In a new interview with Radioactive MikeZ, host of the 96.7 KCAL-FM program “Wired In The Empire”, EXODUS‘s Tom Hunting was asked how he first got into drumming. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I originally played guitar a little bit; I just say ‘dabbled.’ I was left-handed — I am left-handed — so I played left-handed guitar. And I did that for a couple of years in junior high, and then I just wanted to switch to drums. So I switched to drums in the middle of junior high school. And they finally let me turn the kit around to left-handed, and then I could actually play, ’cause I couldn’t do shit right-handed. So that’s where that journey stated.”
“A lot of drummers out there that are left-handed, they play open-handed,” he continued. “A lot of people don’t know this, but Dave Lombardo [SLAYER, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, MISFITS, TESTAMENT] is actually left-handed; his prominent hand is left. Which makes him double badass, ’cause when he goes into a drum roll, one hand’s gotta climb over the other one. It’s crazy. But through that he invented his own sound. There’s a lot of goofy-foot left-handers out there too. Like Will Carroll [of DEATH ANGEL], I call him goofy-foot, ’cause he’s lefty in the top of his body, doing his rolls and stuff, but his prominent foot is his right for his kick drums. My right kick-drum foot is pretty ridiculous; it doesn’t have the same brain as the left one does. It gets me in trouble sometimes. [Laughs]”
Hunting recently released his first solo EP, “Hunting Party”, which features covers of some of his favorite songs.
Tom underwent a successful total gastrectomy in July 2021 in his battle with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the stomach.
A GoFundMe campaign to help Hunting with medical expenses had raised more than $111,000 — including $5,000 from Tom‘s former EXODUS bandmate, current METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett, and $1,500 from FOZZY singer and wrestling superstar Chris Jericho.
The 58-year-old rejoined his EXODUS bandmates on stage in October 2021 at the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California.
In January 2022, Hunting was asked by Niclas Müller-Hansen of RockSverige if his battle with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the stomach has changed his view on life. He responded: “Well, I definitely don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. It gives you a new perspective where that’s concerned, I think. Things that used to stress me out, I’m just, like, Meh.’ It’s just stuff that’s gonna happen to some of us. I’m lucky — very lucky — that they were able to take a bad situation and make it okay. I’m walking around, I’m eating, I’m breathing, I’m playing drums. I’m lucky and the science is amazing like what they’re able to do. They’ve done a lot of tests and they can’t find cancer inside me right now so that’s a good thing. I might’ve dodged a couple of bullets there. [Laughs]”
Hunting said that there was a short period after the surgery when he couldn’t play drums. “They wouldn’t let me do anything for, like, five weeks,” he said. “Then I started doing pushups. Before the surgery, I was getting chemo doses, like four of them, and they were pretty massive. I did play drums a little bit, but I wasn’t feeling it that well. I thought I was gonna be in the throes of getting four more outro doses of chemo, but they’re not doing them. They don’t need to. Right now I’m getting immunotherapy which does not really have any side effects. Getting small doses of that once every three weeks, but I have no restrictions on playing or anything, basically. They said, ‘Just resume your life. Celebrate and resume your life.’ And that’s kinda what I’m doing.”