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Derrick Green - Singer for Sepultura



Date: 6/7/06
Interviewed By: Rich Catino

 

 

1. Tell us about the new album Dante XXI and what makes it different from the last few releases?

DERRICK: It's about the Italian writer/poet Dante and we made a soundtrack album based on the book "The Divine Comedy". The difference between this album and our others is that we started out with this idea using an orchestra to play certain parts and create a certain vibe, along with trying to do an updated version of the book lyrically, that's
what the XXI in the title represents the 21st. century. I think the main difference with this album is we were the primary producers on this one and we worked along the side our sound engineer so a lot of things came from our gut instinct.

2. Sepultura has changed in some ways since Max left and you joined. Do you see that and if so what do you think has changed?

DERRICK: Yeah I see it has changed..I mean what influences music, and an artist, it has to do with a combination of many things when you are writing. When those guys were writing those songs for the older albums they were living at a time with different things going on in there lives and in the world. I think what has changed right now is we have more options as far as our ability to not stay stagnant, not doing the same things or repeating ourselves we have grown. I think my voice has something to do with wanting something different for the future which was one of the reasons why they picked me in the auditions. They saw there could be a future with my abilities whether I can sing or
scream,it just opened the doors to do many options. We like different kinds of music and we like to put that into Sepultura. We really need to do what we believe in the studio and not really worry about what other people say. That's a big purpose of heavy music for me, its not a popularity contest.Its about an attitude and going with your gut
instinct.I think a lot of that has to do with the change and just growing as individuals, wanting to do different things with each album.

3. Is there something the band would like to do on an album that you have not done yet?

DERRICK: Sure there are a lot of ideas that come out of the moment but really we are not in the moment of the writing process right now Hahah. We just started getting reactions from this album recently , which came out not too long ago, but I think in the future we want to record "Dante XXI" from beginning to end for a DVD. Maybe record it in Florence, the city were Dante was exiled from but that's just an idea off the top of my head.

4. When was the last time you toured in the States and how successful was that?

DERRICK: It was three years ago which has been too long. I wish we toured more there. Its tough to tour in the States, people just don't go to shows like they used to and there is such a variety of bands to see now. Everything gets spread out with so much being offered. We are talking with Hatebreed right now for maybe something in the fall. We were just in New York doing Headbangers Ball with Jamie so will see if something gets worked out.

5. How is your fanbase in America and are you in touch with fans here?

DERRICK: There is still a fan base but we really just have to show ourselves more. That's what it really boils down to. I think we can actually still make it grow and going out with a band like Hatebreed that can draw people will help. We do receive many emails from people that want to see us again and we are getting a great reaction from this new album. Its hard to tell from record sales. I don't know many people that actually buy cds nowadays unfortunately with all the downloading going on. I mean I don't think people realize how much it hurts the artist, and the record label, if you don't buy an artists music. The record labels are out there to make money, and if the record labels don't make money then they are not going to be able to support their bands. So that means no tours and no music. We tried to work with our label to package this cd really nicely with an artist doing some different paintings and a booklet so people had something to collect. We wanted to get back to that feeling of a fan going out and buying a cd and having something to hold on to. Now we have to go by what we see at shows. In Europe people knew the songs before the album even came out because many people downloaded the album already. I have to go by the reaction of the people who are at the show.

6. Is Dante XXI entirely a concept? Who wrote the lyrics?

DERRICK: Yeah its based around the book "The Divine Comedy". The first five songs represent Hell, the next four Purgatory, and the last song Paradise. We related things from the book to our lives socially, politically, and religiously many of the same things that were happening then are still happening in our time. His journey through all these
areas are a reflection of what was happening at his time,Political corruption,being exiled, religion, and writing about historical figures in his time period who were abusive to the people. Dante had them in Hell suffering for whatever choices and acts they committed on Earth. The lyrics were written by Andreas and I. The first song called "Dark
Wood of Error" and in the book Dante is lost in the forest and he cant really find his path. To me it's a metaphor of not being able to find his direction in the world in his life. When he wrote the book he was around the same age we are in our own life our mid thirties. I think we all can really relate to the feeling of not really knowing what direction to go in life, it happens.

7. The Sepultura logo has changed a few times over the bands history and I was curious as to why it has changed?

DERRICK: I think the logo changes to go with the vibe of the band at that time. We use the tribal symbol a lot and that will always be the symbol. We like to change it because using too much from the past can get boring.

8. Are you happy with how your Live in Sao Paulo" DVD came out? Is there any material that didn't make the DVD that you wanted to?

DERRICK: Yeah I mean some people don't like the quality of the sound but I love the show. I think its very close to what the band is like on and backstage. There were no over dubs because we wanted it to be a representation of a real show in Sao Paulo and I think a lot of people really understand that. There is documentary that I shot but time
constraints prevented tit from being longer. I wanted to include some more footage of the culture in Brazil and my life being from Cleveland Ohio an America and now living in Brazil little. I wanted to make it interesting for the fans as well as someone who knows nothing about the history of the band.

9. Plans for the rest of 2006?

DERRICK: Our main goal is the US right now, we will do a full headlining tour of Europe, South and Central America, and anywhere else we can play. There are so many places we have not been to in a long time so we want to go to these places. We have a really strong new album out and we are all very excited to play these songs live.

10. Are you playing any of the big European festivals this summer?

DERRICK: We missed out on those festivals because when we came off the European tour and Roy Mayorga who was filling in for Igor Roy had other promises to play with another band. We didn't have time to find another person to play the festivals.Hopefully we will be able to come back to Europe to play our own shows at the end of the year.

* Note: Right after this interview within days original long time drummer Igor announced he was leaving Sepultura. The future of the band remains in question though long time guitarist Andreas Kisser and bassist Paulo Jr with singer Derrick Green intened on moving forward.

Official website: http://sepultura.uol.com.br/v6/en

 
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