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SEPULTURA (ANDREAS KISSER)

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Recorded on December 1st, 2004 in Osnabrück, Halle Gartlage (Tourbus) ANDREAS, YOU ARE PLAYING OSNABRÜCK TONIGHT, AND I JUST MENTIONED THAT BIELEFELD WHERE I LIVE, IS JUST A COUPLE OF MILES AWAY. AND YOU SAID: “OH, I DO KNOW BIELEFELD!”. COULD YOU EXPLAIN WHY YOU KNOW SUCH A “CITY”? Fussball! (laughs) Yeah, I know the name Bielefeld because of the football team. We follow the German football in Brazil, especially because we have a lot of Brazilians playing in Germany – not only in Germany, everywhere in the world – and, you know, Bielefeld comes to mind because of the football. THE LAST TIME YOU PLAYED HERE IN OSNABRÜCK WAS LIKE FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, WHEN YOU WERE ON TOUR WITH SODOM BACK IN THE DAYS. IN HINDSIGHT – HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT PLAYING THE SAME CITY AGAIN AFTER SUCH A LONG TIME? DO PICTURES OF FORMER TOURS COME INTO YOUR MIND SOMETIMES? It’s great! It just shows that, you know, we’re still here. We’re still jamming and it was our first international tour in ’89 with Sodom, and so here was one of the first shows we ever did outside Brazil. And since then a lot of stuff passed, and we changed members and record labels and all that. It was great to be here. You know, the band will be like 20 years old, and we are here surviving all the trends, all the glam, and grunge, and nu metal. And we are still here doing the music that we like, you know, it’s great. SPEAKING ABOUT TRENDS: RIGHT NOW THE “BIG THING” IN THE STATES AND IN EUROPE IS METALCORE. BASICALLY, IT’S WHAT YOU’VE BEEN DOING FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS, HEAVY RIFFS WITH A HARDCORE ATTITUDE. DO YOU SOMETIMES FEEL CHEATED THAT THEY’RE GETTING THE BIG HYPE NOW? No, not really. I think our influences came from like different bands, metal bands and hardcore bands, and death metal bands – whatever metal bands. They are there. I think we were influenced by a lot of bands, but also we inflenced like a lot of people, including bands like Korn and Deftones and Slipknot. It’s great to hear that Sepultura is a little part of what’s going on today. And I think that’s why we’re still here. We still have our room because we have our music, we have always the interest to try to look for something original or something new. And it’s great. “SOMETHING ORIGINAL AND SOMETHING NEW” BRINGS ME NICELY TO THE NEXT QUESTION: IN MY OPINION IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN A TRADEMARK OF SEPULTURA TO TRY OUT SOMETHING NEW. THE ALBUMS “CHAOS AD” AND “ROOTS” SET NEW STANDARDS, THEY BROUGHT A NEW FLAVOUR TO METAL MUSIC. WOULD YOU SAY THAT IS A TRADEMARK OF SEPULTURA, TREADING TERRITORIES YOU HAVE NEVER TREADED BEFORE? Definitely. I mean, the privilege to be a musician or to be in a band like Sepultura is to have that power, to have that chance really to travel the world and know different places and listen to new music and knowing your bands and know your idols, like personally. All that helps really for you to make your own music, to try to make your own ideas and your own way of seeing things, etc. So, Sepultura, I think, have that spirit. I don’t call it trademark. I think, it’s that spirit of seeking always something new and learning. I think, that’s the human’s period. We always try to do something bigger or better or faster (chuckles), you know. And personally I think we are running too fast, but that’s the human kind of urge to try to discover and everything. So in music it’s the same. We try to deal with that naturally and whatever music that inspired us, we are gonna use it. WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU MEAN WITH RUNNING TOO FAST? I mean, technology, and pollution and the space running, you know, trying to reach Mars. For me it’s all trash, it’s all littering the universe, because there is a lot of satellites, a lot of junk already out there. And we’re trying to do more, and I don’t think we need that. I think we really need to take care of where we live now. I beleive there is still hope to save this planet, and I think we don’t need to run that fast, you know. Just try to enjoy what we have a little bit. I mean, the conquering and the wars and corporations and all that – I mean, we see what chaos we are living in today. So I guess, if we stop a little bit and try to meditate a little what we’ve been doing and stuff, I think we could find more reasonable solutions instead of violence. BUT YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU WOULD CALL A POLITICAL BAND: YOU PROBABLY MUST HAVE HEARD THAT QUESTION A THOUSAND TIMES: “ARE YOU A POLITICAL BAND?!” I TRIED TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION FOR MYSELF, AND I WOULD SAY “NO” IN THAT WAY THAT YOU’RE NOT TOUCHING POLITICAL SUBJECTS DIRECTLY AND NAMING THEM OPENLY, FOR EXAMPLE IRAK OR GEORGE BUSH, THE WAY A “REAL” POLITICAL BAND WOULD DO… Because you can name various names, like Bush or Reagon or Kennedies or presidents of Brazil, Germany, throughout the history, first and second world war. Our lyrics can fit anywhere, because it has all been the same, you know, control for power and conquering here and invading there. Brazil was invaded by Portugal and South America was invaded by Spain, and then England. Africa was totally destroyed by Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish. So there is a long history of like violence and stealing and stuff like that. It’s hard to deal with that, there is a lot of tradition and religion that really gets in the way, not only stupid nationalism. But in the same way we have tried to find the good stuff, which is a lot of beautiful stuff still going on which gives hope that we can have a better way to follow. USUALLY IT’S THE VOCALIST’S JOB TO COME UP WITH LYRICS FOR THE SONGS, AND FROM DAY ONE SEPULTURA HAVE ALWAYS WRITTEN ABOUT THESE SUBJECTS. IN HOW FAR IS THE APPROACH DIFFERENT, LIKE WHEN MAX (CAVALERA) WROTE THE LYRICS OPPOSED TO DERRICK WRITING THE LYRICS THESE DAYS? Well, I always wrote lyrics together with Max since I joined the band on “Schizophrenia”. You know, we always have divided the songs. And with Derrick it is the same. I think we talk a lot about the ideas and stuff, and we come up with names. When the song is ready to put the lyrics on, we work together. I mean, it didn’t change that much. It just changed, it’s a different person, it’s a different characteristic. He has a totally different background, he comes from a different country and everything. So he has different points of view and stuff like that, but the way we are working is the same. I mean, it’s just like exchanging ideas to make it happen. SO WHEN YOU WRITE A SONG, THE WHOLE BAND IS INVOLVED INTO THE SONGWRITING PROCESS? IT’S NOT LIKE: “HEY… ANDREAS – YOU COME UP WITH A COOL RIFF! IGOR – YOU COME UP WITH A BEAT! AND DERRICK… YOU JUST WRITE SOMETHING THAT FITS!” Not really! (laughs) It never was like that. I know that the image of Sepultura was kind of shown that way. Especially on “Roots” times it was all shown like a Max-concept and everything. But you knoiw, only time tells what’s going on. And we’re not gonna be here fighting: “Oh, I did this, I did that!” I mean, we all have like pretty much a good idea what the part of each one of us wants on every album and on every project. I don’t know, it’s just great to keep jamming. BUT IT’S NOT AN EGO THING? SO, DERRICK COULD COME UP WITH A GREAT SONG, AND YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO GIVE IT A LISTEN… Yeah, of course. That’s why he is there, you know. (laughs) He has to bring some great stuff, otherwise he wouldn’t be here. THE LAST ALBUM “ROORBACK” HAS BEEN OUT FOR ONE AND A HALF YEARS NOW. NOW IN HINDSIGHT – WOULD YOU SAY IT HAS THE TYPICAL SEPULTURA SPIRIT? Not only that. I think after three albums, that we had like so many people working with the band, that was “Roots”, “Against” and “Nation” with sixteen songs on each album, you know, many guests like from Xavantes Tribe to go to Japan to record with Kodo and Apocalyptica, like many different singers and players. For “Roorback” we really decided to cut everything and only do twelve songs. We only had one guest, he is a Brazilian drummer, that plays in one song “Urge”, and the rest is just us without trying to invent that much, only using like guitars, bass, drums and voice. The same way we did our first album pretty much, so in a sense I think we kind of used the same old basic elements to write this one. And it’s great to see that after a year and a half we’re still here touring, like doing this great tour with Motörhead, and already preparing a new album, of course. But it’s great to see that this album has still some power left. SO YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING ON MATERIAL FOR A NEW ALBUM. WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE NEW SONGS AT THIS PRESENT STATE? SONG STRUCTURE STILL STRIPPED DOWN AND GETTING RID OF EVERYTHING UNNECESSARY LIKE ON “ROORBACK”? Pretty much. I think, the idea is to keep it short, like very objective. But I think it could be a little more musical than “Roorback”. I mean, at least trying to use some different elements, but not that much. So just to give some flavours here and there. But so far it is kind of early to say what kind of direction and stuff. We have some eight or nine parts that cannot be called songs, yet. But a very good direction that we can follow. And it’s going to be great. I think, after finishing this tour we are going back to Brazil and finish this album. But at the same time we are going to prepare a live DVD also. We are gonna film – actually, the show in Düsseldorf on this tour here with Motörhead – which we are going to use as bonus tracks for the DVD which we are going to film in Brazil. Like with our crowd, with our stage and sound and everything. And hopefully, if everything goes right, this DVD will be out in June, in time for us to be on the summer festivals. HAS IT EVER TEMPTED YOU TO MOVE TO THE US, BECAUSE IT IS EASIER FROM THERE TO HANDLE THE BUSINESS? We did! You know, I lived in Phoenix, Arizona for eight years more or less. We all did. I mean, Gloria our old manager, she is from Phoenix, part of our old crew that we were working with were from Phoenix. So we kind of had our headquarters there. It was cool and everything. You know, to be in the US, I think economically it’s much easier to plan your life. I had a chance to have a really great house and everything. It’s an easy country to live, with a great structure and everything. But I don’t know, nowadays it makes more sense for us to be in Brazil. We have all our families there. You know, I have two kids, they are going to school in Sao Paolo. Igor the same, he has three kids. We are doing our albums there, it’s much cheaper to record there without losing any quality. You know, we could do it anywhere in the world, and Brazil is a place we know very well. It’s our house, it’s our home. So for us it’s great to be down there. We just miss a little of the touch on Europe and America, to see the scene and everything. But we can balance that, I think, on tours and stuff like that. So with this new album and DVD for the next year, we’re gonna be pretty busy with travelling. It’s gonna be great to catch that. YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY TRAVELLING A LOT WITH THE BAND. AND THE MOST OF YOU GUYS DO HAVE FAMILIES BY NOW. HOW DO YOU BRING THAT TOGETHER – LIKE BEING ON THE ROAD FOR SEVERAL MONTHS AND HAVING LITTLE KIDS AT HOME IN BRAZIL? HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT? HAS ANYONE OF YOU EVER GOTTEN INTO THE SITUATION WHERE YOU HAD TO CHOSE BETWEEN MUSIC AND FAMILY? No, never. Since I know my wife I have been touring and being with this band like since very early. I’m with her like for fourteen years, and I don’t think we know any other way to be together that way (laughs), you know. It’s just a matter of respect for what I do. I feel so close to my kids now that I’m… you know, if I were there in Sao Paolo by the side, I think, if I don’t do this what I’m doing here, I’m not gonna support my family. I’m not gonna support their school and everything. And we have a pretty clear idea that that’s the sacrifices that we have to make to be together. It’s part of it. I could be like a pilot for an airplane or a doctor and stuff, that has really times and stuff. Even if they are closer to their family, it could be so far away, even living together. So, it’s weird. But of course it hurts to be away, but we kind of try to deal with that normally. Because that’s the life we chose. COMING BACK TO THE BUSINESS HERE… IN THE PAST YOU GOT RIPPED OFF A FEW TIMES. THE ALBUM “SCHIZOPHRENIA” FOR EXAMPLE GOT BOOTLEGGED WHEN IT CAME OUT. IT SOLD OVER 30.000 COPIES AND YOU NEVER RECEIVED ONE SINGLE DIME FROM THAT. WHAT HAS BEEN THE WORST BUSINESS DECISION YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN? Hmmm… For “Schizophrenia” we never did get any money. But without that bootleg, I think, our terrain here wouldn’t have been prepared for the Sodom tour. Because a lot of people knew already Sepultura because of that bootleg. So it really helped us in a way that the name was spread. And when “Beneath the remains” came out, everybody knew. Well, not everybody, but most people knew already what Sepultura was all about. So in that sense it’s great. I mean, I try not to get greedy, you know, to try to make decisions only weighed on money. Because stuff like that happens. Of course we didn’t want it to be that way, of course we wanted our right. But if you see it from the other side, we gained a lot of fans that are still spending their money on Sepultura today. (laughs) Which was like a big investment, like a long-term investment. I don’t know, I think, these business decisions are always like related to the relation-ship you have to the person you’re dealing with. It’s like, the Roadrunner contract was really good for the first impact to put Sepultura worldwide and everything, but in the long run the contract was too long. It was for seven albums and stuff. And then it started happening during those almost fourteen years. In that sense it was a bad decision to sign such a long contract. But if you see it the same way, it was the label who put Sepultura on the map. So there is balance. I think, you have to see the big picture of it, and not only think about the small stupidity. We are glad we are out of Roadrunner, we have another label, SPV, which are working great for us. YOU SIGNED A CONTRACT FOR SEVEN ALBUMS?! YOU MUST HAVE BEEN REALLY YOUNG AND NAIVE… Yeah, we signed that in ’88, and we hardly could speak any English. We translated the contract which was like another bible from English to Portuguese, and then it sounded even worse. (chuckles) But our intention was really to sign, because our dream was really to leave Brazil, and have an album… and here we are. (laughs) AND SEPULTURA HAS BEEN ON THE MAP FOR ALMOST PRECISELY TWENTY YEARS NOW… Yeah. In ’84 when Igor and Max started like the band and the concept and everything, and in ’85 was the first recording “Bestial Devastation”. I BELIEVE THAT A LIFE LIKE THIS DOES AFFECT A PERSON’S CHARACTER. IN HOW FAR HAS BEING IN A BAND AND BEING ON TOUR FOR TWENTY YEARS CHANGED YOU ON A PERSONAL LEVEL? I don’t know… it changed a lot, you know. We were kids that didn’t have anything pretty much. First time we came to Europe was just us four with our instruments. We didn’t have a manager, we didn’t have a crew, we didn’t have nothing. (laughs) So it was a whole learning experience, which we still are nowadays. You never stop learning. Like I said in the beginning, it’s like a great privilege to be a musician, and more than that, to be a part of Sepultura. You know, coming out of Brazil and all the history that we have. You know, it’s a unique story in the music business. So, it’s great to be a part of it. It hasn’t been an easy roll, but it has been a beautiful one. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY, WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERIOD IN THE CAREER OF SEPULTURA? Mmhm… It’s hard to say. I think the most crucial one was when Max left the band in December ’96 until we got Derrick, which was October ’97. It took almost a year for us to be ready to put someone else into the band. And that period was really crucial for our lives, you know. Not only musical, but personal and everything. We thought about everything, you know, to quit music, to quit Sepultura, to quit the whole career. It was a big shock and a big shake on everybody’s life. Not only ours, but his life also. So to be here together as Sepultura I think is a big achievement, and I think it was the most important period so far. I’M SURE YOU ARE GOING TO LAST ANOTHER TWENTY YEARS! I hope so. (laughs) IT STRIKES ME, THAT WHENEVER I READ RECENT INTERVIEWS WITH YOU OR MAX, BOTH PARTIES SAY: “IT’S NOT AN OPTION TO EVER PLAY TOGETHER AGAIN IN THE FUTURE, BUT SOMEDAY WE KNOW WE WILL BE ABLE TO TALK TO EACH OTHER AGAIN!” HOW DOES THAT FIT TOGETHER? Our relationship cannot be done by the press, you know. No matter what kind of stuff he says in an interview or what we do. I mean, we really have to have the chance to do that ourselves, face to face, you know. To drive our opinions on what we have read in a magazine or the other is kind of foolish, because you never know, if he has really said that. You have to be very sceptical to especially the print press, magazines and stuff. But it’s a terrible situation, because it involves like family by blood, and we know each other for so long, we built something very beautiful together and everything. But you know, it’s a family. And when a fight breaks inside a family, it’s crazy. It’s like, it’s much bigger than any other fight. So, I guess, they still need time apart, so someday they could be together again. It will be. LET’S QUIT THAT SUBJECT, BECAUSE I’M STARTING TO FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE TALKING ABOUT SUCH PRIVATE ISSUES… BACK TO THE MUSIC: YOU AND IGOR ARE BOTH KNOWN AS FIRST-CLASS MUSICIANS WHO INFLUENCED LEGIONS OF YOUNG AMBITIONED GUITAR PLAYERS AND DRUMMERS. BUT YOU NEVER SEEM TO GET FEATURED IN GUITAR PLAYER-MAGAZINES, OR “DRUMS AND PERCUSSION”. DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU’RE GETTING THE RECOGNITION YOU DESERVE? Yeah…I mean, that’s kind of… I don’t know, I really don’t think about it that much. My reward really is to see the face in the front, it’s like: “Fuckin’ aaaarrgh…!” You know, people screaming and stuff. Like I said, we were kind of too away from the scene here in Europe and everywhere. Especially these last two or three years. Of course, we did play here. But we were changing labels, so it’s hard for people always to remember. We always have to be there, you know, for people to know we are still around. I hope next year we could do that, and maybe these editions of magazines and stuff could be more aware of what’s going on. (laughs)

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