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Interview

Sepultura Singer Says Industrial Percussive Live Album Probably Loudest Performance He's Ever Played

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Band Photo: Sepultura (?)

"Sepultura And Les Tambours du Bronx: Metal Veins-Alive At Rock In Rio" could be considered the "Stomp" of heavy metal. Filmed on the main stage at one of the largest rock festivals in the world, Rock in Rio, French industrialists Les Tambours du Bronx electrify Sepultura in front of their hometown by playing 225-liter barrels with beech wood bats or even axe handles.

The grand performance can be heard on CD, DVD and Blu-Ray on September 16th via Eagle Rock Entertainment. The DVD and Blu-Ray contain an exclusive documentary of behind-the-scenes footage including interviews, rehearsal and sound-check plus clips of the band before hitting the stage.

I spoke with Sepultura front man, Derrick Green via a conference call from his home base in Brazil. In the following conversation, he gave me insight on participating in what he feels is probably the loudest concert he has ever played!

Rex-84: French industrial percussion group Les Tambours du Bronx are in the back playing on barrels. How did this all come about? How was this organized?

Derrick Green: We had seen Les Tambour du Bronx play in France many years ago. We were really impressed by their show. So we got in contact with them and recorded a song on our last album. We always kept in touch and then an idea came to do a show in Rock in Rio on a smaller stage where they had different artists combining with other artists doing special shows. So we did it not really knowing what to expect, nobody knew what to expect. It was a big success, so the people at Rock in Rio wanted to see it on a bigger stage, on the main stage. That's when we recorded it, on the bigger stage, the second time around. It got a lot of attention at the shows because it has a lot of power behind it. Even if you're not into metal or anything like that, it's actually pretty cool to see.

Rex_84: With your instruments combined with all the percussion, it sounds like it was a really loud concert.

Green: Yeah, (laughs) it was definitely loud! It was probably one of the loudest shows I've ever played. It's really over the top!

Rex_84: Why did you use "metal veins" in the title? What does this say about the performance? What does that phrase symbolize

Green: Andreas [Kissser] is the one who came up with the idea. He wanted to convey the idea of metal music flowing through your veins, through your body. I wanted to get out that vibe. It's something powerful, something flowing through your veins.

Rex_84: Why did you opt to make not just a percussion-driven album, but also an industrial album? Are you guys all fans of that style?

Green: Definitely, I remember being a big fan of whatever was coming out in the '80s. It's great, the elements that come with Les Bronx sound, the industrial sound. It's very raw and in your face. It came so naturally for us to connect with these guys.

Rex_84: You released a clip of the song "Territory." There are some images running in the background. Who made the images on the screen?

Green: Our lighting engineer put together some incredible images. It's something he's very talented at doing. It was a shock for everyone. It was an awesome surprise for us. We had so much going on with the rehearsals, but he really took care of these images.

Rex_84: "Kaiowas" is perhaps the quintessential Sepultura percussion track. This song, taken from the "Chaos A.D" album, sets this performance in motion. Other tracks from that album include "Refuse/Resist" and "Roots," all drum-heavy tracks. When you chose the songs for the set list, did you try to pick out songs that would go together well with the percussion on stage?

Green: Absolutely. That was an idea we kept open for them because Les Tabours were certainly playing these songs. We wanted them to feel comfortable as well. I think we put the songs together. We would give them suggestions and they would give us their suggestions. For us, we had no problem playing any songs that they wanted to do, but it happened to be the super, super heavy songs that they wanted to play. We wanted them to feel very comfortable and pick the songs they could play to the best of their abilities. It really wasn't a problem picking the songs, once we heard the songs they wanted to do.

Rex_84: You chose to cover Prodigy's "Firestarter." Why did you incorporate this song into your set?

Green: I think it's a song people don't expect us to cover. It's not a typical metal song because it's not from a metal band. I think it's an interesting blend jamming with Les Tambours because it has a bit of their taste and a bit of ours. I think it's great when people get the unexpected, when you see an artist that likes other styles of music it changes your opinion of them. It was great to show that.

Rex_84: Do you have a song or two that you feel works especially well with your voice when performing live?

Green: It changes, every now and then, the song that I think is my favorite. I feel that song really has an impact if you're live. My voice feels really strong during the second song that I do in the set. That song really has an impact. I think it's the second song because I've gotten warmed up after the first song. I try to do as much warm ups before the show, but it's never a match for the live--the adrenalin running, blood flowing and everything.

Rex_84: One of the things the DVD contains is a documentary. What can we expect to find on this documentary?

Green: Basically, it's the whole coming together of everything. It great that we're able to meet those guys. It gives people more of an inside of what's going on behind the scenes. There is a lot of preparation for a show like this. It really tells you what goes on behind the scenes.

Rex_84: You're calling from Brazil. How long have you lived in that country?

Green: It's funny, before joining the band, I had never been to South America. I didn't speak Portuguese. I don't think I even knew what Portuguese sounded like, until I heard it. It was mind blowing for me to come down here and actually move here, but it's been great! People are very accepting. They know I'm a part of Sepultura. It's an honor to be in this band that has such a big history here. Their are people who don't listen to metal, but they know the name. They realize the band is touring the world and representing Brazil in a very positive way. It's great to be a part of it. It has taken some time to really get to know the language, to speak Portuguese and understanding culture differences and so on, but I have to say it's really become my home. People really made it a home for me.

Rex_84: I've seen a photo of you wearing a Gracie Jiu-jitsu jacket or shirt. Royce Gracie starred in your video for "Attitude." Do you study Gracie Jiu-jitsu?

Green: The Gracie family is good friends with the band. Paulo, at one time, was studying, but that was a while ago. For me, I was a bit more into boxing. It's been a while, but I would really like to go back into classic boxing. The Gracies have been good friends with the band for a really long time. Even with the recording of "Attitude," they were fully a part of the video. There was a time when Paulo and Igor were way into it. They had somebody travelling on the road, teaching them Jui-jitsu. That was a while ago.

Rex_84: Are you writing songs for the next album?

Green: No, I don't think we'll start writing anything until the end of next year. We're still working the tour cycle now. We're halfway through it, but there are still so many places to play. The end of next year, we'll start thinking about making new songs.

Rex_84's avatar

An avid metal head for over twenty years, Darren Cowan has written for several metal publications and attended concerts throughout various regions of the U.S.

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