SLAYER/EXODUS Guitarist GARY HOLT: 'My Endurance Is Super-Killer Now Because I've Been Playing With Two Bands'

March 17, 2014

Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal of recently conducted an interview with EXODUS mainman and SLAYER touring guitarist Gary Holt. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. As a musician, since you've joined SLAYER as a live guitarist, what positive changes have you noticed in your guitar playing?

Holt: Well, it's not a matter of being a good or a bad thing, but I guess my endurance is super-killer now because I've been playing with two bands, and I tend to not get much of a break. The muscles are certainly in top form and my hand strength is killer. But as far as chops go, I do come up with some occasional new shit here and there, because with SLAYER, I play a portion of the solos exactly like they're supposed to be played, but in some parts I improvise my ass off. At times I come up with some really cool stuff that I otherwise might not have thought of, but the chances of me remembering it a day later are slim to none. [Laughs] It's like, "Oh, that was really great, the thing I just did. But too bad I won't remember it tomorrow!" So they've been totally cool with you and let you put your own touch on solos?

Holt: Oh yeah, for me it's a totally different style of guitar playing. [Late SLAYER guitarist] Jeff [Hanneman] was not a schooled lead player. He wasn't technically taught, and that's what made his style unique and awesome, but that's not how I play. For me to try to play like that, I would just be trying to imitate stuff that's one of a kind. It's really hard to recreate that. How do you compare playing EXODUS and SLAYER songs, and which one is easier for you at this point?

Holt: You know, it depends on the song. Some songs in the SLAYER song are super-easy, and some are super-hard. It's not because of how complex they are, it's because of the amount of sheer grinding, 30-second notes just non-stop for six minutes. [Laughs] Same with EXODUS material, some of it is very easy to play and some is really challenging. So it's hard to pick which one is harder to play because neither of them is hard and overall, neither is easy.

Read the entire interview from

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