HATRIOT (Eng.)

– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with HATRIOT?

Things are full speed ahead with Hatriot right now. The album, ‘Heroes Of Origin,’ is out now on Massacre Records and we are busy promoting it, doing interviews and press. We are shopping for a booking agent now and will be putting this band on the road very soon.

– Though you were formed 3 years ago and you are now releasing your debut album, most people still don’t know about you so, first off, could you please make some history of the band? Why did you pick «Hatriot» as the band’s name?

I met my guitarist and writing partner, Kosta Varvatakis, in 2010 and we started working on material, finding band members, and that kind of thing. In February of 2011 we launched the official Hatriot website and that was pretty much the ‘launch’ of the band, and around that time we issued a four song demo EP for the fans to check out. The demo created a big buzz on the band and we had record labels contacting us, so in the summer of 2012 we signed with Massacre Records and began recording the debut album. The name Hatriot comes from the lyric in the Exodus song ‘Scar Spangled Banner’ where I say “I’m no patriot just a hatriot.” I felt that the name was very aggressive and it tied this chapter of my career to my days fronting Exodus, so it worked well as the band moniker.

 

– You have been involved in different musical projects, so what does HATRIOT provide you some of your other bands couldn’t?

Hatriot is my first real band since I left Exodus in 2004. Sure I have done other projects, like Tenet and Dublin Death Patrol, but those were just that – they were projects. Hatriot is a real band with a real team attitude. So I would say Hatriot provides me with a way to continue on with the sound I was doing in the final days of my stint with Exodus, and that is extreme thrash metal.

 

– As I said, you have just released your first record, «Heroes of Origin». How is its feedback being so far? What are your expectations on it?

The feedback has been amazing. We have been getting raving reviews for the record, and people are freaking out on how solid of a record it is. I try to not really have expectations, but I am very excited for the world to hear the album, and for people to see that I still have something to offer the metal community all these years after I left Exodus. I tell people that this record is the natural continuation of what I was doing with Exodus in 2004, so if you liked that you will love this.

 

– There isn’t much mystery on your music: pure and fierce Bay Area Thrash Metal with a more modern sound but, what are you offering new to the listener? I mean, on your view, what could encourage you buying your album?

I’m going to go as far as to say this is the best thrash metal album to come out of the bay area in a long time. A lot of fans yearn for an album that brings them back to the thrash glory days, and I believe this is the one. It is a fucking monster! This is the heaviest album I have ever done in my career, and that says a lot with my history in Exodus and Testament. If you have followed my career over the years then you know what to expect from Zetro, and this is the best shit I have ever done.

 

– Could you say having younger members among the line-up, as for instance your sons, Nick and Cody Souza, is like a mix between a breath of fresh air with the old school spirit?

Absolutely. I have said it many times, I was against forming a new band for years. When I met Kosta it really gave me a kick in the ass to see the energy and excitement this young kid had for the music. Now with my boys in the band, everything has come full circle in my life. I no longer have to choose between family and music. It is all one and the same. These guys are so fucking excited to be living their dream playing music, and I see that excitement and it takes me back to when I was first doing heavy metal. The youth definitely brings out a new energy. These guys are ready to fucking kill. They are so hungry for it.

 

– And is it easy to work with your family or is rather harder as you use to spend more time together than with the rest of the band?

It’s not really as complicated as people would think. I am dad to Cody and Nick, but at the same time we are best friends. I was not the traditional father when they grew up. I was a fucking rock star and they grew up in studios and on tour busses. They have been around this their whole lives so it’s not really anything strange to them. All the guys in the band are cool and easy to work with. We don’t have any band drama or any shit like that. They know my history in the business and show me the respect that I have earned, plus they look to me for advice in the business. Every band practice is a lesson. I tell them what to expect and how to do things. Hatriot is becoming a fine tuned machine.

 

– What is the songwriting process like in HATRIOT?

It is a pretty simple process really. Kosta writes and arranges all of the music, and then brings it to practice and shows it to the rest of the band. The guys all put their own stamp on it and they get the music down tight. We will then make a jam room recording of the instrumental track and I will take that home and write the words. It is really that simple.

 

– «Heroes of Origin» was recorded by veteran producer Juan Urteaga, and I personally think he managed to get a current sound but with that 80’s/old school essence. Was this the sound you wanted to get?

That is exactly the sound we wanted to get. Juan has become a legend in the Bay Area because of his ability to get amazing tones at a fraction of the cost that Andy Sneap or one of the bigger guys would charge. Juan is just fucking amazing. He has worked with Testament, Exodus, Machine Head, Vicious Rumors, and countless others. With a track record like that it was a no-brainer to go with him. He did an amazing job and we are very pleased.

 

– On the other hand, the cover artwork was crafted by Mark DeVito, and it also has a pretty «old school» and US vibe. Could you please tell us what did you want to express with it?

Mark has done a lof of cool álbum covers in the past for bands like Motorhead, Anvil Chorus, and others, so when we approached him to do the Hatriot record I basically gave him the green light to do whatever the fuck he wanted with it. My only request was it had to have the band on the front, because bands don’t do that shit anymore. In the old days bands put their picture on the front all the time, so we wanted to bring that back, sort of like what Thin Lizzy would do back in the day, but with an evil twist. We told him to make it evil and full of carnage, and I think he nailed it. I see kids trashing the artwork on the internet, but you know what? We got exactly what we wanted. That front cover grabs your attention. You could be on the other side of the record store and glance over and be like “oh fuck! There’s the Hatriot record!” It jumps out at you and that was the whole purpose. I think Mark nailed it.

 

– I guess it’s just linked to the lyrics on the album so, what do they deal with?

I write about anything dark and sinister. No topic is too extreme for me. This record covers suicide bombers, school shootings, vampires, horror movies, and all things in between. People assume that our lyrics are all political because of the Hatriot name, but politics is at the bottom of the list.

 

– All this about «Heroes of Origin» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Zetro’s best álbum.

 

– Finally, what are your near-future plans?

We are shopping for a booking agent now and our near future plan is to get out on the road as a support act and push this record to the fans. In addition to touring

we will be continuing to do interviews and press, and hope to get the word out on Hatriot and reach all corners of the globe. After that cycle is over we will be right back in the studio for the second album. This is just the beginning.

 

– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

I want to thank you for the interview and for the chance to spread the word on Hatriot to your readers. I don’t take any of this for granted at all. I appreciate every interview, every fan that buys the album, and everyone that comes to the gig. We can’t do this without your support! I am back in a big way and I promise to never let the thrash metal fans down ever again. I am here to stay! See you on tour. Thrash it up! ZETRO

 

Sergio Fernández

sergio@queensofsteel.com

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