Last month, two Argentinean children appeared on the popular free video Web site YouTube with their endearing rendition of the classic Sepultura protest song "Refuse/Resist," live from their living room.
Within days, the video became the latest Internet phenomenon. At press time, an estimated four million people had downloaded the performance.
"That's insane," Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser says with a laugh, speaking to New Times on a cell phone from Brazil while taking a break from laying down tracks for his upcoming double-disc solo album. "It's like the beginning of Sepultura two brothers playing together."
Of course, the irony of two brothers playing the song is obvious in light of the departure this past June of Igor Cavalera, drummer and brother of original Sepultura singer Max Cavalera, who left in a storm of controversy in 1997. Indeed, the YouTube video comes at a time when the future of the band looks uncertain with another key member gone. Where it might have made sense for Sepultura to carry on without Max, fans will inevitably question the band's decision to continue even more this time around.
"We're going through a different phase," Kisser says. "Of course there's a desire to keep going as Sepultura and do more music, but that's going to depend a lot on everything that follows how the tour goes, the chemistry of the new lineup, and the ideas for music that come up. We're taking it slowly. I don't want to force anything."
Doubtful fans can decide for themselves with two recent live clips from a Brazilian TV show (also on YouTube and linked on the Sepultura Web site) that feature new drummer Jean Dolabella. Undeniably, the band sounds reenergized much as it did when Derrick Green replaced Max Cavalera. And Kisser remains undaunted by the prospect of diminished attendance in a country where fan loyalty leans heavily toward Max Cavalera and his band Soulfly.
"I'm not worried about that at all," Kisser says. "I really have no expectations. It's like we're going to be in America for the first time. America's always been hard for Sepultura. We never really had a huge headline tour there like we did in Europe or South America. We always had big spots on the Ozzy tour, the Pantera tour, Ministry, etc."
But Kisser does have fond memories of living in the U.S., from the mid-'90s when Sepultura was based in Phoenix.
"We miss the place a lot," he says. "We have really good friends that still live there. We stayed there for almost nine years. One of my sons was born in Scottsdale. I have really tight strings attached to Phoenix; we built so much there. That's where we wrote Chaos A.D. and Roots."
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