Gary Holt (musician)

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Gary Holt
Ursynalia 2012, Slayer, Gary Holt 01.jpg
Gary Holt with Slayer in 2012
Background information
Birth nameGary Wayne Holt
Born (1964-05-04) May 4, 1964 (age 55)
San Pablo, California, United States
GenresThrash metal
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Years active1981–present
LabelsCombat, Capitol, Nuclear Blast
Associated actsExodus, Slayer, Metal Allegiance
Slayer and Megadeth. European Carnage Tour 2011.

Gary Wayne Holt (born May 4, 1964) is an American guitarist from the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a guitarist, the bandleader, and the main songwriter for the American thrash metal band Exodus and is also a guitarist for the American thrash metal band Slayer, in which he took over duties for original guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died in 2013.




After guitarist Tim Agnello left Exodus in 1981, Holt joined the band and has been the main songwriter and the most senior member of the group ever since. Following Kirk Hammett's 1983 departure from Exodus to join Metallica, Holt kept the band going and for many years, he and Rick Hunolt were referred to as the Exodus' "H-Team" guitar players. Holt is the only member of Exodus who has played on every album.


On February 12, 2011, it was announced that Holt would be temporarily filling in for Jeff Hanneman in the band Slayer. Holt also played with Slayer for the Big 4 Concert in Indio California on April 23, 2011, as well as Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas on November 6, 2011. Holt is still touring with Slayer and agreed to fill in after Jeff Hanneman died on May 2, 2013. He also recorded guitar tracks on Slayer's 2015 album Repentless, but did not have any writing contributions on the album,[1] except for guitar solos.

Other work[edit]

In October 2008, Holt released an instructional guitar video called "A Lesson in Guitar Violence". He also produced Warbringer's second album, Waking into Nightmares. In 2019 was featured on a Volbeat song called Cheapside Sloggers.


Holt endorses ESP Guitars as of September 2014 and has a signature version of the Eclipse model, ending his relationship with Schecter Guitar Research, where he previously had various signature models. He has also used Ibanez, B.C. Rich, Jackson Guitars, Bernie Rico Jr., and Yamaha guitars.

For amplification, he currently uses a Marshall Silver Jubilee in Slayer and a ENGL Savage 120 in Exodus as well as a Kemper Profiling amp. In the past, he has used a modified Marshall JCM800, Marshall JVM, Peavey Triple XXX, and ENGL Savage 120. Before using the Silver Jubilee, DSL100H and Marshall JVM amps with Slayer, Holt made use of Jeff Hanneman's touring rack.

Musical influences[edit]

Holt's main guitar influences are Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, Angus Young, Tony Iommi, Uli Jon Roth, Matthias Jabs and Ted Nugent.[2][3] His favorite bands include Venom, Motörhead, Black Sabbath, early Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Holt is married to Lisa Perticone and has two daughters, along with a daughter from Perticone's previous relationship.

Outside of music, Holt enjoys foreign and period films.[4] He is also an avid watcher of cable news channels,[4] pursuant to his interest in U.S. politics. According to Holt, the track "War is my Shepherd" on the album Tempo of the Damned is a treatise of America's "pro-god" and "pro-war" stance and how he feels the two beliefs are incompatible with each other.[5]

Holt endorsed Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, and stated:

"I used to have a lot of respect for McCain, but he realized after the dirty defeat that he suffered at the hands of George W. Bush in the South Carolina primary in the (2000) election that he can only get elected if he plays the Karl Rove tactic b.s. He's doing it. It's just one debunked lie after the other. He's the kind of guy who will tell you the sky is red, you look up and it's blue, and he won't admit he's wrong. He's playing dirty politics. Palin is just terrifying, the thought of this lady being a heart attack away from having the nuclear codes. She's crazy and she's dumb."[4]

In the 2004 election, Holt vouched for John Kerry, but conceded:

"...they're all dirty crooks, all politicians. But at least (Kerry) wasn't a coward. He fought in Vietnam whereas George W. Bush Jr. was a draft dodger."[5]

In 2017, he referred to President Donald Trump as a "serial liar" and an "embarrassment to this country, this world, and everyone living in it."[6]

Holt is an atheist.[7] In October 2017, he became a vegan.[8]

On December 17, 2018 his father Billie Charles Holt (born July 6, 1933) died.[9]





  • 1990 Asylum (Demo)




Laughing Dead

  • 1990 Demo 1990 (Demo)

Metal Allegiance

  • 2015—Metal Allegiance [Gift of Pain][10]


  • 1991 Epidemic



  • 1998 Under (EP)




  1. ^ a b "Kerry King: 'Fans Aren't Ready for Gary Holt to Contribute Music to Slayer' | Music News @". Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  2. ^ a b [1] Archived October 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Michael Schenker - Metal Master Kingdom Interview". January 17, 2018. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Gary Holt Interview – Exodus Interview". Archived from the original on August 6, 2010. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Interview with Guitarist of EXODUS – GARY HOLT". Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  6. ^ "SLAYER's TOM ARAYA: America Has Become 'A Nation Of Crybabies'". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. April 17, 2017.
  7. ^ Hartmann, Graham (April 8, 2015). "Exodus / Slayer's Gary Holt - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction". Loudwire. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  8. ^ Meltdown (May 23, 2018). "Radio Chatter with Slayer/Exodus guitarist Gary Holt" (Podcast). WRIF. Event occurs at 18:08-19:12. Archived from the original on June 10, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  9. ^ "Gary Holt on Instagram: "Today I lost my hero, the greatest man I've ever known or will know. Billie Charles Holt passed away this evening, with my mom and all his…"". Instagram.
  10. ^ "Complete lineup and tracklist for the Metal Allegiance album announced".

External links[edit]