Josh Rundquist of That Drummer Guy recently conducted an interview with guitarist Andreas Kisser of Brazilian/American metallers SEPULTURA. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On SEPULTURA circa 2020:
Andreas: "We are in a great momentum; the lineup is very strong. Our organization, managers and all great labels, an amazing following — I think all that helps for us, really, to focus on the music and really explore as much as we can on music. I think [the new SEPULTURA album] 'Quadra', is really a consequence of the momentum we are living in. It's fantastic."
On the various sides of SEPULTURA that are reflected in "Quadra":
Andreas: "I think that was the initial, I think, concept. Everything is very much influenced by numbers, numerology, geometry. I think the concept of 'Quadra', it really helped us to divide the album in four parts — that was the idea; like the vinyl, double album, side A, B, C and D. Every side has a very strong characteristic of stuff that we used and did before. I think the first side is more connected to the old-school thrash of 'Beneath The Remains', 'Schizophrenia', all the bands we were listening to during those days. Side B is dedicated to more of our percussive side, our groovier side, like 'Chaos A.D.', 'Roots', 'Against', the type of songs like 'Choke' or 'Phantom Self' from our last album that brings the Brazilian rhythms together with heavy riffing. Side C is more connected to our instrumental world, which is very important to SEPULTURA. Since day one since I joined the band in '87 on 'Schizophrenia', we already had two instrumentals, 'The Abyss' and 'Inquisition Symphony'. Since then, we always liked to explore the instrumental stuff because it is a metal world characteristic, like you have [IRON] MAIDEN and METALLICA and so many other bands that really represent different songs in instrumental format, so we were very much inspired by that world, especially the song 'Iceberg Dances' from our last album, which had acoustic guitars, the classical influence, that really explored the musicianship. Side D, the last side, is more connected or more influenced by the song 'Machine Messiah' itself, which is very slow-paced, very melodic. We could explore different ways of using Derrick's [Green] voice, the choirs and orchestration. On the last song, we have a female singer being a part of the song which is something we wanted to use for a long time, to have a female, different type of texture, sound texture. It worked out so great. Yeah, I guess we explored everything we did in the past, plus all the new stuff that we are bringing on the album."
On the overall scope of "Quadra":
Andreas: "It's a journey, especially nowadays. The metal world is great because the fans really like the album to listen to from start to end. It's not about singles, like one song that comes out of nothing or nowhere. It's like a concept and the metal fan likes to buy the official [product], they usually don't buy bootlegs and all that crap. It keeps the scene strong because the money goes to the right place, to the bands, so it keeps the whole scene moving. It's great momentum for metal, for thrash and all that stuff. I think it's a great time for an album like 'Quadra' as well."
On the cover artwork for "Quadra":
Andreas: "The album cover was something that was a little difficult to find for this one because on the last two albums we worked on 'Mediator [Between Head And Hands Must Be The Heart]' and then on 'Machine Messiah', we had the artwork pretty early in the process, which always helps to write the music, to bring a little image direction to what we're doing and stuff, but for 'Quadra', it came a little later because the concept is so wide. We could represent and try to find different icons to represent what we want to say, but I think money, which is the coin represented here on the cover, which the icon could represent this prime rule of survival. We need to have money to survive regardless of our religion, politics or wherever we live in this world. We need money to be born, we need money to survive, we need money to die. Basically, it's our first judgment of somebody. When you meet somebody where you work or whatever, you have a relationship with somebody, it's money. If he's a bum or if he's a millionaire, you're going to fit somewhere in between or on the extremes. That's how we relate with people, judging with stereotypes if he's black, or if he's Asian, or if he's rich or he's poor, or if he's communist or a capitalist. These are concepts in our minds. 'Quadra' brings this question: Why do we believe in this concept we have? Just because we went to a certain school or a certain university or watch a certain movie, or if your grandma told you a story that you believe? Who knows? It could be a lie or a misinterpretation of an event or something, but you take this as true because you trust your grandma. You have no reason not to trust her, but you take that information as truth, but it could be not true. I think 'Quadra' really deals with that and the concepts and what is a country and why we have these imaginary lines that divide people by creed and race and all that stupidity. I guess that's why the money and the coin are there because it represents the prime rule of enslavement. Money is an illusion. You need at least two people to agree that a piece of paper has a certain value, and with that value, you exchange for the things you need for your life, but people kill and die for something that doesn't exist. It's mindblowing, but that's why we are touching this. 'Quadra' represents that, like this set of rules and the cultural baggage that we have, and we are a consequence of that. Myself, [if I] was born in Saudi Arabia, I would have a completely different point of view of the world, of family and women and music and everything, but I would be myself with my same character, with my same tastes for food and for sports and everything, but with a different point of view. I think we should respect that. In the end, nobody's wrong, we're just victims of what we grew up with. I think the message is not to attack the differences but to embrace them and learn with them."
"Quadra" will be released on February 7 via Nuclear Blast. The disc was created at Sweden's Fascination Street Studios with renowned producer Jens Bogren. It will be followed by a world tour starting in March.
SEPULTURA comprises Green, Kisser, bassist Paulo Xisto Pinto Jr. and drummer Eloy Casagrande.