Tom Hunting, the founding and longtime drummer of thrash legends Exodus, has revealed that he is battling the form of cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma. The veteran metal musician insists he’s “gonna beat this like a f**king snare drum that owes me money.”
While squamous cell carcinoma is most closely associated with the skin, Hunting is fighting a gastric form of the cancer, which is very rare. The drummer was diagnosed with the disease in February, but has a positive outlook as he begins his treatment.
In a press release, Hunting delivered the following message to Exodus fans about his diagnosis and his mission to help raise awareness for this particular form of cancer:
“Today I will be starting treatment for a squamous cell carcinoma. It’s a gastric tumor that was diagnosed in my upper stomach in February. I’m making this public to raise awareness for people to pay attention to symptoms of stomach and esophageal issues. If they persist, please go get it checked out. I’m not gonna be sheepish talking about it. I feel that if I can help someone with what I’ve learned, or someone out there has information to share with me, it’s a win-win! When you can name the enemy, it’s empowering, and you’re 1 step closer to killing it!
Ok, you’ve heard the bad news. The good news is [I feel] great physically! I’m gonna beat this like a f**king snare drum that owes me money!!! I’ve had great doctors and a great support system that is an army in itself. I’m ready for the fight!”
Hunting also used the opportunity to let fans know that a new album is coming from Exodus, and that he’s looking forward to touring behind the forthcoming release:
“We have a lot to celebrate this year with the release of what will be a career-defining album and tours to follow! I’m stoked for everyone to hear it, and even more excited to get out there and play some of it! I will see you all very soon! CHEERS!!!”
Exodus are one of the pioneers of thrash metal, having formed way back in 1979. Hunting is the band’s original drummer, and even handled lead vocals during their early years. Of course, the founding lineup also included Kirk Hammett, who would leave the band in 1983 to join Metallica.
Guitarist Gary Holt previously revealed that Exodus’ new album would be titled Persona Non Grata, and arrive sometime this summer. The new LP will mark Exodus’ first album since 2014’s Blood In, Blood Out, with Holt having been occupied as Slayer’s guitarist for the better part of the band’s last decade until their last show in 2019.
Our best wishes go out to Tom Hunting in his current fight against gastric squamous cell carcinoma. Here’s hoping that he indeed beats the disease like a snare drum.