How Derrick Green Knew His Time in Sepultura Would Last Long
Sepultura's Derrick Green was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program and he discussed how the band has kept busy amid a pandemic and recollected first joining the metal icons in 1998 and how he knew his tenure would be long-lasting.
The well-received Quadra album was released in February of 2020, right before the world locked down in the early stages of the pandemic. Despite not being able to get on the road in support of the record, the group connected weekly through video meetings, which gave way to jam sessions where they then invited guests to participate on new recordings of classic Sepultura tracks. These sessions were bundled in the SepulQuarta album, which came out last year.
Green expressed how he loved the raw, garage type feeling of the remote recordings and that the sessions gave everyone something to look forward to each week.
The conversation also shifted to the frontman's earliest days in the band and how important it was for him to make personal connections with the band members, as well as seeing eye to eye musically as Sepultura strove to continue their evolution.
Read the entire interview below.
Quadra was released just before the pandemic shut down the world. How will being dormant affect that music when it finally comes to life onstage this year?
We shall see. People really have had more than enough time to listen to the album. So I'm curious to see the response of the audience once we are able to do those songs live. I'm looking forward to it. I think it will be a great response and a lot of the people are excited about the release of the album. I hope we can have that momentum onstage as well.
SepulQuarta is an album of classic Sepultura songs featuring collaborations recorded throughout the pandemic. How did the unique experience of performing remotely actually enhance these tracks?
The idea came about because we had released Quadra and we wanted to keep in touch with our fan base and also keep in touch as a band. We didn't know how long the entire lockdown would go on, so we had a meeting point every Wednesday and it started off with the band communicating with each other, talking online and then jamming one Sepultura song.
It grew into having other artists and friends of ours doing Sepultura songs and then it grew to having other guests appear who were part of different organizations from Sea Shepherd to people suffering with depression. It grew into something much bigger than we possibly could have imagined and from those recordings that we had, we decided to make an album from that.
What was great about that was that everybody being in their own home and recording, they were really loose and super relaxed. It almost came out out like jamming with your friends in a garage. There was no emphasis on mic'ing up everything. It came out very raw and very real.
The positivity that happened really kept a lot of us united and gave us something to look forward to every Wednesday. You have that feeling in those songs and that combination made it very unique.
Sepultura, "Cut-Throat" ft. Anthrax's Scott Ian
Sepulnation - The Studio Album 1998-2009 is a new box set that highlights your first decade with Sepultura. What does the chronology of those albums reflect about your growth as a vocalist and as a person?
It's really important that everyone has access to the entire history of Sepultura. I know there's been a lot of different changes that have happened, but that's a part of the history and what makes it so magical. The fact that we're still around today...
When I joined the band, there was definitely a mission for myself and the band to really evolve as musicians and to grow together as bandmates — touring, being in the studio with different producers.
You can really hear that and the changes that are happening within the band it's been an aspect of the band to really create albums that don't sound the same. This was something that was very natural that happened, but like I said, when I joined the band, they already had developed a very strong history. I needed my time to do that.
With the box set, you can really hear that the evolution and togetherness that happened over time. Every album is super important to show the growth and to show how important each album was for us be at the point that we're at today.
Musically and culturally, you're a worldly person. How has having a whole world perspective been artistically beneficial to you?
It's really something that started at a very young age. My mother was a music teacher and I was open to a lot of different styles of music at an early age. My mother sang in a church, was the choir director, played piano and studied classical music. So, at home I was hearing a lot of classical and a lot of gospel, then I got into a lot of jazz and slowly moved into rock and then to underground of hardcore and punk rock. I grew into that scene and a lot of hardcore and punk rock shows had that attitude.
Being around that scene really helped me develop a very open mind and with that open mindedness I was able to really appreciate good music in general and not really put any kind of label on things or try to box everything into a certain category. I let everything flow in and I'm glad that I was subjected to that and not put in such a closed environment where I wouldn't be able to witness a lot of the great music that's put out there.
After joining Sepultura, what was the moment that enabled you to envision the long career you've ultimately had with the band?
My first trip to Brazil, when I went for the audition and got to actually meet the guys in the band, it was really important to have that connection as people and get along as friends. I was very used to playing with friends I grew up with and jamming with them — that's how my musical career started with playing live music.
Once I got to meet them and everything seemed to work out in that manner, I knew that we could really pursue a career and grow from that. I spent a few weeks in Brazil and after the first weekI knew that there was something that was really bubbling, that was really happening.
Once I got back to New York, where I was living at the time, I knew that I really wanted to be in the band more than anything after meeting them, their family and being in Brazil and being a part of that culture for such a short period of time. It made the prospect of being in the band even stronger because I really went in with an open mind — if I get along with the guys, that's the first step and I really did get along with them. Once that happened, then I knew that a lot of things could move forward.
Thanks to Derrick Green for the interview. Get your copy of Sepultura's 'Quadra' here and 'SepulQuarta' here and follow the band on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.