Washington D.C.'s Express recently conducted an interview with SEPULTURA frontman Derrick Green. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Express: How's the [U.S.] tour going?
Green: Crazy. It's been crazy good [Laughs]. It's been very different to be back in the U.S. — to be here finally. It's taken a little too long, but it's important for us to be here now and to work ourselves back up, do our thing. It's been great as far as seeing old faces, seeing new faces.
Express: You draw way more fans in Brazil, right?
Green: Yeah. Anywhere else in the world. The U.S., like I said, it's been so long, we almost have to start from the basics in terms of getting out there. There's a lot more competition as far as shows, things going on here.
Express: How long has it been since you toured the U.S.?
Green: Almost four years.
Express: How is metal different in Brazil than in the U.S.?
Green: They're very fanatical for certain bands and music, especially heavy music. There aren't many bands that go down and tour there, but the ones that do get a lot of respect. I just saw SLAYER down there and they have a huge fan base there. IRON MAIDEN: They go to Brazil and they have a huge fan base there. There's a lot more people, the shows are cheaper to get into and they go off. They save their money for months to go to the show — they're going to really go off. It's an event. You don't know when that band's going to be back. It's more intense as far as the energy level. Here, I think kids are really used to seeing shows and bombarded with it. It becomes not as appealing, because there are so many things going on, to choose from — it spreads everything thin.
Express: Did you feel like you won the lottery when you became SEPULTURA's new singer in 1996?
Green: Yeah, definitely, as a musician, having a whole new challenge in front of me. It's a lot of work, you know? There's a lot of work that goes into being in the band and being able to move to a different country and adapt a different language. There were a lot of things that went into being in this band. It's been an amazing journey.
Express: It's been said that SEPULTURA is an "ideology" for some fans. What do you think they're taking as the ideology?
Green: A lot of fans take from SEPULTURA the fact of being able to survive and conquer any fears or anything that might be holding them back, enable them to do whatever they need to do to move forward. We've always been a band that encourages moving in a forward direction. Even in our songwriting, we're constantly challenging ourselves and people want that in their own lives: They want to challenge themselves and keep improving themselves. I think that's a beautiful thing to carry with you, that energy, and I think a lot of people get that from SEPULTURA.
Express: Do you write all the lyrics?
Green: I write a lot of the lyrics with Andreas. We usually start that after the music has been written or while we're writing the music. We combine on certain songs; other songs we write entirely on our own.
Express: Unlike the rest of SEPULTURA, you grew up in Cleveland. What was Cleveland's hardcore scene like?
Green: It was great, I have to say. At the time, there were many, many bands passing through and I just thought the world of 'em. It made me want to get in a band and I played in a band in Cleveland for, like, 8 years and developed a following, which was great. It really helped, to open up for a lot of legendary hardcore bands. I learned so much from being in that scene. It was vibrant.
Express: What are your future plans for SEPULTURA?
Green: To come back here and do some festivals, to really make ourselves known again here. To get on some hot bills with young bands and some older bands. There's a big part of the world we haven't played yet: Asia, a lot of Central America, South Africa.
Express: You must know that [original SEPULTURA vocalist] Max [Cavalera] has been telling the media that he'll be reuniting with the group. How does that strike you?
Green: It struck me as kind of strange. Nobody in our band's talked to him in years. I think it's something that he wants to do and I thought: After 10 years, why now? We've been supporting the band and keeping it alive after he left. I feel that I'm a part of the band and people see me as part of the band. I think it's kind of bizarre, but I'm not that surprised.
Express: Who's the best metal band of all time?
Green: I'd have to say SLAYER. I've always loved 'em, since I was like 14. They just constantly blow me away. They're amazing, and they're still around. We toured with 'em a long time ago.