kirk hammett gary holt exodus metallica
[Photos by Kirk Hammett/Ralph Arvesen via WikiMedia Commons, Gary Holt/Adam Kliczek via WikiMedia Commons]

In 1983, Kirk Hammett left Exodus to join Metallica. Although decades have passed since he left the band, his former Exodus bandmate is digging up some old stories.

Gary Holt, Exodus’ guitarist, says that Hammett previously used Exodus material without permission in Metallica’s music.

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Metal Hammer recently released a retrospective on Metallica. For it, they reached out to Holt who opened up about his previous frustrations with Hammett after he left Exodus for Metallica.

In the interview, it’s revealed that Hammett used various material from Exodus in Metallica’s music. In fact, he used a riff from their song “Impaler” for Metallica’s 1984 track “Trapped Under Ice.”

Holt also reveals that the iconic refrain from Metallica’s “Creeping Death” originally appeared in an Exodus song called “Die By His Hand.” For Holt, he recalls being shocked when he heard thousands of Metallica fans shouting “die by my hand!” at a gig. When he heard it, he called up Hammett who said that he thought using the refrain was okay.

“I recall calling Kirk up and giving him a great deal of grief,” Holt says. “He said, ‘Ah, I thought I asked you if it was OK.’ I’m like, ‘No, you didn’t.’ So I’ve had the pleasure – and I use the term loosely – of watching 60,000 people chant ‘Die by my hand!’ at Metallica shows, yet I’ve never received a penny for it.”

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Despite the tension back in the day, both Hammett and Holt seem to be on good terms now. Hammett appears on “Salt The Wound,” off of Exodus’ last full-length album Blood In Blood Out that was released in 2014.

As well, Holt credits Hammett for teaching him how to play guitar. In a 2015 interview with Full Metal Jackie, Holt shared that he learned the basics of the guitar while in Exodus with Hammett.

“Well, you know, Kirk taught me the [basics] of playing guitar,” he said. “He showed me my first chords and he showed me my first licks. I hold the pick like he does because that’s just the way I always thought it was done. I didn’t think there was another way to hold it, ’cause Kirk showed me that. And he has, you know, always been one of my best friends.”

Metallica’s “Creeping Death” is available to stream below.

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