Mike DiQuinzio of JamMagazine.com conducted an interview with drummer Tom Hunting of San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal veterans EXODUS on November 19 in Grand Prairie, Texas during the band's tour with SLAYER and SUICIDAL TENENDICES. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked about the departure of EXODUS' singer of nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of Rob's predecessor, Steve "Zetro" Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004, Hunting said: "I think [the latest EXODUS] album ['Blood In Blood Out'] was, like, 92 percent done, I would say, before we asked Zet to come in and do vocals.
"We didn't really wanna part ways with Rob, but we were kind of at an impasse."
He continued: "We wanted this album to be special; it's album No. 10. And not to take anything away from what Rob did — we're really proud of the music we made with Rob — but this being album No. 10, it had to be special, and we all worked really hard on it."
Hunting added: "It started where we were just, like, 'Let's bring in Zet just to sing on a couple of songs,' just to see what it sounded like. And he had the material for about six hours, worked on it by himself at home, and he came in and he just fucking crushed on it. And not to take anything away from Rob, but when [Zetro] came in and sang on it, it just sounded really natural. And we weren't trying to reach back and be retro or trying to hash up the past or redo anything, we just wanted to make a great record, man, and I think Steve did killer on it."
Asked what it has been like working with Zetro again, Hunting said: "It's been awesome. I mean, it's refreshing. He's kind of still in the 'honeymoon' stage again — that will wear off, I'm sure — but for right now he's happy; he just walks around every day with a big old smile on his face. I think vocally he's come a long way in taking care of his craft. I notice he has more stamina now live when he sings than he did in years past. And it's, like, dude, we're all approaching 50 — I'm not 50 yet, but he's over 50 — and he's been taking good care of himself and working hard on his craft. And I think he wanted it more than Rob did, and we really needed somebody that wanted it like we did."
"Blood In Blood Out" sold around 8,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 38 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released in North America on October 14 via Nuclear Blast, the CD art was illustrated by Swedish artist Pär Olofsson, known worldwide for his incredible renderings that have graced the covers of countless heavy metal albums, including EXODUS' "Let There Be Blood".