Vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza, who recently rejoined San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal veterans EXODUS after a decade away from the band, spoke to MetalRecusants.com about the progress of the recording sessions for the group's new album, tentatively due this fall via Nuclear Blast.
"I basically finished my parts on the new record," he said. "Of course, Gary's [Holt, EXODUS guitarist and main songwriter] in Europe with SLAYER right now so he hasn't been in the studio but he's been hearing everything daily because we've been able to send it."
Asked if there is a chance he will be able to contribute any of his ideas to the new EXODUS material, most of which was written before he returned to the band, Souza said: "I've already written a song for this new album…. There was a song we had that we needed to add lyrics to, and actually, Jack [Gibson, bass], Lee [Altus, guitar] and myself put the lyrics to it. So there's gonna be at least one on this album with a 'little Zet' to it."
Souza also explained the reasons for the cancelation of the previously announced European tour by his other band, HATRIOT, which also features his sons Nick Souza (drums) and Cody Souza (bass). He said: "We had nothing to do with that. [Headliners] ONSLAUGHT and ARTILLERY pulled off the bill, [and] since we were supposed to be the opener, we couldn't go over there and play those shows, it wasn't monetarily feasible for us to do. We were barely gonna break even on that tour anyway. We just wanted to do it for the fans, but when they (ONSLAUGHT and ARTILLERY) pulled out, we really couldn't consider going solo, especially with all the great festivals going on. We know we aren't strong enough yet to pull that off ourselves, so we had to abort. I know they (ONSLAUGHT and ARTILLERY) left the UK tour dates open for themselves but there wasn't enough juice for us to pay for the flight, hotel accommodations and whatnot, so we really needed those European dates to pull the whole trek off."
He continued: "We're extremely disappointed we lost those dates, and I want to repeat again that even though I'm in EXODUS now, I'm still doing HATRIOT, I'm not letting that go. There's been a lot of voices out there lately saying I'm gonna let it go, and I'm not. The band's (HATRIOT) working on some new stuff right now and I plan on writing new lyrics when I'm out on tour with EXODUS, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES and SLAYER. There's a lot of down time on tour, and I'm an early riser, I'm used to it from working. I'm up at 6:30-7:00 in the morning every day. There are only so many movies you can see, tracks you can run, you know?... I plan on doing it (HATRIOT) when the band (EXODUS) separates and Gary does his thing with SLAYER. I can't imagine EXODUS getting all the tours that SLAYER does. Then again, I don't know their plans, but I'm assuming at some point the bands will have to split apart. You know Lee has got HEATHEN and Jack and Tom [Hunting, drums] perform in a country band — everybody's got something else — so I'm going hard with HATRIOT and I'm not just half-ass doing EXODUS either."
EXODUS' next live appearance is scheduled for July 11 at the Bang Your Head!!! festival in Balingen, Germany.
Souza left EXODUS ten years ago on the eve of the band's South American headlining tour in September 2004 over what was described as long-standing business and personal differences.