I had the honor of catching up with former Exodus singer Zetro aka Steve Souza about his new band Hatriot via email.
Hello Steve! Great news that Hatriot has taken off. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
It is my pleasure. I’m glad to talk to you!
Can you explain the meaning of Hatriot’s name please as I remember it being a lyric in ‘Scar Spangled Banner’ by Exodus during your time with them?
It is taken from the line in ‘Scar Spangled Banner’ but it doesn’t mean the same thing. It is about hypocrisy in the government, which is a thing you cannot control. My definition of a Hatriot is someone who loves their country but does not necessarily agree with the things that the government does.
I’ve heard Hatriot’s 4 track e.p. It has that 80’s Bay Area thrash feel but with a very modern production. Does the new Hatriot material sound like it?
It is better. The songs keep getting sicker and sicker. The new Hatriot material will appeal to fans of old school thrash as well as fans of extreme metal. The younger guys in the band bring in a new element to the sound. They like adding things like blast beats, which are not often used in traditional thrash.
You have said you now have enough songs for a full length album. How soon can we expect to hear it and is there a working title?
Yes, we do have a full record worth of material. We came up with the title the other day. It’s going to be called “Heroes of Origin.” We have already discussed with the two labels that are interested that we are going to go into the studio in August. We should have the whole thing recorded by the end of August. If I can’t hurry up and get it out by the end of the year, then it will definitely be one of the first releases to come out in early 2013.
Are there plans for any UK Hatriot dates? There are a lot of Exodus fans (myself included) who want to see you playing live here again.
I have plans for a world tour with Hatriot. I’m going to do it the way we did in Exodus. When I was in Exodus we would make an album, then go on tour, then come home and make another record, then go back on tour. It was a constant cycle. That’s exactly what Hatriot is going to do. It has worked with all my other bands and it will work this time as well. This is not a side project; this is my full time band.
Hatriot’s debut show was with Forbidden. How did it go?
It was off the chain. The reception we received from the fans was amazing. We had a great slot on that show too. The fans were excited to see me back up there again, and were also excited to see another brand new Bay-area thrash band hit the scene. We could not have asked for a better debut show.
How did the show go with Testament? I wonder how many fans there knew you were an original member when the band was known as Legacy.
The Testament show compared to the Forbidden show was that much more solid. We played even harder, and if you didn’t know who Hatriot was when the show started, you knew who Hatriot was by the time we were finished. I did join Testament on stage that night to do “Over the Wall” with Chuck. Most of the diehard fans do know of my history with Legacy. It is a treat to be able to join them on stage for a song or two!!
Your son Cody is on bass. You must be a very proud father having him in the band with you.
I think that is every musician’s or professional’s dream. To be onstage and look over my shoulder and see my son right there making the same style of music that I helped create, inspire, and pioneer – that’s the best feeling in the world right there!
Where did you find the remaining members of Hatriot?
Under every rock and crevice! I went to the dirtiest parts of town and picked them up! That’s the real answer!
A few general questions now. You fronted an AC/DC tribute band, was it all Bon Scott/Brian Johnson material or a mixture of both?
I still do the tribute band. It is called AC/DZ and we play all Bon Scott era material. We do shows once a month or so. The main reason I do it is so I can get up on stage and be Bon Scott for an hour and a half.
Who was your vocal influence to make you want to become a professional singer?
Definitely Bon Scott. The story is I used to go to this concert that they used to have in the Bay Area called “Day on the Green,” and it wasn’t a tour – it was a one off concert like they do with the big European festivals. I saw AC/DC play, and from that moment on I was fixated by Bon Scott – his vocals, mannerisms, and all that.
What is your favorite studio album and favorite live album?
Wow – that is a tough one. If we are talking a live record then I have to go with “If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It” by AC/DC. It’s either that or UFO’s “Strangers in the Night.” Those are the two big live rock records for me. As for studio albums, that’s a tough one as well. I would probably have to say Iron Maiden “Killers” is my favorite. I wouldn’t be who I am in metal today if it wasn’t for that record. Definitely Iron Maiden “Killers.”
Who would be your ideal backing band? Alive or dead.
Holy shit! Umm… let’s see… Keith Moon on drums and Steve Harris on bass. I’d have Jimmy Page on one guitar and Randy Rhoads on the other guitar. That would kick ass!
Thank you for your time and it’s been an honor to submit these questions to you. Best of luck with Hatriot. Hopefully you will get to the UK one day.
Thank you Dennis for your support. I will see you soon my friend. ZETRO