Slayer stand-in guitarist Gary Holt has recalled how he spared a heckler from “going home bloody” during one of his earliest shows covering for late axeman Jeff Hanneman.
Exodus man Holt has been working with Slayer for nearly three years after Hanneman became too ill to tour as a result of the drink-related health issues which finally killed him in May.
The heckling incident, which took place in Germany, is only one of two in which Holt says he received a hard time from Slayer fans.
He tells Metal Assault: “The guy had this really bad skullet – he was super-bald but clinging to the last of the hair he had on the back of his head.
“My tech and Kerry’s tech would beat anybody to death and all I had to do was ask them. I thought about it for a second, and they would have just dragged him out and pummelled him. But I decided to leave him alone.
“Then our production manager got down from the stage and the dude saw he was probably going to get thrown out – so he vanished. I spared him: I could have had him going home bloody that night if I wanted to, if I cared that much.”
Holt is pleased to report he’s experienced generally warm welcomes from Slayer fans. “I think most people understand my role in the history of this genre,” he says. “They understand I’m not some nu-metal dude who’s stuck in this band playing these parts.
“They understand I was there at the very beginning – Exodus, in its earliest incarnation, goes back to 1979.”
He’s set to record guitar parts on Slayer’s next album, although King has said he doesn’t believe fans are ready for Holt to contribute songs yet.
In the meantime, he’s concentrating on the next Exodus album, telling the Vinnie Langdon Show: “I’m heavily in riff mode. I want to make sure the album is as good as it needs to be, and knowing I am going to be on a tight time frame, it does tend to stress me out quite a bit. We’ll make it happen.”