heavy metal

Exodus Interview

The Gauntlet: Does the band have a problem with cops and authority?

Jack: No, they are actually very cool with us.

Gary: Not at all. On our last tour our flight got screwed up and we had eleven hours to kill in an airport. Lee and I met some military dude who opened up his credit card and we ended up drinking about $600 in tequila. I am not shitting you; they had to collect shot glasses from our table as there were none left in the bar. They were all dirty on our table. By the time we got on the plane, Lee was too drunk and they wouldn't let him fly. I got irate, got up, and started swearing about him getting thrown off the plane. Some Russian passenger, who was being a dickhead anyway, got up and told me to shut my mouth. I told him to fuck off and he punched me in the mouth and we proceeded to throw punches on the plane. That's when they called the cops. The guy struck me first but didn't get thrown off the plane. I'm glad they didn't as we were drunk.

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Rob: I am sure when they threw us off the plane which was now forty-five minutes late because of us, everyone started clapping.

Gary: Oh, we are forgetting another detail! Some girl that the marine dude met was drinking with at the bar for like a grand total of an hour. Our flight was at 11:30pm and it is now like 6 o'clock so the marine dude walks her to her plane. I get a call from our manager who says we can check our stuff now so we go over to the gate and we see a stretcher come out of the front of the gate. We start wondering what has happened and the stretcher and paramedics turn the corner and we see it is her. She missed her trip to Hawaii and went off the plane on a stretcher! And I still had five and a half hours of drinking left. One hour with us, she missed her trip and went to the hospital from alcohol poisoning.

Rob: It was so metal man. We hadn't even left California yet! This is the start of the European tour.

Gary: We were still in San Francisco.

Rob: This was just the beginning.

Gary: We showed up on time for our flight but there was a mix-up with the bank. The money got refunded but our tickets were still there. So now the airline wanted money for day of leaving prices which were 4x the amount and we can't do that. We can't pay 4x what we thought we were paying. We found another flight leaving at 11.30pm.

Rob: Some of the guys went home but me, Gary and Lee stayed.

Gary: I don't live in the area anymore.

The Gauntlet: What happened with the military guy?

Gary: He stayed on the flight. He was about to get up and involved as he saw his new buddies getting in a fight but decided not to. They told him if he wanted to fly on the plane to sit down. I am glad he did as he was a good guy.

Rob: I am the only one sober as I don't drink. I was dealing with all these drunken nightmares. Paul [Bostaph] showed up and he got drunk. Jack was the only one who wasn't really drunk with me.

Gary: Paul [Bostaph] called our manager to tell him what happened and said, we got thrown off that plane, but we walked off with dignity.

Rob: No we didn't. No we didn't.

Gary: We walked out in total shame. There were some kids sitting by Jack who saw all of this go down and they were saying 'what band are you guys in! You guys rule!' I made it to my seat, I just snapped when they threw Lee off the plane and the guy was being a dick. When he started mouthing off, I just said 'Fuck You!' and he smacked me in my nose. I ended up losing my sunglasses in the fight. I was pissed off, I loved those things.

Rob: That was followed by horrible plane schedules throughout the tour. Then one night in Switzerland we missed our gig due to a flight fuck up.

Gary: It was no fault of our own.

Rob: Whoever promoted the tour had us sleeping outside the airport in Niece, France. I was sleeping on a park bench and all these fuckers put wine bottles all around me and took pictures. We were thrown out of the airport because you aren't allowed to sleep there. So the next day, we finally get to Switzerland and miss our gig by six hours as our bus driver was driving really slow. Then our merch girl gets really drunk on her birthday. So then the police rolled up.

Jack: They just role up and with no probable cause raid our bus. Needless to say, I am now an international drug criminal.

Rob: During the search, they were searching all of the luggage. They had search dogs and everything. Jack, being who he is, brings laundry detergent in all these separate one load bags.

Jack: They are these Ziploc bags with laundry detergent which looks like 2 ounces of cocaine.

Rob: So he has one pot cookie in his suitcase with all these individual baggies of detergent. The dogs are just going nuts from the cookie and they open his suitcase and start screaming 'YES! We got you Mother Fuckers!' We just started laughing as we knew it wasn't cocaine.

Jack: They had to think we were either high on something or the inside joke was on them as we were on the ground in tears laughing as they were testing the bags of Tide.

Rob: Our bus was so hot from us sleeping in it. It was a shitty bus with shitty planning that our former agent got us. They dragged me off the bus and I had been sweating in my sleep. You know that sleep sweat? The cop drags me off the bus and I tell him I gotta piss as he just woke me up. He tells me to wait. I tell him I'll just piss right here in the street. So he takes me back onto the bus and into the bathroom and the guy just stands there over my shoulder as I am holding my cock and pissing into the toilet. I was just wearing a pair of boxers. They were the most retarded police I have ever met in my life.

Gary: At first they had the dogs ready in case we ran. They thought we were a bunch of American's who rent a tour bus and go selling drugs. I mean come on. We had to explain we are a god damn rock band. Erin, our merch girl was just passed out on the floor like she was on smack. And we just happened to be by some big drug park. But needless to say after the searches, they realized we weren't running. Then they started joking around.

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Jack: They were just trying to save face.

Rob: They were testing everything they could find: vitamins, ibuprofen, and aspirin.

Gary: When these things happen, I always get missed. Last time some of the guys went to jail because of Skinlab, I didn't get searched then either. I could have been the kingpin with all the dope in my pocket. I was flirting with the one cop as she was kind of cute. I wanted to buy her Mc Donald's as I was starving.

Rob: Then there was a great party in Germany with friends of Jacks that helped promote our show. This kid Thomas threw us this great BBQ with like $500 in meat and beers forever. They turned one of those pony kegs into a bong and everyone was smoking weed out of it. The next night was some German soccer game that Germany won and there was a big party in the streets. I ended up just knocking some dude out. I knocked him unconscious.

Jack: I thought he was dead, it was fucking great.

Gary: He hit Rob in the back of the head and Rob turned around and just dropped him. Then the real hooliganism started and Housemiester just kicked him square in the skull. And punched him, bam bam bam! That was how I spent my summer.

Rob: Nick Barker comes out of the house with a knife and starts yelling "I'll stab that mother fucker!"

Gary: That's how our last European tour went.

Rob: But we did play for about 20,000 people.

Jack: And we crushed. And we fired our agent.

Gary: Everything was due to his fuck ups. The initial missing of the flights was because he was going through a divorce and he couldn't buy our tickets. It was insane. We got stuck in London and then in Niece, France and had thirty minutes between flights to walk a mile and go through customs. By the time we got to customs, we missed our flight.

Rob: Then they wouldn't put our gear on the flight because it was too heavy. Gary was ready to go home, I was ready to go home as I had enough. Then we realized maybe it will all work out.

Gary: I was refusing to eat on principle. I had no English Pounds, no money to buy anything to eat. I was going to just sit there and eat my own flesh because I was fucking mad. Someone had to take a stand.

The Gauntlet: Has the current tour been along the same lines?

Gary: No, this tour has been amazing.

Jack: Every story on this tour has been about fun and band unity with the other bands. This has been the best tour we have ever done. We are gaining tons of new fans. All the kids who are into Hatebreed are just coming up every night and saying they never heard of us.

Gary: We have kids coming to see us who weren't even born when our third or fourth album was out let alone our first.

Rob: The tour itself and style of music�I have to give Jamey Jasta props for this tour and fighting the label to do it.

Gary: The agents and stuff didn't want this tour to happen. They wanted him to go out with bands like Bullet For My Valentine or some emo band. He took a shot and he is fucking great for that.

The Gauntlet: How were the crowds.

Gary: They were great. Maybe two shows where they were kind of slim. They were in some little bum fuck woods of North Carolina. There were still lots of kids though.

Rob: It's weird; Louisville, Kentucky was off the hook. Milwaukee was probably the craziest crowd I have seen yet. So were the Phoenix, Tempe and San Diego shows.

The Gauntlet: Is this tour hitting some different markets for Exodus?

Gary: We are hitting a lot of the same markets, just now with people in them.

Jack: We are doing our part; going out and whooping ass. We have four more shows, then a couple weeks off, and then we go to Europe for seven weeks.

The Gauntlet: Is Europe the last tour, or will there be another in the US?

Rob: Nope, Europe is it. Then we start writing. We are going to go right into the studio after the New Year. Well actually we will start writing and rehearsing and enter the studio in late February or March.

The Gauntlet: Has any material been written yet?

Gary: We have a bunch of riffs but we need to all sit in a room. I have plans. I will spend weeks sitting in a room with my guitar putting shit together.

Jack: Me and Gary have a lot of ideas lyrically. We just need to spend weeks together putting it together. Lee has a lot of ideas.

Rob: We will do these tours, spend the holidays with our families, then come January I'll fly out to Oakland and we'll come up with a new record.

Gary: This album will be my masterpiece if it kills me making it.

Rob: I am really excited though. Despite all the problems we had on our last record, we weren't really a band. We hadn't played live together and we rarely new each other. I had never met Lee yet. Of course 200 shows later, we are a fucking band. It is going to be way different, it will be fucking great.

The Gauntlet: Does everyone contribute to the writing?

Gary: Yeah, where needed. Sometimes I work best on my own and sometimes I get stuck and have a whole song that is missing something. That is how it was done with Altered Boy. The song was basically done but I didn't have faith in it until Paul fell in love with it. Now it is one of my favorites. It is one of those songs that is so groove oriented that it needs to be tied to all of the dynamics or else it just flat lines. I almost gave up on it. Paul [Bostaph] said it would be great, we just needed to get the dynamics and the accents right. Just adding the fucking huge drum parts and the song itself. It took Paul our drummer to learn it so he could make it his own and not sound like a flat drum machine. Now it is just awesome. Paul only had three weeks before we went into the studio. A lot of it is improvised. He knew the parts, he just had to learn how to play it after we recorded it to know what he had done.

The Gauntlet: Did Paul write all the drum parts for the album or just?

Jack: Tom [Hunting] had worked on a lot of it. Gary comes in with a song and has an idea on how we wants the basic drums to be, whether it is a up beat, a down beat or fast or whatever. He tells the drummer he kinda wants it like that.

Gary: I am a drummer trapped in a guitarist's body. I can't play drums, but I think like a drummer.

Jack: When you have a drummer like Paul or Tom, you just say you want it to be do-dat-do-dat and they kind of go with that. Then they add there little bit and expertise to it.

Gary: Then I start flailing my arms around mimicking how I want the drum fills to be. And they do something almost exactly like my verbalization.

The Gauntlet: It is important for a guitarist to think like a drummer though as both of you hold down the rhythm section.

Gary: Yes. I play like a drummer too. I will choke up and clamp down on shit and open up the chords.

Rob: I think that is what distinguishes Exodus from the other bands. The stuff Gary wrote with Tom separated us from everyone else. When you hear an Exodus song, you know it is Exodus because of the feel of it and a lot of it is the drummer.

The Gauntlet: With all the lineup changes and pauses with the band, were there ever times you assumed the band was done with?

Gary: Well I did in 1993. After force of habit, I just wanted to spend time with my daughter and family. It just wasn't fun anymore and I always said if it's not fun I'm done. Jobs tend suck regardless of what they are, but if your job sucks and takes you away from home�I just chose to get one at home. I was a stay at home dad for a long time. I was a PTA dad hanging out with all the kindergarten moms and soccer moms. I loved it, it was awesome.

The Gauntlet: During that time, were you still writing or working on anything or was music over for you?

Gary: No, I didn't write or play at all. Maybe a little bit here and there, but not actively.

The Gauntlet: What got you back again?

Gary: Time. It got to the point where I couldn't stand seeing another band play as I could do it better. These guys sucked! Places would be packed for some fucking hacks. It got to the point where it was frustrating. I was fucking conceived to do this. I'm not good at anything else.

Jack: I was doing other recordings with the off time and sailing and stuff like that. When I have time to relax, I relax. Then when it is time to work, it is time to work and I put all that away. We just did twenty-one days in a row on the road and that will wear you out. When I get a chance to rest I just put epoxy on the couch and glue myself down with the remote in one hand. Especially this year, I couldn't take advantage of it. We spent a lot of time out on the road so when we get a break I try to take advantage of it.

The Gauntlet: What was it like during the early days of the Bay Area Thrash Scene?

Gary: Well during the early days, there were just two of us, us and Metallica. As far as a big thrash community, it didn't exist yet as we were still inventing it. But later when the second wave hit with bands like Testament, Vio-Lence, Death Angel and all them, we hung out and partied a lot. We all wanted to blow each other off the stage. Nobody ever succeeded in doing that. As a matter of fact, the last time we ever played with Metallica we crushed them so hard, James said we'd never play with them again. I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't. Paul Baloff was still in the band for the first time. Metallica just came home from recording Master of Puppets and we did a show for like 6,000 people. It was Metallica, Exodus, Megadeth and Metal Church. We crushed them so hard they didn't know what hit them. We blew the doors off. I love Metallica though. Chalk that up to the bad boys of the East Bay. We had more amps, a bigger drum riser and we just blew them away. We came home and never played a game with them since.

Rob: Maybe you should have let them win that one.

Gary: Maybe I shouldn't have smashed my fucking strat to pieces at the end of the set.

Rob: I'd like to see the guys buck up and take us out. Go back and remember where they came from. They need to do that more than anything else in their lives right now.

Jack: They don't need to do anything. They don't need to do shit. They will take out Trivium or Bullet For My Valentine. Maybe Avenged Sevenfold will go out with them, which they already have.

Rob: Bands like Hatebreed know the reason they exist is partially because of Exodus. It is kind of cool for them to put us on tour with them. They openly give credit to Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front, Exodus, Morbid Angel and all that stuff. All the bands they went to see as kids.

The Gauntlet: What do you think of the newer thrash bands?

Rob: I think it is great. Bands like Lamb of God, The Haunted, Shadows Fall and stuff like that are fucking amazing. Real metal has been making a comeback. Anything from Unearth to In Flames is good metal. It is not the 'jump the fuck up!' Fred Durst shit. Thank Satan for small favors. The world doesn't need people like him. I am glad his 15 minutes are up.

Jack: I think a lot of the mallcore and new guys are at least making an effort. They are a step towards us and guitar heavy. I don't like those bands, but at least they are playing better music now.

Gary: Korn was a good band, but so many bands just copied them.

Rob: I have always been a fan of Korn and never been afraid to admit that. I love Slipknot, but there are a million other bands that followed them that sucked.

The Gauntlet: The problem with Korn was they are a gateway band for other bands to make shitty music.

Jack: So was Metallica. So much lame, mediocre crap came out in the 90's. You think Fred Durst would ever be taken seriously as a real rapper? Absolutely not! His voice sounds like Peter Brady's when he sang "It's Time To Change." It is fucking awful. So many rock bands are stupid enough to accept it. Rappers deem him as unworthy to start a feud with. Suge Knight would hang him out a window.

Rob: So many kids just hang onto everything these bands do. It is like Britney Spears. Can you believe this 15 year old girl was selling all these records and teaching these white bread people�

Gary: Don't fuck with Britney, I fucking love her. Except that Kevin Federline is ruining her. Fucking K-Fed has her all fat and knocked up again.

Rob: She should be in porn, then it would be ok.

The Gauntlet: If your next album blew up overnight, and gave you this kind of fame, could you handle it?

Rob: I would teach the kids violence, fuck yeah!

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Gary: I am nobodies role model. I won't preach nothing to anybody. You gotta learn from your own mistakes.

Rob: I will preach to them. I have my moments.

Jack: I don't know, I think I'd rather listen to a cute young blond girl that is too young for high heels than you Rob.

Rob: Yeah, me too.

Jack: I think Britney is a way better role model. She shows all those women about breast implants. I think we really got off topic though. How did we go from white rappers to Britney Spears?

Rob: I don't know. I think music is becoming more honest now than when it was stupid in the 90's.

Gary: Pop music is pop. It is Top 40 and designed for the masses and the sheep. It is tailor made and a pill coated in chocolate that makes it easy to swallow. It is hard to hate because they found this magic note that make the sheep go Baaaa. Occasionally you see a band that bucks the trend and does something original. It is rare.

Rob: Thank you, that's what I was trying to say.

The Gauntlet: Back to my original question, are there any thrash bands that you like? I wouldn't call Lamb of God or In Flames thrash, they are guitar heavy, but not thrash.

Rob: 3 Inches of Blood, I heard their new stuff and it's thrashy.

Gary: The new Carnal Forge is as thrashy as it gets.

Jack: I love Hypocrisy.

Gary: I still haven't listened to the solo I did for them. I'm not the kind of guy that says 'look at the solo I did.'

The Gauntlet: Will your upcoming Euro tour be as fun as the last one?

Gary: I think it will be a little less eventful. Our whole rider is just dedicated to tequila. We don't get dinner, we get liquor. It will be exciting, just not as eventful.

Rob: It will be great and with our new promoter it will all go well.

Gary: This one will be much better planned. Even the last one, we had some great shows. Spain ruled. Some of the shows were just thrown together at the last minute, but there were still moments of brilliance.

Rob: Jack, remember that creepy guy at the show at that skate park? I have never been as uncomfortable onstage as that guy made me.

Jack: Yeah, that guy wanted to do us.

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Rob: He was that guy. He wanted to fuck Jack in the worst way, and then eat him. He was just thinking 'kill, fuck, eat!'

The Gauntlet: On the last album, you left out the song "Crime of the Century" which was about the bands departure from Century Media.

Gary: It was renamed to "Purge The World" and is a bonus track. We made a little agreement with them. They scratch our back, we scratch there's. I have no beef with them anymore anyways. I have no problems anymore. The past is passed. I can't be mad forever because I signed the worst record deal of my life. Our manager at the time who shall remain nameless green lighted the first contract they offered. Typically the first contract they offer is going to suck. I blame myself for not taking active interest. I wasn't looking at it as long term. We were just looking to get our live album out. Who ever thought it would amount to anything after that. At the time, we considered it a major victory to just get [Paul] Baloff to the show. That was the major hurdle. That is what we were shooting for almost. It turned out a little better than that.

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Tags:  Exodus  , Jack, Rob, Garyinterviews

    October 08, 2006

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