DATE OF INTERVIEW:
20th May 2011
METAL DISCOVERY: I have to ask, you played live with an orchestra for the first time ever at the Virada Cultural Festival last month – how was that experience?
ANDREAS KISSER: It was amazing. It’s something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time. I mean, heavy metal, rock ‘n’ roll and classical music, there are a lot of good examples from Deep Purple to the Scorpions, and KISS, and Metallica… there are many different bands that have done that mixture, and it works. Heavy metal and classical music are from the same planet - like revolutionary writers and composers, virtuosity and everything. We’re very happy that we had the chance to do it now in São Paulo with the São Paulo Orchestra. We did around eight or nine arrangements of Sepultura music and it was exciting being part of a festival. It was a big festival with many bands and stuff like that. It was a little difficult to dial in the sounds and everything but it was worth it. The reaction of the crowd was really fantastic. They were really surprised to see something like that happening. Our intention now is to really try to do it again with more arrangements and more songs, and try to do it in an enclosed place, an enclosed environment. Even in a studio or something so we could better control our sound and mixing. So let’s see, depending on the time we have this year, we’ll probably try to do that by the end of the year or next year. I think it would be great.
(Andreas Kisser in response to Kerry King's assertion that "When you play with an orchestra you’re just masturbating yourself”)
"I think masturbation is not bad at all!"
Sepultura - promo shot
Photograph copyright © 2011 Alex Solca
Interview by Mark Holmes
Sepultura Official Website:
Morbid Visions (1986)
Thanks to Markus Jakob at Nuclear Blast for arranging the interview
Beneath the Remains (1989)
Sepultura Official MySpace:
Chaos A.D. (1993)
MD: Yeah, that’d be cool. A big concert hall with really good acoustics for the orchestra would sound immense.
AK: Yeah, yeah, it would be amazing.
MD: So was the São Paulo thing actually filmed and recorded for a future DVD/CD release?
AK: Yeah, we filmed everything but, like I said, the sound was not really good. We had a lot of problems to try to reproduce something that could be decent for the project. But we have really nice and beautiful images so, somehow, it’s gonna be part of a DVD or documentary that we are already filming actually. We’ve been filming a documentary about Sepultura since last year but, like I said, the intention is to do that again so we can have a decent sound and so we can do a proper mix, so we don’t lose certain elements of the orchestra and the band sound. Unfortunately, we didn’t really have the time and the means to do something more decent with the sound. But, somehow, it’s gonna be used somewhere. Image-wise, it’s just amazing.
MD: Yeah, I did see footage of a couple of songs online and it does look amazing actually. There was an interview with Kerry King earlier this year and to quote him… I disagree with this, by the way, but he was talking about metal bands playing with orchestras and he said – “When you play with an orchestra you’re just masturbating yourself”!
AK: You know, I think masturbation is not bad at all!
MD: Exactly! What a fucking great comeback to that comment!
AK: Yeah, because we travel a lot and masturbation is a great relief! It’s healthy!
MD: So in reply to Kerry King – masturbation is good!
AK: There’s no doubt!
MD: It’s been announced you’re standing in for Scott Ian at a few Anthrax shows in July – have you had much opportunity to rehearse with the Anthrax guys yet?
AK: No, not yet. We’ve been talking a lot and exchanging emails and stuff, and talking about the songs and the setlist etc, and I’m very happy and honoured about it. I’m so thrilled to be a part of one of my idols. Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeth, Exodus, Slayer… they are the basics of heavy riffing and heavy guitar playing. I was very honoured to receive the call and very happy to be a part of Anthrax for two weeks and playing some shows, even the Big Four festivals and stuff. I know the whole repertoire; I’ve known the tracks forever pretty much but now I’m really studying them properly, you know, all the details and all the riffs and a lot of backing vocals involved. I’m gonna be prepared and I’m gonna be ready. We’re gonna be meeting in Europe and practice there, and go right away to the shows. I’m very thrilled, you know, it’s gonna be amazing.
MD: As you said, you’re doing some of the Big Four shows at the Sonisphere Festivals…
MD: Do you think there should ever be a Big Five with Sepultura in there as well?
AK: Yeah, man! I agree!
MD: Sell the idea to ‘em!
AK: Yeah, it’d be great!
MD: If I can ask quickly about the double solo album you had out two years ago on Mascot Records – I read it was something like twelve years of ideas collated on there. Can we expect a follow-up solo record soon or will there be another twelve years of gathering ideas?!
AK: [laughs] Well, I have pretty much another album written. There’s so much music around from stuff I didn’t use in Sepultura and other projects, stuff in Portuguese, a lot of instrumental stuff… but I wish I had more time to tour this album. I did some shows in Brazil in the São Paulo area where I live. It’s really fun and very different from Sepultura. I have a different band and different musicians like a keyboard player, another guitar player etc. so it’s really cool and was a great experience. It’s something that’s very positive and healthy. You know, everybody in Sepultura has a side-project going on and I think that’s great. As long as we can arrange all our calendars, and everything to schedule, it’s fine. It’s very cool to play with different people and to explore different ideas. The solo album is like that. It’s very free and very open – there are songs in Portuguese, songs in English, songs from my wife, my kid, my football team. It was an amazing experience and, like I said, I wish we had more time to play it more and develop this album. Anyway, I’m very happy with the album and it was very well received and very positive reactions. It’s gonna be there forever… [laughs]
MD: My personal preference, out of the two discs, is ‘Hubris II’ with the lighter material – was that more of a challenge to do the lighter stuff than the heavier stuff?
AK: Yeah, because the heavier stuff I’m more used to recording with the amps and the type of mic but acoustically it’s a whole different world. The acoustic guitar was my first instrument and I still study classical guitar and play acoustic all the time but it’s a different world of recording. A lot of different details, and techniques, and it’s great to record. I tried to do, as much as possible, everything, to record everything, really because I wanted to do a real solo album. I really tried to work out all the aspects of doing something like that, you know, going after the studios and finding the people to work with and musicians to play the instruments I couldn’t play. So it was amazing and took four or five years to make everything happen because of the Sepultura stuff. So I took my time really, I was not really in a rush. It was great. The way it happened was really amazing and I learnt so much, and I could bring a lot of these different experiences to Sepultura – not only musical ideas but ways of recording things and instruments.
MD: The final thing I wanted to ask, what would you want Sepultura to be best remembered for in a hundred years’ time when people read about the band in history books?
AK: Wow, that’s a…
MD: Looking into the future…
AK: [laughs] I don’t know, man. To take Sepultura so far in twenty six years, we have so many different albums going on, I just wish we could really be remembered as a whole and not a specific album or something like that. The spirit of the band, I think, should be remembered. This free spirit of going anywhere in the world independently of the religion and politics. You know, to really celebrate music the best we can; really be true to ourselves and really enjoy the privilege that we have as musicians. I think if we’re remembered that way that Sepultura could explore many different ideas and levels of music… if we’re remembered at all, you know!
MD: I’m sure you will be! Right, good closing words. Thank you very much for your time.
AK: Yeah, thank you very much, man.
Dante XXI (2006)