Daniel Dekay of Banger TV conducted an interview with SEPULTURA frontman Derrick Green aboard this year’s installment of the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise, which was held February 1-5. You can watch the entire interview below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his musical beginnings in Cleveland, Ohio:
Derrick: “For me, music has always been a big part of my life. My mother was a music teacher and so I would hear music all the time growing up. In school, that’s what really kicked off that possibly I could do something with my voice. I was forced to take a choir class and I was really bummed out about it, but my teacher was emphasizing how great my voice was for the fact it was baritone-bass. There’s not many people who have that style of voice. This is something that I started to think about. It was great. It was a very positive thing to grow up, having music in my life, but it started at a very young age.”
On how he ended up joining local bands:
Derrick: “I think going to shows was really the most influential thing. Some of the first shows I saw were BAD BRAINS and CRO-MAGS and it had a huge impact. Being 14, 15 years old and seeing so much energy onstage and with the audience and people moving, it was just something I had never seen before. Also, at the time, what had a big impact was CRO-MAGS just for the fact this band were vegetarians and they had reading material about being vegetarian so it really kicked it off for me to sample and experiment with this, and it stuck with me, this lifestyle of being a vegan, actually.
On the role his family played in his musical career:
Derrick: “They were extremely positive role models, but they were very supportive in everything that I pursued even they didn’t understand everything about hardcore or punk rock. They were actually at a SEPULTURA show, the front row, they didn’t realize there was going to be a pit there. The fans were just, like, ‘Maybe you want to step back a bit.’ They were just really happy to see so many people into the music, into what I was doing.”
On how he got involved in the New York hardcore scene:
Derrick: “In Cleveland, I had this band OUTFACE for probably, about eight or nine years. I moved to New York with the guitarist, Charlie Garriga. But then, he started to play in another band called CIV, then I ended up doing my own thing, trying to make everything work. That’s when I did this audition for SEPULTURA, but I worked in various jobs there, like still doing music, but at the same time, I was a door guy. I worked at a clothing store. I was a bodyguard, I did everything I could, but at the same time, still pursuing music.”
On his transition from hardcore to metal:
Derrick: “I think hardcore and punk has always reigned supreme, but I think metal became more interesting when the lyrical content started to change with certain bands. I mean, there were certain bands who just always had an impact, as far as metal. SLAYER, CELTIC FROST, these are bands who I was just, like, ‘Wow!’ Even in the hardcore scene, I was like ‘This is incredible.’ With SEPULTURA, I thought it was great, for me, I got really into it on the ‘Arise’ album, they started to develop a little bit more of their own personality in the music you can hear, and the lyrical content was getting better and better.”
On who he could relate to most on a lyrical front considering heavy metal is largely dominated by white males:
Derrick: “I was really into hip-hop at the same time I got into hardcore and punk rock, because they were kind of hand in hand. They weren’t being played on the radio, they’re completely rebellious. The lyrical content of a lot of hip-hop, like KRS-ONE, was always amazing to me and PUBLIC ENEMY. Their understanding of the language was amazing and they’re masters at it. This for me, was genius. It really had such a strong impact. I definitely looked up to them and bands like BAD BRAINS, like I said, they blew my mind. They would go from reggae to hardcore, but do it very well and they were amazing musicians. That combination really had a strong impact on me.”
SEPULTURA‘s latest album, “Machine Messiah”, was released in January 2017 via Nuclear Blast. The disc was recorded at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden. The CD’s cover artwork was created by Filipino artist Camille Della Rosa.
SEPULTURA will embark on an extensive European headline tour in late February. German technical death metal masters OBSCURA are confirmed as direct support, followed by U.S.-based death/black metallers GOATWHORE and New Jersey’s finest deathcore outfit FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY.