Igor Cavalera of Sepultura Interview 1998

I dont even remember how this interview happen.  Did I call Roadrunner, or I just asked Igor when I saw him.  I talked to him after their sound check, sat-down before door opened and got it done.  This show was nuts.  Metal in El Dorado Hills, CA at CLUB X-TREME with Earth Crisis, Sepultura, and Vision of Disorder.  I’m not sure if there was another band.  I saw them again the next night at the Maritime Hall in San Francisco, CA as well.  That show was crazier.  Robb Flynn came out and did his part from an Earth Crisis song from the one Roadrunner album they put out before going back to Victory.  Mike Patton came out during Sepulturas set and did his part from one of the songs from the Roots album.  That night was fantastic.  The interview.


AP:  So, when was the last time you were in Sacramento, CA?

IC:  Actually, I was here not too long ago, maybe like one year ago, but I just passed through.  I was just driving around, and like stayed over night…….But playing, ya know is different….The last time I was here I was just driving around.

AP:  I think the last time you actually performed in Sacramento, CA might have been with Biohazard, and Pantera?

IC: Yeah.

AP: I was not even really into the music at that time, I knew the show was here cause I saw crowds of people, but I obviously did not even know what was going on at that time, but I know exactly what is going on now.

AP:  I would like to know what led you guys to Derrick Green?

IC: Well, we were trying out, ya know, a lot of different people, and actually someone at RoadRunner knew Derrick, knew him from his old bands, and just thought that would be great to have him try out with us, and once we tried out with him we were like, this is it ya know.  He was like just right on it…..

AP: You guys totally felt it?

IC: …..Yeah, like totally natural, and that is the main thing for us.  If it feels natural, it’s like the rest of it, it just pretty much just falls into place.

AP:  I heard Derrick plays guitar.  Do you have any idea, when he’s actually going pick one up and start playing while he is singing?

IC:  Well, he does a few in the set, he plays a few songs and sings.  It’s like little by little…. Like at first he got all the vocals down, and now he is starting to get like some percussive stuff, and now he is picking up the guitar and playing on a few songs, so, it is just the beginning of the tour, so it’s kind of, ya know, like once we start touring more and more, he is going get into the whole guitar playing and stuff.

AP: You guys recorded in Japan with the group KODA.  Where did that idea come from?

IC: Well I’ve known KODA for a long time.  It’s just a Japanese group that travels all over the world, like very percussive, and they are all drummers.  So it’s something that, for me I’ve always been a fan for a long time, and then just had the idea really to put together Sepultura and KODA, so we contacted them, and they were really open-minded to work together with us.

AP:  Is Brazilian percussion a lot different from Japanese Percussion, or the tribal aspect?

IC: (quite loud with a smile) It’s CRAZY!  Ya know like, it’s like totally different….The vibe of it, the feel, but at the same time, the connection is there, and it’s mainly the energy.  At the end when everyone is playing it feels just like a Brazilian band really.  So it’s like, it’s weird because the way they play is totally different, but the energy that comes out of their drums is very similar to Brazilian style.

AP:  That’s phat.  I have not heard the album yet.  I’ve heard the first song, and I was looking for that song, but just did not get a chance to hear it.  

AP:  (Personally, I thought that Max Cavalera sort of ran the group, from reading articles, and some past interviews. Igor points out that was not how it was.) Ok so, since you guys were like short of one guy for this, for a while during recording, was everyone involved in the lyrics and the music this time?

IC:  That’s the thing, we have always been…Pretty much, it was a misconception between us and all our management, and the media that made it seem that Max was doing everything in the band, and that was not the case with Sepultura. It’s always been about four people really thinking together and putting ideas together and at the end, becoming Sepultura.  It was no different when Max left, so we just continued like, exchanging ideas and putting that into our music.

AP: Alright, one last question.  I play drums also, and I saw one of your pictures and I saw some electronic setups, what sounds do you have coming from those?

IC:  Well, I collect a lot of drums from pretty much all over the world like when I travel and stuff, but some of those drums are very fragile, so I can’t bring them on tour.  So I sample some of those drums, and put them on the pads so I can play them live, without really……

AP:  …….You’ll be trucking a lot of instruments……

IC:  Yeah, because some of them are really, hard to find, they are hand-made and stuff, and would not want to like, take them on tour with me.

AP:  I was just wondering.  That makes a lot of sense.

IC:  Yeah yeah.  I mean, you lose a little, but you gain…You lose a little in the feel of it when you play the actual drum, but at the same time, it is better losing a little than losing the whole drum, or it gets lost or……

AP:  Do you lose that much compared like playing live, I mean if you are going to use that instrument you want the dynamics and the clarity of the actual instrument, but is it that big of a deal if you have it sampled?

IC:  Well actually for live situations, it works out better, especially for the type of music that we play.  Some of those instruments, to get them to cut through all that music, the mess, I would have to (beats the table) beat them, ya know.  So if I have them on the pad I can pretty much just work on their volume so they can cut through.

AP:  Well, that is all I have.  Thanks a lot.  You are one of my favorite drummers, so I’m like lucky just to have you sitting next to me.

IC:  Thanks man.