I was scheduled to interview Exodus on their second night at the Underworld, and it’s a jolly good thing too, as it transpired that they’d missed all the interviews the night before owing to being stuck in Calais when French dock workers went on strike preventing any ferries from leaving France and heading to the UK. They had barely made the show in time.
This meant that they were doubling up on interviews tonight & assigning whoever has just finished to the next person in the queue, rather than having everyone interview the whole band.
I was fortunate enough to have long standing bassist Jack Gibson, whom has been with Exodus since 1996, subjected to my rather off the cuff interview technique.
AN: Marco from Ave Noctum here. I’ve been a huge fan of Exodus forever…
JG: Right, good.
AN: The last time I chatted to Gary (Holt) was 11 years ago, just after the album ‘Tempo of the Damned’ was released in 2004.
JG: Good, good
AN: And he was just saying that you had come over with and from WarDance.
JG: Oh Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s right.
AN: So? How have the last eleven years treated you guys?
Aw, man. Pretty good, we’ve kinda been on a consistent upward trajectory, you know, we’re not like shooting for the moon but every album sells a little better, gets a little better. You know we’re just more comfortable with each other, you know as time goes on I think it’s getting better
AN: Excellent, you guys have always work well together.
JG: Yeah, yeah.
AN: Been a huge fan of Exodus since late 80s, probably long before getting into any of the other band. A kid came over to South Africa from the States, from Oakland, and just got me into Exodus, Death Angel and Vio-lence.
JG: Yeah, right, right.
AN: So those are the bands that I listened to first.
JG: Yeah, right, right.
JG: Well, a little bit. I mean well… mostly it’s affected us well because he raises the profile of himself, it raises the profile of this band, there’s been very little negative. I mean the only negative stuff has been some scheduling things, like right now we’re here with Kragen (Lum) playing guitar and not Gary, but for the most part it’s good for everybody. Gary’s out getting his due credit that he deserves and we’re nothing but proud of him.
[At this point Tom Hunting walks into the room to start rummaging around in boxes and bags.]
AN: It’s good to see Tom back as well.
JG: Yeah, absolutely.
[We all start chucking as Tom gives my phone the bird.]
AN: I’m not filming.
JG: It can’t hear the middle finger.
AN: So how has it been with Zetro back in the band?
JG: It’s good man, things are running pretty smooth. He’s glad to be back. We all know him, He kinda just fit back in, like a glove you know. We like his attitude. And He’s happy to be here. So it’s altogether good.
AN: I must say. The thing about being in a band is you do it as long as it’s fun. Else it starts becoming a chore.
JG: Unless you’re making enough money.
TH: Because we all do chores for money.
JG: I mean we’re were actually pretty incredibly lucky, I get to see the dichotomy of a lot of other bands that just don’t get along with each other and they do it anyway. And it’s a struggle and I think most bands are like that. It’s just like work, you go to work, you don’t necessarily like the people that you work with… but you have to work. And I mean we’re kinda like…
TH: It’s a Brotherhood
JG: It is a brotherhood, we’re kind of fortunate that way; we get on each other’s asses if something of goes wrong. It’s not like we don’t fight. We fight, but like my brothers fight. You know what I mean? it’s always for like a common goal that we share. We all actually do have that that common goal. Like not in our individual lives of course, we all have little things that we’re into otherwise but when we get together to do this… we are all shooting at the same target.
AN: You are Exodus.
AN: and you’re on your path to destruction.
JG: Yeah. Exactly. [Followed by laughter from all around.]
AN: Sheesh was thinking of this question to ask but now it has completely eluded me.
AN: Exactly that… Braindead, more like. Yeah. So as you were saying you guys drive each other and you get yourselves focused. The last album, ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ has been out for nine months now, so how’s the new material going down?
JG: Oh good, man. We’re doing four of the new songs in the new set. The album was received well. We all like it, it turned out really good. I love playing the new stuff too, it’s really good. So… it’s always good to add new material into the set, cos it’s like new blood and it fires up the old shit that you know. So it’s always good to have the new material.
AN: Yeah. And you’ve got Lee writing stuff now for you as well.
JG: Yeah. He’s been writing, yeah, he wrote on the last… on A and B and on this album he’s contributed songs.
AN: Adding that little Heathen flavour.
[Laughs] Yeah, a little bit. So it’s all so good. We’re all comfortable and happy. You know.
TH: I’m not looking for lost drugs; I’m looking for a lost T-shirt. [While scratching under and around the chairs we’re sitting on]
AN: That’s good…. Anything else you want to add?
JG: Yeah, we’re glad to be here. We’re talking about coming back and doing a real extensive U.K. tour. Hit all little towns that we don’t normally hit when you’re on a big tour. You hit London and maybe Glasgow, but usually not. It’s usually London and Dublin and you’re out, so we’re going to come back and hit all the little shitholes.
AN: Which is generally the way most thrash can started out in the early 80s playing tiny little clubs.
JG: Yeah absolutely. We like the tiny little clubs like this. We’d rather do two nights here at the Underworld than one night in a big place with a barrier you know….
AN: Not friendly?
JG: Yeah. We would rather have people jumping onstage and jumping off and being all sweaty. Just have a really good… ugly show.
TH: An intimate evening with Exodus.
JG: Yeah, exactly. That’s one of the fun things about doing tours like this, where we’re bouncing from the festivals to the small clubs. One day we’re at Hell Fest in front of forty thousand. That’s awesome. Then next night we’re in the Underworld, it’s packed and people are up in our face. And that’s awesome. So it’s the best of both worlds really.
AN: Excellent, thank you very much for your time Jack
JG: Nah, absolutely man.
AN: Cheers Tom.
TH: Cheers man.
AN: See you both out there.
After shaking both their hands and heading out through the back door, the evening progressed as per my gig review.