Slayer guitarist Gary Holt: I’ll stand up to haters

Gary Holt says he hasn’t suffered much negativity from Slayer fans who resented him replacing Jeff Hanneman – but he believes he wouldn’t have suffered any before the internet age.

The Exodus leader first stood in for Hanneman in 2011, and he’s remained since the co-founder’s death in 2013, appearing on latest album Repentless.

Holt tells IndyWeek: “I’m pretty much well-accepted now. In five-plus years I think I’ve had a grand total of four hecklers.

“With most of them it was fun. We were bantering back and forth. On the first Mayhem tour at the end of the set, this kid goes, ‘I just miss Jeff, man,’ and I said, ‘I miss Jeff too.’

“I had one on my first European tour, this guy flipping me off the whole time. All I had to do was say something to have him beaten senseless by the Slayer road crew, but I didn’t.

“He kept flipping me off and tapping on his Slayer shirt. I mean, you knew Jeff wasn’t there and you bought a ticket? That shit just never made sense to me.”

He recalls another heckler in Milan who was “kind of a dick,” adding: “I got in his face the whole time. I’m not going to back down because they’re trying to ruin my show.

“They’re by extension trying to ruin Slayer’s set because they’re trying to take down one-fourth of the band. I’m going to give as well as I take, that’s for sure.”

The band have some experience of online trolling, although guitarist Kerry King reports it’s calmed down in recent years.

Holt says: “You get keyboard warriors – then you’ll see one guy post something like, ‘All right, my metal brothers and sisters, we gotta stick together.’ Now, that doesn’t happen. It’s so segregated. The internet breeds all kinds of idiots.”

As a comparison, he recalls seeing AC/DC on their first tour after the death of Bon Scott. “I guarantee not one soul in the crowd was flipping off Brian Johnson,” he says.

“I went both nights, and there was not a negative vibe in the audience. But the internet just breeds that.”

Slayer are currently touring North America. They return to Europe in the summer and appear at Bloodstock Open Air at Catton Park, Derbyshire, on August 14.

The 10 Best Slayer Songs, 1983 - 1990

Slayer, Testament, Carcass 2016 North American tour dates

Mar 03: Philadelphia The Fillmore, PA
Mar 05: Silver Spring The Fillmore, MD
Mar 06: Boston House Of Blues, MA
Mar 08: Columbus The LC Pavilion, OH
Mar 09: Madison Orpheum Theatre, WI
Mar 11: St Paul Myth, MN
Mar 12: Fargo Civic Center, ND
Mar 14: Calgary Macewan Hall, AB
Mar 15: Edmonton Shaw Conference Centre, AB
Mar 17: Boise Revolution Center, ID
Mar 19: Seattle Paramount Theater, WA
Mar 20: Portland Roseland Theater, OR
Mar 22: San Francisco Warfield Theater, CA
Mar 26: Las Vegas The Joint, NV

Freelance Online News Contributor

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, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories 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.