That Devil Music recently conducted an interview with veteran San Francisco Bay Area vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza (HATRIOT, TENET, DUBLIN DEATH PATROL, EXODUS, LEGACY). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
That Devil Music: Can you tell us how the formation of HATRIOT came to be?
Zetro: Well after fronting bands for most of my life — LEGACY, EXODUS — I felt it was time for me to do something that everybody knows me for. That’s when the idea of HATRIOT came out; I wanted to start a new thrash band with a stellar line up of outstanding musicians that would, for me, take Bay Area thrash to the next level. So it took me about a year to find the right members and get some cool songs together, create a logo, web site and that’s when we came out in February with a new band and new songs.
That Devil Music: The band is closing in on 2,500 likes on Facebook. How fulfilling is that to know you have a fan base before the official release of a studio album comes out?
Zetro: It’s very flattering. I feel that I’ve always been real cool with my fans and the people inside the business, and that everything I’ve done musically has been reveled and always admired, so I felt if I put out something as good as HATRIOT is, I knew the fans from EXODUS, LEGACY, TESTAMENT, even the people that like DUBLIN DEATH PATROL and the stuff I did with TENET would be a little curious of what I had to offer, and if it was good, people would definitely want to hear it. I have a lot of history in the business, so curiosity would be on my side.
That Devil Music: After listening to the released demos for some of the songs there is a resemblance to EXODUS where you left off with “Tempo Of The Damned”. Was that a conscientious decision to do so or is that a style of thrash you’re most comfortable with?
Zetro: Obviously, I hear all the time that people love what I did in EXODUS, and LEGACY for that matter, so if you listen to the demo, I think it reflects both bands, i.e. “The Fear Within” I would think is definitely more what I did with LEGACY than what I did with EXODUS, but if you listen to “Weapons” or “Mechanics”, those are definitely songs that reflect what EXODUS is all about and what I did in EXODUS. As for “Globicidal”, that’s more maybe a death metal-type song because the guitars and drums are so fast. So to answer your question, it’s not necessarily a conscientious decision, but a definite progression of “Tempo Of The Damned”.
That Devil Music: After all these years of being a vocalist how do you keep your voice in shape? I ask because other guys like Udo [Dirkschneider] and Brian Johnson with your vocal style seemed to deteriorate a bit over the years. Yet you sound even more vicious then before.
Zetro: I think I’m still very angry. To be successful at heavy metal, you have to have some angst, and I think I still have that edge, and I pride myself on being very great vocally, live and on my records. I work on it, I sing every day — all types of heavy metal music. I’m still a student. I may listen to something Corey Taylor [SLIPKNOT, STONE SOUR] does and learn from him, even though he wasn’t around when I was inventing my sound, but that doesn’t matter, I’m not above any of that — if it’s good and it’s heavy and it kicks ass, bring it!
Read the entire interview from That Devil Music.
HATRIOT made its live debut on July 16 at the Bay Area Metal Festival at the Avalon in Santa Clara, California. Playing second guitar for the band at the concert was Glen Alvelais (FORBIDDEN, TESTAMENT) following the recent departure of Kosta Varvatakis. Fan-filmed video footage of the show can be seen below.