Gary Holt: What's the Difference Between Exodus & Slayer in Songwriting Terms

"Don't write 10-minute-long songs [for Slayer]. [Laughs]"

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Gary Holt: What's the Difference Between Exodus & Slayer in Songwriting Terms
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Guitarist Gary Holt was asked by FMJ about the songwriting differences between his two bands - Exodus and Slayer - to which he replied (via Blabbermouth):

"Don't write 10-minute-long songs [for Slayer]. [Laughs]

"I think that's the first thing. I tend to sometimes, in the Exodus realm, wander into some very progressive territory. And that's cool - it's all thrash metal to me.

"I think the biggest difference between one band and the other and the next band after that is quite often just note selection.

"Slayer - a lot of riffs are very chromatic, and it's as simple as adjusting your style from one to the other, which, I think, after six-plus years in the band, I definitely have as good an insight as anybody into how Slayer writes a song, since I can play such a large amount of the catalog.

"So, yeah, when that time comes and we are ready for the next album, if Kerry wants me to contribute, I've got riffs. I've got stuff right now that I've written that I am not using for Exodus, because it was kind of maybe just unintentional subconscious thing, like, 'It sounds a little too Slayer.'

"So I pushed that aside, 'cause I spend predominantly the bulk of my time playing in Slayer nowadays. I've gotta make sure not to cross-contaminate. I've gotta treat both bands like a crime scene, you know."

Asked whether being in Slayer for six years already feels "surreal," Gary replied:

"I don't know that any of it does. I think it's probably a little more surreal nowadays. And, I mean, it really sounds odd for me to say it, but it's a little more surreal when I get a rare chance to go back and do Exodus shows. [Laughs]

"'Cause those guys are my brothers for most of my life, and the Slayer guys are my brothers too. I'm fortunate to be in a position where I have two bands that I call family. It's kind of like just second nature.

"And then, when I do get the chance to do some Exodus shows, it's, like, I've been away for a while. So it kind of, like... I've gotta remember that this is the band that I've been in since I was 17 years old."

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    soundsabbath
    " I definitely have as good an insight as anybody into how Slayer writes a song, since I can play such a large amount of the catalog". With Holt's skills i'd imagine this took him from breakfast til lunch to acheive.
    Draconis93
     after six-plus years in the band, I definitely have as good an insight as anybody into how Slayer writes a song 
    Fuck, has it seriously been that long? Jesus, how time flies.
    entrail_soup
    I feel sad for Exodus that he's put them on the back burner.
    !..!_Rock_!..!
    As unfortunate as it is, thrash metal just isn't super popular. Seeing as how Slayer plays similar music but draws bigger crowds than Exodus, I think it just makes sense for Gary to play in a more popular band. While it's sad that he's not doing a lot with Exodus currently, Gary joining was the best thing that happened to Slayer since Jeff died. He has such an awesome energy and kicks ass live.
    Cazman
    His reply should have been "I actually get to write songs in Exodus".
    XEKoND
    If Kerry wants me to contribute, I've got riffs.
    Hear that, Mr King? Let him do it!