Interview with Paulo

Ever since the unfortunate break up of Sepultura's original line-up, the loss of vocalist Max Cavalera, Sepultura's future had become uncertain, and almost controversial. Years later, Max came out with a solo album, which essentially destroyed our hopes of Sepultura reuniting. The forecast for Sepultura, at that point, seemed to be mostly cloudy. Many people thought it was the end, and there was nothing to tell them otherwise. Luckily, they pulled through, and found a new vocalist, Derrick Greene, to fill the void. After years of waiting, and over a year in the making, Sepultura released "Against." They continue on strongly, gaining new fans daily, and touring the world once again.

Enslain Where and how long were you in the studio recording this album?
Paulo Where? Everywhere... How long? Almost a year. Not all the way through... It's been a very, organized mess. Before, even, Derrick got in the band, we went to studios to put some songs together, and to try out Andreas' voice before we'd open up the doors for singers to try out. So, we have sounds and pieces of songs even from that time. But we did it in about 8 different studios.

Enslain Did you have all of the material written before Derrick joined up?
Paulo We had the main sketch, basically, I think we had 85-90% of the music... But definitely when he got in he did a lot of, you know, restructured the phrases with Andreas, and worked with a lot of rephrasing songs and changing words, and he wrote a lyric himself for one of the songs. He did have his input, you know, for the time we had to do this, he did have some on it. I think for the future, he'll definitely have more space to work with as a guitar player, and as a singer too.

Enslain Are you happy having Derrick in the band?
Paulo Definitely, since the first day we met, he's been growing up a lot, as a musician and as a person. He's a very mellow guy and fits very well with us. It's very hard to bring somebody in that would have a lot of different ways to live for a living, and stuff like that, because we've been together for a long...

Enslain How did you come up with the name "Against," and would you say there is a theme to the album?
Paulo Well, it's a very strong name, and it reflects the time since Max left the band, and the struggle we had to put the band back together, and we have to deal against a lot of people, you know, that didn't think that would be possible. Everybody thought Max was the band, and that we, as a trio, were just support musicians, and we had a lot of bad times to try to change that situation.

Enslain Have you spoken with Max since the break-up? Do you miss him either musically or as a friend?
Paulo No, (I haven't spoken with him). It's something that's really hard to pass through it because I've known him since I was 13 years old, and after that he just turning his back on me and just walk away, you know, it was very hard. Since we have some time off, and after that we start to work, I never really thought about it, so I tried to put up a final stop about it, and concentrate, like this is the new band, and we have to start pretty much from zero now, so we had to think about what was in our heads, the three of us.

Enslain Does it bother you guys at all that he plays Sepultura songs in his set?
Paulo No, I think it's his right to do it, because he was involved in the band, and he wrote a lot of the stuff... I don't think it will sound the same in a musical way, but the vocals are there. But I cannot take the right away from him; it's his right to play.

Enslain How would you explain the new album to old fans?
Paulo I would say it's just a new step for the band, Sepultura has been growing a lot in a lot of ways. Like each record has its' own identity, it sounds different, it has new inputs on it. There's no difference in this one. Basically the same, just a step forward for the band, and we just worked very hard. There's things, like vocals that are totally different, but the essence of the music is still there.

Enslain How did you guys end up working with Jason Newstead?
Paulo It's a very old idea that we wanted to do, so we knew Jason for quite a few years now, and he's been a big fan of the band, and very supportive, even when we had like very bad times, and he always wanted to do something with us. He's a very open minded guy, and he does a lot of jamming by himself at his home, bringing a lot of different musicians. So the idea was to do something, like to go to his environment, to his place, and from there, start from zero. It was great, he was a very strong influence to the band, as a Metallica player, Metallica did influence a lot of the band in the beginning. I wanted to have someone like him on our side.

Enslain What bands are you into?
Paulo I listen to a lot of stuff, everything, Since the old school rock, all the metal stuff, I listen to a lot of new age, all types of music, pop, everything.

Enslain Tell me about your personal background.
Paulo I grew up in a city called Belo Horizonte in Brazil. My youth was very different than the regular youth, where kids will go to the shopping malls and stuff. We started the band very young, at a very young age; I was about 14 years old when I joined the band. From that day we just lived our lives for the band, pretty much. Like when I was 19-20 years old, I was already out of Brazil and touring, and it was pretty cool, you know, I had a chance to see a lot of things, and meet a lot of different people, meet a lot of the people we always thought were our favorite bands, nowadays we have a chance to meet all these people, and talk to them, and now we are on the same level, which was weird.

Enslain Is there anything else you'd like to share with everyone?
Paulo We're very excited about the new line-up, and the new songs, and we all want to definitely have the chance to show that live. I think that's the best way to be, you know, on stage, and show them face to face, show each fan.
-- Lady Enslain

Enslain Magazine