När resandet stängdes ner i Mars 2020 på grund av pandemin exakt på dagen när Sepultura skulle dra ut på turné för att supporta deras nya album Quadra satt de inte och deppade länge utan startade ett online-event – Sepulquarta där det spelades livemusik, kördes Sepultura behind the scenes storytelling samt Q&A om allehanda ämnen. Streamarna som kördes varannan vecka till och med slutet på 2020 höll deras ånga uppe och höll kontakten med deras fans under avsaknaden av livespelningar. I Sepulquarta-sessionerna spelade de dessutom låtar tillsammans med inbjudna gäster och utvalda låtar från dessa sessioner har släppts på skivan med samma namn – Sepulquarta. Jag fick tag på Seputuras gitarrist Andreas Kisser för ett skönt snack om nya albumet och annat som är på gång.
Sepulquarta done and an album out from the sessions as well.
So you had just released an album when the pandemic hit. Tell me what were the thoughts in the Sepultura camp?
Yeah, actually we didn’t plan to have an album. Our intention was really to create this event so we could keep the connection with our fans and keep the band working and talking to each other because we didn’t have the touring. We didn’t have the backstage. We didn’t have the rehearsals. You know everything stopped for one moment. We were rehearsing as we had the tour ready to go with Sacred Reich in the United States in March and on the exact day we were supposed to travel everything stopped, you know. Then in April we created Sepulquarta without the intention to make an album, it was just the intention to make this event, you know, so we could speak to people and talk about the new album. We we kept the concept of the quadrivium of the numerology or quadrivium da numerologia in Portuguese. Wednesday – the 4th day of the week. And we have these four events starting at 4:00 PM. That was the idea, the intro, the Q&A, the performance of the song and then the storyteller, and that’s how we built everything. Then we started inviting our friends for the Q&A and to jam with us and we chose a song. Sometimes we suggested, sometimes the guest suggested and sometimes it was connected to something that we were talking about in the Q&A and stuff, etc. It was not really a formula to choose the songs because we weren’t thinking about an album. We were thinking about that Wednesday specific Wednesday, you know. In the end, when we stopped Sepulquarta at the end of the year last year we looked back and we saw “Wow what the hell man! Look what material we have here! Look the people involved!” – it’s amazing you know and it’s not a live album and it’s not a studio album, it’s something completely different. Everyone is at home making their music in there. Home studio wherever they are, however, they could record their parts and they would send everything to me. I mixed in my home studio here. I’m not a great mixer, but enough to make that happen. The idea was really to make everything homemade. The video editing was made by our webmaster who organized with the guests. Just send the videos and stuff and in the end we had this amazing selection of songs of Sepulturas career with amazing people involved and we chose 15 to do a remix and to put on an album. The idea of the album came later, so it was great that we didn’t plan on album. It came out because of the pandemic. It really made us do this stuff in this way, and it’s great that now in 2021 we never expected to be away two years from the stage as well. So, we have this album that we’re really proud of. It’s fantastic.
It must have been a really relieving to do these biweekly streams with friends and stuff like that and I also really enjoyed the Q&A:s as you had a lot of different interesting topics that you picked up.
Oh yeah, definitely. We had professional skateboarders, the best skaters in the world talking to us. We put out an official video for Sepultura Guardians of Art. We have the partnership with the Amazon frontline, we had big journalists talking with us about depression and many other aspects. It was a very amazing learning experience for all of us. It was great.
You said that you were mixing the stuff from the recordings from the videos. Is the mix different on the record compared to the videos?
Yes, the song the mix is different. I gave the the mixing to a professional mixer here that we use here to do our stuff. He has worked with us on many different projects. I wanted to make the best out of it that we could. I mean, for the video my mixing worked, which is not a professional mixing. It was just putting it all together and putting the instruments in place and stuff and it worked out great for that, you know, but for the album I thought we needed something more done right. It’s for an album, it’s a different format. So we decided to do the remix. And of course, Devin Townsend mixed his own track.
I was going to ask about that because almost he lays his touch on becomes musical gold in some way. And to see you guys with you it looks as if he is even giving you more energy as well. How was it to work that track out with Devin Townsend?
It was amazing. He’s an amazing guy man. He’s a fantastic musician, producer, writer – everything you know and he did amazing on Mask. I said “Oh, you can have the first lead there and stuff!” and he did what he did, which is fantastic and free. You know to do whatever he wants. Basically that’s what we said to the guests. Many guitar leads that I did on the album I gave to other guitar players because we all know how I play the stuff live so why not give a different perspective and a different taste for it? Which was great. And Devin asked me if he could mix the track because he has a professional studio. He’s a professional mixer and of course I said “Man, go ahead!” so then for the album he did a remix the stuff that he want to change here and there and the rest of the album was mixed by Colorado Router which is this guy here in Brazil who does our stuff.
Yeah, and if you look at the the different setups in the videos, it’s also interesting to see. Like you had Scott, Ian – he’s in his backyard with these concrete walls, which kind of also demonstrates the the lockdown and that stuff. It really captured that part of it as well.
Scott is also a brother man, we have known each other for so long. Anthrax is one of my basic schools to play guitar and we played with Anthrax so many times. Scotty came out to jam with us a few times on the Road Runner Party as well. We played Refuse Resist together and some other stuff like Roots, so he loves Sepultura. He knows about Sepultura, he knows the music and he knows how to play a lot of riffs. He was a natural choice. He was the guy that were one of the first ones we we asked to be a part of the Sepulquarta because he is almost like a Sepultura dude as well. You know he called me to be a part of Anthrax for two weeks, you know? So there’s a connection there and and he’s a fantastic musician, an amazing guy, and he did an amazing amazing job on the video and on the performance as well. It’s a representation of our roots there, like the big four, that scene influenced us so much to be what we are today.
It must be the same with Phil Campbell and the Motörhead covers, right?
Phil Campbell is another brother man. You know the touring we did with Motörhead, we shared crew and managers and stuff. Orgasmatron is the only song that is not actually from Sepultura [on Sepulquarta], but a lot of people think Sepultura wrote Orgasmatron, you know? So it’s almost like it’s our song and it’s great to see Phil with us. Sepultura playing and his lead is so Motörhead. It’s so emotional to hear that and to be together with him after Lemmy and Motörhead is gone is such a magical and beautiful way to close the album with his participation and Motörhead there. Without Motörhead there wouldn’t be Metallica or Sepultura.
I also think that Dereks singing on that part is also suiting your delivery of the song and when Campbell comes in and does his solo stuff you kind of capture it in the spirit of Lemmy.
Oh yeah, definitely. Of course, that’s the the magic of music. That’s his way of expressing. Phil has a very signature sound. When he started playing, you know it’s him, and it’s so Motörhead. And it was great to have him there. He was fantastic as well. Like I said, he’s a brother and hopefully we can see each other soon on the road with the Bastard Sons.
If you look at the album cover, it has a kind of that doomsday feel to it that reflects the pandemic in a way. Did you have an idea to create that or was that something that was done that you picked from an artist?
Actually our drummer Eloy Casagrande was the one who suggested this artist. He’s a young guy here in Brazil. He’s from Belo Horizonte the same city that Sepultura is from, and I saw his work and I we all love it. He has a very unique style, very different from what Sepultura has done in the past, which was cool for us to try to do something different. I talked to this guy and explained to him what Sepulquarta was all about – creating life in death, like everything stopped, we couldn’t tour, we couldn’t play, we couldn’t practice, we couldn’t travel, we couldn’t do shit. Everything stopped and then we created Sepulquarta which gave life to Sepultura. Again it gave purpose, it gave an objective, it gave focus, and that’s what I told him. And then he brought that back originally and especially for us. I thought it was beautiful, a dead bird with a life, beautiful flowers coming out of it, really giving a sense of a of a rebirth like when a big door closes ten other big doors opens. Just to have heads up and be open and look around and listen around to find new possibilities, and that’s what’s Sepulquarta was for us.
That cover is kind of framing and capturing the situation perfectly because it kind of feels like everything is you. You nailed it with this one. An actual painting is much more than like a CGI picture.
Exactly, I think that painting could be in any museum. I love that type of stuff and and he really definitely captured the spirit of what the project was all about and he did an amazing job.
Yeah, bringing back that sort of artistery to the covers also feels a little bit relieving, because of all that CGI stuff. You do so much stuff with that, but it’s kind of not real and often lacks some soul. But this feels real and that’s kind of what you are looking for in an album cover to get the emotions across.
Exactly yeah. He got a great style. I don’t know what kind of techniques he’s used, but it’s very organic for sure.
Doing this Sepulquarta project, have you got more inspirations for new songs for Sepultura as well with all the collaborations and learning stuff from different people?
Always, yes, definitely. This is something that never stops. Me and Eloy are already working on some ideas, but very basic ideas on only drums and guitars. We don’t have a concept, we’re not working on a new album at all, but this kind of stuff always happens. Especially now that we have some time really to develop some different directions and stuff, but we’re very focused on going back on the road. We’re working very hard to do this tour in November, December in Europe to play Quadra because we didn’t have the chance to play our new album and see where it goes from there. Our main goal is really to go back on the road. I mean, that’s our life.
I feel that that album needs to be supported more because I think it’s a really well done album from you. I enjoy it.
So how is the band situation in Brazil now compared to when you started?
If we go back we are very well known as a brand, you know – Sepultura – but just the underground or whatever through what method people knows our music, but we’re very popular in that sense. People knows what Sepultura is all about. They know it’s a metal band from Brazil that have an international success, and that’s enough for them. It’s cool because we have chance to do a lot of stuff to put our brand in different products. We have beer, pepper sauce, wine. We have our merchandising specifically here in Brazil, so it’s it’s really cool that we have these expanding possibilities to put the Sepultura name in in different places.
Yeah, that was kind of tapping into my next question. How do you feel about Sepultura giving all of these young new acts from Brazil and all over the world that inspiration from your current and your entire back catalogue?
Oh, it feels great man because our music is so diverse. I mean we use so many different elements.
What was your first metal album that you bought or or experienced?
Well, my first vinyl that I bought was A Night at the Opera from Queen. You know that was my first heavier album that I got because my father used to buy a lot of country albums and stuff and I always was a pain in the ass for him to buy albums for me and I found this album and it’s one of the best albums ever still today for me. It was there with Kiss and Queen that I started listening to have your music and then got heavier with Maiden and Priest and Sabbath, etc.
Do you buy any physical media today?
I have a radio show here in Sao Paulo where I receive a lot of material and in the metal world there’s still a lot of CD’s. A lot of physical stuff and vinyl and stuff, so I get a lot of stuff like that. I don’t buy too much. If I buy something, it’s more digital or something special like a Black Sabbath box. You know the reissues, which are pretty amazing. I play a lot of Brazilian bands on my show. Basically 80 to 90% of the bands are Brazilian. There’s a lot of good stuff going on and I learn a lot of course listening to those when I put together my radio show with my son.
What inspires you today other than the collaboration that you have been doing now?
I have another project that I cannot comment too much now, but it’s a totally different stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with Sepultura. I will be using my 7-string classical guitar for it. It’s an amazing project as I love classical guitar. I studied classical guitar a lot and especially now in the pandemic. This is a project that came out because of the the quarantine as well. You know the musicians had to recreate plans and trying to improvise, and we created this project. Pretty soon it’s going to be out there and I’m very excited about it because it’s very, very different from everything I have done. Of course I used a lot of classical guitar on Sepulturas music and my solo stuff, but this is something very different and I’m very excited about it. It’s really something special and I’m learning a lot as well.
I want to ask you this then what is the most happy memory that you have from performing on stage like something you have seen in the audience or something? Just happiness.
All the happy moments when I see people dancing to our music, you know not headbanging or like moshing but dancing. A lot of women they dance and it’s beautiful to see and it’s beautiful to to just read their reaction about our music, which is very aggressive, but there’s a lot of groove as well. A lot of the percussion from Brazil and people outside Brazil love that kind of rhythm that is very unique to our country. It’s great when I see women dancing to our music as if they were of dancing to a pop song or something with those movements and stuff, and it’s very cool. It’s something that I didn’t expect when we wrote the music. We expect headbanging and mosh pit and stuff like that but it’s great when I see people dancing to our music, I think it’s so so cool.
Cool that you shared this with me and it’s been very nice talking to you. I will wish you luck with the new album and hope that I see you soon here in Sweden.
Great Tony, thank you very much man.
SKRIBENT: Tony Asplund (firstname.lastname@example.org)
INTERVJU: Andreas Kisser (Sepultura)
AKTUELL MED: Nya skivan Sepulquarta och Europa-turné (det närmaste de kommer Sverige denna sväng är dock Köpenhamn)
SKIVBOLAG: Nuclear Blast