While the pandemic paralyzed the entire world and prevented bands from touring, Latin America's biggest metal export SEPULTURA refused to sit back and feel like animals trapped in a cage. Therefore, in early 2020, the legendary Brazilians, along with their American vocalist, seized the moment to start their own weekly "SepulQuarta" video podcast in which they invited other famous musicians from all over the world to not only discuss important topics but also perform a track from SEPULTURA's massive catalog together with the band. The resulting full-length compilation was released last August, with the album containing 15 classics featuring internationally renowned guests and friends.
Speaking to the "Behind The Vinyl" podcast, SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser stated about the band's collaboration with TESTAMENT's Alex Skolnick on the track "Vandals Nest": "Alex is a master — one of the best guitar players out there. And especially because of his jazz influence, he has a metal vision that is very unique. TESTAMENT, it's one of the influences for SEPULTURA as well, especially the early [stuff], 'The Legacy' [and] 'The New Order', that kind of stuff, that really inspired us to try different things in the 'Schizophrenia' and 'Beneath The Remains' era, and try harmonies in leads. Even though Max [Cavalera, former SEPULTURA frontman] didn't play leads, in the studio I tried to work that kind of stuff. And TESTAMENT are the masters of doing that, really the harmonies, because they have a lot of knowledge, especially Alex. And he can play something from Allan Holdsworth and EXODUS and METALLICA like the same — with the same vibe, the same technical mastery that he has."
Andreas continued: "The song we chose was very thrashy because he's a thrash guitar player. And he messed around with different tunings to create different atmospheres — something I didn't expect. Because he put his lower string one step down to the whole song and created even more chaos. It's fantastic; it's amazing. And it's something that I never really tried before… [The song] is very thrashy, so it's kind of creating like a dissonance, even more of a dissonant vibe. Because it's very fast, it's very thrashy, and that song had that feeling — of a chaotic situation, of extremes. And doing that, his trick, it created even more of that type of vibe. That's why this version is so unique, because it's his own reading of the song and his own input.
"We let [all the collaborators on 'SepulQuarta'] be very free and creative about that, because that's the whole point of bringing somebody new to the band. 'Oh, no, You have to do the same tuning. You have to do what I did in the studio.' I mean, why? Why you bother bringing sometimes something new with a new language or a new technique to develop the SEPULTURA sound even further. Which is great, I think. That's why the 'SepulQuarta' album is so unique and so important and one of the very special albums we ever did in our career. On the same album, we put Phil Campbell from MOTÖRHEAD and Mark Holcomb [PERIPHERY], which is very different generations playing SEPULTURA music. Okay, although 'Orgasmatron' is not SEPULTURA, but [it's] almost all our songs."
Back in 2016, TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy confirmed that he auditioned for the lead-singer position in SEPULTURA when Max Cavalera quit the latter band in 1996. "Yeah, around that time was right before [TESTAMENT made] the 'Demonic' record, so we had finished our Atlantic [Records] contract, and we were shopping for a new deal," Chuck explained to Eonmusic. "We didn't really have a deal yet, and at the last minute, I just said, 'You know what? Maybe I should try to find a band that's solid, that's going to keep touring and continue on,' and at that point, SEPULTURA was taking auditions, and I think it was at the end [of the audition process] that I decided, 'Screw it, I'm going to do it.' I think I did three songs; I did 'Refuse/Resist', I did 'Territory', and I wrote my version of 'Choke', and gave it to them. But by the time I had delivered, they had already made their decision for [the appointment of new singer] Derrick [Green], which in the end, was probably the way it all should have worked out."
Kisser spoke about Billy's audition for SEPULTURA during a 2015 appearance on "The Jasta Show". He said: "Chuck [laid down his vocals over] the [demo version of a then-new SEPULTURA song called] 'Choke' … Because we sent the instrumental [version] of a new song [to prospective singers to record their vocals over]. We didn't want anyone to sing 'Roots [Bloody Roots]' or 'Refuse/Resist', because we didn't want a clone. We wanted somebody to bring new ideas, to bring SEPULTURA to a different path, to a different level. And Chuck Billy, he did… He used more of the guttural [vocal style on his audition tape]. And it works. Because, recently, we did a 'Metal Allegiance' jam at NAMM in Los Angeles, and we played some SEPULTURA stuff with Chuck Billy singing, and it was great, man — it was great. So he did a great job. But, you know, he's Chuck Billy; he's TESTAMENT. We wanted somebody new."