STEVE “ZETRO” SOUZA (HATRIOT) INTERVIEW

hatriot

On Hatriot:

Steve “Zetro” Souza does not talk about Hatriot — he gushes. Hatriot is his baby, and he couldn’t be prouder. Founded in 2011, Hatriot has one album under their belt, titled Heroes Of Origin, and a European tour in the works that will include a performance at Eindhoven Metal Meeting in The Netherlands. Just a few short months after Heroes Of Origin’s release, the band is back in the studio to record their upcoming sophomore album Dawn Of The New Centurion. Zetro writes the lyrics, the rest of the band writes the music, and magic happens. “We don’t spend a lot of time second-guessing ourselves,” says Zetro. “We’re working very well together.”

Hatriot is comprised of Zetro at the helm, Kosta V and Miguel Esparza on guitars, and Zetro’s sons Cody & Nick Souza on bass and drums respectively. Both Souza “children” (they’re both in their 20s) went through the same audition process as Kosta and Miguel, Zetro insists, and I do believe him — this is a man who’s dedicated to putting out high-quality metal, and it shows. All of the instrumentalists add a youthful edge to Hatriot’s sound, and Zetro adds his 30+ years of experience.

On Dawn Of The New Centurion:

While Zetro is happy with Heroes Of Origin, he is ecstatic with the direction Dawn was heading. “[Dawn] shows a lot of growth from the first record,” he said. As his analogy goes, Dawn is to Hatriot as Ride The Lightning is to Metallica. Of course, Kill ‘Em All was great, and Zetro has no ill feelings toward the Heroes debut, but it’s obvious that Dawn represents the next level of Hatriot awesomeness. Even the name of the album symbolizes a new era in metal and a new beginning for the band. They’re currently in the studio working on recording Dawn, and the album should be available worldwide early next year.

On “And Your Children To Be Damned”:

Hatriot released the video for “And Your Children To Be Damned,” a song from Heroes Of Origin, this past spring. Since the song was written about Countess Bathory, the Hungarian noblewoman who famously murdered young girls and (might not have actually) bathed in her victims’ blood, the video for “And Your Children To Be Damned” is about as sanguine as a Saw movie and a thousand times more fun to watch. Here, see for yourself:

If you find yourself scratching your head at the images of blood-covered band members interspersed with blood-covered seductresses/murderers/murder-ees with thrash metal playing in the background, you’re not alone. I brought up the seeming incongruity of a non-black metal song about Countess Bathory to Zetro, who said I wasn’t the first to bring it up. He seems unfazed by the effect, even though I find it striking. I let it go.

On metal in general:

“Metal is against the grain,” Zetro says, in a brief discussion we had about authenticity in metal. He cites his experience in an ever-evolving thrash metal scene as proof. All his life, metal has been anti-establishment at its very core, and counter-culture by nature. The idea of “mainstream metal” is almost oxymoronic, even now. Of course, with the internet and all, metal is reaching more people than it ever has, but it’s still niche. Why do y’all think this blog exists?

Above all, Zetro told me, “metalheads are real.” Metalheads know when they’re being lied to. Metalheads know when someone’s manufacturing a product at them in an effort to suck them dry, and they know when music is coming from a real place. These days, Hatriot is about as real as it gets.

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