"I'm not happy unless I see someone out there in the pit, bleeding and smiling." - Gary Holt
For the troops in the trenches, it began in 1982 with a low generation copy of a local band's three-song demo. For some, it began with their first listen to Combat Records' version of "Bonded By Blood" in 1986. Still others will say what really mattered began on August 11th, 2001. Regardless of the year, these dates all have one thing in common: the tenacity of Gary Holt.
One cannot discuss the power and influence of Exodus without going into the genealogy of metal music itself. Long hailed as the band that spawned the burgeoning Bay Area Thrash scene in the early '80s, the band's most admirable quality is that the word "surrender" has never existed in lead guitarist/songwriter/General-In-Chief Gary Holt's vocabulary. Surviving decampment (original guitarist Kirk Hammett left to join Metallica in 1983), death (original vocalist Paul Baloff died in early 2002), untimely disaster (long-time second vocalist Steve Souza abandoned the band in 2004 on the eve of a South American tour), dejection (original drummer Tom Hunting was incapacitated by panic attacks in May 2005), and drug abuse (guitar comrade-in-arms Rick Hunolt's resignation in June 2005 was due in part to addiction issues), it would have been easier for many to interpret these events as a signal to retire, but then again, not everyone is Gary Holt.