MARCH 29th, 2014

Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Metal entertainment worldwide. We are here with Steve “Zetro“ Souza of Hatriot. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us.

1.  You have a new album about to be released in April called “Dawn of the New Centurion”, how did you come up with the name for the album ?

ZETRO - Before I had any other songs written I knew I was going to call this record "Dawn of The New Centurion."  I have always been a fan of definitive album titles.  Back in the glory days of metal there were lots of definitive album titles.  If you heard someone talk about "Fabulous Disaster," "Among The Living," or "Ride The Lightning" you knew exactly what band they were referring to, what era of the band they were talking about, and you knew exactly what that album sounded like.  "Dawn Of The New Centurion" is a strong album title, and it sounds very thrash metal and very old school.  With Hatriot i want to bring back that old school vibe.  I think "Heroes Of Origin" is a strong album title for the debut.  "Dawn Of The New Centurion" just sounds like a great title for the sophomore record, and more importantly, it sounds like a heavy metal record!

2. For production of this new release you once again used Juan Urteaga, obviously he is good, but what is it that makes you return to him ?

ZETRO - Juan is the 'go to guy' for heavy metal production here in the Bay Area.  He has built quite a reputation recording metal, and is very comparable to Andy Sneap without the heavy price tag.  We like Juan's work obviously, but it's also a convenience thing for us since we all have day jobs.  We leave work and go record for a few hours a day, over the course of a months time, and before you know it the record is done.  The vibe at his studio is really laid back, and it's easy to capture a good performance from the band when it doesn't feel like the tape is rolling.  It just feels like a jam session.

3.  Mark DeVito, is behind the artwork, did you give suggestions, or did he come up with the ideas for the cover artwork ?

ZETRO - Mark is an amazing artist, and he knows the general feel we are going for.  We basically describe the concept to him and he runs with it.  With "Heroes Of Origin" we had a very bright color scheme going, so for this record we wanted the exact opposite.  We wanted cold colors, and dark, moody overtones.  Mark came back with the artwork and it was perfect.
4. What made you take the style of this album back to the 1980’s when it was fast, frenzied and at the same time melodic ?

 ZETRO - I think it is just a natural progression from the last album.  We have been a band for another year and are more solid than when we did the debut record, so I think the band is evolving and reaching more of its potential.  Plus my guitar player, Kosta V, is a total student of the old school thrash sound.  He fucking loves all the bands from back in the day, and models his playing style after all these guys, so he wears his influences on his sleeve, and a lot of that shines through on this new record.  "Heroes Of Origin" was a full on heavy thrash assault on the ears that just pummeled the listener from start to finish, and that's what we set out to do.  On "Dawn Of The New Centurion" we are more stealth killer.  We have taken things to another level, but it is just as heavy.

5.  How does being in Hatriot, compare to Exodus, or Legacy (Testament) ?

ZETRO - Well, obviously the music business is a totally different thing.  Bands don't make a living playing metal like they did back in the day, that's for sure.  Technology and the way we record is very different.  My perception with the music business is pretty much the same.  I was a lot more naive back when I was younger, but the basics are the same.  it's all about writing, recording, and going out and playing rock n roll.  That's what I do and what I live for.  Legacy was my first taste of anything.  That's where I cut my teeth.  Obviously Exodus was where I made a name for myself and really tasted the success of being in a bigger band.  It was all about timing.  I was in the right place at the right time when that scene exploded.  With Hatriot I have a much more realistic mindset.  I know what is feasible in the modern day music industry, and we have a plan on achieving that.  In a way Hatriot is similar to Legacy because we are really an indie metal band and do a lot of the work ourselves.  Exodus had a lot more industry fire power behind it.

6.  Your classified as thrash, but what I enjoy most is the fact I can understand what you are singing, and can sing along, this isn’t a usual style for thrash, why did you choose to do it this way ?

ZETRO - I appreciate you saying that.  I work hard on my craft.  I think that I have been doing this so long that I have learned to annunciate properly and that's why my vocal delivery is as sharp as it is.  I'm the same way - I love heavy metal, but I'm not a fan of the guy that i can't understand.  That's not always the case, because I love King Diamond and you could never understand what the fuck he was saying, but for the most part I want to hear the vocals clearly.  I have something to say with my lyrics, and I want people to understand them.

7. You and your wizard “Kosta V” write the lyrics, what kind of inspiration spurs you on to create your songs ?

ZETRO - We are just big fans of heavy metal.  That's really the secret.  Yes, I was in a famous band at one point in my life, but I never stopped being a metal fan.  I'm the guy going through the house with Judas Priest fucking cranked up, and I'm playing air guitar and screaming.  I'm the guy that picks up my daughter from school and she is embarrassed because I have Shadows Fall as loud as my stereo will go, and I'm behind the wheel headbanging.  I don't care what people say - I love heavy metal.  Just last week I was in a local record shop here called Rasputins, and I dropped sixty bucks on Saxon CD’s because I'm still a fan and I love that shit.  So to answer the question, we listen to bands we love and we try to capture that vibe and write our own shit with the same vibe.  If you listen to a Hatriot song and you hear a riff that reminds you of something Slayer would do, chances are we were listening to Slayer the day we wrote it.  We love metal and carry the torch for good quality headbanging riffs.  I steal from every band and even steal from myself.  Great heavy metal is our inspiration!

8. Where do you find you get the best inspiration from ? At home, out on the road, reading ?  …

ZETRO - The fucked up world.  That's the answer!

9. What has been the most exciting thing so far for you being in Hatriot ?

ZETRO - There's a lot of exciting things, but the greatest thing for me was being in Europe on tour with my sons, and watching fans come up asking for their autographs and wanting to take pictures with them.  That was really cool.  It was great to see that with my own eyes.  It's like watching their dreams unfold and come true right in front of me.

10. Will you be touring in support of ““Dawn of the New Centurion”, and where might that be ?

ZETRO - Hopefully around the world.  It's too early to tell, but we want to play as many shows as we can, in as many places as we can.  A lot of that depends on how many records we sell, and if the promoters are interested.  I know we have some stuff in Europe and South America planned for this year.  Hopefully something cool will happen here in the States too and we can get on a tour package.  It is our goal to tour for this record, but it has to make sense financially for us to pull it off.  This isn't like the glory days where a big record company paid the bill.  We are doing most of this on our own so we have to be realistic about it.  There's not a lot of money to be made, and we actually go in debt when we tour, so it has to be a good offer that puts us in front of a new audience.

11.  Who would you like to tour with ?

ZETRO - Anyone?  Does AC/DC count?  Seriously, I would like to play with bands that are the same genre as us, and bands that are still hungry for it.  Really it doesn't matter who we go on the road with.  We are fine playing shows with anybody.  The dream tour would be with some of the bigger thrash metal bands from my era, but there's a lot of politics involved with that.  At this point we are not picky.  We just want to go out and do shows.  When you go see Hatriot you will be blown away.  We will kick you in your head, you can count on that.
12.  Will you be creating a video in support as well ?  If so, can you tell us which one ?

ZETRO - We would like to do a couple videos for the record, but we will definitely be doing one for "The Fear Within."  I have to crack down on the label in the next couple months and try to get it funded, but we plan on that video being out by summer.
13. Is there anything you would like to add to this interview that you want the fans to know, or I might have missed asking ?

ZETRO -  Just want to say thanks for all the years of support.  I hope everyone will go out and get the new Hatriot record, "Dawn Of The New Centurion" and hopefully we will get to see you on tour soon.  Keep thrashing!  ZETRO

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with us at Metaltitans. Wish you much success with your new album