TM – Hi, this is Elizabeth and Amelia from Twinmusix.com. We are here with Steve from Exodus! Thank you for having this interview with us today we really appreciate it.
SS - Thank you for having me go to be here with you both.
TM - We say you at Hellfest.
SS - You did? What year?
TM - 2018.
SS - It feels so long ago, I mean it's been 20 months since Exodus has played a show. We played last week in Illinois and a couple of weeks ago in Las Vegas, so we have played a couple of times but not on tour so soon.
TM - How were the shows you did play?
SS – It was good to be back! The crowd was glad to have us, I don't know if you guys saw, it was all over the internet, we had a golf cart circle pit for our show. There were like seven golf carts in the pit, it was funny.
TM – I’ll have to look up that footage
SS - It's hilarious, it was awesome and it's everywhere you can see. It was funny because Gary and I egged them on into the pit because they were sitting around the outside, people had rented these golf carts to go around this outdoor festival and I said “get on in there!” So they got on in, you should watch it on video it's hilarious! It looked like the thunder dome, people are hanging off them, typical metal heads, it's great.
TM - Now you need to start a metal festival where it's everyone in golf carts just for the circle pits.
SS – Yeah! But think about that, we were lucky enough not to get anyone run over. We wanted them to do a wall of death with the golf carts, but then I probably would of gotten sued.
TM - Yeah you probably would have.
TM - You have a new album coming out. So, what can fans expect?
SS - Pure Mayhem, violence, and destruction! What you would expect from Exodus. It's our best album to date! We’ve gotten older and definitely gotten better in our craft. I think as musicians, our musicianship shows really strongly on this record. You've heard the two singles that are out right now?
TM - Yeah I heard them last night they were good.
SS - Typical Exodus destruction.
TM - What was your writing and recording process for this album?
SS - We went up to the mountains in California and lived in a really, really, nice house. Our drummer lives in the mountains in Northern California, and we did it in the height of covid. It was written from May to July, and then it got recorded August, September, and October of last year. So, we couldn't really go out and play concerts anyway. It worked out for us, we went up there just the 5 of us, with an engineer, and built a recording studio in Tom's man cave. That's where we did it, so we didn't really have to compete with any other bands. We did whatever we wanted to do, vocals, guitars, drums, or bass, we did whatever we wanted to do. We weren't on a time restraint. In the past we've had 6 weeks to record a record before, but this time we had the luxury of time, it was comfortable. We didn't have any distractions of the city or any traffic, there were no wives, children, or animals. There was just the five of us up there writing and recording the record. To me, if you want to be a band, that is a perfect way to be a band! Everybody goes up there and records the record together. You usually get the best stuff that way, it used to work for us in the 80s, it used to be that way. We were young and recorded all together, that's why this album was so great I think, we all put our hands in the fire. It wasn't five individual efforts because it's easy to record that way now, we went old school on this one and recorded together.
TM - What was it like working with Steve?
SS - He's a good guy! He's very knowledgeable when it comes to getting this and that out of what we recorded on pro tools. He's worked with many, many, bands. He's done Exodus live, and Machine Head live, so just a good guy to work with. He wanted to come in and do the project.
TM - How did you come up with your album cover for Persona Non Grata? And is there a meaning behind it?
SS - The guy who did the album cover is Par Olofsson, and he's done Exodus albums in the past. I don't know if there is anything behind it, I just look at it and go “look at all that carnage! That is going on there! There's tonnes of cool sick shit, you could just lay on your bed and listen to the record and stare at it”. When I was a kid I would buy the record, go in my room, put it on my record player, and just lay on my bed read everything on the album. Look at my album while I was listening to the music and I think ‘this record cover brings you back to that’ just a lot of sick shit going on.
TM - Yeah, it's a really cool cover, we really like it!
SS - My favourite one so far out of them, or and the last one was my favourite up to then. I hated it in the early 80s and 90s, they used to put us on the album cover. I always hated that; I was like “I don't want to be on the album cover make a fucking sick ass picture! I don't want to be on the album covers.” No I like it, it looks really cool! It will make for a great T shirt.
TM - Former Guitarist Rick Hunolt was on the record, do you think he will play on more records?
SS - You can never say, when we get in the studio, we will look at it. It was fun to have him on it adds a little bit of flare to the record. There's rick fans so it was cool to have him on the record, and the guy who was playing for Gary while he was on tour with Slayer so we could still tour, his fill in guitar player also played on the record.
TM - If you could have any band play one of your songs what band would it be? What song? and in your style or their style?
SS - could it be any era of bands? A band that's not around anymore?
TM - Yeah it could.
SS - It would definitely be Bon Scott era AC/DC, and I would have them play The Toxic Waltz the way they would do it. Not the way Exodus does it.
TM - That would be cool
SS - I do a Tribute to AC/DC here and Will from Death Angel plays drums in it, and I only do Bon Scott era of AC/DC, and I've done it for about 11 years now when I'm not on tour with Exodus. For example, on Friday night I played San Francisco with my AC/DC tribute band.
TM – That’s really cool! What's your favourite memory of watching someone else perform live? can you tell us a story?
SS - My first concert ever was I was 13 years old, and I went and saw KISS, it was the day Elvis died. It was in San Francisco, and I remember going to the show and had never seen anything like it before. Here you've just got a concert of a guy blowing fire, this guys on a riser that goes up to the top of this stage, and a guy on a line, and guitar stuff and stuff explodes, and that hooked me. As soon as I saw that I knew what I wanted to do it. I remember AC/DC playing in outdoor concert in 1979, and it was when Angus and Bon Scott used to go into the crowd and Bon Scott would be on Angus’s shoulders, and Angus passed by me and I got to pat him on the back and that was cool too. I have been doing this for so long, and I have so many memories but, I always remember the KISS one because that's the first one.
TM – That's cool! I saw them live on the Japan leg.
SS - Yeah their show is amazing. We have been lucky enough to play with them on festivals a few times, so if I'm at the festival I will watch them. We were in Spain in 2018 on that Hellfest tour, our last show was in Spain, and we were playing right after Kiss. So, you know the festival set up; one stage may be facing another stage and it was at that festival. We just stood on the stage waiting to play, it was cool and as soon as they finished, it was 2 Minutes later and then we started. You know how the festivals are; they just go constantly, but I love watching kiss what a great show!
TM - What's your favourite memory on the road? Can you tell us a story?
SS - I was just talking to Tom Hunting so I will tell you a Tom hunting story. Back in the 80s there were obviously no cell phones, and we were on tour with M.O.D, and we stopped at a hamburger place in America called Roy Rogers. Usually everyone would get out and call their girlfriends or call home, you know it's a long bus ride, some people would go to eat. The road managers job is to count everyone that's got off the bus, and everyone that gets back on, because if you get rolling there's a good potential that you left somebody there. So, we called that oil spotted, if you leave someone somewhere, you have been oil spotted. So, everyone gets on and we are going like 5 hours we are watching a movie, and some people are in the back and it’s like “Hey man, has anyone spoken to Tom?” and his drum tech said, “he's still sleeping in his bunk” and I said, “you know we've been on the road a pretty long time, we better go and check”. So, they go back and he's not in his bunk, he's not on the bus, he was left at the Royal Rogers. It was 5 1/2 hours back; he couldn't get to the show that night because he was so far away. It wasn't till times like now where you could call someone’s cell phone and say “Hey! You fucking left for me there! Come back and get me!” So when we got there, he had already called our management, and called his girlfriend saying he was stuck at Roy Rogers. He had to get in a car to get to the airport and get on a tiny prop plane to get him to where we were. This was in ‘88 or ’89. That's a clean Road story but that kind of Mayhem happens.
TM - That's a pretty good one.
SS - We talk about it all the time to this day, and it's funny now when people get off the bus there they’ll say “hey man I'm going to the bathroom” and he will say “hey man don't fucking Roy Rogers me, got left at the Roy Rogers in 1988” and we have never heard the end of it, you know what I mean?
TM - Talking about Elvis before have you ever been to Graceland?
SS – No, I have never been to Graceland. I have played Memphis before, but I have never been to Graceland. It would be kind of fun though. I've been to Memphis but a lot of the time you don't have time to leave the venue to go and explore, but I go to all that kind of stuff. I go to the country music hall of fame, or anything that has any connection to music I would go to, or sports, I've been to the hockey hall of fame, the football hall of fame, the baseball hall of fame. I go to that kind of stuff if I'm off, it's something to see at least once right?
TM - Yeah Definitely, talking about hockey, it has to be one of my favourite sports to watch live.
SS - Do you like it do you like NHL?
TM – Yeah, I like it, I'm one of those people who goes yells at the tv.
SS - Well that's a hockey match, you scream and yell, do you have a hockey preference?
TM - No I just went to a few the first time I was in the states, and I was thinking ‘this is awesome!’ and I kind of watch them here and there, I really need to get into it.
SS - It's definitely a very active, brutal sport. If you can get seats right on the glass, that's the best seats to watch a hockey game from. I love hockey!
TM - What team do you go for?
SS - Calgary Flames
TM – Nice! Who do you go for in NFL?
SS - I was a Raiders fan my whole life, they moved to Las Vegas from Oakland, so I don't watch football anymore, I don't care. The football was on yesterday and I knew I could get on my Harley and no one would be on the streets or on the road, so I took a ride yesterday.
TM - Anything else you want to say to your fans?
SS – Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi! Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! I love to do that, isn't that funny I caught you off guard there? I want to thank them for being so passionate! The Australian fans are great, I do a webcast show on YouTube called Zetros Toxic Vault, and I get so many fans from Australia on there that keep saying “come over to Australia mate!” Then I'm like “yeah! We would love to!” I think the 2015 soundwave festival was the last time we came over, so it's been a while. I am looking forward to coming over!
TM - We will probably see you somewhere in Europe, because we will definitely be there next year.
SS - We will be there for 7 weeks next summer. I know through June, July, and August, Exodus will be in Europe.
TM - Are you on Hellfest again?
SS - I haven't seen that but, because our record is coming out next month, I've been told there's a good chance we will be!
TM - Have you seen the line up?
SS - I have not but they add bands constantly.
TM - So as of now it’s a seven day festival and there are 350 bands on Hellfest, if you can name a band they are on it
SS - Oh wow! I love it! I'll be there if there is 350 bands! I was talking to Tom today and he said something about Hellfest, and I said next year, and he said Hellfest, and I said maybe we’re on that because we will be in Europe for seven weeks, and it looks like we are on every festival over there next year so let's hope so!
TM - Fingers crossed because we will be there.
SS - You will find me there somewhere in the crowd. I love Hellfest! I love the way it’s laid out! I was standing in the crowd watching Iron Maiden, people came up to me and said, “What are you doing here?” and I said “Watching Iron Maiden!” I love Iron Maiden! People were asking me “why aren't you standing on the stage?” I was like “I’m friends with their stage manager, I can if I want, but I want to stand in the crowd! I want to stand in the crowd like everyone else does”
TM - It was so nice to talk to you today thank you for this interview
SS - Stay safe ladies, stay metal!