Jeff Maki of Live-Metal.net recently conducted an interview with guitarist Andreas Kisser of Brazilian/American thrashers SEPULTURA. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Live-Metal.net: I don’t know how it seems to you from your point of view, but it seems to me that fans really cling more to the Max Cavalera [former SEPULTURA frontman] era. Is it frustrating for you at all, now that Derrick [Green, current SEPULTURA singer] has actually been in the band longer than Max, that the fans still look back to those earlier albums with Max on them?
Kisser: Well, I think it’s really hard to say “fans.” I think it’s really hard to define a SEPULTURA fan. And it’s not everybody that thinks that way. I respect every type of opinion. You have a mouth, you have a brain, you might as well speak up, you know? But, of course, I don’t agree with all of them. It’s great that we have so many SEPULTURAs in many people’s minds. It shows that we’ve reached so many different people. And like I said, the formations we’ve had, and [through] so many different albums, we’ve lost and gained fans regardless of the formation. And if they want to expect that, then they’re free to. There are a lot of people expecting for Jesus to come back. [laughs] Expectations are expectations — you’re free to expect anything you want. But at the same time, there’s room for what to respect in the present. We’re not trapped in our past. It’s kind of stupid to erase everything we did with Derrick, and go back and just play “Roots” and stuff like that. You know, [Max and his brother, former SEPULTURA drummer Igor] is not SEPULTURA. It was SEPULTURA for awhile, but they chose to leave the band; first Max and then Igor. It was their choice to leave, and they’re doing whatever they do. [After that] we went to different ways and different things, keeping the same SEPULTURA spirit. We still go out with new music and try to arrange and listen and write different music, using aggressive music in different ways. We have had the privilege to travel the world. We never really stopped. People can expect whatever they want, but SEPULTURA is what it is, like it or not. I know we’re going to hear those cries forever. We have the people that actually saw SEPULTURA before and want to see us again. But most of them have never seen [this formation] and they don’t know what to expect — they just listen to the [old] albums. But we still play all the songs, and like I said, we can play anything SEPULTURA. It is what it is, so I don’t see trying to repeat the past as a good way of doing things, especially with music. It could be a disaster if we tried to do something like that for the wrong reasons. We are very happy with what we have. We have a great label, a great album, a great plan ahead of us, and that’s it.
Live-Metal.net: While we’re talking about the different formations of SEPULTURA throughout the years and fans having different viewpoints and respect for the lineups, do you consider Max‘s other bands, SOULFLY and CAVALERA CONSPIRACY with Igor, part of the extended SEPULTURA family?
Kisser: I don’t know, man. That’s a hard question because we don’t have that contact with each other that much. I don’t know. Musically, it’s kind of confusing for me in trying to see the difference of what is what. SOULFLY has had so many different formations, so you lose kind of a characteristic sound there. Of course, Max and his vocals is what it is. I mean, he’s been writing the same stuff over and over again. And in that sense, I don’t think he has really evolved too much. When working with different musicians all the time, it’s kind of hard to have a characteristic sound or try to do something original. And then with CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, it’s weird to think that he can really work songs like that with just like a drummer there. So I don’t really see the partnership that they’re going. It’s just like a bunch of Max songs that have a different drummer. But, you know, it is what it is. I still think Max has a pretty cool characteristic way of writing and saying things, but I don’t see that much evolution.
Live-Metal.net: I know you get the “reunion” questions all the time, so I won’t go all the way there, but let’s just say you were approached to play one show or one festival with Max and Igor. What would be the one most important thing that would prevent that?
Kisser: I don’t know. I don’t like to think about that. I think that’s kind of ridiculous. [laughs] We can portray any kind of situation and give an opinion. It just makes no sense to me to try and picture something like that. It is what it is, and I’ve always enjoyed being in music. I don’t want to be a slave of something that’s not there anymore. I’m not a slave of my past. I respect my past, but I’m here now. Much [more] than anything else, I think that is what [the new SEPULTURA album] “Kairos” is all about — it’s in this moment, it’s a concept of time. Not the past, but this is a vision and concept of the future. Our fans try to create expectations, but that it’s totally empty. And it has to be right, it has to be honest, and it has to be SEPULTURA; otherwise, it’s not. And that’s why we’re still here as SEPULTURA, because the spirit is still well in our lives, very positive and very happy. And we’re growing, going to different directions, going to different places in the world still. We make sure everything happens in the best manner possible. We show respect to our fans, and we’re not trying to fool them. So I’d rather be myself than trying to fulfill expectations of people that they would normally expect for.
Read the entire interview from Live-Metal.net.
Photo credit: Alex Solca