Andreas Kisser (Sepultura) interviewed

You picked Roy Z as a producer for Kairos. Why Roy?Andreas Kisser: Roy was a great choice for this album. He’s a very experienced produced, working with the best singers in metal. He’s a great guitar player. He’s a great musician, too. He more or less knows how to play his instruments. And he’s active on stage. The idea was to bring Sepultura from the stage to the studio. We wanted to achieve that. Adding Roy to Sepultura was perfect. I think the chemistry was great. He ended up mixing the album, too. We learned a lot from each other. We’re very happy with the result.

How is Kairos studio-wise different from A-Lex?
Andreas Kisser: We like to prepare ourselves as much as possible. We rehearse a lot. We write demos. Then, we go into the studio and spend as less time as possible. We try to capture the moment. We leave room for improvisation and last-minute changes. We know there will be last-minute things we’ll change. On this album, we changed one song around. It started one way and then went in a different direction after we left the studio. We changed the whole song in the studio. Working with Roy helped a lot. He had a lot of ideas.

What were the writing sessions like?
Andreas Kisser: It was an endless fountain. We had so many ideas, but Sepultura does have a certain way of writing. It’s very natural. We just like to have our instruments in-hand, jam, and play. We were influenced by ourselves. There’s 26 years of Sepultura history to pull from. For the last two records we used books, The Divine Comedy and Clockwork Orange, to inspire us. Now, it’s more like you’re ready our own biography. We talk about our families, experiences on stage, travelling, our relationships with labels, managers, press, and the media. It’s more of an intimate album. We wanted to focus on things. Like each song. Each song has a purpose. We write new songs all the time, but we worked on the best songs. We didn’t want to get lost in our own productivity, you know?

Do you ever wonder where the riffs come from these days?
Andreas Kisser: Well, life itself. So many things you learn everything. I’m a father. I have three kids. I’ve been married for more than 20 years. That’s a whole new experience. Music comes from everywhere. Sepultura worked on extracting music from books, so extracting music from life is more challenging. You have a tendency to create new things, instead of sounding like Slayer, Yes or Pink Floyd. We challenged ourselves to produce sounds from our feelings. Music is an expression of our feelings. Sepultura’s feelings. I mean, we didn’t want to lose the heaviness and lose the musicality of the songs. We wanted balance.

What do you think of how recording technology has changed and how people use that technology to record music?
Andreas Kisser: Well, we didn’t want to be a slave to technology. We wanted something we could relate to. We’re not robots. We messed a lot with microphones to get the right sounds. But more importantly we jammed together. We made music together. If you listen to the old thrash albums, they’re very warm sounding. They have eight or nine tracks. They felt natural. They still feel natural.

Describe Sepultura 2011.
Andreas Kisser: It’s raw. There are influences from our past, but we live in the present. Kairos is a special moment in time.

What is different now about Sepultura? For you personally. The key difference, I guess.
Andreas Kisser: The concept of time, I guess. I’m older. I have a family. I see the world differently. I see the business side differently too. I’m more involved. When Max [Cavalera] left, the situation was really bad. We weren’t aware of what was going on in the band, all the hell that comes with the business side of things. We’re more aware of where we are as a band. We’re also more relaxed on stage. We know what we’re doing. We’re Sepultura. I mean, in the last five years we’ve been to places we’ve never been to before. Cuba, the Philippines, South Africa, Morocco… all great places to play and to share Sepultura’s music.

Reunions are very popular now. Any chance of reuniting with Max and Igor?
Andreas Kisser: Yeah, it’s not a possibility at all. We’re so far away from that. Reunions are a weird situation. It’s like trying to take back time. It’s stupid. It’s like you’re shaking the last cent in your pocket. It’s not music. I’m much more interested in growing up and living for today. Sepultura 2011. I want to build from now not then.

** Sepultura’s Kairos is out July 12th, 2011 on Nuclear Blast. Order it here.