J. Bennett of Decibel magazine recently conducted an interview with SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Decibel: Do you spend much time reading what people say on message boards about SEPULTURA?
Andreas: A little bit. You have to be aware of what's going on. And SEPULTURA is so much criticized. But we're not the only band that changed their formation, you know? METALLICA had the accident, other bands have members with different ideas ANTHRAX, MEGADETH, SLAYER, BLACK SABBATH it's happened to all of them. There's so many different reasons, but the music goes on. And we have many fans who believe in the music and spirit of SEPULTURA regardless of formation, but not everybody. It seems little unjust with us we feel like the only band that cannot have a normal life after the lineup changes. But in a sense, we are used to that. It's something that's gonna go on forever, either with Max [Cavalera, former SEPULTURA guitarist/vocalist] or with Igor [Cavalera, former SEPULTURA drummer] or whatever happens in the future. It's part of our story, of our career, of our history. But you know, we play songs from every album regardless of who is in the band or who wrote the fucking riff. We're there for our fans and to enjoy ourselves, not to make politics. I hate politics, anyway. I'm a musician. I love to play guitar and enjoy myself. That's what keeps me going.
Decibel: It seems like Max wasn't making things any easier for you guys last year when he kept talking about a SEPULTURA reunion. You ended up releasing a video statement telling fans not to believe the rumors. Were you surprised that it got to that point?
Andreas: Yes, very much. It's surprising that people care what Max is saying and really believe what he's saying. If you read his interviews, they're all very contradictory. One time, two plus two is four, and the next time it's five, you know? [Laughs] You never know what's coming. And it was pretty scary when promoters started believing what he was saying. He has nothing to do with our business. He's been away from SEPULTURA for many years by his choice. He left the band in '96, so it's annoying that he still talks about us. Of course, every time he puts out something new, he has to talk about us, to bring some attention I understand that but for a promoter to believe what he says when he talks about a reunion, it's too much. People are allowed to say whatever they want, but don't believe it as truth. He's not in SEPULTURA, so he can't speak for SEPULTURA. I don't understand why people take his word. So, the video came out under those circumstances he was getting in the way of our business, of our plans. I guess it worked. I hope it did.
Decibel: Did the situation get worse when Igor left in 2006? Because then there were no Cavaleras left in SEPULTURA.
Andreas: No, I don't think so. The biggest blow was Max leaving. After that, everything was much easier to deal with. And you know, opinions are opinions. There are so many different SEPULTURAs in so many different heads now. I don't agree with them all, but I respect them. Everyone is entitled to think whatever they want. But for me, SEPULTURA is something that is bigger than any one person. It's a spirit of freedom. And I think you can hear that on our albums we never try to reproduce what we did before. Our attitude is that the past is already gone. That's why the present is so important.
Decibel: What do you think of CAVALERA CONSPIRACY?
Andreas: It's kind of weird, because I don't see Igor's input there. I mean, he's a DJ now. He plays drums in CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, but he doesn't write. He's just a drummer who happens to be Max's brother which is weird to me. Max writes everything. So, it's like they're together, but they're not. I don't feel the chemistry between the brothers. They play SEPULTURA stuff, and that's fine, but we're here, you know? We never stopped. I'm not here to fulfill anybody's expectations. It's impossible to do.
Decibel: Do you feel like you've been able to take SEPULTURA in directions that you wouldn't have if Max was still in the band?
Andreas: I don't know that's hard to say. It's a good question. I don't think so. Me and him, without fucking managers and other people around, just us and the band in the practice room it was fucking beautiful. That's why SEPULTURA is what it is. I remember when we were in the studio for "Arise", telling [Roadrunner Records A&R representative] Monte Conner not to touch the fucking board, you know? [Laughs] We needed our freedom to do what we needed to do. That's what SEPULTURA was about then, and that's what it's about now.
Decibel's entire interview with Andreas Kisser can be found in the magazine's September 2011 issue, available on newsstands now. It can also be ordered online at this location.