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Steve Souza – Vocals for Exodus

Date: 9/25/14
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. Were all the songs for the new album, “Blood In Blood Out”, written and done when you re joined the band and recorded the vocals?

STEVE: Yeah, the only one not finished was ‘Body Harvest’, which I wrote with Jack (Gibson – bass) and Lee (Altus – guitar), and within an hour and a half I think we recorded it. And it turned out really good too. That’s the one with Chuck Billy and the rest of us in the band doing backing vocals.

2. STEVE: Yeah, the only one not finished was ‘Body Harvest’, which I wrote with Jack (Gibson – bass) and Lee (Altus – guitar), and within an hour and a half I think we recorded it. And it turned out really good too. That’s the one with Chuck Billy and the rest of us in the band doing backing vocals.

STEVE: I think it has good elements of the thirty years of the band, the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. I hear the sheer ferocity from the newer albums, the grooves from the 90s, the lead work, and the classic thrash from the 80s when the band was still growing. But I know that having myself back in the band its also the voice, people associate a band with their original, or classic lineup when they recorded their most memorable songs. The irony of it is that its my third time back in the band and I’m really excited.

3. The song ‘My Last Nerve’ reminds me of the albums “Impact Is Imminent” and “Force Of Habit”.

STEVE: Sure, you know what, I agree that’s a good observation, knowing how the band grew throughout the years. That song was like almost not on the record, from what I was told. But when I came back in the band it was one of my favorites, I like the groove. Those two albums are kinda like the dark years for us, we were on Capital Records, so they were saying “hey, you wanna make it, write songs we can market”. Gary or anybody will tell ya we just shoulda stayed heavy, not try to appeal to other than being shear brutality and heavy. “Impact” I really love, “Force Of Habit” I just fucking hate songs from that album, and I have never hated songs on an album of my own. My girlfriend loves ‘Good Day To Die’, great song, ‘Architect of Pain’, ‘Thorn in My Side’, ‘Me, Myself & I’, ‘One Foot in the Grave’, ‘Feeding Time at the Zoo’ is good…everything else I fucking hate, hahaha. Your gonna put horn on the record?, cover ‘Bitch’ by the Rolling Stones, and then ‘Pump It Up’ by Elvis Costello, what kind of message are we sending? Where were we at? But then you listen to “Blood In Blood Out” and can say “what were those guys thinking”, know what I mean? And we know it too. But we do play ‘Only Death Decides’ from “Impact Is Imminent”, but we have never played anything off “Force” since that tour. So when we play live and you only have an hour and a half/fifteen, or thirty minutes, you have to cram in all those great songs from “Bonded”, “Pleasures”, “Tempo”, and “Exhibit A&B”, and now the new one, what are you gonna do.

4. What songs do you like from the albums Rob sang on?

STEVE: ‘Children of a Worthless God’, ‘Iconoclast’, ‘Good Riddance’, ‘Beyond The Pale’, ‘Ballad of Charles and Leonard’. We’ve played five shows since I’ve been back and played ‘Children of a Worthless God’, ‘Iconoclast’. We were gonna add ‘Good Riddance’ and will continue to shuffle songs from those albums. It’s part of Exodus’ history and Rob did a great job on them, so no reason not to play them.

5. I’m assuming the majority are happy to see you back in Exodus?

STEVE: O yeah, definitely. I got the electoral vote, I understand the mentality. But, and I say this to everyone, the guy who is singing in Journey now is doing a great job…but how great would it be to have Steve back? The originals are the originals, there is a reason why they were successful in the beginning, something about that sound and the chemistry, and I’m a fan so I am not blind to that. It goes for any other band. How great was it when Joey came back to Anthrax, or Halford to Priest, Dickinson to Maiden. Maybe I can’t put myself up there on their level, but its has a similar impact.

6. I saw the lyric video for the title track of “Blood In Blood Out”. Is that song about the attitude and history of the ban

STEVE: O yeah, that one struck a chord as soon as I heard it, and its to pay homage to Paul Baloff.

7. How many songs will you play from the new album live? On the Slayer US tour this fall

STEVE: Well we get thirty five minutes for the Slayer tour, maybe three, how the record opens.

8. When I interviewed Gary Holt a couple years ago I asked him about the Big 4 and where Exodus fit in. Who would consider the Other Big 4?

STEVE: Worldwide, including of course Exodus I’d say Kreator, Overkill, Testament, I mean you have to put all them in there. Even though Testament are a bigger band than Exodus is now, they sell more records, play bigger venues, it is the way it is. And I was there in the beginning so I know, for Exodus and Testament. Anthrax in the beginning on “Fistful of Metal” and “Armed and Dangerous” they really aren’t all that thrash until “Spreading The Disease”. Megadeth, Dave was doing Metallica first when Exodus was already a band. I grew up here, even though I wasn’t in Exodus at the time, Testament, or Legacy, did not start until after Exodus was already a band playing sold out shows in California.

9. What new young thrash bands do you think are carrying the traditions from the 80s for the current generation?

STEVE: Municipal Waste, Havok, Hatchet, Warbringer, are all bringing it. The way of the old school.

10. And speaking of a classic thrash sound, your other band Hatriot, just released a new album in 2014, which has a very Exodus sound and delivery to the music. How does that band fit into your Exodus schedule?

STEVE: When Gary is working with Slayer I’m gonna do Hatriot. So when Slayer put out a new album in 2015 there will be time for Hatriot to do some shows. Those are my boys (my sons) in that band, they are very into and I wouldn’t turn my back on them and they dig it. Hatriot has a lot of similarities to Exodus, still a little more modern, a little Florida death metal, couple breakdowns. I try to keep the lyrics Exodus tongue and cheek.

11. When you guys wrote for “Blood In Blood Out”, how many were written for the album, and how many were leftover

STEVE: Nothing was left over, everything was written for this album.

12. Any plans to record a show for DVD, or release an older one from your time in the band?

STEVE: Not that I know of, but the new album has a DVD of us live, backstage, and in the studio. But next year it’s the 30th anniversary of “Bonded By Blood” so I’m sure we will do something for that. There is the "Live at the DNA" DVD from the “Tempo of the Damned” tour for sale on the Exodus website.

Official website: http://exodusattack.com


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