Exodus Interview: Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza Talks New Album, Metallica Friendship

2021-01-25

Photo of the metal band Exodus.

Exodus -Story by Anne Erickson, courtesy photo

Steve “Zetro” Souza of Exodus joins Anne Erickson to discuss the band’s new album, “Persona Non Grata,” and more in this in-depth interview

Last year was a great one for metal music, and the new release from Bay Area thrash metal titans Exodus was one of the highlights. The new set, “Persona Non Grata,” features 12 blistering metal tracks totaling more than 60 minutes in length, presenting one of the heaviest Exodus records to date.

Exodus have been a kingpin on thrash since the ’80s, alongside greats such as Metallica, Anthrax and Megadeth. Speaking with Audio Ink Radio, frontman Steve “Zetro” Souza says throughout the years, the band have stayed tight.

“Everybody does. Even Metallica! When we were on the Bay Strikes Back tour doing Europe in 2020, Kirk (Hammett of Metallica) came to the Paris show, so we still keep in touch,” Zetro told Audio Ink Radio. “Tom (Hunting of Exodus) will talk to Lars (Ulrich of Metallica) every once in a while. Gary (Holt of Exodus) will talk to Kirk. When we see each other, we’re all like, ‘Hey, what’s up,’ because we went through this whole battle together and we’re all still here. Violence, I’ll see those guys. I’ll see Bill. Craig from Forbidden. Everybody’s close, and if anybody needs any help, everybody else is right there to do it.”

Zetro says the metal genre of music stands out because “it doesn’t exist without each other,” meaning both the fans and performers are crucial to keeping the scene alive.

“It doesn’t exist without each other. It’s the only form of music that has to have both,” he said. “The musicians, we couldn’t survive without the fans, and the fans aren’t going to get it anywhere else, because there’s no media that plays it for them. Nobody cares. So, we have each other, which is fine. I’ve always said, you’ve never heard a guy come up and say, ‘Yeah, man, I was into Slayer last summer.’ That doesn’t happen. You’re either a metalhead or you’re not. Look at Rob Halford. Go on his Instagram or Facebook, and every single day, Rob’s got metal this or metal that, and this is what I’m listening to today. He’s a pure ambassador, and he’s 70-plus years old.”

“It’s your mindset,” Zetro added, “and that’s how we all look at it. I know the metal fans will always be there. There’s not going to be anybody that’s ever said, ‘I listened to you guys when as a kid, but I don’t really listen anymore.’ That was never really a fan. You listened because everybody else did back in the day. If you’re into it, you’re still into it, because I’m still into it. It never passed me, ever.”

Regarding the new album, “Persona Non Grata,” and how it compares to previous Exodus albums, Zetro says he thinks it’s the “best one yet.” He adds, “This one hits on all cylinders, and we’re all much more mature musicians, let alone people. So, I think the best stuff is definitely yet to come, but this album, if I had to look back on everything, it holds up to every singe one of them- if not holds more than everyone one of them. This record doesn’t let down.”

Listen to Audio Ink Radio’s full interview with Steve “Zetro” Souza of Exodus below. You can also listen via via the Audio Ink Radio show on Apple Podcasts here and Spotify here.

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Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Interviews, Metal, Music