Hatriot, are back with their new album, Dawn Of The New Centurion, set for release on February 21st via Massacare Records and HearEvil.com had the chance to once again speak with Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza about the new album and what’s next for the band and their fans!
HE: Thanks so much once again Steve for catching up with HearEvil.com. Let’s talk about the new album, Dawn Of The New Centurion. Tell us about the new album and what Hatriot fans can expect?
SZS: A little bit more of the same, just a little bit of a more refined stealth killer. The dynamics of the band are starting to come together and the sound is definitely starting to come together. We are a much tighter unit than we were at one time. Kostas and I have spent a few years together, so it’s a little bit more of a match. We have it down now and I think you can expect an album from us every year because I have young guys in the band, they want to work, they want to write songs and they want to play music. So, I think that’s how we wrote the second record so quickly.
HE: How was the recording process for the new album seeing that the members have been in the band for awhile now?
SZS: Everybody knows what to do now. They all know what to steps are. The first time around they were young and intimidated by a producer, the studio and the whole thing. This time around they were a lot more comfortable and I think that the recording definitely shows that.
HE: What about your sons, Cody and Nick?
SZS: Second record, so it’s like they are seasoned vets now. They have been on the road and they’ve been over to Europe. So they have a couple of things under their belt that they didn’t have before. So I think it’s just that much more of them being prepared and becoming more of a professional unit, not just being my kids.
HE: Did you use the same formula for this album as last time? For the last album, Kostas wrote the music and you wrote the lyrics. Did the rest of the band have more input this time around?
SZS: Kostas wrote the record again, it was the same thing. But I think beforehand, he worked with the former drummer Alex Bent (prior to Nick), but this time around he’s more comfortable working with Nicholas now. So they have a writing process, in fact we already have another new song for the third record. We just keep going. We’re not screwing around. Again they’re young and we try to keep working and we take advantage of the youth by working. I’m running out of time. I’m gonna be 50 next month, so I have to keep putting out music and I have to keep hammering it out as long as I stay fresh and stay heavy.
HE: You mentioned in an interview that the new album is Hatriot’s Ride The Lightning, whereas the first album was Hatriot’s Kill’Em All!
SZS: I feel that Heroes of Origin was such a brutal opening record and every song was in your face where Dawn Of The New Centurion is much more of a stealth killer. It’s definitely got much more of an edge to it.
HE: Is it a concept album? What topics do you cover on the new album?
SZS: I don’t write concept records. It’s whatever intrigues me. The subjects are the same things as Heroes of Origin. Violence, stuff that catches my eye, things I don’t agree with socially and then kinda cool, violent stuff I love.
HE: The Fear Within is going to be the first single. What is the song about and what other topics are covered on the album?
SZS: It’s about a cabin in the woods killer, coming from a mindset of where a guy is committing all kinds of heinous acts and crimes and he can’t stop himself from doing it. He goes up and isolates himself because he can’t stop himself from doing what he does.
There is also a song on the record, Silence in the House of the Lord which deals with the Vatican and how they downplayed the roles of the Catholic priests and the pedophilia that has gone on within the church. The song, From My Cold Dead Hands is about gun control in the US and how they are trying to regulate it. It’s a freedom, just like freedom of speech and I’m against regulation totally! It’s a good song. In the song I mention the NRA and Ted Nugent in the end. It’s a very pro American song, pro freedom. I’m not a gun owner, nor do I shoot one but I have friends that do, so why should they suffer for a few idiots in the crowd. It’s the 2nd amendment.
HE: On one of the special editions of the album there is a “special track” How did that come about?
SZS: Yes, Midnight Maniac, by Krokus. Kostas loves it and has been playing that riff all the time at rehearsal, so I said: “We’re gonna record it on the next album as a B side”. We also recorded Last Act of Defiance and Reign of Terror which will be released throughout the year.
HE: Last time we spoke you mentioned that your voice was even better than before and only getting stronger. How has that translated into the shows?
SZS: When you listen to the sound of the new album, you will hear that my voice is definitely getting stronger and I’m just getting better vocally. The shows are starting to build momentum, however metal is so much bigger abroad than it is here. It’s a weird oxymoron . Those who are considered innovators of music/this sound for years, here get no respect, but over there, they always remember. But more and more people are coming to our shows. Our live shows are on fire. During our live shows, when we run songs, we stop in-between and talk to the fans and I try to keep eye contact with everyone and have them feel that there is no separation between them and me being on the stage. I try to make everyone feel welcome everywhere.
HE: Do you see any of the spark/fire that transpired in the 80’s coming back today?
SZS: I think it’s a different time completely. In the 80’s, my generation at least loved hard rock in the 70’s as they were little kids and became metalheads in the 80’s and that’s what happened. I don’t necessarily see that anymore. The bands that are out there are definitely good and have a lot to offer as far as that goes. It’s just too bad that the scene isn’t like it was.
HE: How do you feel about these shows with multiple bills?
SZS: It’s the only way to do it. Gas is much more expensive. How do you have to pay for gas? How do your tour with your band and these people? You have to make it happen. There are no record sales anymore. Record labels don’t do tour support anymore. A whole section of the business has dropped out and there is no medium for heavy metal. You have one damn show, That Metal Show and a cartoon, Metalocalypse. That’s it. They don’t even do the Grammy awards during the telecast, they do it earlier, during the day. It’s just not the type of music that’s looked at. Those of us who love it, will always love it.
HE: You played at Eindhoven Metal Meeting in the Netherlands. How was the response from the fans there?
SZS: It was a festival and on the day we played, we played with some bands like Sabaton and Death Angel and there were some good bands there that day. When we play, they know me from Exodus and they love the Hatriot stuff. The shows were sold out. We also played Last Act of Defiance and Reign of Terror at the show as well.
HE: What are your tours plans for the new album?
SZS: We are playing South America in May and go back to Europe for three weeks in July and then 2 weeks in the States in October, possibly November. We also have some one off things here and there. We keep busy and keep rollin’ along.
HE: Will there be a video for the single, The Fear Within?
SZS: Yes we’re planning on it, just waiting for some snow. I want to do a performance video us jamming in the snow.
HE: Finally, anything you’d like to say to your fans on Hearevil.com?
SZS: I appreciate all the years of support and our records sold because of sites like yours and we appreciate it very much and thank you!
The lineup for Hatriot includes Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza – vocals, Kostas Varvatakis and J.C. Justin Cole – guitars, Cody Souza – bass and Nick Souza – drums.
For more on Hatriot, visit their official website for the latest news, updates and tour news, as well as the official Hatriot, Facebook page with all the latest about the band and to pre-order your copy of their new album Dawn Of The New Centurion. You can also find out more about the band on the Massacre Records official website and stay tuned for our review of the new album.
Check out the first singe, The Fear Within, from the new album below as well as their performance at the Eindhoven Metal Meeting show in the Netherlands!! Hatriot are back and continue to blow us away!!