It’s been twenty-three years since Derrick Green joined Brazilian thrash legends Sepultura. Although proving to be a hit with many, not everyone took to the new frontman straight away (if at all). The main reason for this seeming to be a simple case of – “he’s not Max”. Well, Derrick has been a part of Sepultura for almost twice as long as his predecessor now. Of course, this doesn’t magically make his material better, but it should at least give him a little slack. And let’s face it if you’re reading this, then at the very least, you’ve got some interest in post-Max Seps. Continue reading
For almost 20 years Derrick Green has helped guide Sepultura’s journey in the second half of their career, celebrating their rich history, but also creating new musical frontiers. Armed with their recent album Machine Messiah (Nuclear Blast), the band embarked on a full US tour with label-mates and thrash veterans Testament and Prong. In an EXCLUSIVE wide-ranging interview with Ghost Cult’s Jason Korolenko, Derrick discussed the new album, the history of the band, the high cost of touring, and future tour plans, including a headlining gig at Rock In Rio 2017. Videography and photos by Omar Cordy/OJC Photography.Continue reading
Sepultura have never been interested in living off of previous successes. Respect the past, guitarist Andreas Kisser always stresses, without being bound by it. And with each new album, they stretch the goalposts a little farther, experiment a little more. Machine Messiah (Nuclear Blast) sees them pushing their creative inspirations further than ever before while maintaining the spirit and strength that has allowed them to thrive for over 30 years.
The Brazilian edition of Rock In Rio has updated its schedule of confirmed acts to perform. The event is held September 18-27, 2015 at The New City of Rock in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. A partial schedule of the heavier acts have been confirmed.
September 18, 2015
(more bands to be confirmed)
September 19, 2015
Ministry + Burton C Bell (of Fear Factory)
Angra + Doro Pesch + Dee Snider
Nocterall + Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween)
September 24, 2015
System of a Down
Queens of the Stone Age
Hollywood Vampires (featuring Alice Cooper, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Paul McCartney and Johnny Depp)
Lamb of God
Halestorm + Convidado
Project 46 + John Wayne
September 25, 2015
Faith No More
De La Tierra
Steve Vai + Camerata Florianopolis
Nightwish + Jukka Nevalainen
Moonspell + Derrick Green
Classicos Do Terror
Sepultura has been known for trailblazing within the international metal scene in many ways. They were one of the first Brazilian heavy metal acts to tour and release music internationally, they took advantage of it by performing for audiences everywhere, including regions of the world unknown for having audiences for this style of music, such as South America, South Africa, Cuba and Indonesia.
But amazingly, there are still spots on the globe they have yet to hit. Front man Derrick Green said, “There’s a few. There’s Iceland, off the top of my head. There are many places in Africa, The Middle East – there are a few spots, believe it or not. People have been writing us to come there. They want to see our shows. There are a few places in Asia, like Thailand, where we’ve never played. There always some place – even the interior of Brazil itself, there are a lot of cities that are fun to play. They never have any shows, like in Central and South America. It’s a big world out there.”
Green has lived in Brazil since he first joined the band in 1998. But recently, he also spends time in the Czech Republic, which he splits time with. “I have a son that lives in the Czech Republic so I was there most of the time. So it’s back and forth between Brazil and the Czech Republic. When I have time off, I spent most of my time in Prague.”
“It’s night and day. When I’m here (Sao Paolo), I like it to a certain point. It can be too much. Sao Paolo is a busy, crazy city with a lot of traffic and a lot of people. It’s nice to get away at times. When I’m away, I start to miss it. There’s a lot going on – events and artists who are very interesting who live here. I get a little bit of a mix so it works out pretty well.”
Being based in Brazil, they have had the luxury of building an extensive audience within their own country and the idea of bringing in more international acts into that area became a real possibility.
“We haven’t but it would be interesting to do some international type of touring like a mini festival type of thing. I would imagine somewhere like South America because the crowd are amazing here. There are places to play – Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay. We’ve done all of these different places that have been fantastic and thought it would be great if Sepultura could have a touring package of shows down here would be pretty amazing to see. There is a different vibe here.”
Brazil has been recognized for their elaborate television shows, which do feature a wide variety of musical acts. Sepultura have appeared on a few of these shows over the years, and Green spoke about how much exposure it brings.
“It’s interesting because I don’t watch TV here. I don’t like TV. For me it’s quite painful to do these shows. It’s very necessary as far as being heard in Brazil. It’s broadcast to so many people and it’s part of the culture, so people do actually watch. Whether they become a fan…I don’t think it changes their perspective much. I think it’s important for international acts to play. I think it’s a lot more interesting for them and I think for Brazilians to see something like that.”
“Some of the programs are better, where they have three different bands on three different stages combining and mixing songs together. I think that’s great, with different styles of music. I think that’s much more interesting to see and that we were able to participate. That went really well. There’s a lot of great ideas for TV to do stuff more live to shoot stuff there. It makes it cooler to see for everybody.”
While Green is not the biggest fan of those shows, band guitarist Andreas Kisser is the opposite, where he frequently appears on those shows, discussing a range of topics from music to sports.
“Sometimes it’s just talk shows, whether it’s only talking about football (soccer), and Andreas is such a huge football fanatic. He’s quite knowledgeable about it, so for him to be on those shows he has such a strong opinion.”
Aside from the being staying busy, the various members have also done side projects to keep their creative sides brewing. While Sepultura keeps an active schedule, they find time to do other projects at the same time. “Very carefully. We all have to be on the same page on the calendar so a lot of communicating like beforehand with asking managers and booking agents what they have in mind and what they want to do with our projects.”
“Andreas is going to do something with his project (De La Tierra) and I’m going to do it at the same time (Maximum Headroom). We always try to match it up that way. I think it’s important to play with other artists to get different perspectives on what we’re doing. It works both ways. You have to be careful not to cross dates.”
Interview By Rei Nishimoto
Sepultura was one of the many bands to perform on the Rock In Rio Festival in Brazil, as well as their stints in Spain and Portugal. They were one of the few Brazilians acts to participate who also gained international acclaim. Beginning in 1985, they invited international artists such as Queen, George Benson, James Taylor, Rod Stewart, AC/DC and Yes to participate. They are set to participate on the inauguralRock In Rio USA in Las Vegas in May.
Frontman Derrick Green spoke about what this festival is about. “One of the reasons is it was one of the first festivals that ever occured here. They happened to have bands like AC/DC and Ozzy Osbourne and other international artists. It became an incredible event for Brazil for such a long time. They were able to achieve a lot. The festival was responsible for making sure it happens every year, and being able to capture many different generations of people, whether they’re old or young.”
“I think what draws internationally is they don’t go through too many problems to make things work out. They’re able to draw incredible acts and they’re getting support to make it happen.”
Since they have performed on this festival before, Green shared his dream lineup if he were booking the event.
“There’s a few of the bands who have already been playing like Metallica and Slayer, but there’s a lot of smaller bands like a band from Cleveland, OH that I’m a big fan of called Keelhaul. I don’t know if they’re even still together. I would definitely have them or other bands like this band from California called Armed For Apocalypse.”
“I’d have to go down a list but bands like The Prodigy or Ministry – bands we’ve done covers of. A good mix of different bands which would be cool to see.”
Interview By Rei Nishimoto
Veteran Brazilian metallers Sepultura have reached 30 years of existence this past year with the releases of The Mediator Between The Head and The Hands Is The Heart album and the Sepultura and Les Tambours du Bronx DVD.
Frontman Derrick Green, who joined the band in 1998 replacing founding member, vocalist and guitarist Max Cavalera, has already been in the band nearly half of the band’s existence. He shared his thoughts on the band’s golden moment and his experiences reaching this moment.
“I was already aware of the band and knew a little bit about the history. I think going in the idea of not knowing so much about what was about to happen really helped. I wasn’t knowledgeable of the drama and all that stuff going into joining a band, then I might have been more hesitant.”
“We all realized that it takes a different combination of people, and we wanted to make sure we were able to grow as a unit. We didn’t have a lot of time before that to develop the shape of the band in a certain direction. Plus with touring many places and opening for many acts all around the world, and if we would bound with the crowd. We were always confident in our stage show and staying true to the quality of our music, and we would evolve. I would never imagine that I would hear it. We learned so much about being in this band and meeting different producers and becoming comfortable with myself being in this band. Now I’m really proud and honored to be part of this rich history. I think they’ve gone through many challenges, but we’ve always had people who were encouraging us with moral support.”
The response to their latest release, The Mediator Between The Head and The Hands Is the Heart, according to Green, has been strong and says he was surprised by how much their crowd has enjoyed the newer songs in their setlist.
“We’re playing six or seven songs (off the new album). We’re playing quite a few new songs now. It works really well because the songs are very powerful and energetic, and fits well with the older songs. A lot of people want to hear the new album. In the past we played older songs thinking ‘oh older fans want to hear old stuff,’ but a lot of times they start yelling songs from the time I’ve been in the band. I’ve been in the band 16 or 17 years so a lot of people grew up on those albums.”
“It’s cool to see the change. A lot of people weren’t requesting so much the newer songs when I first joined. But through the years there’s this big interest from different people and different bands, younger fans, and some older ones. But it’s mostly really young fans who are yelling out the names of the newer songs. I can feel the difference when we do older songs, like a lot of them don’t really know the stuff very well. It wasn’t something they got to see or grew up with. It’s something they were late to the game with. They’re able to see everything that’s happening now. They weren’t there at that time period so they wouldn’t have that understanding.”
Through the years, Green has encountered a wide variety of fans who have supported the band. “Oh absolutely. I definitely see that now. Down in Brazil, there’s those guys who are older around my age and they might have kids. They’d come up to me and say ‘oh my dad loves your band’ or something like that. It’s such a wide variety.”
Encountering the fans from the old days is slowly replaced by younger fans who came up on his era of songs. “Those guys have got to be old, old…pretty old!,” he laughs about the thought of fans from the early days in today’s world.
“I wonder if they’re even going to shows. They’ve got to be in their 40s or so. There’s still a lot of them, I can tell you that much. There are those who have every album from the very beginning, which is a very beautiful thing.”
Interview By Rei Nishimoto
When Sepultura invited French industrial percussion outfit Les Tambours du Bronx to perform with them at the famed Rock In Rio Festival in 2011, very few could predict the outcome of taking two powerful live acts and piecing them together onto one stage to create one unmemorable evening.
The evening was captured for their latest DVD, Sepultura and Les Tambours du Bronx, and gave viewers a visual behind what they had missed. The veteran Brazilian metal outfit has been known to collaborate with a number of international artists on past recordings, from Japanese taiko drumming group Koto (on Against) to a variety of musicians within the hard rock and heavy metal community ranging from former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted, Jello Biafra, Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis and Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton.
Since the DVD performance, the two has worked together “Structure Violence (Azzes)” off 2011’s Kairos.
“Much like past collaborations, this one took it to the next level with a live performance at a major Brazilian music festival. “This was the second time we did Rock In Rio, but the first time we recorded it on the main stage. They had a special stage for two artists on there together, where it was first to collaborate together. We’ve done the smaller stage at Rock In Rio. The last Rock In Rio was recorded on the main stage. It was received so well and so many people wanted us to perform on the main stage,” explained frontman Derrick Green, about how this came together.
So how did they cross paths with the French outfit? “We played with them at a festival. There were many different bands playing and we happened to catch their show. We were really blown away by it. We stayed in contact with them and at some point in time we would record something together. Years later we thought about doing Rock In Rio together. We thought about playing together with another artist, and this was perfect. It was powerful and it captured it well.”
“It’s a mixture of a lot of percussion and electronic genres. It’s really hard to describe what their main genre would be. That’s what it is about them,” he added.
They had discussed what songs would work well within their set list for that night. While they performed their staple cuts such as “Refuse/Resist,” “Territory” and “Roots Bloody Roots,” they worked it in a way where both Les Tambours du Bronx’s percussive stylings shined through as well.
“Way before the show, we talked about exchanging the set list back and forth,” said Green. “Actually we listened to a lot of their songs and digging up their songs we thought we could do together. They brought songs they thought they could…they have a certain way of getting certain songs that would be with the drumming. So we got together a list of songs that would go well together.”
Filming the live show for the DVD and using the visuals from the show gave unfamiliar viewers a better idea of what Les Tambours du Bronx was about. Their eclectic sounds brought out a slightly different flavor out of Sepultura and enhanced their well recognized powerful live show in front of their home country’s audience.
“That was the idea. We thought the DVD would be much easier to show exactly what we did and to work with other festivals. We’ve already done it at Rock In Rio, which went really well. We did it at the Wacken Festival in Germany. It was amazing. It blew the minds of a lot of people. It would be a great thing to do this in the States. I’m hoping we could do this next year (2015). We’re talking about it and I think it’s going to happen.
Interview By Rei Nishimoto
Thrash metal legends Sepultura will release a brand new live DVD entitled Sepultura And Les Tambours du Bronx: Metal Veins – Alive At Rock In Rio (Eagle Rock) on September 16th.
From the press release via our friends at Earsplit PR:
“In a spectacular performance that finds Sepultura accompanied throughout by the French industrial percussion group Les Tambours du Bronx, notorious for beating 225-liter barrels with beech wood bats or even axe handles, the show was recorded from the band’s main stage appearance at the legendary Rock In Rio gala in 2013. Featuring Sepultura ‘s most revered tunes including ‘Refuse/Resist’, ‘Territory’ and ‘Roots Bloody Roots’ which sees the audience chanting the entire cut from beginning to end, the sheer volume of sound, percussive enormity and powerful presentation sets this release apart from any previous Sepultura concert offering to date.”
“With a one-hour run time divided into thirteen cuts, the album also features a cover of Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’, the fan-chanted ‘Sepulnation’ and music from the band’s Kairos full-length. Metal Veins – Alive At Rock In Rio will come available on CD, DVD and for the first time in the band’s history, Blu-Ray via a partnership with Rock In Rio, MZA Music and Eagle Rock Entertainment. In addition, the DVD includes an exclusive documentary of behind-the-scenes preparation with interviews, rehearsal and sound-check footage and clips of the band just seconds before they hit the stage.”
Metal Veins – Alive At Rock In Rio Track Listing:
7. We’ve Lost You
8. Firestarter (Prodigy Cover)
10. Structure Violence
12. Big Hands
13. Roots Bloody Roots
Irregardless of critics and a constant groundswell of some fans and former members of the group calling for a reunion of the classic lineup, slagging the current band; the present incarnation of Sepultura has been remarkably consistent both live and on record for many years. In addition to the afore-mentioned Kairos, Sepultura’s other albums such as 2009s A-Lex and 2013s The Mediator Between the Head and Hands Must Be The Heart (Nuclear Blast) have been critically acclaimed, musically adventurous, totally brutal, and true to the sound and history of the band. The band formed by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera in Belo Horizonte BR turned 30 years-old last year.
As front man Derrick Green told Ghost Cult in an interview in the fall of 2013, this DVD has been in the works for some time:
“We’re actually going to record a DVD at Rock In Rio with a French percussion group and when we have finished the current touring cycle for the new album with Eloy, we can sit down and put something special together, like people from the past of Sepultura showing up and perform at some great location. That’s something we’ve been brainstorming about for quite some time. But like I said, we need to finish the current touring cycle for the new album, because I feel our new album is really worth it. We really need to get out and play these new songs. We wrote these songs and recorded them in the studio, but playing them live on stage is quite something different. We really need to experience that first and I think a lot of these new songs will be included on the upcoming DVD. But yeah, celebrating 30 years of Sepultura would include a beautiful location and a lot of special guests (laughs).”
Like many long time running bands Sepultura had their fair share of misfortunes and many people are openly questioning whether they have any right to continue without the Cavalera brothers. However, The Mediator Between Head And Hands Must Be The Heart (Nuclear Blast), the band latest musical offering, is their most spirited release in years and it shows there’s still plenty of kick left. Ghost Cult caught up with frontman Derrick Green to pride his mind about the new album, working with producer Ross Robinson and the background of his lyrics.
Mediator is very spirited and dark album. How come?
I don’t know really. The album was recorded in Venice Beach, California. A lot of the material was written in Sao Paulo. There were a lot of things going on at the time in the world. There was a new pope elected and there was a lot of social upheaval about the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games, especially about all the corruption going. A lot of the money is invested in stadiums, while the populace are clamouring for hospitals and schools. A lot of it was coming from the things happening around us. Another major factor is our drummer, EloyCasagrande. Writing music with him changed a lot. He really likes to play metal and he’s really passionate about it. He’s very young and the energy he brought with him pushed the rest of us to step up our game. He really wanted to leave his mark and that makes the new album very different from the previous one I think. It was his dream to play in Sepultura and we really needed that type of kick and he really brought that.
Ross Robinson produced the new album. He has quite a reputation of bringing bands to the edge mentally in order to capture the best performance possible. How did he go about with Sepultura?
He had a free pass with Andreas and Paulo. He already recorded with them during the Roots album, so he was already familiar with the inner workings of Sepultura. He talked with them how Roots changed his life and how it opened a lot of doors for him as a producer. With the second time around he really wanted to make an album that was different from Roots, but with that same type of energy. He already knew what we’re capable of. He was there with us in the room while we recorded our instruments literally pushing us physically. He constantly asked why certain parts are there in a song and why certain words are there. We went through the lyrics together with everyone present in the room. This was something we never really did. I wrote the lyrics and I was done, just like that. He asked Eloy or Paulo what a certain lyric meant to them and whether they could identify themselves with it. Before we went in he would go and tell that he didn’t feel the emotion behind a certain piece or lyric. He was like give it your all or don’t go in at all. We’re living in special times. The album is all about freedom and a lot of different energies and a lot of people are relying on our music to get through the day and help them cope with daily life. He urged us to really think about what we are doing, because we’re an inspiration to alot of people. By creating that feeling and vibe he really got us to go as deep as we could. It really united the band in such a way that we didn’t even know we could be capable of. It was a beautiful experience.
I do think Mediator combines all the best elements from the best Sepultura albums. It has the thrash metal elements from Beneath The Remains and Arise, the groove from Chaos A.D and Roots and the punk attitude of the later albums…
I think so too. We wrote those songs and we got down to the studio. When Ross heard the songs he was really stupefied. He said that a lot of the things were already in place and that we only needed to take out the energy and capture that on tape. I really think that the new album has all those elements you just mentioned. We went through all the songs and we really wanted to feel that vibe and energy of each individual song in a natural way and have fun with it. Mediator does have all the elements from the history of Sepultura.
The last few Sepultura albums are inspired by famous books and movies, like Dante’s Inferno, A Clockwork Orange and Metropolis by Fritz Lang. What do you found so inspiring to use them as a concept for Sepultura albums?
Andreas and I like to read a lot when we are touring. When I grew up my sister worked at a publishing company, so I was surrounded by books as a kid. Those books were really inspirational and made me wanting to travel the world and see all those amazing places described in those books. Andreas and I really like to discussing certain issues and books that he and I read are often at the root of our discussions. In a weird way those things happen for a reason. The Fritz Lang movie was the main inspiration for Mediator. It’s a metaphor for the times we’re living in. A lot of people are very robotic in their way of life. It’s basically thinking and then action. A lot of the heart and the passion are essentially missing. Nowadays, most people are robotically typing things on their smartphone and they really don’t care about the world and the people around them. Sadly, I’m one of those people as well. On the new album I really wanted to write about the things I don’t like about myself and the times that we live in. It just ridiculous that I’m looking at this stupid phone. When you go a gig you see kids not paying attention to the show, they’re looking at their phones instead. What the hell is wrong with them?!
Sepultura has always been a socially-conscious band with a strong message, especially from Chaos AD on. Where does it come from?
Each person in the band has his own personal background and interests. I’m coming from the States and my mother was a music teacher and my parents actually met in church of all places. It was really an old fashioned style of growing up. Andreas’ parents are of German descent and his mother is from Slovenia living in Brazil. All these mixing of different cultures add to the band, you know and it really shapes our beliefs and ideas.
What is your ultimate goal with your lyrics? Are you an observer or do you want to make people think or do you want to raise a certain level of awareness for the things you believe strongly in?
It’s all about communicating a certain idea. Change will be up to the individual. I’m not trying to change anyone or anybody. I just want to communicate how I’m thinking about certain subjects, so people can relate to that or relate to it in perhaps a different way. It’s all about their own interpretation of my lyrics. For me it’s important to be responsible for what I’m writing because of the impact it can have on people. I know music can have really strong impact on people’s life. At the same time my lyrics have this positivity and raw emotion about whatever I’m trying the communicate. I really can’t get behind writing about wizards, castles and crystal balls (laughs). That stuff isn’t real to me, so I’d rather write about social and political topics, because they are more feasible to me and I think those topics are easier for people to get into, because they’re real. It’s coming from the heart and that’s why people are relating a lot to our lyrics and it’s something they’ve come to expect from Sepultura.
Finally, the band it’s celebrating its 30th anniversary. Do you guys plans to do anything special, like putting a rarities box set or releasing a special DVD?
We’re actually going to record a DVD at Rock In Rio with a French percussion group and when we have finished the current touring cycle for the new album with Eloy, we can sit down and put something special together, like people from the past of Sepultura showing up and perform at some great location. That’s something we’ve been brainstorming about for quite some time. But like I said, we need to finish the current touring cycle for the new album, because I feel our new album is really worth it. We really need to get out and play these new songs. We wrote these songs and recorded them in the studio, but playing them live on stage is quite something different. We really need to experience that first and I think a lot of these new songs will be included on the upcoming DVD. But yeah, celebrating 30 years of Sepultura would include a beautiful location and a lot of special guests (laughs).