On March 7, AndrewHaug.com, Australia's first-ever dedicated 24/7 rock and metal online radio station launched by Andrew Haug, the former host of Triple J Australia's "The Racket" radio show (originally "Full Metal Racket"; 2001-2011), conducted an interview with drummer Pedro "Pete" Sandoval (MORBID ANGEL, TERRORIZER) at the Hammersonic festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. A few excerpts from the chat follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his health five years after undergoing back surgery:
"Things are much better for me now. I feel much better than 20 years ago. Even my playing is much stronger. Fast as usual. And a lot of positive, a lot more positive stuff with me. A lot better, like I said. My back, it's… I've never felt as good as I feel now."
On newer extreme metal drummers:
"I couldn't really tell you much about… But nowadays there's so many bands, so many drummers out there… It's not the same as when I started, I guess, when I started doing MORBID ANGEL. All this technology has changed. And regardless, there's a lot of great drummers out there, young drummers, that are taking this genre of music to the next level, I believe. What can I say? Good luck. Be positive. Just do it. Just believe in yourself. For me, I believe in myself, but I believe in God first, because without God, I wouldn't be where I am right now."
On whether his split with MORBID ANGEL had anything to do with his religious beliefs:
"The reason for the separation of MORBID ANGEL and I was not really a religious matter. But it was my problem that I had with my back. I had to have a surgery back in 2009. And I was not a religious person back then. It was all a back problem. I had to get my back fixed, and they were gonna wait for me, actually, for me to recover. But then it took more than what we expected it was gonna take. So the bottom line is MORBID ANGEL could not wait for me, because I could not do it for years. So they had to find a new drummer. And that's the reason why I don't play in MORBID ANGEL anymore. Four years it took… I didn't even think I was gonna come back and play drums again, because I was really bad. I was, like, four years of recovering. And while MORBID ANGEL had already done a new record with a new guy, I recall. And so, in 2012, right after I recorded [TERRORIZER's] 'Hordes Of Zombies' record, during that year, somehow that's when I found God. That's when I found God and that's when my life started to change."
On whether there was a particular moment when he embraced God:
"Well, my mother and my sister, they have been Christians for the past twenty years, so they always told me and encouraged me to seek God. They talked to me about God all the time. And so, in 2012, I kind of… I started reading some of The Bible that my mom would recommend some scriptures. So I read some of it, but still I didn't feel like I needed God. Something just happened, I guess. I would say God came into my heart because the scripture says that you've gotta seek God with all your heart and mind and humble yourself to God, and then God will come to you. And I believe that while I was trying to understand some of the scriptures, the word of God, I believe that God came into my heart and he opened my eyes. The light just went on and I realized that I was actually living in this world of darkness, and this life of darkness. And that was the turning point for me. God came into my heart and he opened my eyes, and I realized that there is actually a God. Because you have to experience God in order to know that there is God. You have to experience him in your life, in your heart, and then you will know that there is actually a God. And since then, my faith has just dramatically increased concerning the things of God. And the more I knew God, the more I wanted to know about God. I fell in love with God. It's like your first love. That's what actually happened. I love God now, and nothing from this world can separate me."
On how he feels when he looks back on his legacy with MORBID ANGEL:
"I feel great. I'm proud of everything I did with MORBID and TERRORIZER. I don't think I would wanna change any of that. I feel great. Like I'm saying, I feel great. I think all of that was like a road that led me into where I am now. I had to go through all that, because even though I was successful, I was a great drummer, or I am a good drummer, and I did all that great work, people don't really know your personal life. They think that, 'Wow! It's a great album, it's a great drummer. Great album, great band. He must have everything. He must be the happiest man on the earth.' But the reality is that slowly these successes on earth will end sooner or later, so while we're doing all this, we're slowly destroying our lives. Because I used to drink a lot, I used to smoke a lot. That's one of the things that were really taking me into a road of perdition, destruction. And that's what I mean by living in a world of darkness. A lot of people are doing it right now, people in bands. Even though they are successful at what they do, but yet they're destroying their lives by the way their lifestyles. Their partying lifestyles, the drinking, the smoking, the eating habits, all that, it's a contributor to the process of destroying your life slowly. Slowly destroying your life. And we see it around us. There's a lot of great musicians that die — alcohol, drug overdose. And people in the world, they say, 'We feel bad about that,' or 'Oh, well…' Nobody thinks deep about these incidents, and how this world, this life, is actually a destroyer. It's a killing, destroying style of living, and this is the world of darkness that we live in, because we're doing it, we're enjoying the day-by-day, the moment, the success of the moment, but at the end, there is a way which seems right, but at the end of it, it's just the end of destruction, the end of death. I mean, I saw it with my longtime friend and brother, [late NAPALM DEATH guitarist] Jesse Pintado. C'mon! Poor guy. What a legacy he left; he just left us. But yet nobody could do anything about it while his life was being destroyed by alcohol. Years and years and years, he was destroying slowly, slowly, slowly destroying his life until his end. Why there was his parents, friends… friends, they have to come and tell you what you're doing wrong and what that's gonna lead you to. It's gonna lead you to an early death. And that is the world of darkness which I am referring to. We live in this world and we think that it's never gonna happen to us. Oh, man. That's the way of the world. I believe the God of this world, he wants to take as many, as many with him — Satan — and the way he's doing it… We can see it. We can see it happen. We go to a concert and you see hundreds and hundreds of kids destroying their lives, smoking and drinking and drinking and drinking, and a lot of deaths are happening every day because of that. We just think it's normal. No, people. It's not normal."
"I believe that all these results are the consequences of our lifestyles, of course. And what I wish, as far as what I would have done… I wish I would have known God back then when Jesse was slowly killing himself, because I would have come and approached him and told him about what God has done for me, the change he has done for me."
On whether he would have stayed in MORBID ANGEL after he "fell in love with God":
"No, those two paths do not connect, because MORBID ANGEL… There is only two paths — the one with God, and the other one without God. And MORBID ANGEL is definitely a Satanic band. I would never wanna be back or playing in a Satanic band now that I found Jesus Christ, my savior and my redeemer, and the one that helps me every day. I wanna encourage… I wanna tell people that God can really change our lives and he can show us his path of life in abundance, his way of victory. Because I am on the path of victory right now. I feel like the way I 'm playing now, the way my body feels, God has helped me immensely, that I feel like I'm in my 20s and 30s, as far as physically, playing what I'm playing, the way I play. I wanna tell people that God can make us be our best at what we wanna do. Definitely. God is positive. God is power. Power. And God is life in abundance. And God can show us how to live the way he has intended us to live."
On whether he misses playing with MORBID ANGEL:
"No, I don't. I don't miss it. I don't miss any of that."