MAY 12th 2012
MetalTitans got an opportunity to conduct a written interview with thrash legend Steve 'Zetro' Souza lead vocalist of Hatriot. Visit the official site here http://www.hatriotmetal.com
1 Can you talk a little bit about your new band HATRIOT and are you still doing side work with DUBLIN DEATH PATROL or AC/DZ?
Actually Dublin Death Patrol has a new record coming out on July 13th called “Death Sentence,” but we probably won’t tour for it because Testament has a new album coming out and I want to focus on Hatriot.
So we probably won’t be doing much with Dublin Death Patrol right now. As for AC/DZ, I do book shows once a month or once every other month just for fun, but it doesn’t hinder anything I’m doing with original music. Original music comes first, and Hatriot is my main focus right now.
2 The name of the band and indeed many songs used play on words to take little or big jabs at the government. Is there a message that you are trying to deliver or are they just lyrics?
They are just lyrics; of course my views have always been very tongue -in-cheek. I’m very pro-people and very much against government. To give you a good example, Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura was the governor of Minnesota. He’s a Hatriot. He doesn’t necessarily agree with the things that the government does, the hypocrisy of it, but he loves his country. That’s how I feel. That’s what a Hatriot is and that is basically what we think. Some of the songs on the demo have political views to them, but not all of them. I have a song about vampires on there. Anything dark and dingy I will go after.
3 You’ve added a new guitarist to your line up Miguel Esparza can you tell me how came across Miguel and what you were looking for in a guitarist to fit in the band?
Miguel is a good friend of Alex, our drummer, who came in one time and said “I know this guy who is pretty fast, pretty good, and likes this style of metal.” He came in and rehearsed with us for a couple of weeks and just really fit in. He works really well with our other guitarist, Kosta. He had to work well with Kosta because Kosta writes all the songs. That’s basically what we were looking for – someone who could compliment and play off of Kosta’s writing.
4 Your son Cody plays bass in the band can you tell me your relationship with him on and off the stage and how he got the job for HATRIOT?
Well off the stage is fine – I’m dad and he’s son. In my house I don’t act like the normal father. I trust my kids’ opinions and their judgments. My son, Cody, is a very smart individual and he takes care of himself.
I knew that he could handle playing in a band at this level, so when it was coming time to hire a bass player I told him that he had to try out. He did. He tried out. He came out three times with Alex, Kosta, and our former guitarist Drew Gage. Finally we were like “yeah he can do it. He’s got it.” I didn’t want there to be any nepotism in there. I wanted him to be able to play the parts, and he could. He’s really good and I’m very proud of him!
5 You did a show in Feb of this year with Testament and wanted to know how that went? Some fans may know or not that you were the vocalist for TESTAMENT, when they were called LEGACY and then you appeared on the band’s 2001 First Strike Still Deadly album. Are there any future plans to go back on the road with TESTAMENT, and if so maybe join them on stage to do some LEGACY classics?
I think most of the fans know my history with Legacy. The people in the crowd knew that I would get up there and do “Alone In The Dark” with Chuck. It was really great. If a tour were to happen, I’d say we would definitely do some songs together. There are a few things that have to happen first. We have to get a record deal and get a record out there before there could be a tour of any kind, but if we were in a position to tour with Testament, I’m sure I’d do a song or two. They wouldn’t have it any other way.Absolutely!
6 If you were to tour starting tomorrow with any old school thrash band or bands who would that be and why?
I would love to go on tour with any of the old school thrash bands from my era. Anybody from Destruction to Kreator. Anthrax to Slayer, they are all people that I’ve known and who have all come up in this business together for so many years. That would be more fun than going on the road with somebody that you don’t have a relationship with. I’d like to go on tour with those bands not just because of their success, but because we all started this thing together, and here it is almost thirty years later and we are all still going at it.
7 After all these years of being a vocalist and playing in clubs and arenas how do you keep your voice in shape?
I scream at everybody all fucking day long, so it stays in shape! I sing constantly. I do a lot of musical projects so I am busy with my voice a lot. I make sure that it doesn’t lose any of its power and crispness.
I know that a lot of singers, as they get older, their voices don’t project like they used to. I seem to be the exception to the rule. I think my voice projects a lot better now than it did twenty five years ago.
8 Can you talk about some of your idols when growing up and the influence they had on you?
Obviously Bon Scott… that’s a major one right there. I bought my first Zeppelin record when I was eight years old because I loved the leads that Jimmy Page played, and the screams that Robert Plant did. From there it was anything that was hard and anything that was heavy – AC/DC, Ted Nugent, and UFO. I even liked some punk stuff like Johnny Rotten, Lemmy, and Wendy O. Wendy O and the Plasmatics were a huge influence on me. I loved their stage antics and the way she carried herself. I listened to and loved anything that was hard and heavy from the 70’s into the early 80’s. I listened to all that stuff. Rush, Rainbow, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath were bands I loved. If it had an edge to it I listened to it.
9 When did you first start singing in bands?
I started a heavy metal band in 1983 with Phil Demmel from Machine Head called Metal Warrior. It had my brother John on bass.
10 I wanted to know if you still in contact with the guys in Exodus and any future plans to have HATRIOT on an EXODUS tour?
That again would be awesome. It’s not up to me but it would be great! I am in great spirits with Exodus. There are no problems. I had a conversation with Gary Holt just two weeks ago and it’s all good. He actually liked my new band Hatriot. He was actually there the night of the Testament show and told me that my son kicks ass. I thought that was a great compliment!
11 Do you have a favorite moment over the years that sticks out in your mind from performing live?
There is one moment that does stick out. We were on the road supporting “Pleasures Of The Flesh,” and we were playing this place called Perkin’s Palace with M.O.D... The crowd smashed the shit out of the place and destroyed the first ten rows of seats. I can never forget it… the stage music and the lights went down and there was this roar of the crowd. I stepped out on the stage and watched them beating the shit out of each other waiting on the band to come out. That’s one I can’t forget!
12 What do you think are the elements that can get HATRIOT to the next level and making a name in the thrash world?
I think that being true to what you do and being a genuine person in the metal world goes a long way. This is not fake in any way. I am the real deal and I think that people know that. With all the music that I’ve been involved with in the past, I’ve never given you anything shitty… and I’m not going to start now. I only do the best metal. I am saving the best for last, put it that way. I think that Hatriot in its own merit will be able to put itself on the map, just from the songs that we have written and the ones that we continue to write.