Gary Holt On Kirk Hammett’s Joining Metallica: “It Was A Horrible Business Decision”

Gary Holt On Kirk Hammett's Joining Metallica: "It Was A Horrible Business Decision"

Exodus bandleader Gary Holt once again commented on his former bandmate Kirk Hammett‘s leaving his band to join Metallica and claimed that it was a horrible business decision financially.

Kirk Hammett is known for being the lead guitarist of the Grammy Awards-winner heavy metal band Metallica. He joined the band in 1983 and still rocking with them since then. Debuted in 1983 with the band’s Kill ‘Em All album, Kirk Hammett appeared in every one of Metallica‘s albums.

Before Kirk Hammett joined Metallica, he was a member of his co-founded band Exodus. They had formed the band in 1979 and played its two demos, 1982 Demo and Die By His Hand. He also contributed to the band’s sixth album Tempo Of The Damned‘s Impaler song and played the guitar solo on 2014’s Blood In, Blood Out.

On the other hand, Gary Holt is the guitarist and songwriter of Exodus, which has been led by him. He joined the band after the guitarist Tim Agnello parted ways in 1981. As some of you might know, he is the only member who has performed on every album of the band.

However, during a recent appearance on Louder Sound, Gary Holt has opened up about his honest feelings on Kirk Hammett‘s inception to Metallica. At first, the guitarist answered a question that says whether he was pissed off when Kirk Hammett left Exodus to join Metallica. According to him, he was mad.

“Yeah, I was mad for a minute, we all were,” Holt reveals. “Kirk wrote everything in the early days, but I was starting to come up with my own riffs.”

Gary Holt Adds Joining Metallica Was A Horrible Choice For Kirk Hammett

Gary Holt then shared his honest opinion on Kirk Hammett‘s joining Metallica. Gary Holt didn’t seem too pleased with the decision. According to the 57-year-old artist, Kirk Hammett made a horrible business decision to join Metallica.

“We had a big party to celebrate at his mother’s house in El Sobrante, and it was kind of like a passing of the torch,” Holt continues.

“It put me in the driver’s seat, and suddenly Exodus started going like that [makes speeding up motion with hand].

“Those tempos Kirk said Tom was playing too fast were no longer too fast, they were just the right speed.

“And obviously Kirk made a really horrible business decision to join Metallica, the worst choice ever, financially. I don’t know what he was thinking!”

Elsewhere in the interview, Holt was asked, “What was it like being part of that scene back then?” When he answered the question, Holt stated that there was only Exodus and Metallica at the beginning of the thrash scene.

“The scene was rad,” he says. “You could go to a different club five nights a week and never see the same band twice.

“There wasn’t thrash metal competition, ‘cos, in the beginning, there was only us and Metallica – the first time I ever heard them was when we played with them, and it felt like looking in a mirror.

“Later on, there was some competition. The bands were all friends, and we hung out together, but Exodus owned Ruthie’s. Everybody was gunning for us, but nobody could take us.”

Back in June 2020, Gary Holt had remembered the first time he saw Kirk Hammett. In the interview, Holt had said that Kirk Hammett was singing terrible when he saw him for the first time.

“Yeah, we met briefly when Exodus played a little an after-school performance in Richmond Heights,” he said.

“I knew Tom because he grew up across the park from me, you know, I’d walk out my house and two doors down is a park you would walk across and in 90 seconds, Tom’s house’s on the other side.

“I didn’t know Kirk; the first time I saw Kirk, they did Scorpions, and Kirk’s singing is terrible. [Laughs] Maybe Tom didn’t know the lyrics at the time – because Tom is also a vocalist, and Tom could sing his ass off – but yeah, it was pretty rad.

“Then we went to see Ted Nugent with Scorpions at the Cow Palace, and that’s the first time I hung out with Kirk, and so we met at his house over in El Sobrante, and he put on Scorpions’ ‘Virgin Killer’ for me.”

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