Guitarist Andreas Kisser spoke to Hot Metal about SEPULTURA's mindset when it came to finding a replacement for Max Cavalera, the iconic frontman who suddenly exited the group twenty years ago at the height of SEPULTURA's success.
"Since Max left, we never try to replace him. Derrick [Green, current SEPULTURA frontman] is such a different guy, a different musician. He doesn't have the guitar playing of the thrash school. That's why he doesn't play guitar. But we use new elements and we take SEPULTURA to different ways and different levels and different experiences. So in that sense' there is nothing to be missed. It's something that we are not trying to reproduce something that was done before. But rather we do what we do today."
Kisser added that it would have been "stupid" for SEPULTURA to find a new vocalist who was similar to, or that emulated, Max. "I think that's why we're [still] here," he said. "We take SEPULTURA to new levels, and regardless of the formation.
"Derrick's an amazing guy. I'm so glad he's with us. We went through a lot of criticism and a lot of fucked up accusations and all that bullshit. Derrick's here twenty years on doing an amazing job. I'm so glad we have him in the band. It really helped to keep SEPULTURA alive strong and well."
He continued: "It was not easy to be here, especially for him to be fronting SEPULTURA after Max, and, of course, Max is very charismatic and very strong onstage and everything. But Derrick found his way and he found his own way to represent SEPULTURA and that's fantastic. He's a great partner in crime, for sure."
Max recently slammed the current lineup of SEPULTURA, implying in an interview that the band hasn't written any high-quality material since his exit from the group more than two decades ago. "Tell me one great song they have written since I left," he told Metal Rules. "Name one great album they have put out after that. I haven't seen anything. I don't know one name of one song as popular as 'Roots Bloody Roots'. So, it just tells me like whatever they are doing, I don't know how they keep on going. I don't think it's working at all. But somehow they keep on going, somehow. It's crazy to me."
In 1996, Max exited SEPULTURA after the rest of the band fired his wife Gloria as their manager.
The current SEPULTURA lineup — featuring Kisser, Green and bassist Paulo Xisto Pinto Jr. alongside Eloy Casagrande on drums — released its new studio album, "Machine Messiah", on January 13 via Nuclear Blast.