Don de Leaumont of The Great Southern Brainfart recently conducted an interview with EXODUS singer Steve "Zetro" Souza. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Great Southern Brainfart: In my opinion, ANTHRAX made one of the best albums of their career when Joey Belladonna came back into the band ["Worship Music"] and now that you've rejoined EXODUS, you guys have put out my favorite album to date ["Blood In, Blood Out"]. What is it about getting that old blood back in a band that seems to get things pumping again?
Zetro: I think that initially the band was sold to the fans on that lineup with that singer. I think that in my situation, my sound is very much a staple with EXODUS. They had a singer before me, and a singer after me, but if you were to identify the EXODUS sound, you would probably have to say "Zetro." On top of that, it was such strong written material to come back into. Also, I was ready myself.
The Great Southern Brainfart: "Blood In, Blood Out" is such a stellar album and what I loved so much about it is that it channeled that old, classic spirit of EXODUS without sounding like a dated "throwback" album.
Zetro: You're so right. There's a very fine line there and I think that it's a great artist trait when you can find that fine line and be able to ride it. On this album, there are a couple of parts on this new album that are very modern. As an artist, you have to learn and grow as well.
The Great Southern Brainfart: Seeing bands like EXODUS and TESTAMENT who are pretty much like my generation's classic rock of sorts still putting out great material is really something cool.
Zetro: I agree. Everybody is putting out great stuff. Last year, we put out a strong record. OVERKILL put out a strong record. In 2013, DEATH ANGEL put out a strong record. KREATOR still does. The last two TESTAMENT records kicked ass. ANTHRAX's "Worship Music" kicked fucking ass. I think thrash in general is really fortunate to have guys who are still fans of the music and I think that's why it still delivers.
The Great Southern Brainfart: Some fans might question the sincerity of having you back in the band similar to how when Belladonna rejoined ANTHRAX. How has it been on a personal level being back with EXODUS?
Zetro: There was about 10 years of mudslinging back and forth, but Gary [Holt, EXODUS guitarist] and I have a really great relationship now. We can tell each other anything, whether it's something I don't care for, or he doesn't. Being back in EXODUS, there's a lot more respect between everyone. We're all pretty much into our 50s now. Lee [Altus, guitar] and Jack [Gibson, bass] are coming up the rear around 47 or 48, Tom [Hunting, drums] turns 50 this year, and Gary and I will both be 51. I think with age, we've come to respect who we are as musicians and being in the business.
The Great Southern Brainfart: Well, you guys also learned that the legacy and the songs of EXODUS are way more important than any ego issues you may have.
Zetro: Absolutely. I've been in the band a year now, and the band sees that I have changed. I do some Rob Dukes-era songs when we play live. Anytime I'm asked to learn one, I always do. No problem. I think they're great songs and I have fun playing them. I'm not being the guy that I used to be, necessarily. I think that approach has really helped the situation as well.
Read the entire interview at The Great Southern Brainfart.