EXODUS - Shovel Headed Road Work
by Martin Popoff

Down to one original member in Gary Holt, Exodus nonetheless has veteran bench strength in the form of ex-Heathen axeman Lee Altus, bassist Jack Gibson, vocal powerhouse Rob Dukes and at the bottom end, legendary Slayer/Forbidden/Testament drummer Paul Bostaph.

"It's going great," says guitarist and leader Holt, on the band's current jaunt for the lethal and thrash-astic Shovel Headed Kill Machine, issued on Nuclear Blast last year. "I mean, this is our fourth outing for this album, and I feel like I've been playing with these guys 15 years themselves, you know? It's been really good. Just a little tired at the moment - getting a bit of that cold that is going around."

Asked about his compatriots, Gary offers that "Lee and I... we've been friends for over 20 years. So working together is not a problem. Sometimes he has a bit more of a melodic approach and I have more of a King Kong approach to riff writing. And getting together, the two, we make some great shit happen. I mean, the stuff I'm writing right now is certainly darker and faster, but it's varied at the same time. I'll have to wait and see when it all comes together. Right now it looks like it's going to be pretty brutal. Lee is an amazing riff writer. I will not have to write this album myself. Which is going to make my life easier. But man, with Shovel Headed... there's nothing I would have changed. Nothing at all. It's perfect. It's exactly the album I wanted to make."

Will Rob be contributing as well?

"Lyrically, we'll wait and see. He'll certainly have that chance. But there is no comparison in any other way with the past guys. He is the man. He crushes everybody else."

One of those presumably crushed is the band's second of two classic era vocalists, Steve "Zetro" Souza (the first one, hard partier Paul Baloff, is of course dead). I asked Gary if he had any further thoughts on how - or why - the situation with Steve exploded.

EXODUS - Shovel Headed Road Work Page 2