Gary Holt Reveals Which Exodus Riffs Were Written by Metallica Guitarist Kirk Hammett

Gary Holt Reveals Which Exodus Riffs Were Written by Metallica Guitarist Kirk Hammett
Gary Holt and Kirk Hammett

Appearing in a new interview recently, the talented guitarist of Exodus, Gary Holt talked about Exodus and its songs, along with discussing which of them Kirk Hammett had involved contributing for their riffs before he quit and joined Metallica.

As one of the “big eight” of thrash metal bands, Exodus is also known for its some lineup issues besides its huge success along the way as well. However, while the regarded metal band has never stopped achieving great things, its talented guitarist Gary Holt was guested by his former bandmate Rob Dukes, the former singer of Exodus, in his new podcast “Put Up Your Dukes.” During their conversation, the former bandmates talked about if the 39-year-serving guitarist of Metallica, Kirk Hammett, was ever involved in the songwriting for any material of Exodus during his tenure, as one of the original Exodus members.

What Exodus songs did Kirk Hammett write?

“There were riffs that I had written while Kirk Hammett was still in the band, and he tried to adapt them, tried to change ’em a little bit — the old, ‘I changed it a little bit. I’m a co-writer on this riff,'” Gary Holt looked back and started explaining that the first two songs of Exodus were already written ‘Strike Of The Beast’ and ‘No Love’ before Kirk Hammett.

“And that was, like, two riffs, I think,” he continued. “And the rest of ’em were written after he left. We never used a Kirk Hammett riff, ever, until ‘Tempo Of The Damned’ (2004’s album) when we recorded ‘Impaler’.

The biggest talent I have if you wanna call it a talent, is my fucking memory. I can remember fucking everything. I remember showing him… I can picture it as a film, showing Kirk the riff to ‘Strike Of The Beast’, and I can picture it as if I’m watching it on a film — in the jam room, me in my spot where I played the riff and him wanting to change the higher note to a lower note; I remember it all as if I’m watching a movie of it. I remember all of it — every last minute of it. I remember details from fucking most meaningless shit.”

On the other hand, also Kirk Hammett talked about Exodus songs’ riffs earlier, revealing that “Die By His Hand” and “Impaler” riffs got into “Creeping Death” and “Trapped Under Ice” songs from “Ride The Lightning” album of Metallica, somehow. Kirk Hammett said:

“What I think happened was when Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield were thinking about getting rid of Dave Mustaine, our sound guy, Mark Whitaker — who was Exodus’ manager — gave them Exodus’ demos. I think ‘Die By His Hand’ might have caught their ears. So when they were writing ‘Creeping Death’, they went, ‘Great. ‘Die By His Hand’. Put it right there.’ It was definitely not me going, ‘I have a riff here in this Exodus song, and it needs to be here in this Metallica song.’ By the way, I wrote that ‘Die By His Hand’ riff when I was, like, 16 years old.”

Formed in 1979, Exodus consists of guitarists Gary Holt and Lee Altus, bassist Jack Gibson, drummer Tom Hunting, and lead vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza. While Gary Holt joined Exodus to replace Tim Agnello in 1981, becoming the most senior member of the beloved thrash metal band ever since, the long-serving guitarist of Metallica, Kirk Hammett was actually among the original lineup of Exodus at the time until his departure two years before “Bonded By Blood.”

You can also watch the whole conversation of Gary Holt and his former bandmate Rob Duke talking about which Exodus songs Kirk Hammett involved, and many other things besides, down below.


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