San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal veterans EXODUS will release their tenth studio album, "Blood In Blood Out", in North America on October 14 via Nuclear Blast. The CD is EXODUS' first album since the departure of the band's lead singer of the past nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of his predecessor, Steve "Zetro" Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.
Speaking to Jay Nanda of AXS.com about his return to EXODUS, Souza said: "I think that everybody, the mentality was, 'This is how we roll. Can we do this again?' And I'm like, 'Yeah.'
"People change over periods of times, and things happen. You're in certain situations in your own lives that's really affecting what's going on in your business life. So there's a lot of things that led to [my last departure from EXODUS], but I think, with all that being said, and all the conversations we've had — and again, we had it out. Every one of us had it out: 'This is kind of my thing, and this is your thing.' It was great. Kind of like a family member, an uncle that you had a difference with, bought a house together, and stuff went through, and now you don't talk to that uncle. Everyone came together, and it's good now. It's not like you didn't love each other. You were just really angry at each other. And in that anger, we're going to mudsling a little bit. We're gonna make him sound like they'll never talk to that uncle ever again. I think that's where everybody is when they're upset and they're angry and hurt about things. And I think that was well-noted on both sides. Everybody, again, has really moved past that mentality. Let's just move forward.
"So far, with the [new EXODUS] album ['Blood In Blood Out'], I think the album is great, and the shows have been great. So I see nothing but, for me this time, for me anyway, I think it's going to be the best time. For me."
Asked how easy or difficult the making of "Blood In Blood Out" was for him, Souza said: "I only had three days to listen to it before I had to start recording it. I auditioned for it on a Thursday. They all listened to my audition on a Friday. We all talked later that Friday. And they made the decision on Saturday. The world knew on Sunday, and that Wednesday, I started recording the album. All I did was, basically, just, I crammed.
"You've been to college. You know how to cram. It's the same thing for music. I just concentrated on 11 songs that I had to record. And I basically just buckled down. Because I do another thrash band with my children, HATRIOT — I've done a couple albums with them, and I've done DUBLIN DEATH PATROL, and I write on TESTAMENT albums — vocally, it wasn't like they came up and I opened the door with a Coors Light in my hand and belly stuck out and said [Souza makes a burping sound], 'What's up guys?' You know what I mean? It wasn't really like that at all. I've been in tune. And I think my voice is where I want it right now. It's really strong. Just coming in with the guys, and the chemistry and vernacular.
"I'm sure at first it was an eye-opening, 'Hey, when's this guy going to turn back into a vampire again?' But I'm having such a good time that I think I'm just going to stay here this time. It's really cool."
Souza also spoke about whether he felt any pressure trying to replace EXODUS' iconic singer Paul Baloff, either the first time in the late 1980s or after Paul's death in 2002. "You know, I never felt a burden," Zetro said. "But there was always a weight there. And I think that weight, after 'Pleasures [Of The Flesh]' came out, by 'Fabulous [Disaster]', that weight was gone.
"Paul [Di'Anno] was a great singer for IRON MAIDEN. When Bruce [Dickinson] came in, after about two or three records, you didn't really think about Paul Di'Anno as the singer anymore. That happened with me. I think the fans accepted me as well. Not necessarily at first. That first tour was rough. They were very used to Paul. I think after that, they got very used to me. Even after his passing, I'd already done my stints in the band. So I don't think it was that hard. And coming back in this time, like I said, it was like, 'OK, this is my third stint with this team, and I think this time I'll catch more touchdown passes than I've ever done before!' And Tom Hunting [drums], it's three times for him as well.
"We joke about how we're tied with three stints in the band, nobody can beat us. It's not even close. And I'm going to be here 'till it's done, and with the excitement that 'Blood In Blood Out' is bringing with us and the fans, I see us going another 15, 20 — I can bang my head 'till 70, no problem. They might have a machine for me that will bring your head back and forth. But I think I can do this."
Read more at AXS.com.