SEPULTURA vocalist Derrick Green recently spoke with Australia's Heavy magazine. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the group's new album, "Quadra":
Derrick: "A lot of times when we go into writing an album, we usually like to go in with a concept because it makes the process of writing a little bit easier. We become more focused once we have an objective. With this album, we were thinking of it as if it were a double album — side A, side B, C and D. We wanted to have some element of SEPULTURA that existed in the past on each side. The first songs [were] geared up more towards the thrash elements of SEPULTURA's past; the B-side being more of the tribal elements mixed with that, and also kind of leaning from 'Machine Messiah'; side C would be more of the experimental and instrumental phases of SEPULTURA; and then the D-side being more melodical [sic]. That was the idea we had in mind, all relating to the idea that Andreas Kisser, our guitarist, had. He came up with the title 'Quadra', which is Portuguese for a playing field that has four sides. Within this playing field, you have rules, so 'Quadra' is kind of like what each person is born into. It's kind of a metaphor for certain areas of the world that people are born into, and certain laws that you abide by or don't, and there's repercussions for that... We're a four-piece group. There's a lot to do with the number four as well. He was reading two books that had a big impact. One was '??', which is [about] the four subjects of the arts — namely arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy, and also numerology as far as the number four being so significant, because when that number is manifested, a lot of powerful things are happening within the moment. That's how we felt as a band — there are four of us together on stage; there's a moment that's happening that's very powerful, and also in the studio. We went in that direction before anything was even written and were able to have a lot of time to work on the album. We made sure to create that time by not doing a lot of festival tours that we normally do in the summer and really becoming comfortable in the writing process, which really helped to create this album."
On the group's writing process:
Derrick: "Our drummer, Eloy Casagrande, has his ideas and records them, and Andreas his has his guitar ideas that he writes. They were the first to really get together to write the music aspect of the album. Once they had certain ideas, they would send it to me. I'm in L.A. now — I moved from Brazil about a year and a half ago — and what I would do was record the ideas that I was thinking where vocals should go for chorus, for verse and things like that, without even speaking to them, just kind of laying down what I felt should go where. Once I did that, I went to Brazil and we talked about everything and we recorded a demo of everything, and we sent this to the producer. A lot of times, certain choruses and verses just really fit. Just because we've played for so many years, writing and everything, we just know each other very well, and we're very comfortable with this lineup. It just seemed very natural, and really, everything just seemed to fall into place... The process was really fantastic because we were able to have that preparation time. It was really demanding in the studio, but that preparation definitely helped."
On writing the album's lyrics:
Derrick: "This time around, I really wanted to get a head-start on lyrics. A lot of times, they come way after the music, but once we had the topic as far as the concept, then I decided that I definitely wanted to have 12 topics of conversation. I wasn't sure what songs would be instrumental — I just wanted to have 12 topics that we would write about on the album. I went out and I wrote those, and I showed Andreas, our guitarist... I'd have a cork board, and I would put those topics down, and then from each of those topics, I would each day write lyrically something that moved me or something I got from research on those topics, and just kind of fill that board slowly but surely. I would be reminded of it every day — that's why I had it on a cork board in my room, so I could see it. For the very top of the album, I wanted to write about the prison system in the U.S. It's really been dysfunctional for such a long time, and they also use solitary confinement as a way of punishment, which I think is inhumane... The fact that the U.S. has more people in prison than any other country in the world is astonishing. It's something to look at and question. A lot of the topics, I wanted to really question — I wanted people to question themselves and question the things that are around them. Some of the topics that I also wrote about were depression, addiction, political manipulation, refugees, the killing of indigenous people surrounding the Amazon. These are pretty heavy topics, and I wanted to write [about] these topics because they're very significant [in regard to] what's going on in society right now."
On how the band ensured that the album would "flow":
Derrick: "I think we were just so excited about the songs that it never really occurred to us that it wouldn't fit. In our heads, we were already figuring out from certain riffs which songs would go next just from the intensity of the songs. We really were measuring it, almost like a roller coaster ride — 'Oh, it should definitely lead into this' — and the mood and the feeling were something that we were always thinking about once the actual songs were there. I don't think we really worried about it. We felt that each song was very strong and very unique, and if it was too outrageous, then some parts got changed, but it really didn't happen that often. We had so much time to think about it that it ended up being able to flow very well."
"Quadra" was released on February 7 via Nuclear Blast.