GARY HOLT: METALLICA Refuses To Have EXODUS As Opening Band Ever Since We ‘Stomped Them Into The Dirt’ At Live Show

Kirk Hammett Gary Holt

In a new interview with Metal Hammer magazine, EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt talked about METALLICA and the early days of thrash metal.

When interviewer asked: “The $64,000 question: no EXODUS, no thrash scene. True?” Holt replied: “Absolutely. I’ll own that. We created the violent scene. The scene was rad. You could go to a different club five nights a week and never see the same band twice. There wasn’t thrash metal competition, ’cause in the beginning, there was only us and METALLICA — the first time I ever heard with them was when we played with them, and it felt like looking in a mirror.

“Later on, there was some competition,” he continued. “The bands were all friends, and we hung out together, but EXODUS owned Ruthie’s. Everybody was gunning for us, but nobody could take us. The last time we played a proper show with METALLICA was a New Year’s Eve show [1985] at Bill Graham’s Civic, and we stomped them into the dirt.

“We were getting wasted after the show, and James [Hetfield] was laughing and saying, ‘Haha, that’s the last time you guys will ever support us.’ And it was the last time we ever supported METALLICA.”

Holt said earlier this year during an appearance on Alive & Streaming hosted by DEATH ANGEL guitarist Ted Aguilar: “We crushed METALLICA. And look, I’m not gloating, but we crushed ’em, and they knew it,” Holt said. “It was their big homecoming. They just finished recording [1986’s] Master of Puppets, and we came out — we had more amps, we had a bigger riser, we came out looking like the headliners.

“And we were partying hard after, and James [Hetfield] comes up, and we were just getting wasted – ‘That’ll be the last time you guys open for us.’ And it was. [Laughs]

He continued: “We never played with METALLICA again until in the recent decade, and that was, like, festivals somewhere…

“I love ’em to death and I’ll always support ’em and always give them all credit where credit’s due. I consider Master of Puppets the greatest metal album ever made. Nobody’s ever come up with anything close to it — maybe close would be JUDAS PRIEST, [1978’s] Stained Class — but I give ’em all respect.

“Even with [2003’s] St. Anger, I always said, ‘Yeah, if they made it sound right, it wouldn’t be so bad.’ On YouTube, some guy re-recorded the whole album but did it with a proper drum sound and guitar sound, and the songs are killer. I never listened to [2011’s] Lulu because I don’t want it to sully my opinion of the band I admire so much. [Laughs]”

EXODUS will release new studio album, Persona Non Grata, on November 19 via Nuclear Blast Records.