‘It’s better to go out too soon than too late’: Gary Holt Reflects On Slayer’s Legacy

Gary Holt Reflects On His Time In Slayer And The Band's Legacy
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During a recent interview with Guitar World (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar), Exodus guitarist Gary Holt spoke to his experience playing in Slayer, while also sharing his thoughts on the band calling it quits. From 2011 to 2013, Holt was part of Slayer as a touring member; come 2013, he joined the band as a guitarist, playing with them until 2019 (when the band played their last shows).

During the conversation with Guitar World, the interviewer asks Gary Holt what he misses from those days with the band, now that Slayer has disbanded. (The following quotes come from the latest September issue of Guitar World):

“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, ‘Alright, 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.”

Back last October, Slayer guitarist Kerry King said he feels that the band ended too earlier; Holt is asked his thoughts on this as well (providing a positive angle to the band concluding their run).

“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.”

Slayer will forever be remembered as one of the most ferocious and bad ass bands in all of heavy metal history. Were you lucky enough to see the band during their last run of shows?

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