Interview with Tom Hunting of Exodus
Band Photo: Exodus (?)
Exodus has been thrashing the brains out of the skulls of metalheads for over 30 years and show no signs of stopping. Currently on the Rust in Peace Tour with other legends Megadeth and Testament, the California thrashers did a one-off show in New Orleans with local but infamous black metallers Goatwhore. I had the chance to talk to drummer Tom Hunting before the show to discuss their new album and the thrill of performing for their fans. A transcribed version follows.
Buick Mckane: Welcome to New Orleans.
Tom Hunting: Thanks. It’s good to be here. Haven’t been here in a while. It’s been about 13 years actually.
Buick: That’s a very long time.
Tom: It is.
Buick: Well, thanks for coming off your Rust in Peace Tour to be with us tonight.
Tom: Oh, it’s our pleasure.
Buick: Why did you decide to do this one-off show?
Tom: Because we haven’t been here in years and knew it would be, like, a rager. We like club shows like this because it’s more of our meat-and-potatoes, I guess you could say.
Buick: So you just said, “Let’s call up Goatwhore and let’s do a show down here while we have some time.”
Tom: Yeah, well, they wanted to do a hometown thing. Said they hadn’t done a hometown gig in a while, so.
Buick: I think the last time was October.
Tom: Really? That’s a long time.
Buick: You’ve been on some pretty big tours for the past while, and, of course, you’re with Megadeth and Testament right now, but not tonight. How’s that tour going?
Tom: It’s going great. Going really good. It’s been sold out every night. Packed houses; some of them big, some of them smaller. But it’s rolling along. Going killer. We’re having a good time.
Buick: Your latest album “Exhibit B” is coming out very soon. May 7th, I believe.
Tom: May 18th.
Buick: May 18th.
Tom: Buy it! Don’t download it.
Buick: How is it going to be different from “Exhibit A”?
Tom: It’s a little more fast. It definitely has some more melody on it. It’s a little bit more than everything that “Exhibit A” is, but it’s also a really good companion record, I think. Goes good with “A.”
Buick: So you’re making a series of albums?
Tom: No, I don’t think so. We’re not going to jump in to a concept/theme, or keep going with that. I don’t think we could make it to Z anyway. We’re getting to old.
Buick: That’s not good to say. So there’s just “Exhibit A” and “Exhibit B”?
Tom: We’ll see about C. I don’t know.
Buick: You should. Well, this album coming out is going to be your ninth. With all that material, nine albums of material, how do yall pick a setlist?
Tom: You know, that’s really difficult because everybody in the band, everybody in the audience has certain stuff they want to hear. It’s really hard. But, then again, there’s worse problems a band could have. They could have not enough material and keep playing the same hour of stuff over and over again. But we try to mix it up. Everyone wants to hear something off “Bonded By Blood.” There’s always one guy who shouts something and you’re like, “What?”
Buick: Something really obscure?
Buick: What was your favorite album, even if it’s not from your era?
Tom: Um, I think for me, it’s the more current material. I mean, everything off of “Atrocity,” I love playing that because it’s really current and more of a challenge. It’s fun to play, you know, because it’s new. It’s not “Piranha” for the 8,000th time. So, yeah, I’d have to say the newer stuff is my favorite thing.
Buick: That’s cool. Well, being on this huge tour that you’re on right now, you play extremely big venues, I’m sure, and you’re going to all the summer festivals like Hellfest and Metalcamp in the summertime. But tonight’s venue is pretty small, well, not the smallest, but…
Tom: It’s intimate.
Buick: It’s intimate. So do you prefer those large festivals or the intimate places?
Tom: I like it all. As long as it’s packed and everyone’s having a good time…the band feeds off that energy. If it’s 200 hundred people going crazy or…We’ll take it either way. We don’t care. But we do like playing the festivals too.
Buick: Well, you’re touring and making albums and doing all this stuff. You also have comic books out, a DVD that’s come out, and you’re doing a signing for those in Arizona very soon. Can you tell me about the comic books?
Tom: Um, I really don’t know too much about the comic books. It’s based on the “Shovel Headed Kill Machine” record, and they’ve got us all done up as these…I don’t know what you call it. I think we’re just ass-kickers in animated form. And we ride around on the Shovel Headed Kill Machine and right wrongs. I guess.
Buick: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Tom: We’re happy to be in New Orleans. It’s a beautiful place. It’s kind of seedy, but I like it. I like the architecture. Everything here looks like it’s 400 years old. Shit’s, like, leaning sideways and people are still living in them.
Buick: Exactly. This is a nice street actually. Thank you so much!
Tom: Thank you. Nice meeting you, Emily.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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