Gary Holt Also Thinks Slayer Quit Too Early: “The Band Had a Lot of Years Left In It”

Photo by Tim Tronckoe

Last month, Slayer guitarist Kerry King revealed to the world that he thought the band, who played their last show in December of 2019 before saying goodbye to touring life, quit too early. Now, guitarist Gary Holt, best known for thrash legends Exodus but a full-time member of Slayer since the 2013 death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman, has echoed those sentiments, claiming that he too thought the band called it before they needed to.

To recap, while making an anniversary video for Machine Head, Slayer’s Kerry King told the band, “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. I know. Fuck me. I hate fucking not playing.”

Now, in an interview with Metal Hammer, Holt talks through his entire career, including Exodus’ time with Paul Baloff and their nasty meth days in the late ’90s. Eventually, Gary’s time in Slayer comes up, and he’s asked if he agrees with Kerry King’s statement that the band quit too earlier.

“I’d have to agree. We were still playing at the top of our game, we were totally killing it. The band had a lot of years left in it, but I guess when it’s time, it’s time. When you decide to walk away from something, walk away. I can’t tell anybody they made the wrong decision. Better to go out on top than go out unable to play your own songs, and this shit isn’t easy. Playing Angel Of Death at 70 years old would be fucking hard. But it was time for me to come back, let’s put it that way. I was really missing my first family.”

We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: WE ARE HERE FOR SLAYER TO COME BACK. With some bands, there’s the saltiness of having shelled out for a farewell tour only for them to reunite…but with Slayer, we don’t give a shit. Come back, guys. We’re ready.

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Words by Chris Krovatin