Interview: De La Tierra
Tue, 01 Apr 2014 12:35:00
Andreas Kisser shows off some impenetrable grooves on De la Tierra's self-titled debut. Make no mistake about it, his riffage is as strong as it was in the days of Roots and Chaos A.D., and De La Tierra [iTunes link] stands out as potent proof. The iconic guitarist rips and roars across the record as his band mates add a distinctly Latin flavor to the sound, making this one of the most intriguing and inimitable metal records in recent memory.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Andreas Kisser talks De La Tierra and so much more.
Is trying something different the most exciting aspect of this for you?
Oh yeah, man! Most definitely! There's a whole challenge to bring in these different musicians and do a band that brings together metal, Spanish, and Portuguese. It's something great. I feel like a teenager again starting my first new band. It's fucking great. It's perfect because it's not a like a reality show band. There's no sponsorship or manager behind it. It's very natural and pure. It's four musicians who wanted to do heavy metal. It feels fantastic. I'm very happy with the album, songs, and the results. Now, we had the chance to do the first shows opening for Metallica in South America. It couldn't be a better start for us. Everything is amazing. It's awesome.
What brings everything together for you?
It's the chemistry between us. We basically spent a year, 2012, writing demos. I wrote some at my house in Brazil. Alex González wrote in Mexico. Andrés Giménez and Sr. Flavio wrote in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We spent almost a year exchanging emails with demos and stuff. Everybody had his own style. As soon as we went to Buenos Aires at the beginning of 2013, we got to practice and play together for the first time in the same room, talking to each other and jamming. That's where the band really started. The chemistry was great. We are musicians who have almost thirty years of history and experience working with different producers and playing every type of stage. That type of experience helps to be in a room and develop and arrange songs. The chemistry is what made De La Tierra possible. The ideas were open for guitars and bass. Flavio brought all of these new techniques and ways of playing bass in a metal band. It created something very special and unique. The passion we have to play with each other is the main thing.
How did your approach to guitar change for this?
Andrés and I got along so well. I haven't played with a second guitarist for many years, since Max Cavalera left Sepultura in 1996. I developed something different for this new lineup we have with Derrick Green. To play with another guitarist was not that easy in the beginning. We managed to find a way so our guitars could connect to each other and sound like a band. We're going to grow up so much on stage too. We have much more room to be even better. Regardless of the fact we never played live up to that point, the album sounds like a band, which is a really cool achievement for us.
Has your writing evolved?
I write music all the time. It depends on if I write for Sepultura or any other project. I keep my musical ideas flowing. I just write. I listen to many different styles of music. I still study classical guitar, which I love. I love the blues. I love so many different styles of music. Touring and traveling will always keep your ideas fresh. When I have an idea, I put it out, and I develop it later for the respective project. Any melody can work for any situation. I can present a melody in a Sepultura way or I can present it to an orchestra. The most important thing is to have that genesis for the idea or riff. The rest can happen later.
What's the story behind "Cosmonauta Quecha"?
That song was one of the last ones we wrote in practice when we were arranging all ten songs. The idea was to do something extreme and fast. Flavio came with the lyrics. They're awesome. They've got this spaceship story. It's a great closer for the record. I think it's the most extreme song on the album. It's the way metal is supposed to sound.
What's your favorite song from the album right now?
I like "Somos Uno". It stands for "We Are One". It reflects the spirit of the band. It's four musicians coming from different backgrounds and playing metal together. It represents the band and our cultural heritage. There's such a rich and crazy history there. I think that's the one I like the most.
Where do you pull inspiration from outside of music?
It comes from everywhere. Of course, there are lots of books. I like to read about history and politics as well as biographies. I like philosophy. I'd say movies of course and traveling. I think traveling is the most important and intense source of inspiration. We see things by ourselves and not through the media. Sepultura has gone to play in places like Cuba, Indonesia, South Africa, and Morocco. We see so much and so many different things that it keeps our minds full of ideas—not only musical but lyrical as well.
What do you think of now when somebody brings up Roots?
Roots is one of the most important albums in our career. It was such a different approach to heavy music. We did all of this research of the Brazilian roots. The African slaves influenced those sounds within the Brazilian percussion way back in the day. It's still a very strong album. The recording is amazing. To work with Ross Robinson and Andy Wallace, it was perfect. There are some great songs from the album. It was a very powerful experience. At the same time, there were some problems backstage with our manager and such that eventually led to Max leaving the band. It was already going on while we were recording Roots, but we all have great memories of it. It was an awesome experience recording the music and then going to the tribe in Brazil. It's fantastic. We knew we were doing something really special—talking about Brazil in that way. No other Brazilian artist ever did that. It's really powerful.
Have you heard De La Tierra?