Although Brazilian SEPULTURA, is probably never going to beat the golden age with Max Cavalera behind the microphone, remaining members accompanied by the substitutes, are still making the cult name alive and worth the respect. With each album since the arrival of Derrick Green, they head higher, and the recent signing to Nuclear Blast is the best proof. I managed to catch Derrick, accompanied by his Czech girlfriend, on the festival Brutal Assault, and after well understood big apology to her, he devoted me a moment for short talk.
I can see that, as well as many others, you discovered that we have the most beautiful girls in the world. How did you two meet?
We met during a show and we have a kind, 2 years old.
That’s why you are trying to speak Czech during a show…
I’m trying to learn. But it is going slowly. My child is Czech citizen, so I have to work harder. (laugh)
How do you like the Czech audience?
I love it, and I always did, even before SEPULTURA. I played in a hard-core band and I played in Prague in 1993. I always felt, that there is a lot of passion for music. People are very open to express these feeling for music, which is something special, as it doesn’t happen everywhere. Especially for heavy music, it is a great place to play and it always has been. The festivals are usually very intense, a lot of people and a lot of appreciation, which is always incredible to play here.
I could feel it in crowd trust me. But the one show, which will always stay in my mind, was the one at Masters Of Rock festival in 2007.
Yeah, that was another incredible and massive festival; and also really cool.
Your latest album “A-Lex” was released already some time ago. How do you look at your work with certain time distance?
I’m definitely satisfied, mainly because we could see a lot of young people really getting into SEPULTURA, who never seen the old line-up. There is always a lot of controversy, as people talk about the past: “You know it’s not the same”! But, that’s what I’m saying, Yeah, It’s not the same, it is 2010! Everybody has moved on for a really long time. So, it is amazing to see a lot of young people that are really into the new songs. We can attract new fans along with keeping the old fans, which really enjoy very heavy brutal stuff that we are doing. I think we were able to grow and evolve, which is something that I always wanted to do with the band. I always knew it’s going to be hard to evolve but it was a challenge that really made us stronger. We can survive so many different things happening and I think that it kept us together; our passion and the fact that we were able to attract new fans. I’m really happy about the results, and the impact it had. We played a lot in Europe and we could see the changes, as more and more people recognized the new songs, mixed with the old ones, so it’s pretty satisfying.
What can you say about the concept of the new album?
The concept is based on the book by an Anthony Burgess, “A Clockwork Orange”. There was also a movie, which Stanley Kubrick did, but we wanted to focus on the book. Book actually has a different ending than a movie and it is naturally more detailed, more descriptive and we felt that it has a huge impact on what is happening today. It was something, that a lot of people fight for and they don’t realize it is a free will. There are a lot of things that are just forced on people in society. Propaganda has a huge influence on people, forced religion or other things that are telling people, what is good or wrong. It is up to the person to make his decisions, what is good or bad for him. I think this struggle is facing everybody, and basically everybody can relate to the story and main character, Alex. For us, it was really interesting and amazing to write on top of that, and following the book. So, the first part of the book is very violent, very open; middle is more seduced, Alex is in jail; then he gets out and everything is coming back, so it was cool to make music that goes along with the story.
As many fans heard, you got recently signed to Nuclear Blast. What does this change mean to you personally and as a band?
I think it is a big change for us. Personally, I think, it’s great, that there are labels, which want to make commitment to us and really believe in us. As a band, it’s great opportunity to show a lot of people, that we are still creating something interesting. So, it’s going to be good to do more interviews and more things when people would really know, what is happening with us. We’ve been working constantly, but it is much harder, if you have a label, which is trying, but the relationship is problematic and bankruptcy is on top of that. With Nuclear Blast I received very nice vibe that they want to bring us up, really work with us and put good ideas together. That is something what we really need for the next year and new album.
Not only me, we could all see that since you got in SEPULTURA, there was a stable progress taking place and signing to Nuclear Blast proves it.
I definitely agree. I think that live shows also help us a lot. Being able to come up stage, to show people we have the energy, and play wide variety of songs in setlist. It really helps the live show along with creating interesting and fresh album.
Where do you find after this amount time, still so much energy and passion during live shows?
I think it comes from many different things: Traveling, the excitement of being on the road, being with friends and family, and definitely the energy of the people. When you see people pumped up, this energy is transferred to the band and goes back to the audience. That’s what’s really cool about Czechs, as the energy is there from the very beginning. “Oh my god lets destroy the stage!” And it is consistent, from the very beginning to the very end, as the people are with you the whole time. You don’t see that many opportunities seeing such a crowd. That energy comes from everything around us, and our passion for so many years, of doing what we love to do. In addition, having a good crew of people around, that are there for us.
As we are talking about live shows, it’s obvious that most of the fans love the old stuff, and the show is mostly short, but do you maybe feel a bit uncomfortable that you basically have to play old songs.
I think it’s pretty common, with all bands. It takes time for people to get used to new material. But these days its interesting, as new generation is here, and they ask why we don’t play stuff from the first albums when I came to the band. We hear this a lot more, as these people never seen the old line-up. In addition we really try to play some rare songs, and there about 5-6 people enjoying it (laugh), but the others are asking for something else. I’ve been in a band for about 13 years, and there are songs, with similar age, so we are trying to put them in set, these days even more. During the full set, that we usually do, there is a chance to play a lot of new songs or the ones since I came, as people are complaining, because they want to hear the new stuff (laugh). So it’s a balancing and we really don’t have a problem playing the old songs. We actually like to dig and look for the songs that we never played before or even Andreas and Paulo didn’t play before, but it’s good to have a balance.
From the inspiration sense, Brazilian feeling can be still felt on the albums; it is obvious for the guys, but do you personally get influenced by the local music and environment a lot?
Big influence has the fact that I live in Brazil for 11 years, which is a huge impact. Not only from music but the environment has a tendency to influence how you feel. Brazil is a mixed place with a lot of roots from a lot of people. Especially being in Sao Paulo, which is very mixed, is I think very natural to get influenced. I can feel it inside, as we in the band, by this condition, connected very well. I have also another band and it helps as well, that are all Brazilians as well. And that helps too, communicating and playing songs with them. But definitely listening to certain styles of music there, had an impact on me.
I was always wondering why did you choose to cover “Bullet The Blue Sky” from U2?
Lyrics were the main reason. U2 is a very popular band and it was very unlikely that we would cover it, so it was another reason. But lyrics are very strong and powerful. It was a challenge; I mean U2 song (laugh). I really like U2 and we wanted to show people one of the revolutionary songs, what made SEPULTURA, what it is now. We don’t have to sound exactly like those bands but they have an impact. We like to listen to various styles of music, and we are open-minded, but we wanted to do it in our own way and show what feeling we have connected to the song. Overall it was challenging and cool at the same time, as we did something totally different.
What was the idea behind the video, you running through the city and then jumping from the roof?
(laugh) I love music videos and I wanted people to think during that; is he running from something or running to something? …And jumping from the roof, it was a director’s idea (laugh). He said, there is a need for some kind of a twist to it. We wanted a simple video, which will not let you leave the screen. It is mainly open for people’s imagination and was fun to do it.
It is not that long, when Andreas surprised us, by his solo album. How do you look on aside activities overall and on what he has created?
I really love it. I also heard demos early on, so I knew the album from inside out. I think it is very healthy to get out sometimes and play with different artist because it gives you perspective. There was a main reason why I wanted to do my project, MUSICA DIABLO. We are artists and we like to play and create with other artists. I think it’s healthy, but I really like what he did. It’s totally different from SEPULTURA but I think it’s incredible and I like listening to it.
When you mentioned your side project, it would not be bad idea to introduce it to those SEPULTURA fans, which still didn’t hear about it.
It’s called MUSICA DIABLO and there is a lot of stuff on MySpace, for them to check it out. We have basically just started and made one tour in Europe. As we returned, now we have a booking agent, we have an album, and its straight thrash. It’s from the beginning to the end, a punch in a face (laugh). It’s old style classic thrash, and you really don’t have to think much about it, but it’s fun to do it, definitely live.
What are the closest plans for SEPULTURA? You mentioned an album…
Yeah, right now the plan is to finish the tour and then go back to South America, and do some shows there. Really schedule time for rehearsing and working on a new album, and try to get that done before the end of the year, to have it released next year.