Raymond Westland of Ghost Cult Magazine recently conducted an interview with vocalist Derrick Green of Brazilian/American thrashers SEPULTURA. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Ghost Cult Magazine: “The Mediator Between Head And Hands Must Be The Heart” is very spirited and dark album. How come?
Derrick: I don’t know, really. The album was recorded in Venice Beach, California. A lot of the material was written in Sao Paulo [Brazil]. There were a lot of things going on at the time in the world. There was a new pope elected and there was a lot of social upheaval about the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games, especially about all the corruption going. A lot of the money is invested in stadiums, while the populace are clamouring for hospitals and schools. A lot of it was coming from the things happening around us. Another major factor is our drummer,Eloy Casagrande. Writing music with him changed a lot. He really likes to play metal and he’s really passionate about it. He’s very young and the energy he brought with him pushed the rest of us to step up our game. He really wanted to leave his mark and that makes the new album very different from the previous one, I think. It was his dream to play in SEPULTURA and we really needed that type of kick and he really brought that.
Ghost Cult Magazine: Ross Robinson produced the new album. He has quite a reputation of bringing bands to the edge mentally in order to capture the best performance possible. How did he go about with SEPULTURA?
Derrick: He had a free pass with Andreas [Kisser, guitar] and Paulo [Xisto Pinto Jr.]. He already recorded with them during the “Roots” album, so he was already familiar with the inner workings of SEPULTURA. He talked with them how “Roots” changed his life and how it opened a lot of doors for him as a producer. With the second time around, he really wanted to make an album that was different from “Roots”, but with that same type of energy. He already knew what we’re capable of. He was there with us in the room while we recorded our instruments literally pushing us physically. He constantly asked why certain parts are there in a song and why certain words are there. We went through the lyrics together with everyone present in the room. This was something we never really did. I wrote the lyrics and I was done, just like that. He asked Eloy or Paulo what a certain lyric meant to them and whether they could identify themselves with it. Before we went in he would go and tell that he didn’t feel the emotion behind a certain piece or lyric. He was, like, “Give it your all or don’t go in at all.” We’re living in special times. The album is all about freedom and a lot of different energies and a lot of people are relying on our music to get through the day and help them cope with daily life. He urged us to really think about what we are doing, because we’re an inspiration to a lot of people. By creating that feeling and vibe, he really got us to go as deep as we could. It really united the band in such a way that we didn’t even know we could be capable of. It was a beautiful experience.
Ghost Cult Magazine: I do think “Mediator” combines all the best elements from the bestSEPULTURA albums. It has the thrash metal elements from “Beneath The Remains” and”Arise”, the groove from “Chaos A.D.” and “Roots” and the punk attitude of the later albums…