Former EXODUS singer Rob Dukes says that he is “at peace” with the fact that he is no longer in the band, three and a half years after he was unceremoniously fired from the legendary San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal outfit.
Dukes rejoined EXODUS on stage during the group’s July 8 concert in San Francisco, California. He sang several songs with the band on the second of EXODUS‘s two-night stint at The Chapel in what marked the group’s first headlining Bay Area club shows since late 2013.
In a recent interview with the “Talking Metal” podcast, Dukes said that he is “totally at peace” with how his stint with EXODUS ended. “They’re at peace with it. We put it all to rest, moved on,” he said (hear audio below).
Dukes added that reconnecting with his former bandmates in July “was a lot of fun, man; it was a lot of laughs. The show was great,” he said. “I wish I had a little more rehearsal, but that was just from… You know, when you get out of it for so long and you go back, you think, ‘Oh, I’ll be able to do this.’ But singing along with a CD, it’s a lot different when you’ve got a microphone in your hand with a band behind you and a crowd in front of you. [Laughs] Anyone can be a rock star in their fucking shower. It’s really different when you’re standing on stage and there’s lights and there’s people and there’s fucking people screaming.”
According to Rob, he had a chance to spend time with his former bandmates prior to the show and work on rekindling their friendship. “Me and Lee [Altus, guitar] and Gary [Holt, guitar] and Tom [Hunting, drums] sat — and Jack [Gibson, bass] came by later — but we all sat at the hotel and we just sat by the pool and we just fucking laughed. It was killer, man — it was great. I had a really good time. I had a good time at rehearsals.”
Dukes said he has “basically stayed in touch” with the EXODUS guys since the The Chapel concert. “I went to a SLAYER show and I saw Gary when he was here in Phoenix,” he revealed. “And I stayed in touch with them. We text mostly. Like anything else, life is life, man — I’m busy. I go to work at eight in the morning and I’m home at fucking seven at night. It doesn’t leave a lot of time for relationships.”
Dukes joined EXODUS in January 2005 and appeared on four of the band’s studio albums — “Shovel Headed Kill Machine” (2005), “The Atrocity Exhibition… Exhibit A” (2007), “Let There Be Blood” (2008, a re-recording of EXODUS‘ classic 1985 LP, “Bonded By Blood”) and “Exhibit B: The Human Condition” (2010).
EXODUS in June 2014 announced the departure of Dukes and the return of Steve “Zetro” Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.
In some of the first interviews after his split from EXODUS, Dukes slammed his former bandmates, claiming that he “didn’t like the new music they were writing” and saying that “there was just no passion in it.”
Holt in 2014 defended the way EXODUS fired Dukes, saying that “much time” was spent mulling the decision before the final move was made. He also shot down Internet speculation that the split with Dukes was motivated by financial reasons or that it was masterminded by TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy, who co-founded EXODUS‘s one-time management company Breaking Bands LLC. “It isn’t for the money [and] Chuck did not orchestrate this,” Holt said. “There were issues behind the scenes and we came to a conclusion.”