide.

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Exodus Clash With Mokena Venue Security

Veteran San Francisco Bay Area metallers EXODUS clashed with the in-house security during their headlining performance on February 16, 2008 at The Pearl Room in Mokena, Illinois after a fan was allegedly thrown out of the venue "for no good reason."

A Last.fm user by the name of "Fosster3567" describes the incident in the following way: "The last band of the night was well worth the wait. EXODUS caused a huge stir in the Pearl Room. All was fine until about three songs into their set when a fan jumped up on stage and stage-dived. This was fine with the band, they even headbanged next to him. But security felt otherwise and kicked the kid out. EXODUS stopped playing 'Children of a Worthless God' immediately. They shouted at security to let the kid back in and even told the security guard who kicked the kid out to get the fuck out. When they didn't, EXODUS' singer [Rob Dukes] shouted, 'Hey, I'm stage-diving. Kick me the fuck out, big boy.' He jumped into the crowd. When he got back on stage, he commanded the audience all stage-dive. This is when the place turned into total chaos. Audience members were running on stage by the dozen and we were all enjoying the fuck out of ourselves. Then, Pearl Room's management shut off their mics and amps. The singer was arguing with the manager for a few minutes. Luckily, EXODUS was allowed to continue their set, although no one else could stage dive. They were awesome live and played all the fan favorites."

Watch video footage of the incident below.

EXODUS is in the middle of a North American tour in support of its latest album, "The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A", that will culminate in a hometown show in San Francisco on February 24 at Slim's. More...

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Gama Bomb Issue Studio Update

The band checks in once again with another update straight from Grindstone Studios about the recording of their EARACHE debut, CITIZEN BRAIN (produced by Scott Atkins):

"If making amazing albums is a crime, we're going to be sent down for life when CITIZEN BRAIN gets released (slated for mid-May, fact fans). Drums are complete, as evidenced by Paul spending his days playing Hitman with a beer, and we're coming to the end of guitar tracking. Luke and Domo have been putting in long days, scrutinizing every riff and lick with Scott, and the results sound amazing. Philly is now getting into the thick of the vocal takes, too, and is packing in some seriously balls-to-the-wall screaming in late-night sessions. Unfortunately, he hasn't been spotted wearing sunglasses while doing takes like Glen Benton. A recent memo from EARACHE advised that 'more falsettos = better', and we're certainly going to deliver on that."

"Last week saw Tom Luchtenstein from MUTANT and Jamie from Resilience Records swing by the studio to deliver some hilariously brilliant backing vocals on a few tunes, only to callously leave us again like the Milk Tray man in the night. We got over it. We also got the first pencil roughs for CITIZEN BRAIN's album cover back from our man in New York, the brilliant Jeff Zornow. It looks amazing. If you see one picture of robot arms coming out of mouths this year, make this it." More...

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Mercenary, Cynic, Machine Men Confirmed For Wacken

Mercenary, Cynic and Machine Men have recently been confirmed for this year's Wacken Open Air Festival, which takes place July 31 to August 2 in Wacken, Germany.

Other bands set to perform at the festival:

3 Inches lf Blood
As I Lay Dying
At the Gates
Axel Rudi Pell
Before the Dawn
Children of Bodom
Corvus Corax
Dream of an Opium Eater
Enemy of the Sun
Excremetory Grindfuckers
Iron Maiden
Killswitch Engage
Lord Belial
Psycho Punch
Saltatio Mortis
Sonata Arctica
The Bones
Van Canto

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Exodus Confirmed For Wacken Open Air 2008

According to a post on the official Wacken Open Air festival website, Bay Area thrash legends Exodus are the latest act to be confirmed for the prestigious metal event.

Exodus will also be embarking on a European tour in April in support of their latest album "The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A".

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Exodus Guitarist Speaks On Influences

Metal-Hammer.de has issued an interview with EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt.

The following is an excerpt from the interview:

Q: What made you listen to heavy metal in the first place?

A: "That's a good question! For me, it all strated with hard rock, but the harder it was, the better. From there it just developed into a love for it, JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, and the whole NWOBHM thing just dragged me in
for life."

Q: Who personifies metal the most for you - and why?

A: ROB HALFORD. That dude has always been all about metal and nothing else for so long. He still waves the flag proudly for all of us."

Q: What's the best metal album ever, in your opinion?

A: "RAINBOW - Rising. You need not own another album."

Q: Which is the most important metal band of all time, for you?

A: "For me, there are so many, but VENOM and ANGELWITCH had such a huge influence on me. It was like hearing metal for the first time when I heard those two bands.”

Read the full article at this location.

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Exodus Prepare For North American Tour

Starting 2008 off on the right foot by launching their first North American tour in support of their latest Billboard-charting album, The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A, EXODUS will soon be bringing their trademarked brand of fist-in-the-face music to a back alley near you. In tow will be GOATWHORE from New Orleans, Virginian labelmates ARSIS, and L.A.’s WARBRINGER.

“We tour more and longer and with fewer days off now than we ever did in our 20s,” states guitarist Gary Holt in a recent interview with KNAC.com. “I think it has to do more with not lagging and keeping things moving forward. When we were younger, we had the luxury of days off, but days off were expensive. The more shows you do, the less money you burn on the bus being parked outside a Wal-Mart and having the crew do nothing – except maybe drinking a lot. Now when we’re on the road, we just do our thing and when it’s done, we may do a couple of shots, watch a movie, and play Uno for money. It’s the most fun when someone’s drawing cards trying to find their color and having shit for luck. Then we start talking shit, like ‘Taste the rainbow, motherfucker…’ [laughter]”

When asked by Synthesis.net about The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A’s anti-Middle East stance, Holt replied: “I never set out to make a political album. On ‘As It Was, As It Soon Shall Be,’ one thing led to another and it ended up as me taking another potshot at the Bush Administration. It was written from my point of view. This whole mess in Iraq… we went there for the wrong reasons. It wasn’t my battle, it wasn’t my idea to play ‘world police,’ and now we’re never going to get out of there. At the same time, I’m not a bleeding heart liberal.”

The band’s video for 'Riot Act' (which includes an Evil Overlord and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Recommended Daily Allowance of pentagrams) – shot by director Jon Schnepp of Metalocalypse fame - can be viewed on the MTV's Headbangers Blog site.

Exodus live dates:

20 - Bakersfield, CA - Naducci
21 - West Hollywood, CA at House of Blues
22 - San Diego, CA at House of Blues
23 - Tempe, AZ at The Clubhouse
24 - Albuquerque, NM at Launch Pad
25 - Ft. Worth, TX at Ridglea Theater
26 - San Antonio, TX at White Rabbit
27 - Houston, TX at Meridian
29 - Winter Park, FL at The Haven
30 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL at Culture Room
31 - Atlanta, GA at The Masquerade

1 - Fayetteville, NC at Jesters Pub
2 - West Springfield, VA at Jaxx
4 - New York, NY at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
5 - Rochester, NY at Penny Arcade
6 - Allentown, PA at Crocodile Rock
7 - Hartford, CT at Webster Theatre
8 - Bedford, NH at Mark's Place
9 - Poughkeepsie, NY at The Chance
10 - Cleveland, OH at Peabody's Down Under
11 - Huntington, WV at Huntington Music Hall
12 - Louisville, KY at Uncle Pleasants
13 - Milwaukee, WI at Vnuk's Lounge
14 - Cedar Falls, IA at Reverb
15 - Detroit, MI at Harpo's
16 - Mokena, IL at The Pearl Room
17 - Maplewood, MN at The Rock
18 - Winnipeg, MB at Garrick Centre
19 - Regina, SK at Exchange
20 - Calgary, AB at Warehouse
21 - Spokane, WA at Bourbon Street
22 - Seattle, WA at Studio Seven
23 - Portland, OR at Hawthorne Theatre
24 - San Francisco, CA at Slim's

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Exodus Update Tour Schedule

Exodus have announced that the January 20 2008 Studio 99 Bakersfield, California has been canceled.
Also the February 6 2008 The Silo Reading Pennsylvania has been changed to Allentown Crocodile Rock, Pennsylvania.

The tour schedule is now shaped up as follows:

Jan 21 2008 House of Blues West Hollywood, California
Jan 22 2008 House of Blues San Diego, California
Jan 23 2008 The Clubhouse Tempe, Arizona
Jan 24 2008 Launch Pad Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jan 25 2008 Ridglea Theater Ft Worth, Texas
Jan 26 2008 White Rabbit San Antonio, Texas
Jan 27 2008 The Meridian Houston, Texas
Jan 29 2008 The Haven Winter Park, Florida
Jan 30 2008 Culture Room Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Jan 31 2008 The Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia
Feb 1 2008 Jester’s Pub Fayetteville, North Carolina
Feb 2 2008 Jaxx Nightclub West Springfield, Virginia
Feb 4 2008 B.B. King New York, New York
Feb 5 2008 Penny Arcade Rochester, New York
Feb 6 2008 Crocodile Rock Allentown, Pennsylvania
Feb 7 2008 Webster Theater Hartford, Connecticut
Feb 8 2008 Mark’s Showplace Bedford, New Hampshire
Feb 9 2008 The Chance Poughkeepsie, New York
Feb 10 2008 Peabody’s Cleveland, Ohio
Feb 11 2008 Huntington Music Hall Huntington, West Virginia
Feb 12 2008 Uncle Pleasants Louisville, Kentucky
Feb 13 2008 Vnuk’s Lounge Cudahy, Wisconsin
Feb 14 2008 Reverb Cedar Falls, Iowa
Feb 15 2008 Harpo’s Detroit, Michigan
Feb 16 2008 The Pearl Room Mokena, Illinois
Feb 17 2008 The Rock Maplewood, Minnesota
Feb 18 2008 Garrick Centre Winnipeg Canada
Feb 19 2008 Exchange Regina Canada
Feb 20 2008 The Warehouse Calgary Canada
Feb 21 2008 The Big Easy Concert House Spokane, Washington
Feb 22 2008 Studio Seven Seattle, Washington
Feb 23 2008 Hawthorne Theater Portland, Oregon
Feb 24 2008 Slim’s San Francisco, California

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Exodus Guitarist Speaks On Latest Tour

ABORT’s Jimmy Lynch, checks in with Gary Holt, guitarist for Bay Area thrash legends EXODUS. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

ABORT: You just completed an exhausting tour, with your current line up, was it just as much fun this time around, or more of a pay the bills type thing?

Holt: "Well, that was actually last December, so we’ve been home and off the road for a while. But we would never do this shit if it wasn’t fun, and sometimes it barely pays the bills anyway. And our level of fun is pretty much off the charts."

ABORT: Do you have any remorse for all the chaotic violence you’ve created from
doing live shows? Speaking of which, any problems during your recent stop in South America ? Were they “Too Receptive”?

Holt: "Remorse? Don’t know the meaning of the word! Fuck that, it’s what I live to see. And some of the fans in a couple of cities in South America apparently like to rip each others hair out, judging from the hundreds of chunks littering the floor in Chile and Columbia."

Read the full article at this location.

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Korpiklaani Added To Summer Breeze Festival

The following bands have been confirmed for next year’s installment of the Summer Breeze festival, which is set to take place from August 14th to 16th in Dinkelsbühl, Germany:


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Exodus Announce German Tour Dates

Veteran San Francisco Bay Area metallers EXODUS have scheduled the following German dates in April 2008:

Apr. 16 - Hannover, GER @ Musikzentrum
Apr. 18 - Essen, GER @ Turock
Apr. 19 - Saarbrücken, GER @ Roxy
Apr. 20 - München, GER @ Backstage

EXODUS' video for the song "Riot Act" was directed by Jon Schnepp of "Metalocalypse" (on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim) for Schneppzone Inc..

Calling in from a helicopter somewhere over Santa Monica, Jon Schnepp had this to say about his experience working with EXODUS:

"I had an AMAZING time working with ALL those guys — Gary, Rob, Jack, Lee, and Tom… they're all GREAT. They did a FANTASTIC job and made it a really fun shoot. They were FULL of energy with EVERY take and you really can't ask for more than that!"

"We went out on a limb and asked Jon if he'd shoot our video," reminisces EXODUS guitarist/songwriter/founding member Gary Holt. "When he said yes, we were stoked to say the least. The ideas he came up with made this our best video ever! I usually hate making videos, but this time I was actually excited about it! It's unique, and of course, it's heavy!"

"Riot Act" comes off the group's new album, "The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A", which sold 3,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD was recorded at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California with producer Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, MACHINE HEAD, NEVERMORE, ARCH ENEMY).

EXODUS will launch a North American tour in support of "The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A" on January 20, 2008 in Bakersfield, California with GOATWHORE, ARSIS, and WARBRINGER that will culminate in a hometown show in San Francisco on February 24 at Slim's.

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Primal Fear Confirmed For Summer Breeze Festival

German power metallers PRIMAL FEAR are the latest acts confirmed for the Summer Breeze Festival which is scheduled for August 14th - 14th in Dinkelsbühl, Germany. Acts on the bill now include: ASP, BORN FROM PAIN, DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA, ENSIFERUM, ENDSTILLE, EXODUS, KATAKLYSM, PRIMAL FEAR, PRIMORDIAL, SONIC SYNDICATE, THE VISION BLEAK.

Organizers are announcing a new band each day in December via their Adventskalender!

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Nuclear Blast Extends Century Family Contract

Founded in Donzdorf, Germany in 1987, ranked #11 in the "Top 20 Rock/Metal Labels" and #41 in the "Top 50 Labels" charts by Hit Quarters in 2007, Nuclear Blast Records has extended its production and distribution deal with The Century Family, Inc. for the United States.

From his office in Germany, Nuclear Blast label owner and President Markus Staiger had this to say about the continued two-year contract renewal:

"We are very thrilled to continue our work with the Century Family. It is great that 2 metal companies can work together so close without any problems and fun to have such professional and nice people in the U.S. working for us! Be sure to expect a great year in 2008 for NUCLEAR BLAST and Century Media. NUCLEAR BLAST will release new titles from MESHUGGAH, DIMMU BORGIR, KATAKLYSM, KORPIKLAANI, THREAT SIGNAL, ALL SHALL PERSIH, DEATH ANGEL, HYPOCRISY, IMMORTAL, and EXODUS, as well as a stunning new album from TESTAMENT and AVANTASIA's third album The Scarecrow (featuring members of KISS, SCORPIONS, MAGNUM, Jorn Lande, and more), along with some IN FLAMES re-releases, too. Also, keep an eye out for our new U.S. signings - they are all young, fresh and brutal new acts with tremendous new albums. Among these is SUCCESS WILL WRITE APOCALYPSE ACROSS THE SKY who play brutal Florida Grind-Death Metal! Big thanks goes to the NB U.S.A. Team, Century Media, and our distributor Caroline/EMI. Special THANKS to our great metal fans!"

Since 2000, Nuclear Blast has maintained U.S. staff and operations in Los Angeles via a successful and long-running production and distribution deal with The Century Family, Inc., parent of Century Media Records. Century Media currently maintains a distribution deal with Caroline/EMI which it manages for Nuclear Blast under the arrangement.

States Century Media CEO Oliver Withoeft:

"Nuclear Blast and Century Media are looking forward to an even closer cooperation in 2008. The new year will prove to be a decisive year for the music industry, and we will continue to be at the forefront of setting trends in Metal. Our customers will be pleased to learn that we will expand our offers beyond the traditional ways of selling music."

2007 has been a year of distinction for Nuclear Blast in both Europe and North America. In addition to hosting a celebratory 20 year anniversary festival in Stuttgart this past October in the presence of over 6,000 metal fans, various 2007 releases made extremely noteworthy entries onto the Billboard charts.

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Exodus Confirmed For Summer Breeze Festival

US thrash legends EXODUS are the latest act confirmed for the Summer Breeze Festival which is scheduled for August 14th - 14th in Dinkelsbühl, Germany. Acts on the bill now include: DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA, ENSIFERUM, ENDSTILLE, EXODUS, KATAKLYSM, PRIMORDIAL, SONIC SYNDICATE, THE VISION BLEAK.

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Watch Exodus' Video For "Riot Act" Online

You can check out EXODUS’ new video for the song “Riot Act” on Headbanger's Blog. The track comes off the band’s latest album, "The Atrocity Exhibition… Exhibit A." The video was directed by Jon Schnepp of Metalocalypse (on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim) for Schneppzone Inc., and will debut on-air on Saturday, December 8th on MTV2’s Headbangers Ball (check local listings for show times).

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Exodus' "Riot Act" Video To Debut on HBB

Deemed one of metal’s most important heritage bands for the lasting – and ongoing - contributions they’ve made to the creation and sustenance of the thrash metal genre, it is only apt that the first EXODUS video in support of their recently released, Billboard Heatseekers-charting album, The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A, would be visually pummeling. The band’s video for “Riot Act,” directed by Jon Schnepp of Metalocalypse (on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim) for Schneppzone Inc., will debut online this Friday, December 7th on the Headbangers Blog website and on-air on Saturday, December 8th on MTV2’s Headbangers Ball (check local listings for show times).

Calling in from a helicopter somewhere over Santa Monica, Jon Schnepp had this to say about his experience working with EXODUS:

“I had an AMAZING time working with ALL those guys – Gary, Rob, Jack, Lee, and Tom… they’re all GREAT. They did a FANTASTIC job and made it a really fun shoot. They were FULL of energy with EVERY take and you really can’t ask for more than that!”

“We went out on a limb and asked Jon if he'd shoot our video,” reminisces EXODUS guitarist/songwriter/founding member Gary Holt. “When he said yes, we were stoked to say the least. The ideas he came up with made this our best video ever! I usually hate making videos, but this time I was actually excited about it! It’s unique, and of course, it’s heavy! We’re happy to see how things have been going for the new record. Number 23 on the Heatseekers chart - pretty killer indeed! Now it’s time to hit the road and play these songs – that’s what I’M talking about!!!”

EXODUS will be launching a North American tour in support of The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A on January 20th, 2008 in Bakersfield, California with Goatwhore, Arsis, and Warbringer that will culminate in a hometown show in San Francisco on February 24th at Slim’s.

To read Gary Holt’s rant about the strangest fan behavior he’s ever witnessed (and stream “Riot Act”on Friday the 7th), visit MTV2’s Headbangers Blog.

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Exodus Guitarist Talks About Next Album

Norway's Imhotep spoke to EXODUS guitar legend Gary Holt recently about a number of topics including their new album, The Atrocity Exhibition – Exhibit A, which is out now via Nuclear Blast. Here are a few excerpts from the chat:

Imhotep: What can you tell about Exhibit B, just how much of that is already written and how would you compare it to Exhibit A?

Gary Holt: "When we recorded Exhibit A we had too many songs and none of them were your typical throwaway, b-side bonus songs. We had long debates, which songs should be on the album. Finally we just chose the ones we felt would work best together for this album and create the right kind of atmosphere. We chose four songs to save, so now we have four songs recorded and done for the next album and we have to finish the remaining songs. About the direction of the next album, I can only comment on the four songs that are finished, and they all stand on their own compared to the first album. There will be some themes, both musical and lyrical that kind of tie each album together, but it’s not going to be like a two album concept record, really."

Imhotep: Comment on being the godfather of thrash.

Gary Holt: "I’ve become wiser during the years. You learn from past mistakes. I mean, he who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it. As far as the band goes, the eighties were a magical and special time, but right now this is version two of the band and we are more deadly and dangerous than ever and we are most certainly hungrier than ever because we don’t take anything for granted. We are out to reclaim our spot at the top of the thrash metal world. I am pretty driven and I am not letting anything to get on my way. In the eighties there was newness on everything and we didn’t understand the business side of things. That’s was kind of bad but it was also good because we were just kids wanting to play thrash metal and getting wasted and looking for chicks. We didn’t have the business side of things to worry about and it was fun, you know. Haha, like 1989 the Headbangers Ball Tour, that was as close as any thrash metal band ever, got to feel like they are in MÖTLEY CRÜE, hahaha. We were playing in these huge places with ANTHRAX and HELLOWEEN and there were like 25 or 30 girls waiting for us outside the venue. It was fucking fun, but now we are older and little wiser and don’t want to get caught in any scandals. I have two daughters of my own now, so there a little difference in the way I feel about that stuff now, haha."

Imhotep: What about other plans, are you planning to release any DVD’s or something in the near future?

Gary Holt: "Right now this album is last in our contract with Nuclear Blast, so until we have come into terms with any kind of a new deal, any future projects are in halt – including Exhibit B. The one thing we are putting out this year on our own is a double-DVD called Double Live Dynamo, which has a 1985 Dynamo Club Show with Paul Baloff and 1997 Dynamo Festival Show. They’re the only shows Paul Baloff ever did in Eindhoven, Holland and especially the 1985 show is a legendary gig and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face when watching it."

Read the full article at imhotep.

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Exodus Guitarist Talks Latest Album

Jackie Smit of Chronicles of Chaos recently conducted an interview with EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Chronicles of Chaos: What were the circumstances surrounding Tom's [Hunting, drums] return to EXODUS?

Holt: If you had to put it in one word: time. He just needed time to get to grips with his own personal issues. He had been struggling with things like anxiety attacks, and things like that, and also trying to split your time between that and a band that's on the road all the time and takes up all your time; it's pretty fucking impossible. But he got back on his feet, got healthy, started playing and just found a level of health and vitality where he was ready to come back to the band. He was living up in the mountains about an hour and a half from where I live, which is about three hours north of San Francisco, and when he called I just chucked my amp and my guitar into my van, drove up to see him and we just jammed and I knew right then and there that this dude is ready to fuck shit up.

Chronicles of Chaos: How did you manage the situation with Paul [Bostaph]? Was he always of the understanding that if Tom decided to come back, then he'd move on?

Holt: Yeah, he knew that when and if the day came that Tom wanted to come back, then the job was waiting for him. He knew that it was the best thing for the band, and he's both a good friend of Tom's and a huge fan. He's really an amazing guy and he always lands on his feet, so he wasn't really blown out into the cold. He wanted to try some different things anyway, and as it turns out he's playing for TESTAMENT now and he's also reunited FORBIDDEN for a couple of shows. So everything's worked out pretty well for everybody.

Chronicles of Chaos: Having Tom back in the studio and having him be part of the writing process; do you feel like his presence affected in any way how the songs ended up sounding?

Holt: Definitely. Other than during his time away from the band, he's the only drummer I've ever really played with in my life. I've got a buddy who I used to get drunk with and play blues songs, but he could barely play anyway, so that doesn't really count. Other than that, Tom is the first guy I ever played with, and I never played with another drummer until he had to leave the band for similar health reasons back in 1989. There's just this natural unspoken language between he and I over what needs to be done to a certain riff drum-wise, and it's just hard to put into words.

Chronicles of Chaos: You used Andy Sneap once again for the recording of "The Atrocity Exhibition" and I know that in the past you've had nothing but good things to say about him. What's been the secret to keeping this relationship as productive as it has been?

Holt: You know, we all love the music and we're all very, very good friends. I mean, a guy like Andy works with so many different clients that I suppose he has to try and get along with everybody to a certain extent. You obviously don't want to repeat working with a band who you don't like personally. But us and Andy really love each other in a non-homosexual friendly way. [Laughs] We have a lot of fun together and I think he has more fun with us than he does with a lot of other bands. He's actually said to us that working with EXODUS is like walking into a cartoon, because when we're in the studio and we're by ourselves we're out of our minds and there's no logic or sense to anything we do. He's a fan of our music dating back to the old days, and he's almost like a sixth member of this band. So I just can't ever see the day when we'd want to part ways, and I think that if that day did come, then it would probably be because we've exhausted every avenue creatively and because the band needs something new. But I don't see that happening until I'm in my fucking seventies.

Chronicles of Chaos: It's interesting what he's done with your music as well, because he seems to take a very different approach to each record. "Tempo of the Damned", for example, was really slick, whereas "Shovel Headed Kill Machine" was a far rawer, organic album and "The Atrocity Exhibition" is really bass-heavy and brutal. Typically I find that bands always go to a producer because they want a certain sound, but that doesn't seem to be the case here at all. Would you agree with that?

Holt: I think you absolutely hit the nail on the head, man. With every album that we do, we never want it to sound exactly like the previous record. It doesn't mean that we're intentionally trying to sound different; we still go through the motions of plugging in our gear and finding our tone. But we just want to make shit work with the songs, and on this album, we purposefully wanted to make the guitar sound super crunchy and abrasive, with the big bottom-end on them. With "Shovel Headed Kill Machine", it was more of a high-gain sound that we were after. With this one, we tried out different settings until we knew that we'd found something that was heavy as shit.

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