EXODUS's STEVE 'ZETRO' SOUZA: 'You're Either A Metalhead Or You're Not'

January 27, 2022

In a new interview with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio, EXODUS singer Steve "Zetro" Souza spoke about the community that exists between heavy metal fans and musicians, and what it means to be a true metalhead. He said: "It doesn't exist without each other. It's the only form of music that has to have both [fans and musicians in order for the scene to thrive]. The musicians, we couldn't survive without the fans, and the fans aren't gonna get it anywhere else, because there's no media that plays it for them. Nobody cares. So, we have each other, which is fine.

"You've never heard a guy come up and go, 'Yeah, man, I was into SLAYER last summer,'" he continued. "That doesn't happen. You're either a fucking metalhead or you're not. I mean, look at Rob Halford [of JUDAS PRIEST]. Go on his Instagram or his Facebook. Every single day, Rob's got 'metal this' or 'metal that', or 'this is what I'm listening to today.' He's a pure ambassador, and he's 70-plus years old."

Souza added: "It's your mindset. And that's how we all look at it. I know the metal fans will always be there. There's not gonna be anybody that's ever said, 'Yeah, I listened to you guys when as a kid, but I don't really listen to you anymore.' That was never a fan. He listened because everybody else did back in the day. If you're into it, you're still into it, 'cause I'm still into it. It never passed me — ever. It's your religion. Even if you're into God or whatever, it's a religion because you believe in it that much. And that's the way it is."

EXODUS's latest album, "Persona Non Grata" was released in November. It is the follow-up to 2014's "Blood In Blood Out", which was the San Francisco Bay Area thrashers' first release since the departure of the group's lead singer of nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.

"Persona Non Grata" was recorded at a studio in Lake Almanor, California and was engineered by Steve Lagudi and EXODUS. It was produced by EXODUS and was mixed by Andy Sneap. For the third time in the band's history, they returned to Swedish artist Pär Olofsson to create the album artwork.

In July 2021, EXODUS drummer Tom Hunting underwent a successful total gastrectomy in his battle with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the stomach. He rejoined his bandmates on stage in October at the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California.

EXODUS tapped John Tempesta to play drums for the band at Psycho Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada in August and at Full Terror Assault in Cave In Rock, Illinois in September while Hunting was recovering from surgery. Tempesta was a member of EXODUS from 1989 until 1993 and played on the band's albums "Impact Is Imminent" (1990) and "Force Of Habit" (1992).

A GoFundMe campaign to help Hunting with medical expenses had raised more than $114,000 — including $5,000 from Tom's former EXODUS bandmate, current METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett, and $1,500 from FOZZY singer and wrestling superstar Chris Jericho.

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