The Rock Pit recently conducted an interview with guitarist Andreas Kisser of Brazilian/American metallers SEPULTURA. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Rock Pit: Ross Robinson produced the new album ["The Mediator Between Head And Hands Must Be The Heart"] and the last time you worked with him was on the "Roots" album. How was it working with him again?
Andreas: It was amazing! We love Ross. He's a great guy and a great producer. When we worked on "Roots", it was one of the most important albums in our career, not only for SEPULTURA but also for Ross himself. It was great to see him after so many years and when we had the opportunity to work together again, he understands SEPULTURA so much. He's very spiritual, very organic. He didn't want the album to sound like a machine — no click on the drums, none of the Pro Tools. The concept of the album also warranted it in the recording, just to be sure that the balance that we had without being attached to the technical stuff that we have to be. Even on "Roots", we used all that digital equipment but now he brought his own experience and can add different atmospheres and it keeps the music alive. We always try to bring the SEPULTURA sound that we have on stage live into the studio and I think with Ross, we kind of managed to achieve that finally.
The Rock Pit: How much of an influence did he have on the album? Was there some "Roots" thing going or any nostalgia?
Andreas: No. I mean, Ross worked with us on the last stage. We wrote the music in the studio here in Sao Paulo; me and Eloy [Casagrande, drums] wrote the music together. The drums and the guitars were really the base of everything and then Derrick [Green, vocals] came in and brought vocal lines and Paulo [Xisto Pinto Jr., bass] with bass lines and then at the last stage, of course, Ross came. We went into the studio in Venice Beach [California] where we recorded the album and we gave the songs to him and then he came with suggestions and he was crucial. He made a big difference especially on finding the sound and the right atmosphere for the songs. It was really a group effort that you hear on the album and there's something that we respect about that; it's amazing. It's a different process when a new person comes in to complete that.
The Rock Pit: For the drumming, you had a new guy Eloy Casagrande, which is his first album with you guys and he did a fantastic job. How was it recording with him?
Andreas: He's great, man! Like I said, he has lots of experience, he has a great heart and is dedicated and professional; he was ready. Being in SEPULTURA from his side is a dream and it shows. It's great to have somebody who wants to be there more than anything else. His drumming is fantastic; I think he really stepped up. He never did something like that before, that type of music so extreme. Ross was also great to push ourselves to break that music, to really do like we do in live performing. We really had a great time with Ross. He really understood the way we wanted to record, without the drum click and everything. He was amazing; [he] did an amazing job.
The Rock Pit: I noticed that Dave Lombardo does a guest spot on "Obsessed", which is another great song on the album. How did his appearance come about?
Andreas: Yeah, that was something really cool. It wasn't planned at all. Ross' studio in Venice Beach is a beautiful place and Dave Lombardo was there on Venice Beach having a good time with his kids and dogs, and he called Ross and said, "Hey, I'm around. What's going on?" and Ross invited him to the studio and said, "SEPULTURA is here. Do you wanna jam?" and he says, "Yeah, why not?" and then he was there. We spent a few hours with that and we put together a two-man drumset and Lombardo was thinking, "OK, let's start jamming," and that was inspired by the song that we wanted to have something special there. Dave is such a great guy; he's one of our biggest idols. SLAYER has been such a big influence on SEPULTURA and to have him on the album is an honor and a privilege. The way it happened was even better. It was not like that kind of bureaucracy and all that kind of crap. It happened so naturally that it's even better.
Read the entire interview at The Rock Pit.