Gary Holt Agrees with Kerry King That Slayer “Quit Too Early”
The inevitable backslide from “retirement” into active gigging began for Slayer last month, when guitarist Kerry King remarked that “we quit too early. Fuck us. Fuck me. I hate fucking not playing.” The quote came, of all places, in a 30th birthday video message to Machine Head, not even as a response to an interviewer or something.
Now King’s bandmate of nine years, Gary Holt, has chimed in to say he agrees with his former employer. And while Holt still has Exodus to keep him active forevermore, we wouldn’t blame him for missing the adrenaline rush of those massive Slayer audiences.
Speaking to Metal Hammer, who asked Holt directly about King’s comments, he said:
“I’d have to agree. We were still playing at the top of our game, we were totally killing it. The band had a lot of years left in it, but I guess when it’s time, it’s time. When you decide to walk away from something, walk away. I can’t tell anybody they made the wrong decision. Better to go out on top than go out unable to play your own songs, and this shit isn’t easy. Playing ‘Angel Of Death’ at 70 years old would be fucking hard. But it was time for me to come back [to Exodus], let’s put it that way. I was really missing my first family.”
Rumor has it that Tom Araya was the Slayer-er most set on retiring. With that in mind, it makes sense King would miss the stage. As for Holt, he was a hired gun, it wasn’t his call, but as long as Slayer kept payin’, he’d keep playin’.
Meanwhile, King has been teasing a new project that also involves Holt and former Testament/Exodus drummer Paul Bostaph (a member of Slayer’s final lineup). The group is heavily rumored to also include ex-Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo. King recently said he’s eyeing late 2022 for an official release from that project.