Blastwave webzine (web site) recently conducted an interview with SEPULTURA frontman Derrick Green. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Blastwave: I've heard "Dante XXI" referred to as a comeback album. As far as I can see, this line up has produced three quality albums anyway, so why does this one in particular feel like a comeback?
Derrick Green: "I don't know if it's a comeback because we've been really fighting for so long with a lot of different things; the changes that have been happening. That's not just the singer leaving but also the record label [Roadrunner] kind of turning their backs, along with booking agents and a lot of people that made up the structure of SEPULTURA, so it's pretty much building and evolving. And I think we've pretty much been evolving from that point, just starting from scratch and I think that 'Dante XXI' is part of that evolution, along with all the other albums that we did. They were necessary in order to grow and be where we are right now."
Blastwave: It seemed like Roadrunner gave up on SEPULTURA pretty unfairly when you joined as the vocalist. When "Nation" was released, I remember there really wasn't a lot of promotion for it and it seemed to almost pass by under the radar.
Derrick Green: "Yeah, it was kind of ridiculous since they were under contract to put that record out and they'd spent the money but didn't want to try to get some of their money back. That's when it was evident that we had to leave them as soon as possible because it would've been a shame to release another album and have it pushed back and just really not taken seriously. But I think, with SPV, it's a smaller company but we definitely have more flexibility and they're able to show that they believe in SEPULTURA now and they're not trying to capitalise on the things that have already been done before in the old catalogue. So that was the biggest change for me, a 100% change, to really break into our own as far as becoming more comfortable and more secure. I think that really adds a lot to the music as well."
Blastwave: The label support helps keep the music going because you're more passionate about it with that support?
Derrick Green: "Yeah, we don't have to worry about pushing them for other little things, like a video or a DVD, things that are necessary to be done. I think SPV really work hard, even though they're a smaller label, but we're much happier."
Blastwave: You spoke about playing with Igor before, but he's obviously taking some time out from this [recently completed European] tour. There has been quite a lot of rumour flying around the Internet as far as his position in the band. Do you guys still see him as part of the band, even though he's not taking part in this tour?
Derrick Green: "Definitely, and as far as HE is concerned, he's part of the band. The whole rumour on the internet started, of course, because of a Roadrunner connection. They love to try to put things out the same time that we're putting things out and it's really kind of fucked up. They put out 'Under A Pale Grey Sky' the same time we were releasing our album, almost like a competition. They still, to this day, had their supposed friends, or people who call themselves 'friends' of SEPULTURA, wrote this crap on the Internet that he'd left the band and stuff like that. They never even talked to him and so they never really got down to what was actually going on. Igor has a new kid and he's just not 100% there and, like I said, everyone in SEPULTURA should be 100% there. It's not fair to him and to the fans and definitely to us to come out onstage with him thinking, 'I wanna go home right now, I wish I could be home.' It's not just his new kid, he's got a new wife and a whole new set-up so he's trying to get settled and we understood that. We talked about it before and after the album; with the recording of the album and the DVD, there was a lot of stuff all happening at once. But, at the same time, he respects the fact that we have to go out on the road, since we had worked on 'Dante XXI' for almost two years. We have no enemies here and it's great playing with Roy Mayorga and he was in Brazil. Igor just asked him if he could handle playing the new songs as well as the old. It's definitely different playing with a new drummer but, once you see Roy play, he already knows a lot of the SEPULTURA songs from playing with Max and SOULFLY so he was the most likely choice. I've known him even before all this in New York from playing in punk bands and he played in a band called NAUSEA. I knew he'd be capable of doing this whole tour so when he decided to do it, he also became a part of this band."
Blastwave: I certainly much prefer the evolution SEPULTURA have gone through [compared to SOULFLY]. Every single SOUFLY album I've heard always makes me feel that they're constantly doing the same old thing, and always trying to make a successful sequel to "Roots".
Derrick Green: "Well, the only reason I can tell you that's true is that on their first album, right after 'Roots', they took the same producer, the same mixer, the same studio, the same set up as 'Roots'. That was also when I noticed, when I first heard the band, that they were trying to go for that sound. But the record label was for that and it was making them a lot of money so they really put all their support behind SOULFLY. That's when we knew Roadrunner were turning their backs on us. I already knew they didn't like me, it was pretty easy to tell. Just talking to them face to face, I was instantly thinking, 'You guys are so full of shit.' But, whatever, we moved on and I believe that we have definitely evolved and are getting better and better and better."
Read the entire interview at www.blastwave.org.uk.