EXODUS - Metal Thrashing Mad! Page 2
by Martin Popoff

So it was mostly speed with you guys?

"Oh, yeah, absolutely. I mean, it contributed to Paul's death. And it still took some time after that before we wised up and decided that we simply had to get out of it. I've been clean now for about 14 months. Buying it... hell, it was everywhere. Doing it, you know, we've always used the shit for years, but the usage got a lot greater. You go way back in the day, and we could get a half gram and the whole band would party all night on it. And when we finished having fun, we didn't continue doing it. It was a weekend kind of thing. But then it developed into a daily lifestyle. And especially, you know, when you start smoking the shit, it becomes quite a f**king monster. The worst for us was around the time between Another Lesson In Violence and this one. I would say the period that it was at its worst was 2001 to mid-2002."

"That's a hard one because you can't put him into words," opines Holt, when asked to sum up the dearly departed howler that was Baloff in a few succinct sound bites. "He's one of those guys you just kind of had to meet to understand him. But if you want to put it into words - who Paul was - just listen to Another Lesson In Violence. He lived and breathed metal. Steve is a little more restrained (laughs). You know, Paul was a madman and Steve is a lot more laid-back. But part of Paul's lunacy was his zest for everything in the extreme, and that included drinking and drugs."

"I think this album is the most aggressive one we've ever done," ventures Holt, switching gears to the new record, a handy chaser I might add, to the new Death Angel, out at pretty much the same time. "I mean, the production is just top-notch. Andy Sneap, what more can you say? The name speaks volumes. I think it's our finest album we've ever done. I mean, I know every band says that, because it's not very beneficial to tell someone, 'This one isn't as good as the other ones,' but it's cool, check it out. But nah, I honestly believe this is the best album we've ever done. Production-wise, we just went in with the goal, let's just peel people's faces back with it, you know? And I think we accomplished that. The guitars sound thoroughly crushing, drums, bass, everything. We did this whole album digitally with ProTools, which... you know, I'll never look back. It's the best recording medium out there. It certainly makes it quite a pleasure to record. The material... once I got clean, all the creativity came blazing back. Most of the songs were written between late 2002 and our start date of recording in May 2003."

EXODUS - Metal Thrashing Mad! Page 3