Who is the founder of the team and in what circumstances it was founded?
Hatriot was founded by me, Steve Souza, in 2010 when I met my primary guitarist and writing partner, Kosta Varvatakis, at a show his band was playing. He was very impressive with his writing abilities and playing skills, so we exchanged numbers and basically stayed in touch. When his band broke up we decided to work on some music together, and the chemistry was amazing, so we built a band around it. That band is now known as Hatriot.
Steve Souza is still full of energy? Will the new project aims to broaden your horizons?
I have more energy now then I have ever had, and I’m 49 years old. I think as you get older you don’t take for granted things that you may have in the past. I know that this is my last shot at doing something huge in music, so I’m taking it fucking serious. Dead serious. When you are 22 you think “oh fuck it I’ll do another band” and it’s not really a do or die situation. This is my band and it will be the final thing that music fans judge me by when I’m dead and gone, so you better believe I’m going to make this shit awesome. As for the horizons, I’m sticking with what I know, which is old school thrash, but adding a whole new level of aggression to the sound. The kids in my band are influenced by other forms of extreme music, so that finds its way into our style as well. Rest assured I will never go soft. I will only get heavier!
What presents Hatriot ? What is the impact on music have bands Testament / Exodus / Forbidden?
Hatriot is the next chapter in my heavy metal career. I’ve done a few things, like Dublin Death Patrol and some guest appearances, since leaving Exodus in 2004, but this is my first official band. Think of it as the next step up from ‘Tempo Of The Damned.’ Of course those three bands have had major influence on what I’m doing. I played in two of the three, and the other (Forbidden) are great friends of mine as well. They have all paved the way for thrash of today.
Are you satisfied with the work that Mark Devito has put with graphics?
I love the art that Mark did for the record. When I hired Mark to do the art all I told him was I wanted a band picture on the front cover, the way bands used to do it, and I wanted some chaos going on in the background. I think he nailed it. That artwork really jumps out at you, and it is very easily recognizable in a store, which is a plus. The classic metal album covers from back in the day all had that appeal. You could recognize ‘Master Of Puppets’ from across the store. That’s the stuff I like. I want people to look across the room and say “oh shit – there’s the Hatriot record.” I think we captured that.
What more important concerts the band has already had? For sure in 2011, with Testament and Forbidden.
Every show for us is an important one, but those shows with Testament and Forbidden were very special to us. We are very thankful for the chance to get in front of their fan base. There are a lot of bands out there competing for limited slots on tours and shows, so when we get a change to get out there we want to make it count. We’ve done a show with Death Angel as well that went over really good. Hatriot is looking to tour all over the world, so hopefully soon we will be making that happen.
Before the release of the album on the sides of the band such as youtube and myspace, you published the part of recordings. How important is the promotion? The versions we put up then were off the demos me made, although the demos sound fucking awesome in their own right. The internet serves as a great tool for getting the word out and we used that to its fullest extent when we were just getting off the ground. I think it played a big role in getting label attention and we really created a buzz on Hatriot without having the support of a label. We had the press on our side just from networking online. It was a great asset for the band.
What are the possibilities of promotion you use most often?
We use everything that is at our disposal. Hatriot has pages on all the social networks and we use the internet a lot for research, for getting in touch with magazines and that kind of thing. The options are endless, really. This isn’t like back in the day where a guy behind a desk did all the shit for you. We are right in the trenches working on this band every single day!
What is the concept album „Heroes Of Origin”? How long was created material?
There was no real concept really, other than the goal of creating the heaviest fucking thrash metal album that we could possible create. I think we achieved that and then some. Kosta and I started writing together in 2010, and a couple of the songs from back then made the album, so it was written over about a year to a year and a half I would say.
You have signed a contract with the German label Massacre Records. How looks your co-operation each other?
It seems to be a really cool partnership so far. One of our managers has other acts on Massacre, so he’s dealt with them before and has a really good relationship built over there. Hatriot does a lot of stuff independent of the label as well. We set up a lot of our own press and promotion, but the label handles manufacturing and distribution. They understand what we are trying to accomplish as a band, and are doing all they can to help us get there. It’s a great thing.
Something new and something heavy. Is it the new album „Heroes Of Origin”?
It is definitely something new and very heavy. I think this is the strongest band I have ever been a part of, and this is the heaviest record I have ever done in my career. That says a lot right there. It’s not new in the sense of doing some kind of radical style change, because this is very much a thrash record, but there is a new energy to it. It’s a strong fucking record.
How will you promote the new album?
Well, we were hoping to get out on tour, but it hasn’t happened yet. We are still shopping for a booking agent, so for now our promotion consists of doing interviews and doing the occasional live gig. We also hype the record on all the social media sites, and have sent the music to all the specialty radio shows that deal with metal. It’s a very grassroots approach to getting things done, but we are not on a major label and the business isn’t like it was in the old days, so we are doing the best we can with what we have to work with.
About what are the texts on the new album?
On this record I write about a lot of subjects, but everything is very dark in nature. You will never hear Zetro do a love song, unless it is a song about no love. On this album I cover everything from monster movies to school shootings, to suicide bombers. It’s all in there. It’s all the angry and aggressive things that make a great thrash metal album work lyrically.
How would you encouraged fans to reach for the new album Hatriot?
I would encourage all metal fans to seek this out. There’s not a lot of record stores out there anymore, at least not like it was back in the day, but you can find the music on Amazon and iTunes, as well as in a lot of mail-order catalogs, like the ones Nuclear Blast and Century Media have. It’s a solid thrash album and I know you will all enjoy it.
The last word is yours.
Just want to say thanks for the interview, and thank all the fans for their continued support throughout the years. I hope you will all give Hatriot a chance, pick up the album, and tell your friends. I will be on tour and hope to meet everyone. Check out www.hatriotmetal.com for all the updates. Keep thrashing! ZETRO