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Gary Holt’s blood used to paint guitar

Slayer guitarist Gary Holt has been presented with a guitar painted in his own blood – and he’s planning to use it during the band’s upcoming tour.

He agreed to allow surrealist artist Vincent Castiglia to draw some of his blood after a Slayer concert in New York last year. Castiglia used it to decorate a Gary Holt Signature ESP instrument, which he handed over to the axeman at the NAMM exhibition this week.

It’s the first time Castiglia has used blood on a guitar, although he’s well-known for using it on other materials. He says: “I pushed it as far as was physically possible in terms of detail – the subject matter, look and feel, and functionality of the piece are all in perfect line with my work.

“It’s a functional piece of fine art that memorialises Gary’s life’s work with his lifeblood. It was an honour to work so intimately with Gary and ESP on this project – which was literally bonded by blood.”

Holt says: “The blood guitar is painted with 18 vials of my own blood. To say I was stoked is an understatement! I’m looking forward to taking this one-of-a-kind piece of dark art out on tour in February.”

Slayer’s US world tour leg in support of 11th album Repentless begins on February 19. The band return to the UK for Bloodstock Open Air on August 14.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.