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Gary Holt Is Ready to Write for Slayer: ‘It’s All Thrash Metal’

Slayer And Testament In Concert At The Hard Rock Joint
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Guitarist Gary Holt says he is ready to write music for Slayer, adding that questions about being able to do so because he’s also a member of Exodus don’t really factor into the subject.

“I’m certainly well prepared to do it,” he tells Ultimate Guitar. “I get a lot of people saying, ‘Oh yeah he plays for Exodus, but can he write a Slayer song?’ You know, quite often the difference between an Exodus song and a Slayer song is just note selection. It’s all thrash metal.”

“You can differentiate the subtleties like Kreator is more melodic than Exodus and Slayer is more chromatic,” Holt says. “I’ve played in the band long enough to where I think I have a good enough insight into how a Slayer song goes versus an Exodus song. So I’m ready to go if and when the time arrives. It’s two totally different things.”

Holt joined Slayer as a temporary member in 2011, standing in for Jeff Hanneman, who was battling a flesh-eating disease he contracted from a spider bite that same year. Hanneman passed away in 2013 from cirrhosis of the liver, and Holt became a permanent member. He appeared on the band’s 2015 album Repentless, but Kerry King composed the majority of the guitar parts for their first album without Hanneman, leaving Holt’s primary contribution being his playing. Last year, King said he was receptive to Holt writing for the next Slayer record.

“I’m entirely open to having Gary work on something,” he said. “I know he’s gotta work on an Exodus record and I’ve got tons already for this one. But, you know, if he’s gonna stick around…I didn’t want it on the last one, and I knew that. I’m completely open to having that conversation. I haven’t talked to Tom [Araya] about it, I haven’t talked to Gary openly about it, but I’m open. That’s not saying it is or isn’t gonna happen. But my ears are open.”

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