EXODUS Singer Says 'The Bay Strikes Back' U.S. Tour Will Definitely Happen This Spring: 'We Have To Do This'
January 19, 2022
TESTAMENT, EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL played the sole 2021 date of "The Bay Strikes Back Tour" last November 27 at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California. The gig took place less than two months after the three bands shared the stage at the Aftershock festival in Sacramento.
"The Bay Strikes Back Tour" was originally scheduled to kick off on October 6, 2021 at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo, California and make stops in Austin, New York, and Detroit before concluding in Oakland. The tour has since been rescheduled to take place in April and May 2022.
Earlier today, EXODUS singer Steve "Zetro" Souza uploaded the latest episode of his "Zetro's Toxic Vault" YouTube series in which he assured fans that "The Bay Strikes Back Tour" will in fact take place this spring. "We will continue the tour again with DEATH ANGEL and [TESTAMENT]," he said. "[Starting in] San Luis Obispo [on] April 9th, we will be continuing. I believe it's five and a half weeks. Again, DEATH ANGEL, EXODUS and TESTAMENT coming to your town. We are going. This is happening.
"I know there's tons of tours that are canceling," he continued. "When we postponed this tour from last October [and] November, I actually spoke with Chuck [Billy, TESTAMENT singer] and I said directly, 'We can [postpone the tour] now, but we cannot come up in April and cancel the tour. We have to do this. And we are."
Souza also reflected on the Oakland concert, saying it "was really basically the first 'Bay Area Strikes Back' show in the United States. It wasn't supposed to be — it was supposed to be the last one — but it ended up being the very first one.
"We finally got to play two new songs [during our set]," he continued. "We opened with 'The Beatings [Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)]' and went into 'Clickbait', but there will be more of that on there. DEATH ANGEL had an amazing set that night. In fact, I was telling Will [Carroll, DEATH ANGEL drummer] earlier today they sounded so great. And, of course, TESTAMENT."
Regarding what makes "The Bay Strikes Back Tour" so special, Zetro said: "The bands get along so well. Obviously, Chuck and my history… My history with LEGACY and TESTAMENT forever, and then obviously EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL, and LEGACY and DEATH ANGEL, and TESTAMENT and DEATH ANGEL, and then Will and [my AC/DC tribute band] AC/DZ. And so we're all kind of incestually fucking connected to each other. And it makes it fun. It makes it for the reason why I wanted to do this in the first place when I was a kid. I'm an old man now and I'm still fucking doing it and digging it even more."
"The Bay Strikes Back Tour" dates:
Apr. 09 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Fremont Theater Apr. 10 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues Apr. 12 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues Apr. 13 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues Apr. 15 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre Apr. 16 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater Apr. 19 - Oklahoma City, OK - Diamond Ballroom Apr. 20 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall Apr. 21 - Austin, TX - Emo's Apr. 22 - Dallas, TX - Amplified Live Apr. 23 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues Apr. 25 - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live (new date) Apr. 26 - Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade Apr. 27 - Raleigh, NC - The Ritz Apr. 28 - Chattanooga, TN - The Signal (new date) Apr. 30 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom May 01 - Baltimore, MD - Soundstage May 02 - Boston, MA - House of Blues May 03 - Philadelphia, PA - Theater of Living Arts May 05 - Huntington, NY - The Paramount May 06 - Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom May 07 - Cincinnati, OH - Madison Theater May 09 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE May 10 - Cleveland, OH - The Agora May 11 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall May 12 - Detroit, MI - The Majestic Theatre May 14 - Joliet, IL - The Forge May 15 - Joliet, IL - The Forge May 17 - Minneapolis, MN - Skyway Theatre May 19 - Denver, CO - Summit May 20 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot May 22 - Seattle, WA - Showbox (new date) May 23 - Portland, OR - Roseland (new date) May 25 - Sacramento, CA - Ace of Spades (new date)
Last October, Billy and Souza released a 40-minute video in which they went in depth about the two bands' decision to postpone the North American leg of "The Bay Strikes Back Tour" to 2022. Speaking about the thought process behind pushing back the tour, Chuck said: "I called Zet and I called Will and Ted [Aguilar, guitar] from DEATH ANGEL and just wanted to hear what everybody's thoughts were. And the most important thing, I think, came back as that when we did the European leg [in February/March 2020], we all had such a great time. It was the first time where you go out and there's not a band that you met that you've gotta get to know and hang out with. Where we came into it as, like, 'Hey, buddy.' We're all pals flying out together. It didn't feel like starting a tour. And at the end of it, we all had a good time. No attitudes, no problems.
"We said, 'This has gotta go to America. This has to go everywhere,'" he continued. "We were saying that. The most key thing was, you know what? Remember how much fun we had? I was talking to Tom [Hunting, EXODUS drummer] about it and Gary [Holt, EXODUS guitarist]. We had a great time. Do we wanna do America and not have fun, not enjoy ourselves?
"'Cause I did talk to other [bands who were recently] on tour, and the consensus was it wasn't fun. And we were, like, do we wanna go do that? We wanna have fun. I think we're bands that like to go out and talk to the fans. We don't hide and run from fans."
Added Zetro: "Then there's the whole cost factor. Buses cost money. Crew cost money. We're not rich rock stars. We live off the business, and we're very fortunate to do so, but we still have to look at it from that angle. And if we go out for three weeks, and we've printed all this merchandise with the dates on the back, and Chuck gets sick. Are you gonna get a new singer for TESTAMENT? You can't do that. You can't replace it. So the tour's now over with. 'Cause DEATH ANGEL and EXODUS are not gonna go, 'Well, TESTAMENT's dropping off. We're just gonna continue.' That's not the package. That's not how it works. Gary gets sick. Over with. Zetro gets sick. Over with. Tom, who's just coming back from his whole ordeal with cancer. Tom gets sick — done, over, tour over.
"And, again, we're talking to our friends on other tours. We're getting the feedback from the crews. And they're telling us what's going on and what a nightmare it is. 'And yes, we're there working, but we're isolated on the bus.'
"I've always said, as soon as it's not fun anymore, I don't wanna fucking do it anymore," Zetro said. "So if we're gonna go out there for five weeks, and you're gonna basically put me in a rolling prison, I can't do that. On days off, we have to be accountable for. I like going to the movies or going to games and stuff on days off. I can't do that, 'cause if I go out and I get exposed and I expose everybody, it's just the way… We have to tour in a bubble, basically."
Continued Chuck: "We really took our time thinking about, 'Do we wanna go and do this?' And I think at the end of the day, after all this talk, it just came down to, 'Let's go out and do this right. Let's go out and have some fun. Let's go out and do it for the fans that got to hang out that we've been doing this for for all this time.' And it just made more sense [to postpone it].
"So many restrictions in venues in different cities are different. You've either gotta have the shot or show proof… So, as time goes by, I think it's all gonna open up better.
"First of all, we've seen the world change. 'Okay, there's daylight. Things are getting normal.' And then the delta variant hits," Chuck added. "We're, like, 'Oh, here we go again.' Things are changing — shutdown, restrictions are coming back. We thought we booked this tour knowing by the time October comes around, it's gonna be free and clear. And it changed on us. So that was the sucky part for us."