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RICK HUNOLT On Leaving EXODUS: "I Was Homeless"

Things were so grim, at one point, he was homeless.

Rick Hunolt

In a recent interview, former Exodus guitarist Rick Hunolt spoke with current Exodus vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza on Souza's Toxic Vault podcast about the hardships Hunolt endured after leaving Exodus in 2005 and struggling with a myriad of personal and drug-related issues.

"Gary [Holt, Exodus guitarist] had quit [doing drugs]. Gary had stopped before Tempo [of the Damned, 2004], and I continued to do what I was doing, and I was a mess, bro. And to this day when I listen to those solos that I did on that album I can hear it, dude: the pain, the pain, bro, and the agony I was in, just guilt I was carrying for… having kids and doing that shit, and being an asshole, and trying to lie to Gary about being high. What an idiot. [Laughs] You can't lie to a tweaker when you're tweaking, bro. [Laughs] You know what I'm saying?"

Hunolt continued, "I have to say something about Gary. He never ever once in his life, and during that time, said 'Rick, dude, you're a piece of shit, you need to get your shit together or I'm gonna fire your ass.' 'Dude, you're fucked up', he never once laid that shit on me, bro. And if I didn't quit the band, I would have continued to be in Exodus as long as I either hit rock bottom and just…that's what happened. I'd hit rock bottom and I just couldn't do it no more."

Life after Exodus was no less of a struggle, as Hunolt explained.

"I had kids. I was fucking homeless, bro, I had no money… I woke up and I wasn't in Exodus anymore. That was brutal. That was the day where my whole world just went, 'Dude, you better wake the fuck up.' [Laughs] You know what I'm saying? 'Cause you just lost your life, bro, you lost your shit, you know what I'm saying? So I had to go, and I know Walter [Morgan, concert tour organizer] remembers this…'cause I would see Walter and we had dinner at, I think it was a Death Angel show, and [he was like] 'What are you doing, Rick?' 'Well, I'm working a Dollar Store, dude.' I worked at a Dollar Store after that for three years, bro, until I met some people up in my town and just started doing what I do. But yeah, that was tough, that was fucking really hard. But anyway, it is what it is."

Hunolt is currently a member of DieHumane. The band features HunoltSal Abruscato, formally of Type O Negative and Life of Agony on drums; Garret West on lead vocals; Joshua Vargas on rhythm guitar, bass, piano, programming; and Greg Hilligiest Jr. on keyboards, samples, additional guitar.

Talking about how Diehumane came together, Hunolt recalled in a recent statement that, "To be honest, being in a band wasn't even on my mind at the time a dear friend called me and said, 'Hey, I know these guys looking for a guitar player.' He sent me some raw tracks, and I listened for about a month before I replied, and it was the music that I was looking for. It gave me the ability to express myself musically and, even more important, was radically different than anything I have ever played. Music needs 'different' in order to evolve. [There's] so much talent in this band, and I can't wait for you to experience Diehumane."

Their debut album has been announced and its title unveiled—The Grotesque—while a spring 2023 release is in eyesight. You can watch the complete interview with Hunolt on Toxic Vault below.

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