Rock In Rio 2015: Interview: Sepultura
Caleb Hyles interviews Sepultura following their performance on the Evolution Stage
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Sepultura is a Brazilian heavy metal band which formed in 1984. When it first formed, the band was a major force in the death metal, thrash metal and groove metal genres during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Sepultura has had several changes in its lineup since its formation, with Max and Igor Cavalera departing in 1996 and 2006, respectively. Sepultura's current line up consists of vocalist Derrick Green, guitarist Andreas Kisser, bassist Paulo Jr. and drummer Eloy Casagrande.
Caleb Hyles interviewed Andreas Kisser and ELoy Casagrande before their performance on the Evolution Stage at Rock In Rio USA.
Caleb Hyles: 13 albums later, over 30 million records sold, toured around the world… What could possibly be next for Sepultura?
Andreas Kisser: Another 30 million? No. For Sepultura we always live in the present and in the moment. Coming from Brazil, playing the style of music we do, we feel great to be here today. We just wish to keep going like that and enjoying what we do. We travel the world, every year we go to a new place; we play in a different city or a different town. We just came back from playing 17 shows in Russia. We don’t have too much time to dream, I don’t think, because we’re doing so many things which is great. We just want to keep this momentum going forever.
Caleb Hyles: Through all of the line-up changes that you’ve gone through over this period of time, how do you maintain, consistently, really good and heavy metal music?
Andreas Kisser: We respect every member that comes into the band. It would not any sense if Eloy came into the band and said that you need to play like an idiot or you have to do everything the same or like the members that have gone before you. Even when I first joined the band, every time that somebody comes into this group, it’s to bring a new characteristic. A new way of doing things. We don’t want to be slaves of ourselves – we like to live in the moment and we respect everything that new members bring into the band. That’s one of the things that keep this band fresh and alive.
Caleb Hyles: You’ve just finished performing Rock In Rio USA alongside Steve Vai. What was it like working with a legend like Steve Vai?
Eloy Casagrande: Amazing. It’s incredible to work with this type of guitar player that is so amazing. I love this job! For so many years I have been listening to his music and then to one day be playing with him… it’s like a dream. He doesn’t play a specific ‘metal’ and he isn’t into ‘metal music’ so it’s fun to play with a different type of musician. He can play everything.
Andreas Kisser: It’s a new territory for him as well.
Eloy Casagrande: Yeah, he doesn’t usually play metal so that was super cool.
Andreas Kisser: For me, as a guitar player as well, I was very honoured. He’s a big influence to any 6-stringed player and I’m just very happy to have this opportunity to jam with him. It’s amazing.
Caleb Hyles: The metal scene is getting younger and younger as it goes on. There’s a lot of old guys out there for Metallica but it’s getting younger. How do you, if at all, do you appeal to the generation that’s coming up?
Andreas Kisser: We have a young drummer! That’s it! 24 years old. I think this music is young. If you see The Rolling Stones, it’s young! Its very rock ‘n’ roll, it’s a great vibe. Rock ‘n’ Roll has this spirit of freedom, tattoos, long hair, dress like a woman… anything is possible! That’s great. It keeps the spirit flowing and that’s why Rock ‘n’ Roll is so popular around the world. Sepultura, in 30 years, we’ve played in 73 countries from dictatorship to democracies, etc… Music and metal, specifically, has really opened a lot of doors and this type of stuff passes through generations. A father passing down his music to his son, an uncle, a cousin, etc… I see my son now, he’s 17 years old, and he’s following the same steps! This is honest music, it’s very real, and it’s not like a boy band. It’s garage band!
Caleb Hyles: Your albums are based around a lot of concepts; there are a lot of themes and storytelling. What attracts Sepultura to that type of writing?
Andreas Kisser: We start working on books and movies, trying to do our own soundtrack for that in 2005/2006 with “Dante XXI”. I work worth many different soundtracks for movies in Brazil and I saw that the more limitations you have the more creative you get. It’s like the McGyver effect – you have just a few elements to gear the rocket and somehow he can do it! You have the limitation of book one, one storyline, one character (and in movies you have the Director – the dictator of the movie who has a very specific idea) so these types of limitations make you more creative. That’s why I brought that to the band that day. Igor was on the way out of the band and I tried to find something that could really drive the band to do something together. We were not really feeling like a band anymore, he left the band right after we recorded that album so it was a very difficult album to get through and to make but the book it helps so much to do the songs that we did. We repeated the same formula to make “Clockwork Orange” or “A-Lex”.
Caleb Hyles: You released your album two years ago, is there a new one in the works?
Andreas Kisser: Yeah, maybe we’ll start working on it at the end of the year. We’re going to start working on new ideas. I have rifts and I’m sure Eloy has groove ideas. We’re going to play tonight, for the first time, a new song which is coming out on June 5th. A song that we did for our fans that have the Sepultura tattoo. It’s called “Sepultura Under My Skin” and it’s coming out on 7-inch vinyl and digital. We’re going to present it tonight for the first time and then we’re going to start the process of working on the new album.
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