Looking back at the thrash metal scene of the 80s, it’s easy to imagine a time when bands rose to prominence, flared out, and new bands emerged from those ashes. Kind of like how stars grow, explode, and form new stars, thrash metal bands had to be forged out of hardships and in some instances drama to get rolling.
Take Exodus. Having built up a following in the Bay Area, they were riding a wave with Paul Baloff and his signature voice leading the charge. But according to a recent interview with For The Passion Not The Fashion, as transcribed by Blabbermouth, former Exodus guitarist Rick Hunolt said drugs pushed the band to oust him and it may have been their most critical error.
That was back in 1986. At the time, Exodus just continued on by hiring Steve “Zetro” Souza, who was singing for Legacy (which would eventually become Testament) at the time. And while that ended up being a good move in the long run, it ultimately pushed Baloff further down a slippery slope of drugs are addition.
I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to have to force a friend out of a band they helped create. And while Paul Baloff eventually landed on his feet and continued performing until his untimely passing in 2002.
You can check out the rest of the Rick Hunold interveiew over on For The Passion Not The Fashion.