Is this an Exodus Attack? Aaron Yeates speaks to Jack Gibson.
Thrash Metal has come along over the last 3 decades of more with the godfathers Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, and smaller bands like Exodus, Testament, Over Kill, Forbidden all been a very important part in the up growing of the Thrash metal movement. Since the early days of Exodus which featured Tim Agnello (guitars) been the original guitarist with Keith Stewart (vocals), Gary Holt (guitar), Tom Hunting (drums) and bassist Carlton Melson completing the original line-up. Things changed when Kirk left to join the band but left to join Metallica, his replacement was Rick Hunolt and bassist Rob McKillop with Paul Baloff on vocals to complete the classic 'Bonded By Blood' line-up in 85 which was released on Torrid records. This album to date is still the bands mild stone the cult classic album that has made the band what they are today. With the success of the debut album the band went onto record 9 more albums with various line up changes, Steve Souzo (ex Testament) on vocals, Paul Bostaph (ex Slayer) on drums now with Testament, Rob Duke on vocals, and bassist now Jack Gibson with guitarist Lee Altus (Heathen). I managed to catch the band at this years Bloodstock UK festival were Aaron Yeates had the pleasure of doing his 1st interview for me, thanks Aaron. As this was his 1st time I had Jack go easy on him. Here is what Aaron had to say to Jack.
It's a pleasure meeting you Jack for the 1st time, I would like to ask you which is your favourite past album with Exodus and why?
"Well that's a tough question, it's like the classic's meets the new shit and the classic hold their space in time but I do like the new stuff because I am on it and I recorded in the studio and I do think the new albums we are making are very new sounding and relevant music so that is a very tough questions. I think we are progressively getting better with each album. I think the production is getting better and the equipment is getting better all the time and we are getting old and better as musicians."
Do you have a least favourite album if one exists?
"Oh my God that's another tough question, I guess it would have to be 'Force Of Habit' but there are some killer songs still on that album."
Do you keep in touch with any of the previous members of the band?
"Well I do see Paul Bostaph a lot and he comes to our shows and I haven't seen Rick in a long time and I see Steve every other time other than that everybody has their own lives but when there not in the band any more they tend to go separate ways."
Ok Jack could you tell me what the key success to Exodus music and relationship as musicians go?
"I think it would have to be the ability to change and the band has been a chameleon and I think for some bands like Metallica they keep success was their continuous line-up and I think we would have more success if we were like that. I think Exodus has the ability to rise from the ashes."
Is there anything within the band that you would change right now?
"No nothing at all, the only thing I would change is hundred of thousands of people buying our records and I think the line-up and music we are making I love all of it."
So let's now talk about the last album 'Exhibit B', why the title and there any other titles in mind?
"Well no, we did the Exhibit A' for the last record, so we thought it would be cool to have the next album title as 'Exhibit B' a step forward if you know what I mean? It is not a concept album but a follow up to the last one."
So how do you see this album as a progressive from the previous albums?
"Well they are all a progression, they are all not preconceived they write the music and then we go in and rehearse it and record it so it all comes out for the band right here and there. With the bands we have toured with at that time & the things that have happened to us all goes into how it comes out."
So which songs from the Exhibit B album stand out for you, I'm sure there are a few good ones in our opinion?
"I really love the song 'Beyond the Pale' it is a really good song to play live and 'March of the Sycophants' is probably the hardest song I have had to play live, we don't play it live that much because it si a fucking difficult song to play and it is really long. I love to play 'Good Riddance' as it is a really fast song to play live and it goes really quickly when we play it."
Are the songs wrote as a team effort when it comes to the lyrics?
"Well it is mostly Gary who writes the music and lyrics and Lee & Rob writes 2-3 songs as well."
Was it difficult to choose the perfect festival to record the 'Shovel Headed Tour Machine' as a DVD?
"I think it was anywhere good if we had camera shot or anything it was something we wanted to use. (Aaron: Wacken was the perfect shot to record a DVD right?) Yeah you are right, they filmed it and they offered it to us and we took it, We are totally happy with the DVD."
Do you have any titles for the next album or any songs wrote?
"No not yet, we have been really busy touring and Gary usually comes up with that stuff as he is hammering the stuff out. (Aaron: Is Gary as crazy off stage has he is on stage?) No not at all he is a good performer and off stage he is a really mellow off stage."
Gary had recently toured with Slayer standing in for Jeff, how was it for Gary and what was your reaction when you found out?
"Well I didn't know anything about it until the press release was out and so I called him and he said he has been on tour for 2wks, I said I only just found out and I'm in your fucking band (laughing) and he was happy and we just toured with them in America and Canada and they treated us really well."
Moving on.. This is your 1st time to Bloodstock, how excited are you to be playing here? What other festivals are you playing right now after Bloodstock and when will you be doing a full UK and European tour next?
"It has been a killer show, we have had a great time playing here. We are not doing any more festivals this year but we are doing the 'Swedish Rock Cruise' in October 2011 and then we will be doing the Thrash Fest in November and we hope to hit the UK as well."
Well thanks for your time, best wishes, do you have anything to say before we finish off the interview?
"Yeah keep supporting the band and try to buy some of our shit instead of downloading it for free you fuckers!! I'm dying over here (laughing).
Thanks to Nuclear Blast & Aaron for their time in setting the interview up.