Bay Area Backstage conducted an interview with SLAYER touring members Gary Holt (guitar, also of EXODUS) and Paul Bostaph (drums) before the band's October 30 concert in San Joese, California. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the next EXODUS album, Holt said: "This [SLAYER] tour runs 'till… I get home December 1, and I've been writing for the last several months. Actually, I go home tomorrow for one day, then fly to Seattle. So when I resume this tour, I'm bringing my recording gear with me and continuing to work in hotel rooms. We're tentatively slated to start recording the next EXODUS February 1, and it's crushing — it's ridiculously fast and heavy. It's been a long time coming, so people, they're hungry and they're tired of waiting. So it's gonna be a pleasant surprise."
EXODUS recently completed a European tour of 17 cities, with stops in Barcelona, Dublin, London and more. Although SLAYER tapped the talents of guitarist Gary Holt for their European tour, Holt performed at select EXODUS dates. When Holt was not performing with EXODUS, HEATHEN guitarist Kragen Lum was filling in on guitar.
EXODUS' latest album, "Exhibit B: The Human Condition", was released in North America on May 18, 2010 via Nuclear Blast Records.
The CD sold around 4,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 114 on The Billboard 200 chart.
EXODUS' previous album, "The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A", opened with 3,600 units back in October 2007.
SLAYER guitarist Kerry King spoke to Canada's Metro about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's 12th studio album — the group's first since guitarist and founding member Jeff Hanneman died of liver failure on May 2.
"To me, it will be business as usual as it can be," King said.
"Usually by the time any idea was presented, I'd have finished it or Jeff would have it finished, so they were essentially finished songs. We'll just move forward like that.
"Musically, I'm sitting on roughly 14 tunes that we can pick from and I've finished seven of those lyrically. I'm way ahead of the game compared to where I was for 'World Painted Blood' [the band's 2009 album]."
Asked if SLAYER's current touring guitarist Gary Holt — who is also the lead axeman in San Francisco Bay Area's EXODUS — will play on the new SLAYER album, Kerry said: "I've told Gary that I'd like him to play some leads, just to keep it interesting.
"We've always been a two-guitar attack, so if you're looking to have a segment like the 'Angel Of Death' lead trade-off, you can't do that with one guitar.
"As far as Gary being a contributing writer, number one, fans aren't ready for it, and number two, that's like throwing somebody to the wolves.
"I think if there's another record after this one and Gary is still with us at that point, I think that will be a time where I say, ‘Hey dude, feel free to throw any riffs my way if you're interested'."
Regarding how the new SLAYER material is shaping up and whether fans can expect any surprises on the next album, Kerry said: "Fans don't want you to change.
"How many fans do you think METALLICA pissed off when they did 'Load' and 'Reload'?
"People like SLAYER because it's SLAYER.
"You grow as a musician within your genre, not try and flip genres and become something else."
In a recent interview with LA Weekly, King commented on the possibility of SLAYER's next album featuring previously unused material that was written by Hanneman prior to his death.
"There's been musicians historically that passed on and had a lot of stuff put out that was unreleased during their lives," he said. "But most of it was unreleased for a reason. I don't want the last thing for people to hear from Jeff be mediocre."
For his part, SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya has expressed more optimism about the prospect of the band's next effort containing some of Jeff's final ideas.
"I would want to do that," Tom told Steppin' Out magazine about revisiting Hanneman's material.
"When we did 'World Painted Blood', there was a Jeff composition that didn't make it on the album. We were working on trying to put that song together lyrically, but it wasn't happening, so it got shelved. But it's a great song, it's complete. We've just got to finish it lyrically. He also put a song together about a month before he passed away that I thought sounded great. His guitar abilities weren't all there, but you could hear what he was trying to do. He gave me an idea of where he wanted the verses and how he was phrasing the song."
Kevin J. Wells of Washington Times recently conducted an interview with EXODUS and SLAYER guitarist Gary Holt. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Washington Times: Is there a new EXODUS record in the works?
Gary Holt: Right now, I'm starting to compile riffs and get to that stage and I'm gonna continue writing while out the upcoming SLAYER tour as well. I pretty much have a break from the world of SLAYER 'til next April. So, I'm using this time off to make sure that I get that next EXODUS record done.
Washington Times: Is SLAYER is also starting work a new record?
Gary Holt: The recording for that should start sometime maybe by the end of this year. So, hopefully, then kill two birds with one stone and manage to keep both bands touring at the same time. Who knows?
Washington Times: Will you do any of the recording with SLAYER?
Gary Holt: It looks like I'll probably be doing solos on the record, but the songs are all written. Kerry [King] will handle all that stuff. My plate's kind of full anyway, so I'll probably be bouncing back and forth from L.A. to San Francisco.
Washington Times: Tom Araya said that there are a few Jeff Hanneman songs that he was working on. Have you had a chance to hear them and has SLAYER done any work on them?
Gary Holt: No. I know they have some stuff, you know, I think the bulk of whatever's left over was stuff that remained from "World Painted Blood", but I haven't heard it yet, so I can't comment on it. I'm sure it'd be super cool to have some of his last final works end up on the SLAYER album. That would be awesome.
Read the entire interview at Washington Times.
EXODUS leader and SLAYER touring guitarist Gary Holt joinedHANNEMAN LECTER, an "all-star" tribute to SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman, on stage last night (Saturday, July 13) at the Hannemaniaevent at the Oakland Metro Operahouse in Oakland, California to perform cover versions of several SLAYER classics, including "The Antichrist" and"South Of Heaven". Also making an appearance with HANNEMAN LECTER was FORBIDDEN and SPIRALARMS guitarist Craig Locicero. Check out fan-filmed video footage below.
HANNEMAN LECTER is:
* Manny Lopez (ULYSSES SIREN) - Bass, Vocals
* Sven Soderlund (MERCENARY SF) - Guitar
* Chris Kontos (ATTITUDE AJUSTMENT, MACHINE HEAD) - Drums
* Michael J. Gardner (DEADLANDS) - Guitar
Fan-filmed video footage of SLAYER's June 23 concert at Tvornica Kulture in Zagreb, Croatia can be seen below.
The band's setlist was as follows:
01. World Painted Blood
02. Hallowed Point
03. War Ensemble
04. Hate Worldwide
05. At Dawn They Sleep
08. Mandatory Suicide
09. Chemical Warfare
10. The Antichrist