EXODUS's GARY HOLT: 'This Year Has Been The Hardest I've Ever Dealt With Yet Massively Rewarding'

December 18, 2023

Guitarist Gary Holt of San Francisco Bay Area thrashers EXODUS, who completed their fall 2023 U.S. tour on December 16 in Salt Lake City, Utah, has shared the following message via his social media: "And that's a wrap!! What a tour. What a year. Two years.

"This year has been the hardest I've ever dealt with yet massively rewarding. The most injured I've ever been on tour.

"Started the year with a horrible fall off the bus, slipping on an icy step, thought I broke my pelvis. No break. Worst pain ever. For weeks. Keep playing. Had to rescue my brother from an Italian hospital after a horrible accident. Mass turmoil, drama and stress. Had to cancel Europe for my own mental well being. Sucked. Fuck my neck up at Blue Ridge rock fest. Still fucked up four months later. Find a way to do what I gotta do, even if banging my head harder than all was not on the table. But also. Made amazing new friends in my tour mates. Played shows that told all of @exodusbandofficial that something really cool is happening with this band. We are driven. We care about nothing but crushing you. Fans. Other bands. No matter. We will destroy all.

"[EXODUS's latest album] 'Persona Non Grata' was a milestone for us. Time to crush it.

"To all who say they're about to make the metal record of the year? Hold my NA beer!

"Thank you to everyone, most of all our band management and crew. Family time. Then time to finish the songs for this next record! The work to deliver the beatings continues."

This past May, EXODUS canceled its previously announced summer 2023 European tour so that Holt could "tend to his family" after his brother was hospitalized in Italy.

Holt joined EXODUS in 1981, shortly after the band's formation, and has been the group's main songwriter ever since. Holt has performed on every EXODUS album, and is considered highly influential in the world of thrash metal.

Holt began filling in for SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman at live shows in 2011, and became the band's full-time co-guitarist as of 2013, while remaining a member of EXODUS. Holt played on SLAYER's final album, "Repentless", which came out in 2015.

"Persona Non Grata" came out in November 2021 via Nuclear Blast Records. The LP 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. For the third time in the band's history, they returned to Swedish artist Pär Olofsson to create the album artwork.

"Persona Non Grata" was 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 Steve "Zetro" Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.

Nine months ago, Hachette Books announced that it had acquired Gary's upcoming memoir. "A Fabulous Disaster: From The Garage To Madison Square Garden, The Hard Way" is described in a press release as "a no-holds-barred memoir from the preeminent thrasher's life in metal, from its humble (but not quiet) beginnings in the San Francisco Bay Area through today's current resurgence in worldwide popularity, as he lived big, played fast and crashed hard, written in collaboration with Adem Tepedelen."

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