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Exodus’s Steve “Zetro” Souza Talks ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ And Horror (Interview)

Thrash metal fans, get ready to draw some blood!

Richmond, CA metal legends Exodus are gearing up for the release of their tenth studio album Blood In, Blood Out, which comes out October 14th via Nuclear Blast! In anticipation of this upcoming release, which comes nearly 30 years after the band’s historic album Bonded By Blood, we’ve scored an exclusive interview with frontman Steve “Zetro” Souza to discuss the album, the band’s upcoming tour with Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies, as well as Zetro’s love of horror!

You can pre-order Blood In, Blood Out via Exodus.

Bloody-Disgusting: What’s going on, sir?
A lot of things! Busy, busy, busy!

Bloody-Disgusting: In that case, I’ll dive right into things! What’s the most ass-kicking track on Blood In, Blood Out?

Every track [laughs]! It’s the first record that I don’t fast-forward through the songs. You know when you do a record, you hear it a million times. So, I know how it goes! There are often times when you hear a track and think “Ehhhhh, I kinda like THIS one better!” Not here. I love every track.

But, I do think that “Numb” and “[Wrapped In The Arms Of] Rage” are great. And they change by week! Next week, something will happen and it’ll be “BTK” or “Black 13”.

But so far I love every thing on this album. I’m really excited for this one! It’s a good blend of what Exodus has done over the last 30 years. Some journalists have heard it and said that it’s a little bit “retro”, which I guess you could say that a little bit. It’s also got the intensity the last 10 years has had. I think it’s a really good balance of what Exodus does best! Sheer violence! Sheer energy! Sheer brutalism!

BD: What keeps Exodus going?

I think we’re all still big fans. We’re all still aware that we have a lot to offer musically, which is apparent with ‘Blood In, Blood Out’. I think we have such loyal fans. Next year is 30 years after ‘Bonded By Blood’, which is a long time for a band to be out touring and playing. The fans are still there raging there for us! There are still those Exodus patches on their jackets, y’know?

For myself, I have Hatriot, I have a bunch of other metal projects. I love heavy metal. I love thrash metal. I love to get on stage and watch fuckers start pits and go nuts. That’s the best part, for me. As long as they’re still down for doing it, I’ll be out there doing it.

BD: Exodus has always had a connection to horror. What is it about metal and horror that make them seem to go so well together?

I am tattooed completely with horror. I love all the monster movies! I mean, my bed pillows! One’s Bela Lugosi and one’s Boris Karloff! I love that type of stuff. It’s dark, it’s deep, it’s scary, it’s shocking, and I think thrash metal is the same way. It’s definitely abrasive, definitely violent. It can definitely be scary, for sure. It’s got a lot of elements that I think crosses over with horror.

We did Comic Con a couple of weeks ago and they were interviewing Kirk [Hammett] because we played at his Fear Fest[Evil] after party and he said that a lot of the same things that I think. When you think of those images, like Dracula or the first time you saw Linda Blair in ‘The Exorcist’, it’s the look, the sheer terror of the look, how scary that would be if you walked into a house and that was the first thing you saw.

I think that really strikes a chord with me big time.

BD: That really resonates with me because there are times when you listen to an album and a song will open up that is immediately fierce and terrifying and it makes me jump because it’s so unexpected! Or something will happen in a song, a twist that I never saw coming, and it’s so exciting!

And I think that metal definitely offers that! Think of bands like Slayer and how many times they have something that makes you think, “Oh my god, that is just hauntingly scary!” It’s great! I love it! That’s the element that makes rock and roll what it’s all about: angst and rebellion.

BD: You’re set to tour with Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies in November and December. Unfortunately, Tendencies bassist Tim Williams passed away. What kind of an impact does something tragic like that have, both personally and professionally?

Well, I think as being in my position I’ve had a lot of friends die over the years. I knew Cliff Burton really, really, really well, so when he died, it was like, “Well, I didn’t expect that!” It was the same with [Paul] Baloff dying.

There have been so many people, so many friends, that have been through our lives, through the scene, and it’s just so tragic. But all you can do, honestly, is just keep going, keep the music going forward. That’s what they would’ve wanted you to do and I think it’s definitely a healer for everybody. You can’t sit back. You can only mourn for so long.

I think it’s great that GWAR is going to go out and live on the legend of Dave [Brockie]! That’s great and I think it should be that way!

I can’t imagine how strange it is for Suicidal Tendencies. They’ll have to bring someone on board to take over. When I left Exodus, I didn’t die. It’s gotta be tough to handle.

BD: A tour is usually a place with a lot of energy, a lot of liveliness. It’s often a place where people can celebrate the life of someone rather than mourn.

That’s it too. I think that whole tour, from all bands, will be dedicated to Tim. It’s just too bad.

BD: If you could get any horror movie director to direct an Exodus video, who would you get?

It could be anybody? Old school? I wouldn’t go anyone new. No M. Night Shyamalan, that’s for sure. I’d probably have to with William Friedkin! Just because he directed the scariest movie in the world in my eyes, so if he could do it, that’d be great! It’s not just ‘The Exorcist’, it’s everything he does!

Oh, and Clive Barker would be great too! I’d let Clive Barker direct me, that’d be fun!

BD: He directed one of my favorite horror films: ‘Lord Of Illusions’.

‘Lord Of Illusions’ is amazing! Great movie!

BD: Zetro, thank you so much!

Thank you, man! We’ll see you on the road and I can’t wait for you to pick up ‘Blood In, Blood Out’! It’s gonna be great!

Exodus online:
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