Interview with Exodus (November 6th 2008)

Firstly, thank you for doing this interview. Exodus has been a monumental source of inspiration, so far, and we are proud of posting this on our beloved web-zine.

Iím not a big fan of wrapping up thorny questions, so youíll have to live with a rather direct approach. You just released the same album (Bonded by Blood / Let There be Blood) for the fourth time. The jungle drums are singing of Exodus milking the golden calf. Iím sorry to tell you this, but the word ďselloutĒ has been mentioned.

Exodus - Third time if you want to be specific. The original, the live record and this.

Sell out?  If anyone thinks I really make any money from records Iíd like them to show me where it is! Haha! And sell out is pretty harsh considering Exodus have been releasing the heaviest most relevant records one after the other. The one thing no one can say is weíve ever sold out.

But so far the reviews have been really positive so some people have been open about this and seem to like it a lot.

Why did you think it was important to re-release the album (again)?

Exodus - We wanted to show how relevant these songs still are and pay homage to the original.

But some people are not going to dig the idea, some are. But anyone who says we didnít do them justice are confused. But I have always been very understanding when people donít see why we should do this. It just means they love our debut that much. How can someone get mad at that? I always say, this doesnít make the original disappear into a cloud of smoke, nor should it. I would never want anyone to stop listening to Bonded. This is just a companion piece

How do you feel about these accusations about selling out?

Exodus - As I said, someone please show me the money!

We have never made any money from record sales, not then and not now. And we are not alone. This is a very  foreign concept to me. We, like many other bands, depend on tours, merch and other avenues to make a penny in this business. Hell, even in best of times we never saw any money. This is a pretty shitty business to tell the truth. I just happen to love what I do. And I have no other job skills!

And never underestimate that many younger fans may discover Bonded through this, a backwards way for sure, but the more who hear Paulís vocals on the original the better.

On the good side: Youíve probably heard about the so-called ďGreat FourĒ in Thrash Metal (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax). A lot of people think that Exodus should take up a fifth place Ė or even become one of the four, on behalf of one of the others. Personally, I think such popularity contest are pretty boring, so I would just like to know what bands influenced Exodus, before Thrash got its own name, and after.

Exodus - Venom, Mercyful Fate and Angelwitch are huge to me. And of course Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.

To what degree did Kirk Hammet define the sound of Exodus Ė a sound that you have kept alive since the first album?

Exodus - He wrote some great riffs and great songs, but if you listen to the Kirk era stuff and the stuff that followed they really sound nothing alike. He defined the sound when he was in the band and I redefined it when he left. But Kirk was a huge influence on me as a player though, he taught me my first guitar chords, got me started doing this. I owe him for that. Taught me my first song, some random Rolling Stones song that I canít remember!

But enough canít be said about Kirkís contribution to thrash metal, after all he was a part of Exodus AND Metallica.

Talking of the first album (which is now, also the latest): Why did you change the name from Bonded in Blood?

Exodus - On the new release? Because this simply isnít Bonded By Blood. And we arenít trying to replace it. That would be the result if we used the same title, would it not?

I like to keep the interviews short, so Iíll cut here. I have one last question though, that is not really connected to anything:
If you could choose anyone, what band(s) would you like support Exodus at its next concert?

Exodus - Barathrum

Thank you again for taking these questions.

Exodus - My pleasure!

Martin SchjŲnning

Exodus - Let There Be Blood

Album available through Plastic Head Music.