EXODUS drummer Tom Hunting has vowed to perform with his bandmates at this summer's Psycho Las Vegas festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event will take place in late August, more than four months after Tom started treatment for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the stomach.
Hunting's participation in the concert was announced on Friday (May 21) by his EXODUS bandmate Gary Holt. The guitarist took to his Instagram to share a poster for the event, and he wrote in an accompanying message: "YEEEERAAAAAHHHH BAAABY!!! Back on a fucking stage!!!! When asked about doing this show, Tom said 'if I'm walking I'm drumming!' So we said BOOK THAT MOTHERFUCKER!!! I may shed a tear or two in my many beers while on a metal vacation with [my wife Lisa]! See, we already booked rooms before being added! We were going ANYWAY!! So know, I get to go back to work for an hour then RAGE!!!!"
A GoFundMe campaign to help Hunting with medical expenses has already raised more than $92,000 — including $5,000 from Tom's former EXODUS bandmate, current METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett, and $1,500 from FOZZY singer and wrestling superstar Chris Jericho.
The 56-year-old Hunting revealed the diagnosis in a statement released on April 13. He said at the time: "Today I will be starting treatment for a squamous cell carcinoma. It's a gastric tumor that was diagnosed in my upper stomach in February.
"I'm making this public to raise awareness for people to pay attention to symptoms of stomach and esophageal issues. If they persist, please go get it checked out.
"I'm not gonna be sheepish talking about it. I feel that if I can help someone with what I've learned, or someone out there has information to share with me, it's a win-win! When you can name the enemy, it's empowering, and you're 1 step closer to killing it!
"Ok, you've heard the bad news. The good news is he feels great physically! I'm gonna beat this like a fucking snare drum that owes me money!!! I've had great doctors and a great support system that is an army in itself. I'm ready for the fight!"
After Hunting went public with his diagnosis, Holt said that EXODUS will "delay" the release of its recently completed new album, "Persona Non Grata", "so that when Tom has defeated this, he will be back to full strength to hit the road and pummel his drums like only he can! When he has kicked cancer's ass like we know he will, we will resume kicking YOUR asses with the sickest record yet!" he said.
The squamous cell carcinoma of the stomach is a very uncommon entity, with worldwide incidence of 0.04% to 0.07% of all gastric cancers.
"Persona Non Grata" will be the follow-up to 2014's "Blood In Blood Out", which was the San Francisco Bay Area thrashers' first release since the departure of the group's lead singer of nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.
"Persona Non Grata" was recorded at a studio in Lake Almanor, California and was engineered by Steve Lagudi and EXODUS. It was produced by EXODUS and was mixed by Andy Sneap.