Andreas Kisser - Sepultura

December 19, 2005


Photo Credit: Angela Monger

Congratulations on your little boy.

Thank you.

How is he doing so far?

He's great. Just getting bigger by the minute.

It seems like they grow real fast.

Yeah, he's almost two months old and he looks like a one year old.

You better watch it. He's going to start walking soon or something.

I know.

You guys have been around for over 20 years. Does it seem that long?

Well, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. It's like too many different situations in the past like losing singers and managers and different labels and all that. A lot stuff involved in that. Feels great. Feels good.

On the manager front, when Max was in your band his wife was the manager. Do you feel that it's a bad idea to have a manager that is somehow related to or married to somebody in the band?

Yeah, actually the marriage happened afterwards. She was our manager first and then they started having their relationship and they married afterwards. Gloria started working with us around '89 or '90 and they got married two or three years after that. Yeah, totally. That's why it happened the way it did. Because she was not really representing the whole band in the way I think she's supposed to. That got in the way a lot so that's why it didn't work out the way we wanted.

If you want to be a professional and you want to deal with people, you have to leave sex out of the way. That's what it boils down to.

Definitely.

Especially if you're a woman engaging in what has been predominately a man's field which being a band manager has been. Sometimes you have to be careful.

I know. She's older than everybody else and she's a woman so you always have to be careful.

Yeah, indeed. I have another question for you. I guess at one point in your career, you did a show in Brazil where some fan got killed. I was thinking about the situation with Dimebag. Why do you think that when something like that happens, people always blame the band or the music or the fans and not so much that it's just in some people's human nature to do things they shouldn't?

Yeah, it cuts a lot deeper to do that. People don't go to the root of the problem and you get to blame metal. Blame anything. Metal music is just like a beautiful expression. It could be aggressive and stuff but it's music. We're not promoting violence. We're promoting a type of release of our problems, of our stressful life of the big city, and all that. Any music can do that. Especially metal and hardcore which is very energetic. You sweat a lot, you scream, you headbang. After an hour and a half or two hours of a show, you tend to vent much release much better. You deal with your demons in that situation and that's very healthy. What happened in São Paulo in Brazil where we played, he wasn't actually a fan of ours. It was like a gang fight or something like that because we played in an open place and it was a free show, and all types of people were there including fans. You can see violence happening everywhere. Violence and drugs and anything. It's a part of our society, not a prison actually for us metal dudes. That was the only time that we had a problem like that in 21 years of a career. That happened in '91 here in Brazil a long, long time ago and we've been playing all over the world and we never had a problem because the metal people are not a violent crowd. They're very young and very energetic. They want to scream, they want to jump, and that's all they want to do. We have violence here in Brazil a lot in the soccer games. We have violence in fucking carnivals and stuff like that. It's a problem that all societies in the world have to deal with. Like I said, it's much easier for people who don't understand that style of music to blame us just because we scream and play loud which is very ignorant and stupid to do it.

Absolutely. You guys hail from a city called Belo Horizonte.

Yeah, that's where the band was formed.

Tell us a little about that city for the geographically challenged.

Americans are not that good on geography.

That's right. I always insist on giving people geography lessons. Today they will learn where Belo Horizonte is.

Well, Brazil is not in Africa. It's in South America. Buenos Aires is not the capitol of Brazil but is the capitol of Argentina. Belo Horizonte is a big city in the southeastern region of Brazil. It's a long six hour drive from São Paulo and from Rio. São Paulo, Rio, and Belo Horizonte are the really three big cities in Brazil. Like I said, it's a very traditional town. It's a very religious town and stuff and I think that's why Sepultura is Sepultura because Max and Igor put that name just to scare old ladies going to church. That's the main reason the name Sepultura came all about which means grave. That's how we started. It was a big influence.

What is the capitol of Brazil?

Brazilia. It's at the center of the country. We have this president who moved, Rio de Janeiro was the capitol of Brazil, and he moved to Brazilia.

That is everyone's geography lesson for today. It seems like every time my government gets pissed at some other country, they wind up in my backyard. Every time I open my back door, there's a different country in the yard. If I can educate people and help them point something out on a map, I feel I've done my part for mankind.

I know many people must know where Iraq is at least.

Yeah, and we've been harming those folks for three years now. I'm not too happy about that.

I know. It's such a weird, odd situation.

It's kind of weird. My President says he wants to bring them democracy and freedom. Well, you can't force that on people because that violates the very principles you say you're bringing them to begin with.

Yeah, definitely.

I don't think you can bring freedom and peace with bombs and hand grenades. That doesn't bode well.

Yeah, you cannot force it. I've never seen a war really resolving anything but planting seeds of hate really. Generations to generations cultivating that hate. Like Israel and Palestine and the whole Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Serbia, and all that. It's historical hatred that passed through generations and fucking guilt. That's crazy. A baby already born with hate and just not learning how to be a neighbor. We have to grow. It's crazy. Brazil was never involved in the big war. Of course we participated in the second world war and we had our own wars here in Paraguay and shit like that. I think Brazil managed to open doors for many religions and many different people from many different countries like America did also. That's the part of the world globally living together and stuff. It's all based on respect and understanding. As soon as you understand a different religion and you understand why people pray the way they do, they do things the way they do, as soon as you understand that you respect that and you have a chance to live together with that. Self-respect for a start and then respect what's going on around you also. That's very hard to do. People are too selfish to try to understand the other. I'm very positive about the human being. I still believe that we can try and reach different ways of resolving our problems and more decent ways to resolve our problems instead of fucking invading and violence and bombs and all that.

I totally agree. I like to have a positive view of people too. I like to think that we can change things. In a lot of ways with my webzine and interviewing a lot of bands from other countries, I'm hoping I do change attitudes a little bit.

Yeah, definitely. The little that each one of us is doing is I think a big step forward for us as an action and that's how I feel about our music and our lyrics. To describe what we feel and many people can relate with that in any part of the world and that's a great feeling to be a part of a band like Sepultura that can reach so many people, cultures in the world, and different languages and beliefs and stuff like that. It's great that we've been in so many different places and be respected for what we do and respect the place you go. It's great. That's the beauty of it all. The House Of Blues in Spain. Unity and true diversity. I think that's beautiful. That's the only way.

I totally agree. You guys have had the opportunity to travel the world and be in a lot of really nice and beautiful places and meet a lot of different people. When things were starting out, did you guys ever think it would get as huge as it did?

No, I think we could only dream and not even in our dreams we had played or thought about the other stuff that we do, the other people we met, and the countries we did go to. I don't know. It's such a privilege really to be a musician and to have that chance. I think if everybody in the world would have a chance to travel the world and see your own country or your own place from outside, it would give you a totally different perspective. It's like an astronaut seeing the planet Earth from away. You have a perspective of everything that's happening here. How small we are. How stupid we are like kids fighting for candy or something like that. I think it helps a lot really to have a different perspective and to see where you come from outside and then come back and then leave again. See the parallels between different countries and we have to understand a little more about the world, the way it is. I think if you understand that, you have much easier ways to find different ways to go.

One thing you guys did with one of your records and I talked with the band Angra before about the same thing, you guys have Brazilian types of style in your music.

Yeah, our culture is rich because it's a big country from North to South. We have so many different places and rhythms and food and people. We only discovered that leaving Brazil because before we started traveling the world, we used to really hate a lot of stuff here in Brazil and we wanted to go away and our only interest was in bands and Europeans and Americans and stuff like that. The consequence of our problems really is to see the view from outside and really respect the uniqueness that we do have. The rhythm and the instruments and the people and we started developing that. It was sleeping inside us. That was very valuable for us because we could do something unique and original for us and for Sepultura. It inspired more Brazilian bands to do the same. It's great.

Absolutely. Did you guys start out using that kind of stuff in your music or did you decide one day to introduce it and see what the response would be?

Well, it was like a whole process of starting through our type of view and we started playing our type of music in '89 and then we released Beneath The Remains. On Arise you already can feel a little of the South American rhythms. We had some influences that we used and elements and rhythms of South American music. Then came the year we started playing percussion instruments ourselves and then our roots exploded. We had the Xavantes tribe, we had their percussionist coming down and we made a whole research on the Brazilian rhythms and music. It's not like we woke up one day and said let's use this. It's something that we had to learn slowly. We took at least five or six years of us touring and three different albums really to develop that as our own style and it came naturally. We could go anywhere and listen to any kind of music and try to put that into our music but it's kind of fate. It's like you don't really listen to those different styles and that's why it took a while for us really to develop that and to use that as our own style. Our own music. It takes time and a lot of observation and a lot of listening and a lot of experiments and practice to try to do something really cool.

I also noticed that you guys spent some time with the Xavantes tribe and you lived with them. What led up to you guys doing that and what was that experience like?

Yeah, like I said we started learning a lot about our own roots. Of course Brazil was discovered by the Portuguese and the Europeans and stuff. South America was backed by the Spanish and stuff like that. On Chaos AD we have a song called "Kaiowas" which is the name of a tribe here in Brazil and then from Roots which was the next album, instead of just naming the song from a tribe, we decided to try to grow inside a tribe and do something together. The Xavantes tribe was a tribe that was more open to try to do that with them. It was such a great experience not only musically but personally. Life. To be in the tribe and to spend a few days there with them learning how to live and learning a little bit about how they see the world and learning about their music. Feeling welcomed in their environment in that place. It was great. The music came out beautifully. It was the biggest album that we ever did and it's very much respected after 10 years. It's really great.

I think it's really awesome that you guys did that.

It was a beautiful thing. They were a lot different from us. From the big city and stuff. They don't run, they walk. I think we should do the same. You don't need to run that much. As long as you are on our planet, I think you should care about that. I have three kids. I want to see them grow in a safe environment and at least with clean air and trees and all that natural stuff that we're slowly destroying. I don't see any point in having a new car every year or to have a new satellite every year to try to reach Mars or to reach the moon again. It's only trash. You have a lot of satellites and a lot of fucking trash all over the universe. I think we have to be careful with that and I don't think we should run. We should walk like the Xavantes do. Really respect nature at least and try to live with a love of nature and not try to change that so much that you cannot handle it. You can see today the fucking hurricanes and places that would never have snow having snow. That's the time that we're not doing the right thing. We could be a little more responsible about our own acts and I think we should work on using technology for our own good and not to commit a fucking slaughter.

I totally understand what you're saying. My father is Choctaw and he raised me in that culture and to respect the earth. At the end of the day it's really Mother Earth that is God. She feeds you and gives you oxygen and gives you water to drink. You have to respect her.

Of course. Pollution is totally unbalancing the air. It's not coming back. It's crazy. The air is getting more polluted and rivers. We should be more careful and more responsible because many people think that technology is so smart and everything. I feel that it's a lot more ignorant than it's smart. I don't see the point of having such an easier life and at the same time we are producing all this trash. Like litter in fucking nature. I don't see how smart that can be. Like a car can destroy the fucking air that we breathe. That shows that we aren't doing I think the right thing.

You are absolutely right about that. You guys released your CD and DVD of the show that you did live in São Paulo I guess in April it was. What inspired you guys to do a live album and DVD and how did you go about selecting the songs that you wanted to be on it?

Previous to this release we just had one live show and we put it out in '92 which was Under Siege (Live In Barcelona). Since then we've never had a chance to do that again. Especially now with Derrick, he's fit right into the band. He's very confident doing the old material and stuff so we decided that it was the right time to put something like that out. I think the songs are the songs that we play live. We have so many albums and selections and stuff like that that we always play what we like pretty much. Then it was great to have all the guests that made appearances at the theater. The old guitar player that was in the first lineup. It was such a great time to be at home and do that here in São Paulo with our friends. It was a great show and I was very happy with the final result. It's a chance for some people who have never seen Sepultura at all or who have never seen Sepultura play live to have a little feel of what we do nowadays.

You guys are definitely a legend and you have a lot of young people that make up a whole new generation of fans listening to Sepultura.

I know. That's great.

I think that's awesome when a band can influence two or three generations of listeners.

Yeah, it's beautiful. I think that shows that Sepultura has a style of its own. Something that took a while really to get it but I think this shows that people have found Sepultura's style. That kind of stuff stays forever. It's something that is done. It's great that we still influence so many bands and the whole nu-metal scene talks about Sepultura. Bands like Slipknot and Korn and all of them. It's a great feeling to be a part of that. Hopefully we can keep on influencing new bands and new people.

What do you see in the near future for Sepultura?

We have the new album coming out next month and keep touring. Keep doing what we like. What we love which is playing music and keep putting albums out. Keep doing what we do best. Playing for us and whatever people are there to listen. You see the Rolling Stones and they're still jamming. They're still playing music. It's great to see that it's something that you can keep doing forever. It doesn't matter if it's going to be with Sepultura or not. It's something that we in Sepultura can do forever either with the band or not. Because we feel it. Music is very powerful and it's a beautiful way of expressing how we feel. Hopefully it's something we can keep on doing forever until we die.

I hope you guys keep it up forever until you die.

Thank you.

You guys are coming out with a new studio album.

Yeah, we're just finishing recording and mixing and mastering and it's coming out next month. It's a conceptual album that was influenced by The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. It was almost like doing a concept for a movie. We followed the format of the book dividing the album into three parts. Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. It was great. We had some dialogue and poems and some classical work together with the music we did. I'm very excited to put it out. The idea was amazing to follow the pattern of the book and it's great to put that album out.

I can imagine. I can't wait to hear it. Well, we've covered a lot of ground here. Any other thoughts or comments?

I hope everyone enjoys the live DVD and the interview. In March we have a new album and hopefully we'll see everybody on tour.

Sepultura