Replacing Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman on thrash giants’ upcoming tour dates adds to an already special 2011, says Exodus axeman Gary

Exodus

Dream come true: Holt, left, with Exodus

Gary Holt says he can’t find the words to describe how he feels to be touring as a temporary member of Slayer – and the experience will add to an already special year.

The Exodus axeman will stand in for Jeff Hanneman on Slayer’s tour of Australia starting next week, and is also in the frame to continue filling in while the full-time guitarist recovers from an attack of necrotising fasciitis in his right arm.

Holt says: “How can I put into words how excited I am to have been asked to play with Slayer? It’s hard to describe.

“Legendary band, check. Old friends since the birth of thrash metal, check. Get to play Angel of Death live – priceless!

“I’ll do my best to live up to the standard they’ve set for so many years, while we all wish Jeff a speedy return to health and his rightful place in Slayer.”

It’s the second dream-come-true moment this year for Holt, after Exodus were confirmed as support for Iron Maiden at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile, on April 10.

The guitarist recently said: “We had two shows left on a European tour, everybody was tired and burned out, then I got word we’d open for the one and only Maiden.

“We’ll be playing Santiago with my heroes, a band whose songs we used to cover at backyard parties, in front of 65,000 people. Suddenly we all got a second wind on the tour – stoked beyond belief is an understatement.”

Depending on how long Hanneman needs to recuperate, Holt faces the possibility of playing with Slayer on their European tour with Megadeth and perhaps even their Big Four shows at Sonisphere festivals in the summer.

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