Interview with Steve “Zetro” Souza of Exodus

Last Friday I interviewed another icon of heavy metal, Steve “Zetro” Souza. Zetro is fronting thrash metal band Exodus and they will be playing at the Black Cat on Wednesday. This is one of my shortest interviews but we covered a lot in that time including when we can expect a new Exodus album, what is going on with some of his other projects and how he got the nickname Zetro in the first place. You can stream the six minute interview by pressing the orange button below or download it as a 7.81 mb mp3 here. The transcription is below and my words are in bold.

Photo of Zetro Souza by Bruce Getty

Photo of Steve “Zetro” Souza by Bruce Getty

Hello, this is Metal Chris and today I’ve got Zetro Souza, the vocalist of the legendary Bay Area thrash band Exodus, on the phone with me. Exodus is currently on tour with King Diamond however the band is taking a night off from the tour with King Diamond to play at the Black Cat in Washington DC on Wednesday, November 18th. So how’s the tour with King Diamond been going so far?

It’s great. It’s crazy every night. It’s a good package. The King and us [have] been around forever you know I guess you could say and we’ve been good friends a long time so the tour really works really well. We’re good friends with his band and their crew so yeah, it’s kicking ass. It’s definitely kicking ass.

So will Exodus be playing a different set list at all for the headline show at the Black Cat? Any oddball songs maybe thrown in that you might not be doing on the rest of the tour?

Yeah because we only get 45 minutes with King so we’ll play 90 minutes that night so there’ll be a lot of stuff thrown in. Even the set we have with King there’s a couple of songs in there that we haven’t played in a long, long, long time that we’ve brought up so.

Now I remember when Exodus played at Empire in November of last year, I was at that show and I remember seeing you sing some of the songs from the Rob Dukes era of the band like “Children Of A Worthless God” for example. Do you have any problem playing those songs from his time in the band?

No. No they’re actually really good songs. I actually play a couple of different ones on this tour. I think we play “Children [Of A Worthless God]” but we also play two different ones that we didn’t do on that one. They’re good songs. There’s no reason to take Exodus’ history away. Just because I’m back in the band doesn’t mean the last ten years didn’t count or didn’t matter. Those songs are really, really good.

So the 2014 Exodus album Blood In Blood Out has been a hit with the fans. I know the album was written with Rob Dukes in the band. Are there any plans to do another Exodus album in the future with you involved in the writing process?

Oh yeah. All of the few stints that I’ve done with Exodus I’ve always written songs. Obviously we’re going to keep going. This isn’t just like, get in the band and finish it all. We’re going to keep going. This is what we do. We love what we do.

So is there any kind of time frame on that? Have you guys started writing at all or any kind of studio time scheduled?

Well you know we haven’t started writing. [Exodus guitarist] Gary [Holt] also plays in Slayer so Slayer just put out Repentless a few months ago so they’re touring as well. I would say… probably no sooner than 2017 at some point ’cause we still have 2016 all booked up with tours to do as well.

In July it was announced that you are not going to be doing vocals for Hatriot any more. Do you think you’ll ever rejoin your sons in Hatriot?

You know what he wants to do it. My oldest [Cody Souza] wants to be the singer and he sounds really good. He does a really, really good job at it. So him and I are writing songs together ’cause he’s not a lyricist yet but he’s learning and he’s gonna be great. I’m watching over them. I’m making sure they get going.

That’s cool. Do you think we’ll ever be getting any more songs from Dublin Death Patrol?

Nah. Chuck [Billy]’s too busy with Testament and his management company and I’m too busy with Exodus and trying to write songs with Hatriot as well so probably not. That was kind of just supposed to be a one album thing and then we kind of got talked into the second one and we really didn’t have any time to tour ’cause at that time [the Testament album] Dark Roots Of Earth was coming out so [we] just couldn’t do it. So it was alright. It worked out great. It was fun.

Now have you played Washington, DC before? Do you remember anything special from any shows in this area?

Oh yeah well we played there many times. It was a real small room. I can’t remember what it is [named]. [It] probably doesn’t even exist any more. But it’s been a while since I’ve played in DC. It was back in the 80’s and the 90’s it was a tiny little room. I think we played there with Leatherwolf and Cycle Sluts From Hell. It was actually a really cool gig.

Do you have any bands from the DC area that you’re a fan of?

Minor Threat come on.

Yeah.

Everybody loves Minor Threat.

Pentagram is from here.

Oh they are? I didn’t know that.

Yeah, Pentagram, Clutch

I thought they were from Connecticut.

You’re one of the old guard from the old Bay Area thrash scene. Are you a fan of any of the modern thrash bands that have come out in the last maybe ten years or so like Municipal Waste, Power Trip, Skeletonwitch, Vektor?

Yeah because see I was in Hatriot so I was on that level for a while so Havok you know, Hatchet, those bands are all killer you know. [The] Black Dahlia Murder, [The] Faceless, I love those bands.

So are there any new bands that you’ve been listening to a lot like right now like maybe a new album [that has] come out in the last year or two.

Nothing new. I’m more old school like I’ve been slamming the new [Iron] Maiden, the new Slayer and actually the new Soilwork lately.

Okay, where exactly does the nickname “Zetro” come from?

Oh I was taking some drugs, some acid when I was about 17, no 14, and I just blurted out the word “zet” and from zet it turned into zetro. So they started calling me that when I was like 14 so it’s been around for quite some time.

Haha, alright. Um…

Don’t do acid kids!

Haha. Now there’s tons of metal bands that have been getting an official beer made for them by various craft breweries lately. Is there any chance that Exodus might have an official beer coming out at some point?

I don’t know [about an] official [beer]. They’ve been making non-official ones I’ve seen over in Belgium and in Holland but actually Jack [Gibson], our bass player, was telling me that there is actually a brewery up in Northern California that’s going to make an Exodus beer. So we’ll see what happens.

Oh cool, cool.

That’d be great. Those are all the flattering things in life.

Hahaha. Well that’s all my questions. Thanks a lot for your time here it’s been really cool getting a chance to talk to you. Can’t wait to see you perform with Exodus at the Black Cat on Wednesday, November 18th. Anything else you’d like to say to the metal fans in the DC area right now?

The DC and Virginia fans always supported us man we love that pit so come out and see Exodus next Wednesday. We’ll kick your ass for sure.

Alright man. Well thanks a lot.

Thanks Chris. See you then.

Exodus ticket give away

Exodus at the Black Cat

Old school Bay Area thrashers Exodus are taking a night off from their tour with King Diamond to play the Black Cat on Wednesday, November 18th! It’s not every day that an old school metal band plays the Black Cat so we want to help get as many of you out to this show as possible, that’s why we’re giving away a pair of tickets to this show! To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite thrash band is. At 5pm EST this Monday, November 16th, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win the tickets. Be sure to use a valid email you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 24 hours another winner will be chosen at random. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets from Ticket Fly for just $15 here.

Exodus was one of the first bands of the infamous San Francisco thrash metal scene of the 1980’s. Long time Exodus vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza is back in the fold and the band is currently touring in support of their first album with him in 10 years, Blood In Blood Out. Don’t expect to just hear new material though as the band will also be playing classics from their entire back catalog at the Black Cat. The opening band is a local noise band named Jail Solidarity. I know this is out third ticket give away in a row but we do have some other great posts coming up soon, including an interview with one of the members of Exodus, so stay tuned! Until then, check out these videos and let me know what your favorite thrash band is!

Exodus – Toxic Waltz

Exodus – Blood In Blood Out

Exodus – Salt The Wound

Power Trip ticket give away

Power Trip at Rock & Roll Hotel

When Power Trip and Foreseen play at the Rock & Roll Hotel on Wednesday, July 29th of 2015 you’ll get to see two of the hottest bands in thrash metal right now! We’re so pumped for this show that we’re going to give away a pair of tickets to it to one of you lucky DCHM readers! To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite thrash metal song is by any thrash metal band. You can go old school, newer or totally obscure, just as long as it is thrash! At 5pm EST this Friday, July 24th, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win the pair of tickets. Be sure to enter using a valid email you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that. If I haven’t heard back from the winner within 24 hours another winner will be chosen at random. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets from Ticket Fly for $12 here.

Power Trip is a Dallas, Texas based crossover thrash band known for their high energy shows! Their 2013 album Manifest Decimation was a hit with fans and critics and now they’ll be headlining the Rock & Roll Hotel for what is sure to be a sweaty night of moshing and headbanging! Foreseen is a thrash band from Finland that came out of nowhere when they released their debut album, Helsinki Savagery late in 2014, one of the year’s best metal releases. Those two bands playing this show should be enough to get you out for this but there will also be sets by local crossover thrash band Red Death and local harDCore band Protestor. Now check out these sick tunes below while you decide tell me in the comments what your favorite thrash metal song is!

Power Trip – Crossbreaker

Foreseen – Bonded By United Blood

Red Death – Permanent Exile

Protestor – Self-Conflicted

Testament and Exodus ticket give away

Testament and Exodus at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Thrash metal fans cannot miss the Dark Roots Of Thrash II Tour when it brings both Testament and Exodus to the Fillmore Silver Spring on Tuesday, April 28th of 2015! We’re so psyched that we want to get as many people out to this show as possible so this week we’re giving away a free pair of tickets to one of you lucky DCHM readers. To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite thrash metal band is. You can go old school Bay Area like Testament and Exodus themselves, or Big Four like Anthrax and Slayer, or maybe new school like Municipal Waste and Warbringer or even go with a crossover band for you DRI and Power Trip fans! At 5pm EST this Friday, April 24th, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win the tickets. Be sure to enter using a valid email you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that. If I haven’t heard back from the winner within 24 hours another winner will be chosen at random. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets from Live Nation for $35.50 here.

On this tour Testament will be playing a set mostly consisting of material from their first three albums, The Legacy, The New Order and Practice What You Preach, so fans of the band’s classic older material are in for a hell of a show. And you may have heard that Exodus has brought back Steve Souza to front the band so you can expect to hear songs from their new album with him, Blood In Blood Out, as well as classic older material from when he was with the band in the 80s and 90s. The opening act for this show is going to be Shattered Sun, a Texas based band that is having their debut full length album, Hope Within Hatred, released this very week on Victory Records. Now to get you in the headbanging, crowd surfing, mosh pit shoving mood check out these videos by each band below and tell me what your favorite thrash metal band is in the comments!

Testament – Rise Up

Exodus – Blood In, Blood Out

Shattered Sun – Hope Within Hatred

Napalm Death + Voivod ticket give away

Napalm Death and Voivod at Baltimore SoundStage

One of the original grind bands is teaming up with one of the original Canadian thrash bands when Napalm Death and Voivod join forces for the Through Space And Grind Tour! The tour’s only stop in our area is on Saturday, January 31st at the Baltimore SoundStage and because this show is going to be so sick we’re going to give away a pair of tickets to one of you loyal DCHM readers! To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me which band on the tour you want to see the most (choose from Napalm Death, Voivod, Exhumed, Iron Reagan, Black Crown Initiate or Ringworm). At 5pm EST on Wednesday, January 28th, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win the tickets. Be sure to enter using a valid email you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 24 hours another winner will be chosen at random. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets from Ticket Fly for $18.70 here.

UK grind gods Napalm Death always put on a great live show and Voivod haven’t played the area since they played Maryland Deathfest in 2011! In addition there will be sets by the Carcass inspired gorey death meta band Exhumed and crossover thrash by Richmond’s Iron Reagan, a wild band featuring the vocalist and bass player of Municipal Waste! Black Crown Initiate will be playing their proggy death metal and Cleveland based thrash-core band Ringworm will get the mosh pits started early! You’ve got to admit that’s a hell of a line up,l and for under $20 too! Now check out these videos by the bands on the bill and let me know which band you’re most excited to see on the 31st at the Baltimore SoundStage!

Napalm Death – When All Is Said And Done

Voivod – We Carry On

Exhumed – Coins Upon The Eyes

Iron Reagan – Miserable Failure

Black Crown Initiate – The Fractured One

Ringworm – Used Up Spit Out

Exodus ticket give away

Exodus at Empire

One of the original Bay Area thrash bands from the 80s, Exodus, is coming the Empire on Monday, November 24th for the band’s first area appearance with returning vocalist Steve Souza fronting the band. We here at DCHeavyMetal.com couldn’t be more excited so we’re giving away a free pair of tickets to one of you lucky DCHM readers. To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me which Exodus song you want to hear the most (if you need help you can find their discography here) when they come to Empire on Monday. At 5pm EST this Friday, November 21st, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win the tickets. Be sure to enter using a valid email you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 24 hours another winner will be chosen at random. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets from Ticket Fly for $17 here.

Steve Souza fronted Exodus for the band’s four albums from 1987 to 1992, and then again for their 2004 return album Tempo Of The Damned. Now he finds himself back in Exodus with the release of their new album, Blood In, Blood Out, and fans and critics alike are raving about it. Exodus fan’s won’t want to miss the band’s only area appearance this year with Souza back to perform those classic songs with them. Exodus is currently touring with Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies this show is an off date of that tour, which unfortunately isn’t coming anywhere near us. As such there’s isn’t any touring support, however we will get sets by some great locals including Yesterday’s Saints, March To Victory, Oberris, Blunt Force Rebellion, Afarinesh, and Red Sky Research. So check out these awesome Exodus videos below, tell me which song you want to hear them play the most on Monday, and get ready for a killer night of thrash!

Exodus – Blood In, Blood Out

Exodus – Toxic Waltz

Exodus – Salt The Wound (feat. Kirk Hammett)

Live photos of Arch Enemy and Kreator

Thursday of last week, October 23rd, I headed up to the Baltimore SoundStage in, you guessed it, Baltimore, Maryland to catch Arch Enemy and Kreator. Starkill and Huntress also opened the show, but I couldn’t get up there in time to see them. In fact, German thrashers Kreator were already two songs into their set when I walked in. I did get a few shots during their third song though. Their set wasn’t bad, pretty typical for Kreator really. A mix of older classics with more popular modern songs thrown in. They had a ton of fog up there and their light show was very bright as usual. I ended up buying a Kreator bottle opener but the merch girl didn’t give me any change back so I ended up paying $10 for something that should have cost $3. After arguing with her about it for a few minutes (and failing to get my change back) the negative experience took me out of their show. They didn’t play their song “Flag Of Hate” either, which was a bummer, but otherwise the set was good overall.

Next up was Arch Enemy. This was the Swedish death metal band’s first US tour with new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz fronting the band, and not only that, the Baltimore show was the first date of the tour. I wasn’t sure what to expect, the band’s previous vocalist, Angela Gossow, left some pretty big shoes to fill. Arch Enemy was around before Angela joined in 2000, but they really rose to prominence once she joined the band. She was one of the first women to front any kind of death metal band, and she wasn’t just up there as eye candy either, she was really good at it. She could growl and had great stage presence and it earned the band many fans over the years. I didn’t love Alissa’s performance on the new Arch Enemy record, War Eternal, her voice seemed very flat and digitally tinkered with in the studio. However this night she really was incredible live. She had excellent stage presence and great energy, fans reacted immediately to her charisma, and her voice held up really well throughout the entire set. While she is certainly the main focus while the band is on stage she still made sure to step back and let guitarists Michael Amott (of Carcass fame) and Nick Cordle (a Virginia native) draw the audience’s attention from time to time. You could tell she had studied old Arch Enemy live footage as she used many of the same moves that Angela did, but Alissa had plenty of her own too. It was really fun photographing her not only because of her model-like looks but because she was always doing something on stage and I never felt like I was getting the same shot twice. The one thing I really didn’t enjoy much was when she instructed the audience to start pogo hopping in place, something you usually see at a pop punk show, not a metal show. I have to admit I was impressed overall though, and I think Arch Enemy fans are going to love seeing Alissa front the band for some time.

Below are some of my photos from the show. You can see these photos much larger, and many I didn’t even use here including both bands’ set lists, on Flickr by going here.

Kreator:

Kreator at the Baltimore SoundStage

Kreator at the Baltimore SoundStage

Kreator at the Baltimore SoundStage

Kreator at the Baltimore SoundStage

Arch Enemy:

Arch Enemy at the Baltimore SoundStage

Arch Enemy at the Baltimore SoundStage

Arch Enemy at the Baltimore SoundStage

Arch Enemy at the Baltimore SoundStage

Arch Enemy at the Baltimore SoundStage

Arch Enemy at the Baltimore SoundStage

Arch Enemy at the Baltimore SoundStage

Arch Enemy at the Baltimore SoundStage

Arch Enemy at the Baltimore SoundStage