DATE OF INTERVIEW:
10th August 2012
Still in the midst of their touring cycle for last year's universally lauded new album, 'Kairos', Brazilian metal legends Sepultura returned to the UK in summer 2012 for the debut appearance at Bloodstock Open Air. Metal Discovery met up with Paulo Jr. a short while prior to their performance to chat with the charismatic and cheery bassist about future plans for the band, their recent collaboration with French percussionist troupe Les Tambours Du Bronx, the recent acquisition of new drummer Eloy Casagrande and greying hair...
METAL DISCOVERY: This is the band’s first time at Bloodstock; what are your impressions of the festival so far? Have you had a chance to wander around?
PAULO: No, not really. I just got here, came and had some food and then interviews! [laughs]
(Paulo Jr. on Sepultura's newly recruited, twenty one year old drummer Eloy Casagrande)
"...he tried to do an audition when Igor left but I think he was fourteen years old and his mum didn’t let him do it!"
Paulo Jr. backstage at Bloodstock Open Air, UK, 10th August 2012
Photograph copyright © 2012 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview & Photography by Mark Holmes
MD: Of course, the usual routine then!
PAULO: I don’t know what time we’re leaving but if I have some time I’m gonna walk around a little bit.
MD: The latest album, ‘Kairos’, has been out for just over a year now – have you seen crowd reactions for the new material get more and more enthusiastic at shows over the last twelve months, as much as the older material?
PAULO: Yeah, yeah, the response has been very good throughout the tour so far. We’re very happy with the result and the crowd reaction. We have until the end of the year to finish up so it’s almost two years of touring, so that means that something went right! [laughs]
MD: So when you put together a setlist for a tour or festival, is it about what you think an audience wants to hear or is it about what you want to play, or a bit of both?
PAULO: It’s about how long our set is going to be!
PAULO: I think today’s gonna be a shorter set so…
MD: Forty five minutes, I think.
PAULO: I think so. So that’s a tough one because we’ve got a lot of songs that we usually like to play live.
MD: So will we get to hear ‘Arise’ today?
PAULO: Yeah, probably.
MD: And you’ll play some new stuff as well today?
PAULO: Oh yeah.
PAULO: Yeah, ‘Dialog’s on for sure.
MD: Out of the ‘Kairos’ songs, what ones do you anticipate you’ll still be playing in years to come, maybe based on crowd reactions being better to some than to others?
PAULO: I think ‘Kairos’ and ‘Dialog’ are the main ones…and ‘Mask’ too we’re gonna play today. It comes out very nicely and I think those three stick out more. And we’re gonna do all those three today.
MD: At your Wacken performance last week you had sixteen French percussionists join you on stage, Les Tambours Du Bronx… [not pronounced so well]
PAULO: Les Tambours Du Bronx… [perfect pronunciation]
MD: …a better pronunciation than mine! You previously used them at Rock in Rio last year?
MD: How did that collaboration come about originally?
PAULO: Well, we met them at a festival in France a few years back and those guys are very into our music and they have a heavy metal background as well. We started talking and then we had a little jam session, and then we had the idea to have them on the ‘Structure Violence’ song. Then we decided to bring them over to Brazil for the Rock in Rio show and it was great; everybody was very impressed with it.
MD: I saw some of the footage from Wacken and it looked amazing. I presume they’re not here today?
PAULO: Ah no.
MD: A shame.
PAULO: Maybe next year or some other time.
MD: Would you consider collaborating with them in the studio on a whole album or something?
PAULO: I don’t know; a full record, I don’t know. Maybe something live. A live recording, maybe, yes.
MD: For a DVD perhaps…
PAULO: Yeah, it’d be something different because it’s a different way of playing with some different arrangements but it can happen. We are always open for everything.
MD: You have a new drummer, of course, since November last year, Eloy Casagrande, who’s only twenty one I believe…being so young, has he brought a more energetic dimension to the band in any way?
PAULO: The kid’s on fire! We can all relax a little bit! He’s brought a lot of new energy. He’s twenty one years old but he’s been in the music business...he’s been a drummer since he was six or seven years old. So he knows the drill and he’s committed and he’s very honoured.
MD: He was already a big fan of Sepultura?
PAULO: Yeah, so he knew all the material. Actually, he told us that he tried to do an audition when Igor left but I think he was fourteen years old and his mum didn’t let him do it!
MD: [laughs] Oh really?! Would you have had a fourteen year old in the band?
PAULO: Yeah! If he’d come and done an audition back then and sounded like this, he probably would’ve been in the band. I think it was just more a family thing…he was a young kid and, you know, to come on the road with a bunch of old guys…But he’s doing good and you’ll see.
MD: Yeah, looking forward to it. So did you tell him exactly what he had to play, like the same drum fills as on the albums and whatever, or did you give him the freedom to do his own thing?
PAULO: He does it the way that he feels like. He keeps the pace and whatever, the basic stuff, but he’s definitely free to put his style in there.