EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt believes that SLAYER “had a lot more music in them” before wrapping it up as a band almost three years ago.
Last October, Kerry King was quoted as saying SLAYER retired “too early” in a video message congratulating MACHINE HEAD on it’s 30th anniversary. Kerry, at the time, said: “So, I hear congratulations are in order for my friends in MACHINE HEAD. Apparently, it’s 30 years, which is quite an achievement. Not a lot of bands get there. We did, and then we quit too early. Fuck us. Fuck me. I hate fucking not playing.”
Holt was recently asked about Kerry’s comment in a new interview with Guitar World magazine, to which he replied: “Did the band stop too soon? That’s for them to decide. I know that’s how Kerry feels. Maybe [bassist and vocalist] Tom [Araya] doesn’t agree. I think the band had a lot more music in them, but you know what they say. It’s better to go out too soon than too late. The band went out firing on four cylinders. Better to do that than milk it for a few more years when everybody knows you’re milking it. That would tarnish the legacy of the band. This way they went out in peak form. Maybe that’s best.”
When asked if there was anything he misses about playing in SLAYER, Holt said: “Yeah, man. I’ve been friends with those guys since we were kids. And, I had one job in SLAYER and one job only. Go out, play killer, bang your head and play a little bit of a guitar hero role. One thing I was shocked with was how many SLAYER solos there are. There are songs that I played three solos in and at one point I’d be, like, ‘All right, I’m just going to go shred and play this one behind my head ’cause I’m out of ideas.’ [Laughs] But yeah, it was fun and relatively easy. I wear a lot more hats in EXODUS and have a lot more responsibility. Fortunately, I love it — but it’s not always easy.”
Gary Holt was initially recruited to fill in for SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman for the band’s live performances throughout 2011 and eventually became the group’s full-time co-guitarist in 2013.