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De La Tierra’s Andreas Kisser Talks Debut Album, Touring + More

De La Tierra
Roadrunner Records

Andreas Kisser made his name as the guitarist for Sepultura, but for his latest project he’s teaming with musicians from some other well known Latin American acts to put a fresh spin on metal under the moniker De La Tierra.

Kisser recently chatted with Loudwire about being invited to join the band, their shared love of metal and chemistry and choosing to record in Spanish and Portuguese. He also shared a bit on Sepultura’s current state and what the future holds. Check out our interview with De La Tierra’s Andreas Kisser below.

Hey Andreas, checked out De La Tierra, and love what I’m hearing. Can you talk a little bit about how you became a part of the band?

Cool man, thanks. Very happy with the results. It’s an idea, all from jamming. With Alex Gonzalez of Mana and Andres Gimenez, a long time ago they were talking about back stage, and you know, try to do something different, you know. Alex is a metalhead, he loves heavy metal. Of course he does a totally different sound than on Mana, but his background is total metal. He knows all the bands, and the ways he plays heavy metal is very natural to him. And he wanted to always jam with Andres some metal tunes, and stuff.

Finally in 2012, they started talking again and they all wanted to do something more serious, you know? Put together a band instead of just jamming and do something new, you know something different. So they called Flavio from Los Fabulosos Cadillacs for the dates, and I was the last one to be called. And Alex called me, I already knew Alex from Mana, we had jammed together before and stuff. And already knew Andres as well, we did some shows together in the ’90s and stuff. So I knew more or less the people in the band, but I loved the idea.

The challenge to do heavy metal in Spanish and Portuguese, it’s actually it’s own kind, you know? And more important was not being like a response would be had, or doing a reality TV show, it was putting together new, to do something new, you now? Fabricated bands, you know, kind of vibe. It was very honest very pure. I like that alot. You know with something that we invest our ourselves to do the album. We didn’t have any producers or anything. We wrote the demos, we exchanged ideas through mail, then finally we met and started to arrange the songs and we did everything ourselves. With the album done, we finally went to record label and managers and everything, and here we are. The album came out in January, very important reaction and stuff. We are starting to open dates in South America, which is an amazing start for us. And we enjoyed a lot, something very exciting to be a part of it for sure.

It looks great on paper, musicians from all these bands with great history. But how long was it before you realized that the chemistry would really work?

We had the demos, we spent like almost a year like exchanging emails with demo ideas. You know I was working in Mexico, and Flavio writing. He’s a writer. Put out some books and stuff, and he came more with the music. In the end we had 16 open songs you know? But when we met and decided for the first practices you know, we were sure that something was really happening, you know? The chemistry was great between the band, and in 10 days we arranged 10 songs that end up on the album.

You got together for the love of heavy metal. Can you talk a bit about coming together on that idea and then the decision to record your disc in Spanish and Portuguese?

I think the idea to sing in Spanish / Portuguese was most appealing. That was a challenge of it all, to do something like that. Our own languages that we could express ourselves more naturally, and also something new and something different that we want to do. Again, to make heavy metal, to do metal music and do heavy s—, we used the same tuning — the low tuning. But you know the mixture we had between musicians create the sound, you know? Actually, Flavio, the bass player who is not a metal bass player, he plays like ska and more like hardcore music. He’s bringing something very new to the style, he’s no ordinary metal bass player. He’s bringing some slaps, and two hands techniques that you don’t even see in a metal bass player, you know? The thing is the most original stuff that are creating something new from, of course me and Andreas we write this stuff for metal for years. It’s much more natural and easy for us, and Alex is a metal head, he plays metal very naturally. So as far as the elements, they are bringing some real original ideas and riffs playing to the style in general you know, so, it’s pretty cool.

You mention Flavio and his bass is amazing on the record. Can you talk a bit about what it’s like to get play with him after all this time?

You know it’s odd, it’s weird because I didn’t know his bands you know, from Argentina, they’re huge in Argentina they play stadiums and over all of Latin America, but elsewhere they’re not well known at all. It’s a shame because they’re kind of a wave of Latin America world just because of the language pretty much. It’s very concentrated on self, it’s very closed borders, culturally speaking, you know? But I think that De La Tierra has the possibility to break a little bit of the barrier, and I’m learning so much about Flavio and his music and you know it’s amazing history, the millions of, musicianship, and he loves other kinds music as well, you know Bossa Nova and all that kind of stuff. We have a lot in common, which is great. So I’m really excited just for the perspective in the future to create more stuff together and so far so good, you know the chemistry is amazing, it’s really working.

First thing I saw even before hearing the album was the ‘Maldita Historia’ video. Great song, could you talk about that track?

Yeah, that song is ummm… it’s a track that Alex Gonz√°lez he wrote on the first demos. It came from one of his demos, and Andres later arranged some parts with new riffs, and vocals, and then finally we all arranged the song in practice, together. Playing together and stuff, and that’s the result of ‘Maldita Historia,’ so uhh, I think we chose ‘Maldita’ because it’s not the heaviest song on the album, it’s more like mid tempo and stuff. And it’s maybe not really the most extreme from the album first, you know? Now we’re doing the second video tape for ‘San Asesino,’ which is a song that mixture, you know the English and Portuguese on the same song, and it’s a little bit more heavier, more in your face, and there’s lots of the elements there you know, reggae and stuff, it’s good to hear a Mexican drummer with a Portuguese bass player playing samba, you know? It’s amazing, it’s amazing spice that you have there, and of course you create something new there. The video is almost done, so in a few weeks I think, together with a tour in South America we’re going to put it out.

Is there a favorite song on this album, and why it stands out to you?

I’ve got to say I really love them all, I think the first one, ‘Somos Uno,’ it’s very special. A song from Andres Gimenez, he wrote the music and he wrote the lyrics as well. And it talks about that, not only about the band, that we are united regardless of the cultural feedback or background. In a band like De La Tierra, coming from metal, from ska, from punk rock, you know — all playing metal there together, and at the same time it shows that South America, Central America, North America, it’s kind of the same, you know? It’s like one big community, Latin community that is huge. And we all have more in common than we can imagine, you know, so… I think the first song on the album, that really opens it up, is the most special one for me, right now at least.

This album sounds heavy and great and like it would be great in a live setting. Can you talk a bit about the songs that are going over well live?

Yeah, this is the next step. We can’t wait to go on stage. We never played live before, together, which is insane. The way we did it with demos, and then practice, decided, is the only experience we have in our band for more than almost 20, almost 30 years on the road, and recording and everything. We took the moment to create a band feeling. If you hear the album maybe you can feel there’s a band there playing, you know? But the next step is the most important now, we need to be on stage and really put the songs live and see where we go. I think that’s the next phase now of this project, and you know very excited. Can’t wait really, we’re going to start practicing right after I finish the tour with Sepultura, then to Buenos Aires to practice, then going to Colombia to play with Metallica, our first show. It’s a great start.

You mention Sepultura, and the other guys also have other bands. How much do you see this project continuing given everyone’s schedules? Do you foresee ¬†another album, world tour?

Yeah, definitely. Release more albums, and to play as much as we can everywhere. Not only in the Latin world but really break the barrier of the language, you know? Somehow like Rammstein, using German and being a worldwide phenomenon, they play everywhere, without changing their native language, you know? So, I think it’s to go everywhere really, just to cross that Latin world, but take it everywhere. Go into different festivals, like Sepultura does, not only for the Latin audience, you know so. We’ll see. We’re going to start with Metallica, four shows in South America, we have a big Latino / Mexican festival in the end of March, and then some dates in the United States in April. Hopefully, we confirm that a gig in London at the end of April, and a lot of Festivals in Spain, you know, so … that one just came out, and with the first shows and stuff, I think we’ll do some shows and see what happens.

A couple of Sepultura things right before we wrap up. Firstly, love the record you put out last year. Can you talk about putting together that record?

Yeah, it was great. Eloy Casagrande, our new drummer, actually he was with us for two years, and first time we wrote together. He’s an amazing musician, very powerful, lots of great ideas, great technique on the drums and everything. And to work with Ross Robinson again was amazing. He blocked all that dirtiness and beautiful atmospheres with panels and stuff that we love. The chemistry we had on ‘Roots’ was still there, and we were very happy with the results. We toured in Europe, we had an amazing tour, packed house every night, and lots of young kids as well, you know singing the new lyrics and playing lots of new songs, and it was great, you know. Real cool.

Last year you had issues with VISAS and couldn’t come to the U.S. to play. Might we see another round of dates?

Yeah, f— yeah, man. I mean the idea is really to try to reschedule those dates, you know? It was really a cool tour, unfortunately we had the problems with the VISAS and it took too long than we were expecting but hopefully second half of this year we’ll be able to find movement and really go to the states which would be very important, you know? It been a long time, we do something cool, with this new album, especially. So pretty soon I think we’ll be confirming some dates.

What does the future hold for you?

Lots of metal. [laughs] I think a trip, it’s like Sepultura really have like a nice schedule ahead, and we have all the important summer festivals in Europe to do. And the possibility that De La Tierra and Sepultura will do shows together as well, you know? I don’t think that would be impossible to think about that, so maybe some shows together in the summer, we head to Australia, we’ve got to do some shows in Brazil. You know we just want to get to go everywhere, we celebrating 30 years of Sepultura this year, you know so. Very special dates. We like to go everywhere and celebrate, you know, that’s it.

Our thanks to De La Tierra’s Andreas Kisser for the interview. The band’s self-titled debut album is out now and can be ordered via Amazon and iTunes.

Watch De La Tierra’s Video for ‘Maldita Historia’

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