Ever since the release of “Blood In, Blood Out” last year, the legendary Exodus have been ripping apart cities all over the world with the new material, and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. They are currently thrashing apart the States in support of the almighty King Diamond, and are kicking off each night with the perfect amount of energy to last the entire show!
As we all know, “Blood In, Blood Out” marked the return of Steve “Zetro” Souza to Exodus, and he seems more energized than ever! I got to speak with him before they set New York City’s pit into chaos a few weeks back, and you can read entertaining chat today! Find out his thoughts on his return, the current lineup, future material and much more with the iconic front man below!
Metal Mark: Zetro, thanks for taking out the time today. Thanks to the massive ticket sales, we get three Exodus shows back to back here in New York City, so are you extra excited to tear it up now?
Steve “Zetro” Souza: Hell yes we are. It’s nice to be stationary in a city for a few days, and knowing that the kids wanted this show with us and King Diamond so much that it became three nights gives us even more incentive to go out there and give it all we got.
MM: Are you going to be able to get out and see the city more since you have the three days here in the city?
Zetro: I imagine we will do some touristy stuff, but we’ve been coming here for so long, it’s hard to find something or somewhere we haven’t checked out yet ya know. I love it here. The energy is always exciting, so we are ready to match that on stage, and create some chaos!
MM: Very cool man. I’m extra excited for this gig, because believe it or not, this is my first time seeing you with Exodus!
Zetro: Oh really. Wow.
MM: Yes, I fail at life for that, but the metal gods answered my prayers, and here we finally are. So what can I expect with the Zetro fronted Exodus?
Zetro: If you love thrash, you’re going to love it. We kick ass for a bunch of old man (laughs).
MM: Come on, you’re not that old.
Zetro: Well we aren’t young (laughs). I will guarantee non-stop energy, a mix of old and new songs, and pit that will bring you back to the old school days. We live to be on that stage, and it’s an honor to open up for King Diamond, so we want the crowd amped up when he hits the stage after us. It’s been a killer run, and the shows get better and better, so I expect something special here in New York City.
MM: We did an interview last year before “Blood In, Blood Out” came out, and your excitement was through the roof, and for a good reason. The record is fucking awesome. At that time you had not heard the final product, but how soon did you realize that you guys had written something for the ages? How do you feel about it now that it’s been out for year?
Zetro: Honestly, when I heard the demos, my head exploded. I thought it was the fucking shit right away, ya know. I was beyond amped to get in there and add my voice to this music. What the guys had come up with was a return to the old school, with a new energy, and to be a part of it is something I can’t put into words. Once I heard the final product, I knew we nailed it. I’ve said it before, this is my favorite Exodus album ever. I know a lot of people disagree with that, which is totally fine, but for me, this is the best we’ve ever sounded, and it’s even better live.
MM: My favorite thing about the record was that it’s an album you can listen to from start to finish, which is very rare these days. The flow is exceptional, and it’s something I wish more bands would put an emphasis on these days.
Zetro: I think, for the most part, metal bands are staying true to the “full” album concept. The bands that aren’t, they are not going to last. Plain and simple. That one hit wonder or “pop” success doesn’t exist in metal, and never has in the history of the music in my opinion.
Plus, you can hear the honesty and heart on our record, which is one of the main reasons I absolutely love it. Fans can tell if you’re bullshitting, or writing the same shit over and over to keep that certain fan base. If that’s what you want to do, that’s fine, but that’s not Exodus, and never has been. We write and play what we love, and we put everything we have into it. I think the fans appreciate that, and we don’t plan on changing anytime soon. We will forever be Exodus. No surprises. Exodus.
MM: I think that how you guys have handled Gary Holt joining Slayer has been amazing as well. Obviously, he’s an unreal talent, but Kragen Lum has been killing it with you on stage in his absence, and the reviews are still as stellar across the world. Whether it’s fans or the press, Kragen has been doing an amazing job, and Gary is obviously doing well with Slayer as well.
Zetro: I agree man. Listen, we know people love to see Gary on stage with us, and we love to have him on stage. He is Exodus to a lot of fans, but come see us with Kragen. He’s been on the road with us for a while now and is doing an amazing job. The pits are still crazy, the sound is still heavy as hell, and the energy is still at a top level. We couldn’t have asked for a better guy to stand in while Gary is with Slayer. Plus, they need to promote their record, just like we do, and we don’t want to hold them, and especially Gary, back. We have nothing but love for them, and it’s really worked out a lot better than I think most people expected. We are all still bringing heavy metal to the world, and that’s the most important thing.
MM: I love that man. Now I know you have upcoming tour dates in Europe and South America, will Gary be back for those gigs?
Zetro: As of now he won’t be in Europe with us, and South America is still up in the air. Like I said, they need to promote their new record, and Kragen is here on call, so we’ll figure it out soon and let everyone know. We’d love to have him of course, but we are ready to kill it whether it’s him or Kragen on stage. Either way, we are coming to kick ass like always.
MM: For the fans here in the States, you’ve been touring in support of incredible bands, but when can we expect some headlining dates in the future?
Zetro: We got a pretty busy schedule already for 2016, but if we can, we’d love to do one around April or May. We have some time around then, so if the headlining shows will happen, it’ll be around that time. We really want to. We love these support dates, and the bands we’ve played with, but we really enjoy the longer sets. The more music, the better. For fans and ourselves. So we’ll see.
MM: Very cool. Well 2015 is coming to an end, and it’s been a relentless touring schedule for you guys. If you could wrap up this year in one word, what would it be?
Zetro: Let’s do it again next year!
MM: That’s more than one word (laughs).
Zetro: I’m not a one word type of guy. I can talk your ear off, so one word is impossible. Let me think. Metal. How’s that? This year has been metal. That’s what we love. That’s who we are, and that’s who we’ll continue to be. So yea, let’s do it again next year, in the name of metal!