Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal of Metal Assault recently conducted an interview with vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza of San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal veterans EXODUS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Assault: In terms of your own experience, your world just turned around when this whole thing happened a couple of years ago when you rejoined. As you said, 240 shows in two years. Before that, you weren't really doing anything anywhere near close to being that active. How's it been like for you personally to live this kind of life now?
Zetro: "I think it was easier this time than it was the previous times. The first time, I was just a kid and I didn't understand what was going on. I thought the whole idea of being a professional musician was reading what you read in the magazines as being a rock star, party 'till you drop and destroy everything in your path. And then the second time, I really wasn't prepared for it at that point, I think, and there were a lot of other things going on. So, that wasn't the best time for me. But now because my children are older, there are really no distractions in the way. There's time to just concentrate on music. I know what I do, I know what the band is about and through the past thirty years, I've learned the intricacies of what to do, so for EXODUS fans, it's going to be the best now because we're all at the point where nobody is substance-dependent or alcoholic anymore, or worried about where the party is after. I think the focus is more on the show being amazing. I don't necessarily say that they were not amazing back in the day; I just think there was a different agenda or mentality at that point."
Metal Assault: When you joined the band the first time, you were taking over from Paul Baloff and that was a whole different thing. This time when you came back, you were a successor to Rob Dukes, and you've also had to perform songs that were released with him. My initial thought was, how is Steve going to cope with that? What do you think of performing the Rob Dukes material?
Zetro: "On this last European tour, we opened with 'The Ballad Of Leonard And Charles' (off 'Exhibit B: The Human Condition', 2010) and that was my idea! I was, like, 'Let's open with that.' I love the acoustic intro; it's got such a dynamic crescendo to it all, and honestly, out of all the EXODUS songs, it's one of my favorites, and I didn't even sing on it. I also do 'Iconoclasm', 'Children Of A Worthless God', 'Deathamphetamine' and 'Beyond The Pale', so I've sung a lot of that era's songs. Because it was an era I didn't sing on doesn't mean that I necessarily need to look away from it. I know there's a lot of other singers that don't sing songs from other singers. Maybe they were the first singer, then somebody else came in and then they come back and don't sing that other stuff. I don't look at it that way. I feel it's part of EXODUS's history, whether it's Paul, me or Rob. So I never had a problem with that."
Metal Assault: So there was never really a discussion or anything when you joined in about whether you're going to do these songs or not?
Zetro: "Right before when I had joined the band, [EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt] was actually in Europe with SLAYER and he was just kind of listening to what I was doing at the time. About a week after I joined the band, he gave me a list of songs I needed to learn and they were all from 'Exhibit A', 'Exhibit B' and 'Shovel Headed Kill Machine'. I never said, 'Oh, let's go back to doing the six albums that I did.' It wasn't really something that I was bothered about, although I wasn't really sure what they had been playing lately and if it was relevant anymore. But I never had a problem with it."
Read the entire interview at Metal Assault.