“They tried to bomb a football game, are we going to stop going to football games? Know what I mean? Are we going to stop running the Boston Marathon, no, you have to live your life and hope the people that are trained to do that job (protect you) will do theirs.”

Bass players are easily the most underrated members of any band. For more than a few metal groups they are the unsung heroes, the lyricists who have kept careers alive and made monikers legendary but any basd s player’s real claim to fame is in the relationship they have with a drummer. Drums and bass are two instruments meant to go hand in hand, creating a wall of sound that makes you want to revisit a track again and again.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Jack Gibson, veteran bassist of the legendary thrash metal band Exodus! Please enjoy some excerpts of our 11/27/15 interview where we discuss the King Diamond tour, playing in Europe next year and Gibson’s side project, Coffin Hunter.

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David Halbe: Welcome to Chicago!

Jack Gibson: Thanks!

Dave: I heard you played some sold out dates, how’s the tour been?

Jack: It’s been great, man. King (King Diamond) has been very cool to us, his band has been great, the crew, everything. It’s been kind of going like clockwork actually.

Dave: Kick ass, can you tell me what prompted the Bonded by Blood celebration?

Jack: Well, it’s basically that we just hit the thirty year anniversary of it so we wanted to do some type of memorial thing for it. We talked about doing the full Bonded by Blood set but Gary’s (Gary Holt) not with us and we don’t want to do the Bonded… memorial without Gary.

Dave: I can understand that.

Jack: He’s just doing his stuff with Slayer right now, so we’ll try and do it on one of the tours when he’s back.

Dave: As a headliner or something?

Jack: Yeah.

Dave: Man that would be fantastic. Will you be playing any Bonded… material tonight? I heard you’ll be playing songs nobody’s heard for years.

Jack: We’re doing the song “Impaler” for one, a lot of Bonded… stuff, we were doing “Deranged” too but we’re not going to do that one tonight. We’ve been moving songs in and out a little bit, just to not stay bored and stuff but we’re doing a lot of Zet (Steve ‘Zetro’ Sousa) songs, stuff we didn’t do when Rob was in the band, Zet was like ‘I wanna do this one’ so we added the song.

Dave: The last Zetro live album was Good Friendly Violent Fun, what are the chances of a “Live Blood” BluRay?

Jack: I’m sure it will happen, we don’t want to saturate the market with too much live stuff but I have a feeling now that he’s back we’ll do something like that again, we would want that to be with Gary.

Dave: Of course, makes sense. The last Exodus video was “Blood in Blood out” which came out in October of last year. Will there be anything new to follow it up?

Jack: I don’t think we’re going to do another video for anything on Blood In, Blood Out. Videos aren’t really what they used to be. You used to have to have a video to try to get on MTV or you weren’t even playing the game. Now, you spend several thousand dollars making a video so it can go on YouTube and people can watch it for free. It just doesn’t generate the same interest as it once did. For me, I’d rather see something behind the scenes DVD type stuff with the bands these days than some mock video, you know what I mean?

Dave: Life on the road and stuff.

Jack: Yeah, like you just get to know the bands better or even the one we just did where we talked about making the record. To me that’s a hundred  times more interesting than a video where you go into a place and a guy tells you what to do while you’re just hearing the track, I prefer behind the scenes stuff myself.

Dave: I noticed you guys are playing a lot of dates in Europe next year. Are you apprehensive at all about playing overseas considering the recent Paris tragedy?

Jack: A little bit, yeah, I think you just have to keep living your life. If there was something really specific that somebody told us about it then that would be to think twice about. Like from what I understand the Lamb of God guys, they got some very specific threats about them and that’s why they left. Randy’s (Randy Blythe – Vocals Lamb of God) statement leads to believe something very specific was sent to them, you know, if it’s close enough to home, sure.

Dave: You’d rethink things?           

Jack: Right, but you know they tried to bomb a football game, are we going to stop going to football games? Know what I mean? Are we going to stop running the Boston Marathon, no, you have to live your life and hope the people that are trained to do that job (protect you) will do theirs. It’s the most unlucky thing in the world and I kind of equate it to what that guy did to Dime (Dimebag Darrell – Pantera guitarist), all of a sudden nobody wanted anybody on their stage. I don’t follow that line of thought. People still come up on our stage and dive and all of that, it was such a one in a million chance, unlucky random events, I just don’t see.

Dave: Needing to change your whole mentality because of it?

Jack: Right, and I don’t think that anyone getting on our stage now is out to hurt us, you know what I mean?

Dave: I do for sure.

Jack: That was a very unlucky thing, I think you have a better chance of a car going over the line and smashing into you, killing you than you have to worry about an actual (terrorist) event like that happening, you know what I mean?

Dave: I do

Jack: Not that I’m not concerned about it because I am, I’m very concerned about the whole thing worldwide but we’re not just going to stay home because of it.

Dave: I respect that.

Jack: Like I said before, I’m sure we could be talked out of it, ‘did you read this?’ and it’s got my name on it and then yeah, maybe that’s different.

Dave: This is Exodus’ 36th year.

Jack: Yes.

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Dave: Will the band be around for its fortieth anniversary?

Jack: I think so yeah for sure. I mean we’re all physically slowing down a bit.

Dave: But you’re not ready to hang anything up yet?

Jack: No man, I think we’re writing music that’s still very relevant, people still like it and we’re still getting young kids to come out to the shows and if the fifteen year olds in the front row are any indication, we have some more years left to come. We’re kind of settling into not being kids anymore, I mean, touring takes its toll on us physically but it’s still what we love to do, so I don’t expect it to go anywhere anytime soon.

Dave: Is there anything going on with your country project? (Coffin Hunter)

Jack: It’s been kind of sidelined this year because we’ve been touring with Exodus but the new CD I’m going to be wrapping up right now is going to be called “Animosity in Panama City”.

Dave: Who comprises the band?

Jack: Well, it’s me and Tom (Tom Hunting – Exodus) plays the drums, my buddy Kevin Young plays bass, he’s also the bassist in a band called 40 Grit and then I got Larry Otis, he’s kind of an older fella who plays guitar, mandolin and slide for me. He played with Ike and Tina. (Ike and Tina Turner)

Dave: Oh really?

Jack: Yeah, back in the day, he’s a real blues man, it’s good shit.

Dave: Kick ass, so you play guitar on the album?

Jack: I play some banjo and hollow body guitar, I do the vocals as well.

Dave: When can we expect that release?

Jack: This next year for sure. I was hoping to get it done in December but things take much too long.

Dave: That’s the music business right?

Jack: Yeah, it will be out sometime in February.

Dave: Thanks for your time today, Jack, I really appreciate it.

Jack: Absolutely.

Exodus are:

  • Gary Holt – Guitars
  • Tom Hunting – Drums
  • Steve ‘Zetro’ Sousa – Vocals
  • Lee Altus – Guitars
  • Jack Gibson – Bass


This article was originally published 12/14/15 by Metalrecusants.com
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