Heart of Steel: Interviews

Interview with Andreas Kisser
Interview & pics by Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjälä

Sepultura have been one of the favorite bands of almost everyone in the past, and for some they still remain at the top. Unfortunately the band has undergone more than a few major setbacks after the mid 90's and was slammed and given a lot of negative responds from the die hard metal crowd. Andreas Kisser was extremely polite to the deadly tired and even drunk Metal-Rules.com reporters when asking all kinds of things from Andreas!!

We join the interview with Andreas in progress as he is being asked about the meaning of the title of the new CD ROORBACK.

He was our web master who came up with that title. He was in the studio with us because we had a live camera going on while we were recording. He knows a lot of websites and he was just surfing around and he found this name. It has a very strong meaning. It was a new word we had never heard before meaning 'false propaganda'. You know in politics to gain advantage and spread lies and all that stuff. So it pretty much represents what we say on the album lyrically. It is very much influenced by what we see today, you know especially the last two years you know, the wars and the consequences of that and how we could act a little more to prevent this kind of shit to happen. And stuff like that so you know, this is the stuff that we write about on the album and we felt that 'ROORBACK' would represent that.



To my taste you have changed you musical style, it is more hardcore stuff now.

Yeah. We had fewer guests, we only had one guest and it made the whole difference. Since ROOTS, AGAINST and NATION, we've have had 16 songs with like a million guests you know from everywhere. This time we thought we could do something more crude and raw. We did just twelve songs using the basic elements. We wanted to be more creative with less elements which is a big challenge.



I remember that you guys were all huge fans of the old Finnish punk bands like Kaaos, Terveet Kadet and …

Andreas (Interupts) Ratos! (Laughs)

…Because on the new album I can hear some of them.

Those bands are always with us because they are part of the Sepultura style…especially Max and Igor because they listen to a lot of the hardcore. I learned a lot when I joined Sepultura because I came from more of a heavy metal tradition. When we mixed that stuff…there is something very strong in our music...especially live. We really enjoy the influence of the hardcore live…it's fucking amazing.



I noticed you recorded the whole album in Brazil. Is it cheaper to record in Brazil than European studios?

Oh yeah! Definitely.

Are they as skilled as the European studios?

Definitely. I think we are very happy with the sounds we got on ROORBACK and it's pretty raw. Steve (Evetts, the producer) has been working with us the last three albums and we get along very well in the studio. It is a very comfortable situation and we feel comfortable working with him. Brazil has all the computers and Pro-tools and all that you know, and a good selection of mikes. The rest is just dealing with the room and all that. It could be in any room. We have really good studios in Brazil especially in Rio De Janeiro, good equipment, good mikes and Steve Evetts who can work on any kind of technology, new computers, old computers. We could use a lot of different stuff; amps, equalizers…whatever. And it's cheaper you know. Plus we live closer to our families for day to day.



You all live in Sao Paulo now?

Yes, all of us. Derek has adapted to the country. He likes the country, he's speaking the language, a little bit more everyday. It's good that he enjoys it there because it is important for us to keep our ties together.

And then like a family…

Yeah, yeah…it is a real important thing…like a family to have that balance you know, the professional life and the family life so we can mix them together.



Is it still dangerous to live in Brazil? You used to write lyrics about difficulties in Brazil…

Yeah it is dangerous…but it dangerous to catch a plane today (laughs). It's dangerous anywhere. In Brazil we have to deal with that on the streets but we deal with it so it is more honest…to have more control…to make the politicians work a little harder, more education and stuff like that. That is really the problem down in Brazil is that there is no opportunity. They say crime is an easy option, and fast rewarded. That's what they think. A lot of young kids are going to crime because they don't have the opportunity to go to school and stuff like that. Running away from Brazil is not going to help…I am a Brazilian and I have to be there to try to make a better place for me and my family.



There is one thing I have to ask now. How is really your relationship with Paul Di'Anno?

Di'Anno? He's a great guy. He went down to Sao Paulo and I played some Iron Maiden tunes with him, it was a dream, it was fucking great! We played "Killers", "Wrathchild" and "Phantom Of The Opera" in a VERY small club in Brazil. We had a lot of fun, he's a great guy and really likes Sepultura's music…like his kids do also (Laughs).



Some time ago he talked about possibilities of joining Sepultura…

No, well, we talked about doing something together...a song or something. He said he would come back here to Brazil and stuff but unfortunately it didn't happen. It was supposed to happen for ROORBACK. It would be great to do a song or some joint song ideas, but it is something we can do in the future, no doubt.



What about this covers EP? You did Exodus, Hellhammer and others..by the way what made you choose 'Piranha'?

Exodus…yeah…the covers are there for different versions. It is impossible to find a song that nobody did before, so we just choose the songs that were an influence for us on our career…

Even Hellhammer?

Yeah even Hellhammer! And we picked songs that would challenge us musically; U2, Devo, Public Enemy…it was a real challenge to do a Sepultura style song from those bands. It was a good challenge and a good school for us. We did it right before ROORBACK and we had a lot of…we experimented so we could keep the raw stuff for our album.



What about this pro band with Metallica and Exodus…Sexi…(struggling) how do you spell it?

Sexoturica! (laughs) This is something we did ten years ago at Jason Newstead's home studio. He did that a lot with different musicians. Every weekend he did something like that…inventing new names for bands and making new music, making weird mixtures. He invited me and Tom Hunting from Exodus and a drummer and we did three songs together and a Motörhead cover you know. It was a great experience and it is great that he put it out now so that people have a chance to listen to it.


Were you surprised when he joined VoiVod?

Yeah, a little bit.

I was completely blown-away (laughs)

Yeah, but they had a relationship for along time. They had some demos together in the Sexoturica style, you know creating new names, and they get along very well and musically it is very cool.

Do you like the new VoiVod album?

Yeah, it's interesting. We toured with them in the States. We had a chance to play with VoiVod for the first time and they were a band that was a great influence on us.



You just released, 'Under The Pale Grey skies" A new "old" live album…

Andreas (interrupting) No, no. Not us. Roadrunner did. (laughs)

How is your relationship with Roadrunner? I met up with Max a couple of months ago and he had never heard of it but it was OK. How was it, your last show with him anyway?

Yeah…it was something Sepultura did not want to put out at all. It was something that not bring good memories or anything.



Are you satisfied with the quality?

Not really. It is like a bootleg to us. We didn't choose the cover, we didn't choose the songs, we didn't choose the producer. We didn't want to put it out at all. To judge the ROOTS tour by that show…it failed. We had a lot of great shows, you know. There were a lot better shows that represented that era but Roadrunner had recorded it and put it out. It was not something we enjoyed a lot.



I saw you in Donnington in 1996. You were singing, it was an amazing gig…you were a threesome. What actually happened before that gig?

Max had to go back to the United States because our Manager's son had died in a car accident...so psychologically he didn't have…so how to do the gig? We decided to go ahead because before we had been in the same situation - once Max was sick, once on the Ozzy tour in '92 and back on tour in '89, so we knew we could do it because we did it before. We did it to respect the people who came to see Sepultura. A lot of people came to see us, you could tell by the yellow shirts and we got great support by every band on the festival to make the show happen. Sharon Osbourne was really good to us to make sure Max got back to the States as soon as he could. She watched the show from the side of the stage and Biohazard, Fear Factory and everyone were very supportive. It was great.

When Max left the band and you were singing...it wasn't so bad actually!

Andreas (laughs).

Was there any idea that you would be the singer for the band?

Yes! Actually we started that way after Max left the band. We were like that, a trio for nine months. We never did any live shows, we just worked in the studio.

No concerts?

No, no, no. We never did any live shows as a trio. We just kept working in the studio and writing and writing and stuff and when Derek joined the band we recorded AGAINST and then we started playing.



About the front covers in general…I just noticed there is some similarity between Metallica's St. Anger and your 'Nation' album….

Definitely! (laughs)

Well, maybe you could sue Metallica! (laughs)

Well, let's do it. It 's a great idea! (laughing) It is pretty similar. That artist who did our cover (Shepard Fairey) that's his style. That's his trademark, his colours, his style of doing it and I was a little surprised when I saw it but…I haven't heard it yet.



It's quite strange, it's like an industrial album and it's fast…

Yeah…I'm curious.

It's very primitive.

I'm going to get my copy soon….with the Nation cover.

There are links with the left wing with the Nation album and the cover.

Yeah…there are links with the left, the right the center…there are links with everybody. It is a utopian nation. I think that the Communists and the Nazi's all use their artwork and their propaganda very well, to promote their ideas and principles. We don't agree with those principles but we just use the art. As you can see in our lyrics and stuff we talk about an opposite world, with no world domination and stuff like that. And unfortunately we live in a different world…the war speaks louder everyday unfortunately…but in a sense it is a very positive way to do things, through our music, make people think about it and discuss it and maybe find a different solution for problems you know?



For this record you have changed record companies. How do feel? Is SPV better or different than the previous ones?

Well, we started working with Roadrunner since 1988…

(interrupts) Excuse me, What about Shark? Wasn't that your first label?

Huh? (confused?)

Shark Records, the label in Germany who released Schizophrenia in the first place?

No, that was a bootleg.

A bootleg?


I know a lot of people who have copies of it.

Yeah, I know. It sold a lot (laughs) and we never saw a penny from it! But at the same time they promoted Sepultura great because the album sold well. Ummm..I forgot what we were talking about!

About Roadrunner and SPV.

Yeah we signed an album (contract) with them too long ago and it was too long of an album (contract) so now we have a chance to work with people who believe in the album and the new line-up and the future so it is doing good.


Thank you!

Thank you!

Andreas and Marko