Exodus, Tom Hunting Interview – ‘If They Did a Big 5 Tour, I’d Gladly Go’


Exodus Band Image

Exodus – Story by Anne Erickson, courtesy photo

Exodus drummer Tom Hunting joins Anne Erickson to discuss all things metal in this in-depth interview

Talk about metal royalty. Exodus, Anthrax and Black Label Society are continuing their tour of the US this month, bringing a mix of thrash and heavy metal to the masses at venues across the country.

If you ask longtime Exodus drummer Tom Hunting how the shows are going, he’ll tell you they’ve been nothing less than “amazing.”

“This tour enables us to play to people that we haven’t played to yet,” he told Audio Ink Radio in a new interview. “A lot of Black Label fans are seeing Exodus for the first time, so it’s a bonus. A lot of Exodus and thrash fans are seeing Black Label for the first time. I wouldn’t necessarily call (Black Label Society) a thrash band. They’re super bada** arena rock.”

Exodus are touring on their 11th studio album, 2022’s “Persona Non Grata.” Even though the set dropped just last November, the band is already thinking ahead to new music.

“I think it will come together pretty fast,” Hunting said of new music. “We had a whole pandemic to write the last one, and it still developed quickly. We just have to get off the road and jam a little bit. Gary’s (Holt) got some riffs that he’s been playing and we’ve actually been jamming a bit in soundcheck here and there. We’ll get to that process, and it will happen fast.”

Exodus are considered one of the most legendary thrash metal bands of all time, but they weren’t part of the Big 4 with Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax. If there’s ever a Big 5, Hunting is more than open to righting that wrong.

“If they did a Big 5 tour, I would gladly go,” he said. And, yeah, I think at the end of the day, we would be the deserving band to go, just merely by longevity and the fact that we’re still f***-ing here doing this. (Laughs) … I want to be there.”

Switching topics to the Grammys, Exodus have yet to take home a trophy. Even though the awards don’t highlight metal music during the main ceremony, Hunting would love the honor of picking up a trophy.

When talking about metal being left out of the televised portion of the Grammys, Hunting said, “It is, but that’s not to say we won’t keep trying to make the baddest-a** metal we can and try to get one of those things. I’d love to present my mom with a Grammy, put it on her mantle, burn fires and look at it. It’s be awesome… You’ve got to write the right song at the right time, and it has to be delivered on point, kind of with no other songs around it that could compare.”

Another hot topic in metal right now is the Pantera reunion. Hunting is excited for it. “I’m excited for Phil and obviously the players are all heavy-hitters, and the music will sound amazing,” he said. “I’m also kind of nostalgic, too. I’m happy that Phil is going to go out there and sing that music again, but I saw them in ’94 with White Zombie, and it was right when they were a force to see live. They were amazing that night. White Zombie was amazing that night. But, I think the fans are going to go nuts. They’re going to freak out.”

One of Hunting’s childhood friends is Kirk Hammett of Metallica. When it comes to the band’s new record, he likes what he’s heard so far.

“I think the riffs are, I want to say southern rocky, which would makes sense,” he said. “James loves that stuff, and so does Kirk. I love that band. I saw them live last December, and I loved the production of the new (album). I love the drum sound. I think it sounds great. I haven’t heard it all, but I plan to.”

Listen to the full interview with Tom Hunting of Exodus via the Audio Ink Radio podcast on Apple Podcasts here, Spotify here and above.

Anne Erickson
Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Interviews, Metal, Music