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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Sepultura Paulo Jr. interview 2014




After 10 long years, Sepultura finally return to Australia for a long awaited tour, this time on the back of their latest album "The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart". A lot has changed in those 10 years so we caught up bass player Paulo Jr. to discuss the upcoming tour and what the Brazillian metallers have been up to lately.

Andrew: Hi hows it going?


Paulo: Good man, how are you?


Andrew: Yeah good thanks! So hows things with Sepultura at the moment?


Paulo: Pretty good so far. We basically have a full year of touring and now we have the chance to go back to Australia after such a long time. We are looking forward, very excited about it and I hope we can provide a good metal show for you guys.


Andrew: Yeah it has been a long time since you guys have been here. Why has it been such a long time since you last came here?


Paulo: You'll have to ask the local Australian promoters not us haha! I would go there every 6 months if it was my call.


Andrew: We've definitely missed you over here! As far as setlists and all that kind of stuff, what can we expect?


Paulo: We are in the middle of the tour for The Mediator (The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart, 2013 album) but we've been playing a lot of the history of the band since this year will be our 30th anniversary. We've been managing to go over all the records as much as we can and I'm sure that we can provide something special for you guys since we haven't been there in a long time. So we need to really work a little harder haha! But I don't know yet what we are going to do, it will probably be even a surprise for me.

Andrew: What do you remember from the last time you came over here?


Paulo: It's been a long time. I remmeber we had some very good shows and very good crowds. I had a day off at the beach with some friends, I remember having a day off in Perth and I remember having a day off in Sydney as well. But I think this time I don't think we have much time, it's the only thing that's bumming me out a little bit because we're not going to have time to really have some quality time besides the stage.


Andrew: As far as the new album which obviously came out last year, how has the reception been from the fans since it first came out?


Paulo: It's been great man! The response has been very positive especially towards Eloy (Casagrande, drums), his first record with us. It's great, had a chance to already play some festivals over in Europe and next year we do a second run for the festivals as well. Had a chance to play in China which we never played before, and now we have the chance to get back to Australia after a decade at least. It's been pretty good to have some stuff to be done in Brazil and South America after the Australia run so it's been quite a busy year and it's looking the same or even better for next year so that's the highlights for the moment.


Andrew: And how are the new songs fitting along with the older stuff, do they go really well together?


Paulo: Yeah, it's a very powerful record and the songs live are working very well. The response from the crowd has been very positive which is great that they are really embracing this new lineup which in my opinion is the best one. Playing-wise we have grown a lot, we are in a unique moment of the band which is great and people can see that and embrace that and absorb that which is amazing!


Andrew: It's amazing how heavy that album is. I mean 30 years of the band and you're still going strong. How does it feel to keep on going and still make quality music, to still be doing this?


Paulo: It feels great to still have the ability to write and perform good metal songs, I feel very confident and proud of it. All the material that we wrote since day one, it's great!

Andrew: Do you still enjoy touring as much as when you first started?


Paulo: Yes that's the best part. I just don't enjoy airports that much.


Andrew: Haha obviously yeah.


Paulo: They can be a pain in the ass especially with all this mess around the world, all this high security measures. Even with that, when you have landed and passed the customs, when you really arrive in the country, it's a great sensation and a great feeling. I still enjoy that very much.


Andrew: When you go to different countries, do you find the crowds are pretty much the same or do you find differences between each country or area of the world?


Paulo: The differences are not in the way they relate to you because they are very similar. What makes the difference is the local culture. When you see a heavy metal fan, you're going to see a heavy metal fan no matter what country you are in. Like that guy is a metalhead for sure.


Andrew: And going around for 30 years you must have seen a lot of changes amongst the fans, different generations. That must be pretty cool to see that kind of thing.


Paulo: Yeah definitely! Lately we've been seeing a lot of young people at shows and that makes you very happy because you see that the new metal generation is coming strong. They're really into the music, they're bringing new blood to the scene. Everybody still respects the elders haha! So it's a great feeling.


Andrew: Obviously Sepultura is one of the pioneers of thrash metal and so many bands have been influenced by you. When you see newer bands coming out and you go wow that's what we used to do, does that feel good to see bands that continue what you guys had started?


Paulo: Yeah like sometimes you go 'Oh I done that!' It's good to see they are following the path. Sometimes they do a very good job, sometimes they really impress us and that's good. That's how it should be. They learn from the elders and then you just bring it to the next level haha!


Andrew: You guys have had a lot of changes over the years, different styles and all that. Is that something that just keeps you interested in the music or has that been evolving naturally as you go along?


Paulo: I think naturally we have adapted to anything with other changes and everybody that went through this band really respect the moment of the band. Up to the time of leaving the band, they really did their job, really respected the music and the fans and really represented the name Sepultura and I think that's very important. For me I have never in such long a time just do a little fine adjustment and that's pretty much there. I used to have to take the time to get to know each other a little bit but it's a matter of stage time and spending time together and that will adjust naturally for sure.

Andrew: A question that pops up a bit for a lot of bands from your era like the Metallica's and Slayers and all them is how long can you guys keep on going? Can you see yourselves going for much longer?


Paulo: I hope so! We still have the courage, the music. Everybody is still healthy haha! Which is very important and I think we still have a few years to conquer. I hope so haha!


Andrew: What do you think will be the main reason you guys would stop?


Paulo: When everybody would get tired of it. Once you lose the passion for doing this, then I think is the time to move on. If you're not happy you don't need to be forced to be here. If you're not happy, just get on your way, do what's best for you.


Andrew: If the band wasn't around, what would you be doing?


Paulo: I have no idea, I never really thought about that because I've been doing this since I was a kid. And I still don't think about it haha! I try to do as much as I can with Sepultura.


Andrew: So after the Australian tour, what are your plans?


Paulo: We still have to come back to Brazil. We still have shows here and South America around December. And then we have a break that everybody has at the end of the year to have time with the families. You know, Christmas, New year's and then there's plans already to go to Europe for the second run of the festivals and around that we can adjust the dates but we definitely have more places to go in Brazil that we haven't done yet. And try to play as much as possible. Usually the cycle of touring of Sepultura after a record release, we usually take like 2 years so we should have another year with this record. And then we can think of something new or whatever but it's too early to think haha!


Andrew: Haha! I was just thinking of the setlist for the Aussie tour, obviously you got so many albums to pick from. How hard is it these days to pick a setlist?


Paulo: It's hard because we have so many songs. Sometimes I want to play something they don't want and sometimes they want to play something I don't want. Sometimes the crowd wants something that we don't want haha! We try to get to a point of balance so we can please everybody. We know it's harder, I know there are songs that are very hard to skip from the setlist because the people wants to hear it, they care for it on the concert. It's such a short time to play the whole history of the band but we try to please as much as we can, us and our fans.


Andrew: Yeah I would imagine it would be difficult. Are there many songs that you have never played before?


Paulo: Oh there's shitloads of songs that we've never played before! I don't know what's going to happen for Ausralia yet but I'm sure we can think of something. Even I will be surprised by the setlists sometimes haha! But we have plenty of songs that we've never played before, definitely.


Andrew: Is it a band effort when you guys pick a setlist or is it one particular person that does all that?


Paulo: We've tried together but usually it's the other guys. I really don't go myself that much unless I think there needs to be a change or if it bothers me. But usually we do it together and everybody puts their opinion, it's democratic!

Andrew: Ah ok. Well I have a couple of questions that we try to ask everyone we interview. If you could be a fly on the wall for the recording of any classic album in history what would it be?


Paulo: Definitely Rush - Moving Pictures.


Andrew: Why that album?


Paulo: Because I think that's the album that represents the whole history of Rush, that really elevated them to be what they are today. If I had to pick another one it would be Iron Maiden - Killers. I think that's one of the best metal records in the whole history.


Andrew: Which band has been the most influential on you and your playing?


Paulo: I would say more the metal bands but I try to pick it up from the old guys as well like the influence. Like when you play live and sometimes there's this different vibe it sometimes makes you think of a bass player that you like. For instance if you have a song with a Black Sabbath vibe I try to visualize Geezer Butler or sometimes you visualize Cliff Burton or Jason (Newsted) or (Robert) Trujillo or even John Deacon from Queen. Different vibes I think try to bring different inspiration for the way that you play. All these guys in all these bands and all these bass players, they are all very important in a sort of way to help with the music.


Andrew: Yeah and for a lot of other people as well I think.


Paulo: Yeah definitely. I'm pretty sure a lot of the musicians certaintly think the same haha!


Andrew: Haha! And for you, what is the meaning of life?


Paulo: No Monty Python but the meaning of life is to try to do the best as possible. Try to represent yourself in a positive way that people can remember you by after the things you have left. I think that is the most important thing. Try to be the best at what you can, try to respect. And with respect and with strength and courage and honour I think you can achieve a lot of things.


Andrew: Sounds really good! It's been a pleasure talking to you and we really look forward to seeing you guys in Australia so thanks again!


Paulo: Yeah thank you very much and we are very happy to have the chance to go back to Australia. I hope we don't disappoint you haha!


Andrew: Oh I'm sure you won't! I think it will be a great tour so we are looking forward to it.


Paulo: I think so too, I think it will be great!



Paulo Jr. spoke to Andrew Schizodeluxe September 2014





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