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.”
Ze Ramalho with Andreas Kisser of Sepultura at Rock In Rio
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