I recently had the HUGE honor of chatting with Zetro of Exodus about the bands new record. In the interview we really got to delve into what makes this man tick, and why he loves the new record. If you're a fan of fast music and brutal riffs, the bands new record “Blood In Blood Out” is definitely going to be one of your all time favorites, it's certainly is among Zetro's! Interview by Matt Bacon From October 2014 Vandala Magazine READ MORE ARTICLES
How are things?
Zetro: Great! Things are looking up these days I’ve got no complaints!
I’d definitely agree with you given the arc of your career…
Zetro: Well put, it is an arc. It’s a curve basically. I think the arc is on the upswing. Stocks go up and down and mine is going up right now.
What does it feel like to be back in the groove?
Zetro: I’m excited I’m refreshed. I think it’s going to be better than any other time. Mentally I’m together, vocally I’m on top of my game. With my other band Hatriot doing every project that comes my way I think I’m at my best. This is going to be the greatest time for fans and everybody.
That’s incredible! How long do you think you will keep doing this?
Zetro: I’d say we have another fifteen years. I could do this at sixty five, I’d like to say we have twenty more, who knows? I’m back in the gym working out every single day again. I’ve got a feeling that’s changing about myself. I see that the other guys are more inclined towards that kind of mood too. I’m pretty sure this is not a one and out, I can almost guarantee it’s not.
You have a second youth essentially?
Zetro: It’s a third youth if you’re talking about it. This is my third stint with Exodus. I’m excited about it, it’s like a breath of fresh air. I think at one point it was really stale to me. I had a lot of problems with it, that’s what led to my quitting the band in 2004. I was a terrible person to be around, it was a terrible time personally. I was trying to juggle this thing that I do… It was horrible, it really was. It’s been ten years, I’ve got a lot of things straightened out. A lot of things that were issues are not issues anymore, so now the band is number one and it’s time to rock again in a big way.
Are these issues, things you felt you could work out better with Hatriot?
Zetro: It’s more like that the boys were little kids and their mother, who I’m not married to anymore didn’t really support them enough for me to go on tour. The woman I’m with now, my girlfriend is amazing and totally supports this. If you have that all in your corner you can do that kind of thing. I don’t have to worry about my sons grades, because they’re 25 and 21. They play bass and drums in Hatriot! They’re all good to go, they have an apartment, and they live with themselves. I have a 16 year old daughter who lives with her mother, she does really well. It’s all worked out. It’s time for me to go out and do this. There’s no real ties back at the homestead, I’ve already created productive members of society. That’s why it’s so exciting for me.
What I think is always really cool with Exodus is that you’re one of the few old school thrash bands who stays relevant. How do you do that?
Zetro: I think that we’re all still big fans, and if you’re a big fan you know what you want to hear as a fan. You’re not doing it because you did it in your 20s and were successful at it and now go through the motions because it pays you money. Go to an Exodus show, listen to the song Salt the Wound and wait until you hear the rest of the record.
You’re going to say “Zetro was right” It’s in our blood. I love thrash metal, I live for it. I’m listening to Dio now, Mercyful Fate, the week before I had Decapitated in there. It’s always metal of some kind. Being a big fan, I feel like I never lose sight of what fans want to hear.
What do you love so much about thrash metal?
Zetro: The ferocity, the rawness, the intricacies of the drumming and guitar playing, the way the crowd reacts. No better crowd than a thrash metal crowd! We just played a huge festival in Columbia and there was like a hundred thousand people. When we played Toxic Waltz I could not count the pits that there were going on. It was amazing. It’s really the only form of music where the crowd is just as much a part of the show as the band is.
My attitude when I go on stage is “I’m going to get these mother*ckers whipped up into a frenzy, I’m going to get those pits moving! Come on! Time to get on the bicycle and move!” This isn’t about banging your head and waving the horns in the air. There’s lots of bands you can do that for, bands I love. But when I get on stage, or Slayer gets on stage, or Anthrax, Metallica, Death Angel, Testament, mother*ckers better be ready to go because it’s time to get all the guns.
When you’re at shows do you go into the pit still?
Zetro: I’m a riot inciter, I don’t join in. I’m 50 now I don’t bounce back as well as I used too, but goddammit I’ll get that mother*cker going as soon as I can.
I want to talk about the new record. How is it an evolution on past work for you?
Zetro: I think it’s a good blend of what Exodus has done over the years, even over the last 10 years over when I wasn’t in the band. It’s very brutal with lots of tongue in cheek lyrics. It’s just Exodus, when you hear the changes, the chug parts, the time signatures which whip up the pit, when you hear the half time go into quarter time. It’s so heavy, it’s just Exodus. When I heard it I was like “It’s so Exodus!” There’s really no straying from the formula. I think they did something great. Lee and Gary are just f*cking witches. I never really played in the band with Lee, and I’m seeing how much of a f*cking witch he really is. I think the lineup is really solid. I think everybody is really going to like Blood In Blood Out, it’s my favorite Exodus record. I just love every song on this album.
I was just admiring your enthusiasm, this is seriously your favorite Exodus record?
Zetro: I think so. You find yourself stuck in the past and I’ll be honest, there’s Exodus records where I click from song four to song six, because I don’t care for song five. Maybe you like five, which is great, but it’s not one of my favorites. I don’t find that on this record. When I put on this record I listen to every f*cking song, one after another, not flipping from three to five. I do not skip ahead on this record.
Have you ever felt this way on a record you made before?
Zetro: No, even on the Hatriot records and I love the Hatriot records, but there’s still songs where I’m like “Eh” This record I still listen to it every day, and every day I’m not…………………
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