Hi Steve glad you could take the time to do this interview for Broken Neck Radio I'm Rottenron/ , and I must say Dawn of the New Centurion is outstanding \m/ ~ Blasting it in my cars' subs daily and on my Sunday Thrash Blast 1-5 @brokenneckradio.com
ZETRO - Thank you very much. We are receiving a lot of positive press with this record, and other overall response has been phenomenal.
Rotten Ron : What was the first band to tune u onto \m/etalrock?
ZETRO - There are several actually. My dad was an old school biker, so he always had heavy rock blasting in the garage - stuff like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Ted Nugent. Dad bought me my first Led Zeppelin record when I was eight years old, and it's been all downhill from there! I saw AC/DC live in 1979 and Bon Scott became my hero. I knew right then that I wanted to be a rock star and be in a band. Bon was the ultimate front man and had all the charisma. That show changed my life.
Rotten Ron : What band cranks yer clock now?
ZETRO - Honestly, if you are talking about newer bands, Hatriot cranks my clock! I work on this band all day every day, around the clock! I think we are one of the best out there right now from the new scene, and that's not being conceited. It's just true. Other than that I listen to a lot of older metal - Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, and Black Sabbath. Two weeks ago I went to a local used CD store and bought fifty bucks worth of Saxon! I'm still a huge fan of all the old school heavy shit!
Rotten Ron : With 25 plus years performing with such great bands as Exodus,Dublin Death Patrol, TENENT and now Hatriot \m/ you've got quite a Legacy (*snap tied that in/). Have you ever thought of writing a biography
ZETRO - This question has been coming up a lot lately. I don't know really. I have a lot of great stories, and I'm sure there would be people who would love the book, but I will probably save it for a while. I have too much left to do with my music. The story isn't over yet, so there's no point in writing a book yet.
ZETRO - It's definitely an album that fits right in with the catalog of work I have done over the course of my career. It's definitely a brutal thrash metal album, similar to what I'm know for with Exodus, but with a lot of the melody and structure that put Testament on the map. So this album is definitely right up there with the best from my past. As for longevity, Lemmy said it best - the key to longevity is to not stop playing! There will always be highs and lows in this business. You just have to keep playing.
Rotten Ron : Dawn of the new Centurion is quite a well blended powerhouse of killer thrash metal from front to back! My favorite songs from Dawn of the new Centurion are The Fear Within - Your Worst Enemy - Honor In The Rise And Fall - DOTNC. Are there certain songs that stand ahead of the others for you and why.
ZETRO - I love the whole record. I think every song is strong and every song has its own place on the record. Nothing sounds redundant to me. I love the groove to "Super Kill." I think that will be the "Toxic Waltz" of this album. "Silence In The House Of The Lord" has the most dynamics and is the heaviest track in my opinion. Another standout track for me is "The Fear Within." It is very special because it's actually the first song we ever did as Hatriot on our first demo. Of course it has grown and developed into what you hear on the album, but that song has a lot of meaning to me.
Rotten Ron : Superkillafragasadisticactsaresatrocious has to be the longest song title in history. Is this a song thats been kicking around in your head for a while or is it something that just rolled off your tongue by accident.
ZETRO - I am always thinking of creative titles and metaphors, and somehow I stumbled across this word, and I knew if I could write a song with that title the entire metal industry would be talking about it! So the title came first, then Kosta came up with the riff, and before we knew it we had the song written. The lyrics came really quickly once the music was in place. Not to brag, but it is pretty damn clever!
Rotten Ron : Where do you get inspiration for lyrics, which comes first - the music or the lyrics?
ZETRO - It's all about the riff. Kosta writes all the riffs and arranges them into songs. Once the band does a rough jam room recording of the instrumental I take the music home and write the lyrics to it. My lyrics come from all kinds of things - the news, politics, horror movies, vampire movies, and anything going on in the world that I find interesting. No subject is off limits and nothing is too taboo. The music definitely comes first. I write the melodies and the lyrics based on what I am feeling when I hear the riffs.
Rotten Ron : With all social media connections and music streaming of today do you think it has helped or hurt new bands like Hatriot gain attention and interest with music fans.
ZETRO - It has done both. On the positive side, the record companies are no longer the gatekeepers to a band's career. Things are a lot more independent, and bands do a lot of direct marketing to their fanbases through social media, and I think that is awesome. The downside is everything is so over saturated now, and it makes being in a band less special. There's no mystique and nothing left to the imagination. Back in the day you waited in line at a record store to get your favorite new record, now you click a mouse and take it for free. You used to have to go out to a show to watch a band, now you just pull it up on youtube. The instant access to the music is awesome, but it creates a mentality with the people where music isn't as big of a deal as it once was. I think that is sad.
ZETRO - They had no choice! Metal was always cranking at my house. I wasn't the dad that drove around with little kid music playing in the car. My kids were babies in car seats, with Slayer fucking cranked! I was the dad pulling up to get the kids at school with Judas Priest at full volume, headbanging as I waited on the kids to get in the car. Plus all of my rock star buddies would come over and hang at the house, so Cody and Nick were always around musicians.
They were just destined to be heavy metal fans, and musicians as well.
Rotten Ron : Aside from the amp blowing up and catching fire at Spanckys last Jan., what is the craziest "spinal-tap" moment you've experienced in your career?
ZETRO - There have been ten thousand Spinal Tap moments. I think if a band hasn't had a Spinal Tap moment, then they aren't a real band! One that comes to mind happened in New Haven, Connecticut. I was on tour with Exodus and we were playing a club called Sneakers. We couldn't get into the venue. We were outside the doors with our guitars and everything, just pounding on the back door, and we can hear the crowd chanting "Exodus... Exodus..." The show is starting and we aren't even in the venue yet. So we are banging on the back door and this security guy opens it up, and it's just like Spinal Tap. He's this big black guy and he says "you the band right? You better get in there!" It was just like Spinal Tap!
Rotten Ron : The Violent Time Of My Dark Passenger - from Heroes of Origin CD, has a Dexter theme to it (imo). Where do you find topics to write about and are you the type of lyricist that jots down lines wherever/whenever a great idea hits you.
ZETRO - You are correct. That song is about Dexter. I write about anything that interests me. It can be serial killers, corrupt world leaders, filthy Catholic priests, or something from a movie. I'm usually not the guy to write lyrics down. I don't have a lyric book lying around that I jot shit down in. I do write titles down. I wrote "Super Kill" down so I wouldn't forget it, but I'm not really a guy that writes random lyrics down. I've never had the need to do that.
Rotten Ron : What are Hatriots tour plans for this year? More festivals/club dates? and which do you prefer. Also do you still have time for AC-DZ moving forward?
ZETRO - We are submitting our band to all the festivals and to all the booking agents. Hopefully there will be enough of a demand for us to get out on a bigger tour as a support band. That's our goal. Right now there's talk of European and South American tours in the summer. We will see how it goes. A lot of it depends on record sales. We need sales to attract the promoters. I like both the festivals and the clubs. Festivals obviously help get the name out in front of a bigger audience, but the club shows are fucking intense! As for AC/DZ, i do a show every now and then when the schedule permits. I basically get to be Bon Scott for a day, and it's a lot of fun.
Rotten Ron : Thanks again for taking time for this interview, and many thanks for thrashing my world and metal heads worldwide. Hatriot has a home here at BrokenNeckRadio ~
ZETRO - Thank you for all the support. Hope to see everyone on tour this year. Keep thrashin' - Zetro