In a brand new interview with Ireland’s Overdrive, EXODUS frontman Steve “Zetro” Souza was asked if he thinks METALLICA is “feeling the pressure” to make a new album that is on par with the high quality of the recent releases by some of the other acts from the 1980s thrash metal scene. He responded: “I would have to say, honestly, we played two shows with METALLICA last year in Germany at the Rock Am Ring and Rockavaria [festivals] and I had two really great conversations, one with Kirk [Hammett] and the other with James [Hetfield]. Kirk is such a solid guy and we get along great. I mean, he has played on the last EXODUS album and we played at his Fear FestEvil event.
“If you really want to look at METALLICA‘s progression as a band, look back to the stuff they released in the ’90s with ‘Load’ (1996) and ‘St. Anger’ (2003) and then they brought out ‘Death Magnetic’ (2008), so I would say that they are getting more back into form of that classic METALLICA thrash sound. Also, they are big fans of their own genre, and I have a feeling that they are going to release an album that is more in the vein of that classic thrash sound that we have all be doing lately.
“Just listen to the new MEGADETH album, ‘Dystopia’, and tell me that the opening track, ‘The Threat Is Real’, doesn’t take the fucking skin right off your face? What a way to open the record, dude! It’s just straight in there, and I think we did that with ‘Black 13’ (opening track on EXODUS‘s latest album, ‘Blood In Blood Out’); it just kicks you in the face!
“I really believe that METALLICA are aware of what’s going on in their backyard, you know? I think there was a time when people were, like, ‘Eww, METALLICA. They have lost it,’ and I know people that think like that and have lost respect for them along the way. But they have gone through an evolution as a band. If they were to write ‘Ride The Lightning’ thirteen times, we would all get bored.
“It was a great transition from ‘Master Of Puppets’ into ‘…And Justice For All’ into the ‘Black Album,’ and I think that’s where bands would like to say they lost interest, but how can that be true, because they are the biggest fucking band in the world right now. That’s the argument right there, and, you know, I wish them all the best.
“As I mentioned, we played a couple of shows with them in Germany and I remember walking down the hallway and James is walking towards me and we hadn’t seen each other in fucking years. We just had a really good conversation and a few laughs about the old days. I used to frequently go to their house in San Pablo, or as we referred to it, the ‘Metallihouse,’ back in ’83-’84, for parties and hangouts, and, actually, Tom [Hunting, EXODUS drummer] and our old guitar player Rick [Hunolt] used to housesit for the guys when they would be touring! So, we were just shootin’ the shit about the old days, and he just looks at me and said, ‘Let’s go out and watch KREATOR!’
“It was great to have a catchup with those guys, and I really think they are going to surprise a lot of people with the new album. They know where they come from; they know where it’s at. You can’t deny their success; it’s unparalleled! If you were to ask them if they thought it was unparalleled, I’m sure one of them will tell you, ‘Are you kidding me? I never thought any of this would happen in a million fucking years!'”
Hammett was a member of EXODUS‘ original lineup before replacing Dave Mustaine in METALLICA in 1983. In fact, Hammett was not only the person who came up with the EXODUS name, but also the first from the band to meet original EXODUS singer Paul Baloff and brought him into the group.