Former EXODUS Guitarist RICK HUNOLT: 2008 Re-Recording Of 'Bonded By Blood' Was 'An Absolute Waste Of Time'

November 8, 2021

In a brand new interview with Brazil's Heavy Culture, former EXODUS guitarist Rick Hunolt was asked about the band's decision to re-record its classic 1985 debut album, "Bonded By Blood", in 2008 and release the new version under the title "Let There Be Blood".

"To be completely honest, I think it sounds all right, but I think it was an absolute waste of time and I don't know why they did it," Rick, who played on "Bonded By Blood" but did not appear on the re-recorded version, said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "I just don't know. I never really talked to Gary [Holt, EXODUS guitarist and main songwriter] about it because, to me, it's kind of, like, why? A lot of people like it. It's not bad. [Then-EXODUS singer] Rob Dukes is badass — I love Rob Dukes. And it was interesting hearing him sing those songs, that's for sure."

"Let There Be Blood" was recorded by the then-EXODUS lineup of Dukes, Holt, guitarist Lee Altus, bassist Jack Gibson and drummer Tom Hunting.

Back in 2014, Dukes was asked by the "Talking Metal" podcast if, looking back, he thought it was the right decision to re-record "Bonded By Blood". "I mean, not really," he responded, "but I thought that… Our original plan was to do it live — record a live concert and have it as kind of just a live concert and have those songs part of it. 'Cause Gary was, like, 'Well, we play [the songs] differently. I want the fans to hear how we play them now.' And whatever. But it's always about money, dude. You know what I mean?! They were gonna make money, so they re-did it. So that's the way it went."

Shortly after the "Let There Be Blood" release, Holt told About.com Heavy Metal about EXODUS' decision to make the album: "It's something we've talked about for a long time. Ever since we did the first live album ['Another Lesson In Violence'], we always thought how cool it would be to give the album the benefits of modern technology. 'Bonded By Blood' is a classic, it's always going to be the greatest album we do, but we just wanted to record these songs, put this out on our own and share how relevant these songs still sound today. If you listen to the re-recording, they sound as up to date and current as anything anybody is putting out there now. That's a testament to how great the songs are."

Asked if EXODUS was pretty faithful to the original arrangements of the songs on the re-recording, Holt said: "Yes. I went off subject on the leads a little bit, but we recorded the songs the way we play them now. Arrangement-wise, everything's the same. We didn't change anything. We tune lower now, but we have since 1993. Everything's faithful to the original, it's just updated in the production."

In a separate interview with Metal-Rules.com, Holt stated about "Let There Be Blood": "We talked about it a long time ago. Paul [Baloff, EXODUS' singer at the time of the 'Bonded By Blood' recording] even wanted to go in a redo some of the songs he wasn't on. He's like, 'We should do 'Pleasures Of The Flesh' and 'Seeds Of Hate' and 'Brain Dead' too.'

"I think it all started when we worked on the live album, which was our first time with Andy as well, Mr. Sneap. It sounded so huge, even for, like, a one-gig live record. Paul was like the bandwagon leader of doing that [re-recording 'Bonded By Blood']; he would be, like, 'Oh we could make it so much heavier now!'

"We weren't out to reinvent the wheel on this and we did not want to do like a disservice to the original. I love the original, that's why I'm doing this.

"There is always going to be purists that will be like, 'Oh you can't do that.' But it's funny, a lot of the people who say that are, like, 19, and weren't even around when the original came out. But I don't look at it as a bad thing when people get defensive about it. That means they love the original, and they love it so much that they don't think we should touch it. But I always tell them 'Look, this doesn't make your copy of 'Bonded By Blood' burst into flames and disappear; it's always going to be there.' I hope it's always going to be there. This here is a companion record and homage record and it's a tribute to the times.

"I love 'Bonded By Blood' and will always listen to it. It's, like, one of the only albums of ours I listen to, because I am, like, the king of once something is done I put it behind me. I'll listen to 'Bonded' and listen to Paul because there is, you know, a lifelong connection there."

EXODUS parted ways with Dukes in June 2014 and replaced him with his predecessor, Steve "Zetro" Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.

Dukes joined EXODUS in January 2005 and appeared on four of the band's studio albums — "Shovel Headed Kill Machine" (2005),"The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A" (2007),"Let There Be Blood" (2008, a re-recording of EXODUS' classic 1985 LP, "Bonded By Blood") and "Exhibit B: The Human Condition" (2010).

EXODUS will release its new album, "Persona Non Grata", on November 19 via Nuclear Blast.

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