Exodus’ Gary Holt Explains Why He Had To Quit Drinking During The Pandemic

Exodus and Slayer guitarist Gary Holt recently gave an interview to the podcast hosted by Jon Wiederhorn named ‘Backstaged: The Devil In Metal,’ and talked about his decision to quit drinking while drawing on how much the pandemic has affected him psychologically.

There’s no doubt that the world has been going through a tough time since the beginning of the pandemic and although each person has been affected to a different degree, everyone has in one way or another. Holt has been struggling too as he’s had some problems with his personal life and career.

As you may recall, in March, Gary had announced that he’s had an elbow injury that is not only painful but prevents him from playing guitar. Even though the recovery process has been slow, Holt has now started getting back to playing guitar. As for Exodus, in mid-May, it was announced that Tom Hunting has been diagnosed with cancer and that they’ll postpone their album release.

Trying to juggle all these things must have been hard for Gary Holt, who in his recent interview admitted that he had started abusing alcohol. Even though he used to be a chirpy social drinker, drinking by himself during the pandemic turned him into a ‘cranky drunk‘ and as he didn’t like that version of himself, Holt decided to quit.

Gary Holt shared his experience during his recent interview with iHeart Radio using the following words:

“Touring is a party. Everybody’s having a good time. We’re a bunch of repressed adolescents out on tour with too much downtime and some people just have the best time on earth when drinking, and some don’t. I always did have the best time until fucking deep into this pandemic, and all of sudden I started becoming a cranky drunk.

But I wasn’t a cranky drunk when I’m social-drinking with friends; I was, like a lot of guys in the pandemic, sitting around at home and drinking by myself. Drinking by myself prior to the pandemic meant cracking open two or three beers watching a 49ers game. I came home and barely drank. And then now I was drinking more than I ever did on tour. That’s why I quit.”

Gary Holt explained how he made the distinction between being a social drinker and a person who drinks every day and stated that even though alcohol has always been fun at tours and parties, it becomes something completely different when he drinks by himself, which is a very important step in recovery.