STEVE 'ZETRO' SOUZA Isn't Bothered By EXODUS's Exclusion From 'Big Four'

May 20, 2018

EXODUS frontman Steve "Zetro" Souza was recently interviewed by the "Mosh Mag" podcast. You can now listen to the chat below.

Asked if he can eventually see himself retiring from being the singer for EXODUS, Souza said: "No. What else would I do? It's no fun. People think their whole life, 'What do you do when you retire? You go fishing? You just chill around go golfing all day?' I pretty much live a retired lifestyle now. When I'm not on tour, I get to do what I want. It's, like, I get bored real quick too, man. You ride your Harley, you take your dogs to the dog park, you go to the movies. I go to the gym every day. I try to keep myself busy and active and stuff. But I think music is something that… it's always been in you, so as long as I can perform at the same level, why not do it?"

Souza was also asked if he is bothered by the fact that his band wasn't included in the so-called "Big Four" of 1980s thrash metal — METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX. "I don't consider the 'Big Four' the 'Big Four," he responded. "I consider it the 'Big One'" — apparently referring to METALLICA — "and 'The Other Three.' I mean, honesty, on [the 'Big Four'] t-shirt, one of the 'Big Four' is skipping a spot. If they were so 'Big Four,' shouldn't they lie right under there? But that band is bigger than that other band? So how big is the 'Big Four'?

"I know personally from playing with METALLICA, they can sell 90,000 tickets," he continued. "Those [other] three bands together — God bless 'em; I love them to death; they're my boys; SLAYER, ANTHRAX and MEGADETH, I love them — but they're not the size of METALLICA. They never will be. So where does the tier stop? Does it go METALLICA, tier [one]; those three bands, tier [two]; EXODUS, TESTAMENT, OVERKILL, tier [three]; DEATH ANGEL, tier [four]… How many tiers do you have then? You know what I mean? I don't look at it like that.

"I'm very fortunate to keep playing this 33 years after the initial record came out," Souza added. "How many bands from that genre…? And I'm not talking about metal bands. I'm talking about when you watched MTV in 1985, when 'Bonded By Blood' came out, how many bands in other musical genres are still putting out records — kickass albums — that people still wanna listen to? None but the metal bands… [MEGADETH's] 'Dystopia' won the Grammy a couple of years ago; great record. [ANTHRAX's] 'For All Kings'; great record. SLAYER hasn't put out a shitty record. The last three TESTAMENT records are all gold. DEATH ANGELOVERKILL… Nobody's putting out, 'Ah, well, there's, like, three songs on there that I like and then a couple of fillers.' Nobody is throwing fillers up there there for you, gentlemen. They're giving you right smack dab in the face what you deserve, what you get, and I think that's a [testament] to us all being huge fans of what we do and what we still do."

MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine said in a 2013 interview that EXODUS "probably" should have been included if the "Big Four" were expanded and considered the "Big Five" "because there was nobody else at the time that had that kind of pull or that kind of importance in the metal community. Granted, it was with [late EXODUS singer Paul] Baloff, and Baloff had a voice that you had to have an acquired taste for, but you know, I liked him."

METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett concurred, telling U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine in a 2014 interview that "EXODUS in the '80s had some bona fide problems, but I think their first album [1985's 'Bonded By Blood'] is just as good as [METALLICA's debut] 'Kill 'Em All'. We were just playing the music we wanted to hear because no one else was playing it and it wasn't being played on the radio. It was only a small group of people who knew about it and it was almost elitist in that 'No posers allowed!' thing."

Souza recently said that fans will have to wait until at least the end of 2019 before EXODUS's follow-up to 2014's "Blood In Blood Out" album.

Although it was originally reported that the veteran San Francisco Bay Area thrashers would go into the studio last October to begin recording the new effort, it now appears that the band will not begin work on the next disc until guitarist Gary Holt is done playing with SLAYER as part of that band's "final" world tour.

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