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SEPULTURA (ANDREAS KISSER)

Sepultura-2

YOU’VE BEEN ON THE ROAD NOW FOR HOW MANY WEEKS? Well, six weeks and today is the last show on this tour. We’ve been visiting many places in Europe, sold out everywhere. It’s like a great package, you know, It did work out great. THE LAST TIME YOU WERE HERE IN EUROPE YOU TOURED AS A SUPPORT FOR MOTÖRHEAD, WHERE THE AVERAGE FANS COMING TO THOSE SHOWS WERE… I DON’T WANT TO SAY “OLD”, BUT THE IN FLAMES CROWD IS LIKE… KIND OF YOUNG. HOW WAS THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE IN FLAMES FANS? DID THEY EVEN KNOW SEPULTURA? I think most of them were seeing SEPULTURA for the first time. It’s great to have that kind of mixed audience. First with MOTÖRHEAD – of course long history, long road, like many different fans, different ages and stuff – and IN FLAMES now with a very strong album bringing a lot of the young kids. It’s great, you know. The acceptance has been amazing and I guess our new album, too, is doing very good, like the response of the crowd. Even people are starting to sing the lyrics and stuff, and critics very positive, you know. So, it’s great to see the youngsters still enjoying what we’re doing. A LOT OF CRITICS COMPARE THE ALBUM WITH A MOVIE SOUNDTRACK, PARTLY BECAUSE OF THE INSTRUMENTS YOU USED, AND OF COURSE BECAUSE OF THE STORY ITSELF. WHAT ARE THE SIMILARITIES TO A MOVIE SOUNDTRACK TO YOU? WHERE WOULD YOU PINPOINT IT DOWN AND SAY: “THIS DEFINITELY SOUNDS LIKE A MOVIE SOUNDTRACK!”? Yeah, it is. I mean, from day one we started working on this album in August 2004, a year and a half in making. And since day one we knew we wanted to do something like that – as a soundtrack. Because we’ve been doing some soundtracks in Brazil as SEPULTURA, and myself working with different musicians, different movies. And, you know, SEPULTURA did everything in the past, it seems like. We did record in many different countries, with many different producers. We recorded with the ancient tribe in Brazil, and Kodo – Japanese drummers – we wanted something new that would inspire us to write. And the whole soundtrack idea came from the experiences that we had in Brazil. So, you know, we thought about finding a movie or a book to be inspired by, and Derrick suggested the “Divine Comedy” because it was a book that he studied in school when he was young. And i suggested “Clockwork Orange”, the movie and the book, from Kubrick or whatever. I think the “Divine Comedy” was much more perfect. It’s like such a great powerful book written several hundred years ago. And it seems so actual, you know, so powerful that we could do like many albums from the book itself. But we chose to be short. We didn’t want to do like a double-boring-long-epic album. Just like very short, get to the point and get to the answer of what Dante wanted us to show with his “Divine Comedy”. You know, like, Over-all respect for yourself, and think about your acts and consequences – moist importantly of your acts, you know. I think that book has to do a lot with that. Dante also wrote this book to face his own demons, you know, his own problems. He died in exile, he suffered the consequences of politics and church and wars and fights for power – and all that stuff that we still see today. You know, that’s why we made the connection Dante XI, because we saw that the war didn’t change that much. Just the tools are different. You know, we have technology, we have internet, we have atomic bombs. It’s all that stuff that during those days wasn’t there. But the spirit of the human being is still very much the same. THAT’S A NICE EXCURSION INTO LITERATURE… ARE YOU INTO LITERATURE AS WELL, OR IS IT JUST THAT DERRICK CAME UP WITH THE IDEA AND THE CONCEPT? DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING LIKE A FAVOURITE BOOK? I like to read a lot. Derrick also likes to read a lot. And myself, I like a lot of history, like 2nd world war and first war, crusades. You know, stuff that really shaped the world the way it is today, our personalities and religion. I like a lot of biographies: Albert Einstein, and Ghandi, and Adolf Hitler, Stalin, you know. People that really made a difference in this world, for good or bad. And I like to read that kind of stuff, not too much of fantasy stuff. It’s cool, you know, it helps me to write, it helps me with my favourite point of views about the world. Especially, because we have the privilege to travel the world so many times. Since ’89 we’ve been travelling the world, so we’ve seen a lot of changes: from the Berlin wall to Yugoslavia and stuff. Many different places that we visit now, and that we are able to play, like Israel and stuff, you know. South Africa and Indonesia – so many different places and cultures. It’s great and you learn a lot. Not only by books but also by travelling. IS THERE A CULTURE OR A SPECIAL REGION IN THE WORLD THAT REALLY IMPRESSED YOU, FOR EXAMPLE CULTURAL-WISE? Many places. I mean, Indonesia is one of them. We spent a week there and we played two big shows, like for 60.000 people in a football stadium. It was amazing. You know, that was ’92 for “Arise”. And everything was very big and very chaotic. But at the same time we went to Bali, and we’ve seen so many different temples, and tasted so different food. And Russia was interesting, North of Brazil is amazing, Argentina… It’s great that we have the chance with our music to go and perform. We’re welcome on those places because of the music, which is great. LET’S GET BACK TO THE MUSIC HERE: ON “DANTE XXI” YOU INTEGRATED MORE EXPERIMENTAL PARTS AND INSTRUMENTS AGAIN, LIKE FOR EXAMPLE THE CELLO, WHICH YOU USED IN QUITE A FEW SONGS ON THE ALBUM… Cello is an instrument that I myself like a lot. It’s a very powerful, sad and deep instrument. Like Bach wrote a lot of stuff for the Cello, and Villa Lobos – which is a Brazilian composer – he played Cello, too. And Apocalyptica, we worked together. But the cello and the horns, the orchestral sounds came from the soundtrack world, you know. Eighty to ninety percent of the movie soundtracks are made by orchestral works, big orchestras and shit. This element is very common. So we called this guy, Andre Moraes, which is one of the co-producers of the album, which is the guy we did some soundtracks with. So we brought this guy who worked in so many different movies in Brazil, we worked together in other movies, and we brought him. He is a big SEPULTURA fan and he brought the musicians into the studio, and he did all the arrangements for the orchestral parts and shit. And everything came from the book itself, you know. It was like: we were watching a movie, and we were doing sound for it. You know, the creation, and connecting to the world of today. We divided the album in three parts, the same way the book is: hell, purgatory and paradise. And musically it is very different from each other. You know, at the end it was very inspirational. It was fun really to work, and we learned so much. I think it was a great choice to work on this. BUT I BET YOU LIKE THE HARD-HITTING STUFF MORE THAN THE ORCHESTRAL, SPIRITUAL ONES!? AM I RIGHT WITH THAT? No, not really. I enjoy both. I think, there is room for both. You know, that’s why, I mean, hell is very much the way we do it normally. You know, without hell heavy metal wouldn’t be possible. (laughs) Without hell BLACK SABBATH would never exist. So, hell is very much the way we do music normally. The big challenge was really to the purgatory and paradise, really to represent that musically. Kind of our more softer way than hell, you know. But at the same time still heavy and still deep. ALLRIGHT THEN… HELL AND CHRISTIANITY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR METAL…! Exactly, yeah. Of course! (laughs) YOUR LAST TWO ALBUMS – THEY ARE GOOD ALBUMS, DON’T GET MW WRONG HERE – BUT THE SONGS DIDN’T REALLY GET TO THE POINT IN MY OPINION. HAVE YOU FOUND A NEW FEELING WITHIN THE BAND? DID DERRICK FINALLY GET FULLY INTEGRATED INTO THE BAND? There are many elements that make an album the way it comes out. On “Roorback” we were very motivated because we left Roadrunner, you know, after so long. We did “Against” and “Nation” with them, and they didn’t really believe in this line-up, with Derrick and stuff. They didn’t invest on video clips, and tour support and all that stuff that really a band needs to be a part of the business today. It’s not only the music, you know, you really have to have a team working towards the same objective: manager, label, booking agent – all doing the same plan. So, with Roadrunner it was very difficult to do that, and we finally left, and we left very peacefully, not fighting with lawyers and crap. It was all done very calm and clearly, which was great for both of us. We joined SPV, and with SPV we felt motivated, you know, people that were working towards the future of SEPULTURA. They didn’t care about all the, whatever, problems. Max leaving and same label and stuff like that. So SPV were something new, something fresh. And “Roorback” is a consequence of that. It was just like putting an album together with this new album. It was a shorter album compared to “Against” and “Nation” and “Roots”: like, sixteen songs and many guests, and travelling all over. You know, we decided to do a very simple album, not extra instruments – just the band itself, and do a simple SEPULTURA album. We were just very motivated to work with this new people. And “Dante” is the second album with them, much more integrated into the label, we have a great manager, we have a booking agent. So everything is in place, you know, after a while. Cause when Max left the band we didn’t only loose the singer, but we lost the manager, we lost the trust from the label. So we have really to rebuild that from scratch. And that kind of stuff really takes time. And also for Derrick to adapt into the SEPULTURA life and vice versa, you know. So everything fell in place for this album. Everything was in place, so we could go to the studio and really focus on the music and write. And I think, it shows. WHEN I SURFED THE INTERNET I FOUND OUT THAT OBVIOUSLY THE PROMOTION IN AMERICA WASN’T THAT GREAT: THE FIRST WEEK “DANTE” WAS RELEASED YOU ONLY SOLD LIKE 2.500 COPIES OF THE ALBUM. WHAT WOULD YOU PUT THAT DOWN TO? WHO DO YOU BLAME FOR THAT? I mean, bootlegs, internet, download. You know, the album was already on the internet a month or two before it came out… THREE MONTHS BEFORE… I mean, I don’t care about that really. This only hurts like the label shit, you know. A record label is nothing more than a bank that invests on you. We have the contracts, and stuff like that. But I think if the music goes straight to the listener: better! I mean, the band is still popular. We play for a lot of people. I don’t know how they get the songs, but somehow they are getting the songs, you know. Some of them buy the CDs, some of them are making copies from a friend – whatever. And I mean, I cannot really complain about our structure nowadays. We are not the only band selling less. You can see any metal band, even though METALLICA sell millions: they sell less than many years ago. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff that changed. It’s funny, because they only blame the music of SEPULTURA for everything that happens, you know. (laughs) It’s crazy! So, many elements that the world changed in the last ten years, that affects very much on the selling. I mean, the record labels don’t have money like they used to. Before, in the past it was just like planes and limos and travelling all over the world and spending money here and there. It’s not like that anymore, so… SO YOU HAVEN’T GOT THE LIMOS ANYMORE? Naah, fuck the limos. (laughs) It was just like an example, you know, how much they spend money on stupid shit and stuff. But, you know… it’s cool. We’re working, and this album is really strong. It’s bringing a lot of people back to SEPULTURA. We never left pretty much, we played all over the world and we kept the band alive. And that’s the important thing. I think that the sales are gonna raise, like step by step, because this album is gonna be digested little by little. You know, people are gonna get more interested about it, and I think that’s fine. There is no hurry. AROUND TEN YEARS AGO SEPULTURA WAS PRETTY MUCH EVERYBODY’S FAVOURITE BAND, A METAL VEST WASN’T “COMPLETE” WITHOUT A SEPULTURA BADGE – MEANING THAT YOU HAD A MUCH BIGGER RESPONSE FROM THE CROWD. WHEN PEOPLE SAY THINGS LIKE “THEY’LL NEVER GET WHERE THEY ONCE WERE” – INSINUATING THAT YOUR STAR KIND OF WENT DOWN IN THE PAST YEARS: WHAT IS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN YOU’RE HEARING SUCH THINGS? I mean, we did it the opposite way. When Max left the band – like I said – we had to rebuild everything from scratch and we never stopped. We are in an upward way. Many bands are doing the opposite, you know. I don’t know, I don’t care. I mean, I know what it takes to keep SEPULTURA alive, and the reaction of every show that we played has been amazing every time. It doesn’t matter if we play in Brazil or South Africa or in Texas or in Hamburg. It’s like, the reaction is always great, and many new fans that have never seen SEPULTURA. So it’s always a challenge for us. That’s what music is all about. And people can expect whatever they want, you know. I’m not here to fulfil anybody’s expectations but mine or the band. We’re here to do what we love. And people are entitled to have their opinions whatever they might be. All I do is like respect, maybe I don’t like some of them, but I respect it anyway. THAT’S WHY I’M HAPPY THAT YOU GOT THE SUPPORT SLOT FOR IN FLAMES, BECAUSE THAT GIVES YOU A MUCH BROADER EXPOSURE AMONGST THE YOUNGER METAL KIDS.. ACTUALLY, HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT TOURING WITH A PURE HARDCORE BAND? YOU HAVE QUITE A STRONG FOLLOWING IN THE HARDCORE SCENE AS WELL. ON THE CURRENT ALBUM YOU WORKED WITH JAMEY JASTA FROM HATEBREED AGAIN, SO WHY NOT TOUR TOGETHER? Yeah, we did that many times. Hardcore is like… SICK OF IT ALL, HATEBREED and SHELTER, EARTH CRISIS. You know, many other bands. You know, SEPULTURA played with everybody – and it’s great. I mean, we’re trying to put together a tour with HATEBREED in the States now, maybe August, September. And let’s see it that works out. It would be fucking great! YOU’RE STILL ENGAGED INTO A FEW OTHER BANDS AND PROJECTS BESIDES SEPULTURA. WHAT’S THE NAME OF THAT OTHER PROJECT: PALLASSA… PALLASSINAS… PA….?!? PALLALEMOS? Yeah, PALLALEMOS DI SUSESO (editor’s note: …please excuse the – probably – wrong spelling!) is not my project, it’s like a band. It’s a very big band in Brazil, they have a beautiful story in Brazil. They started early eighties and they are still one of the biggest acts. And I’m participating with them like as a guest. I participate on their last, DVD, live, in the studio, on the album, and I’m doing some shows with them. It’s great! We’re even doing a SEPULTURA song “Ratamahatta”, which is very Brazilian-oriented and stuff. And they have a really cool section of percussion, horns and stuff like that. It’s interesting. You know, it’s like… I have millions of projects. (laughs) Something like that. I’m preparing a solo album, too. I have a BLACK SABBATH tribute band and a 70 rock/ classic rock band, I do some guitar clinics… I mean, it’s cool, it’s like weekend kind of stuff that I go any play, and I have fun also. I keep myself busy because it’s great, a whole new learning experience process. Besides, I love playing guitar, so it’s great! AND YOU FORGOT ASESINO, YOUR BAND PROJECT WITH DINO CAZARES (EDITOR’S NOTE:FORMER GUITARIST FOR FEAR FACTORY). RUMOUR HAS IT, THAT DINO IS NOT EXACTLY AN EASY PERSON TO WORK WITH… No, he’s great! We did some really cool stuff together for the “Roadrunner United” Album, and live we worked together for a month there to organize everything together with Roy (editor’s note: Mayorga), Joey (Jordison) and Adam (Duce). You know, he’s great. I mean, we speak the same language pretty much. Like, he’s a great guitar-player, a great riff-master, and I was very happy to be a part of the ASESINO album – it’s their second album – and it sounds awesome, really heavy, really powerful. And with that, too, hopefully we could do some live shows together. That would be great. BRINGING IT OVER TO EUROPE AS WELL? Yeah, definitely! Definitely! ANYTHING PLANNED, YET? I don’t know. I’m talking to Dino to see if we are gonna put together some dates, and see if we can schedule some dates with them in the States, and then over here in Europe, too. I think it would be possible, I think it would be great! I JUST WONDER, HOW MANY HOURS A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDREAS KISSER MUST HAVE TO RECONCILE ALL THAT… MILLIONS OF BANDS AND PROJECTS PLUS A FAMILY… AND BEING ON TOUR FOR SEVERAL MONTHS – THAT’S INSANE!! Yeah! (laughs) It’s cool! You know, I feel I’m enjoying it. My family really gives the support I really need to keep doing. And that’s the way I support my family, too. That’s what I do, that’s my job. Like I said, I love what I do and it makes it easier. It doesn’t matter what stuff you do in your life: you have really to enjoy what you are doing, otherwise it would be fucking hell, so… It’s great that I found my way on music and I love playing guitar, like I said, and it’s awesome to be on the road, and – of course – awesome to be home, too. I mean, to have that balance, so I can enjoy and support both. YOU’RE STILL THE ONLY GUITAR-PLAYER IN SEPULTURA, RIGHT? Uhum. Well, Derrick plays some guitar on some songs. But on the album I record everything. RIGHT. BUT ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU SEE SEPULTURA LIVE: A LOT OF FANS HAVE BEEN COMPLAINING THAT THEY ARE MISSING THE SECOND GUITAR – EVEN THOUGH MAX ONLY PLAYED THE FIRST TWO STRINGS – BUT SOMETHING IS MISSING THERE. HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT TAKING A SECOND GUITAR-PLAYER IN? OR EVEN JUST A TOURING MEMBER? I don’t know. You know, we are not trying to reproduce what is not there anymore. We are just playing differently. That’s our reality today. And we didn’t feel to have an extra member just to play the riffs and the bass, the basic tracks, whatever. I think, I felt, you know, a lot of more room to work something new on my guitar instead of just trying to repeat something. Paolo also has more room to work throughout his bass, some percussion, voice from Derrick. I mean, we find new stuff to work out instead of just being in the past, like trying to reproduce just because it was there. II’M NOT TALKING ABOUT REPRODUCING HERE. I’M JUST SAYING, THAT THIS IS SOMETHING A LOT OF FANS BRING UP. LIKE: “OH, THE MUSIC IS WONDERFUL, ANDREAS KISSER IS DEFINITELY ONE OF THE BEST GUITAR-PLAYERS, BUT: THE TWO STRINGS ARE MISSING THERE!”, YOU KNOW? (laughs) I mean, but they used to listen to the albums and stuff and the formation that we had before. But like I said, Derrick plays some guitar on some songs. And of course he has a totally different style than Max, you know. He doesn’t have the background of metal, like EXODUS and SLAYER and stuff, which is the school that we came from. But he still has his style, and it’s working out great live. OK, ONE LAST QUESTION – EVEN THOUGH THINK I KNOW THE ANSWER ALREADY: WHO IS GONNA BE THE FOOTBALL WORLD CHAMPION? (with a broad smile) Brasilien!! (laughs) I hope so, you know. We have really a good team, but anything could happen. But we have the best chances. There is no doubt about it! RECORDED IN HAMBURG, APRIL 20TH 2006 ON THE IN FLAMES/ SEPULTURA TOUR

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