Former EXODUS singer Rob Dukes says that he was “unhappy” before he was fired from the group, due in part to the fact that his bandmates were writing music that was “regurgitated shit” with “no life to it.”
EXODUS in June 2014 announced the departure of Dukes and the return of his predecessor, Steve “Zetro” Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.
During an appearance on today’s (Thursday, November 5) edition of the “Opie And Jim Norton” talk show, Dukes was asked about his EXODUS stint. He said: “It ran its course. And then… You know, they ended it really shitty. I’d been touring with them for almost ten years. And they got new management, and I could slowly feel the edge slipping away.”
He continued: “You know how you always look back at shit and you [go], ‘Ahh… I should have just quit.’ I was unhappy. I didn’t like the new music they were writing. I thought it was shit. And I voiced my opinion. It turned everyone against me, and that was it.”
Asked why he thought EXODUS‘s new music was “shit,” Dukes responded: “There was just no passion in it. It was just regurgitated shit that we had just done and done over and over again. There was no life to it, so I just kind of started to separate myself. And then… I was under a lot of [pressure]. I was getting married, I was moving, I had a ton of shit going on. And they had fired me on my honeymoon — like, three days after my wedding, which really just sucked balls. And honestly, I’ve never heard from any of them. And it just kind of left me a little angry. But I’m over it now. I’m fucking doing way better than I ever have before.”
Dukes also talked about the new disc that he is currently recording with his band GENERATION KILL as a collaboration with legendary hip hop icon Darryl “DMC” McDaniels.
GENERATION KILL crossed paths with DMC on the road and gave him the latest GENERATION KILL CD, “We’re All Gonna Die”. Darryl contacted the band immediately after listening to the album, and asked if they would collaborate on a song, which very quickly turned into recording a full-length effort.
Dukes said: “We have eight songs done, three more to go, and then we’re gonna do some hidden-track shit.”
He continued: “It’s really cool, ’cause it’s different than anything I’ve ever done before. It’s challenging as fuck to not be a shit rap/metal band, to kind of bring those two together. ‘Cause I’m not really a metalhead; I’m more like a rock and roll kind of [guy].”
Prior to his exit from EXODUS, Dukes laid down the lead vocals on the music that eventually became the band’s “Blood In Blood Out” album (with Souza‘s vocal tracks), released in October 2014 to great critical acclaim.
Dukes previously told Australia’s “Blood, Sweat And Metal” podcast that he had not talked to any of his former bandmates in EXODUS about his departure from the band. “I haven’t spoken with anyone but [drummer] Tom [Hunting],” Rob explained. “Tom called me… He called me and said, ‘We’re gonna go on with a different singer. We’re gonna be going with Zet.’ And that was it. It was about a 20-second phone call. And that was really all I got. That’s it.”
EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt last year defended the way the band fired Dukes, saying that “much time” was spent mulling the decision before the final move was made.
Holt — who has been pulling double duty with SLAYER for the past four and a half years — denied that EXODUS handled the dismissal of Dukes in an insensitive manner, saying “There were the calls to Rob preceding this, [so] how long should the final call be?
“20 seconds was not all this involved.
“[While I was] in Europe [with SLAYER, I] pretty much got the rundown on everything as we went through this.”
He added: “Much time was spent on this.”
Holt also shot down Internet speculation that the split with Dukes was motivated by financial reasons or that it was masterminded by EXODUS‘ new so-manager, TESTAMENT vocalist Chuck Billy, who co-founded the 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.” The guitarist, however, refused to go into the details of EXODUS‘ decision to part ways with Dukes, explaining: “All will remain internal. I see no need to air the laundry for anyone.”
Holt, who previously said that the decision to fire Rob and re-hire Zetro “was the most difficult decision of our lives, one the entire band made,” was once again full of praise for EXODUS‘ former frontman, saying: “I wish nothing but the best for Rob, [and I] have nothing but love for the man. He will be a force for a long time and I am proud of him and how he went from a dude with a pink mohawk to a vicious thrash vocalist. He is a killer singer and we have total respect for him and love the music we made together.”
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).
Dukes has released two studio albums with his GENERATION KILL project, 2011’s “Red White And Blood” and 2013’s “We’re All Gonna Die”.