If the early steps of Sepultura don’t make you go mental, then certainly you have no reason to read the following. You wouldn’t get it, anyway. Since Troops Of Doom are the new talk of the town, I took the opportunity and exchanged some thoughts with Jairo Guedz Braga, in order to shed some light on the 1985-1987 Sepultura, but at the same time to get to know Tormentor’s new venture better. Cheers!
Hello Jairo! What a pleasure to have you with us! Hopefully that’s a good time for you; are you and the rest of the band alright?
Thanx. Everyone is fine. We are trying to do our best during this pandemic period.
Considering you’ve returned to discography with The Troops Of Doom, I think it is a nice opportunity to know you and the band a bit better; what urged you to form such a band and how did you breathe life into it?
Well, I was looking for something to do actually. I had some projects, still have my Metallica Tribute band and lots of gigs with them…but my Death Metal DNA wanted something different, bigger…We tried to join this band 4 years ago, with Stian Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir & Chrome Division) on vocals. It would be nice, But he couldn’t give too much time for this project at that time. Dimmu and Chrome Division are big enough hahahahaha and so we had to accept to be a project, a studio-band. This is not what I wanted, and so I decided to join the guys to make it real. I need the road, I need to play live, to show people what we came for…So, Alex Kafer (Mysteriis/Enterro) called me by phone in the beginning of this pandemic in march, and asked me to re-do that project from four years ago. The idea was to join everyone again but using Alex as the singer and bass player. So we did it ! I wanted to make something using the same influences and DNA as I used in the Sepultura times during the 80s. That’s my goal !
What were your initial aspirations? Have you set any particular goals?
Well, as I said before…to make the same kind of music I was doing when I left Sepultura ! I wanted to do music as I did in the 80s. Someone from US told me “This is what it should be, if Jairo Guedz didn’t left Sepultura”
The rest of your bandmates have their fair share in other band and projects; how did you bring all these people together and how did they react to this project?
They love it…they came with the same idea when I told them what I wanted to do ! The synergy in the band is great !!! We are always putting everything on the table and discussing it…we do not want to do something new, we don’t want to “discover the wheel”. We want to make the same shit as we did in the past. And I mean, musically and aesthetically speaking !
Do you consider The Troops Of Doom to be your chance to show to the world how would your legacy continue if you never leave Sepultura?
Yeas. I think we can put it in this way !
As far as Sepultura are concerned, why did you leave the band? Did you ever regret it?
I had some issues during that time…I’m the older one. I was getting married. I couldn’t be a part of something too big as we knew it would be… I didn’t want to be the stone in their shoes ! I started to study other kinds of music, blues, melodic metal, etc…But I do not regret it. I wasn’t in the band during the hard times when they broke up…it gives me some space to be respected by them, Sepultura and Cavalera brothers as well !
Both “Bestial Devastation” and “Morbid Visions” are considered landmarks in Thrash Metal almost by everyone; how does it feel to know people still bang their heads to them in 2020, bearing in mind you were one of their co-authors band then?
Wow !!! This is the reason I still do it after so many years hahahahaha. I am very proud of being respected nowadays by fans, musicians, producers, friends, family, etc…and THE TROOPS OF DOOM band is a confirmation of this proud and legacy !
In “The Rise of Heresy” you’ve included a cover of both “Bestial Devastation” and “Troops of Doom”, so I guess you’re in good terms with your former bandmates, is that right?
Yes, sure ! The first thing I did, when we decided to join this band, was to call everyone from the early Sepultura and tell them. I know I do not need a formal authorization to do this, to re-record some of my own songs with Sepultura (as author and co-author), BUT I wanted to have their blessing ! And so I did. I´m very greatful to them, Paulo, Max and Iggor !
I wonder mostly about Andreas Kisser, who actually replaced you in Sepultura; how did he react to your new venture?
He loves it ! He was using our T-shirt another day in a Live actually ! I sent him the record and tshirt as I did with Iggor and Max and Paulo. Andreas is one of my best colleagues, he is very kind and I respect him as a brother!
What should people who haven’t listened to “The Rise of Heresy” yet expect?
They can expect the best and loud Old Death/Thrash Metal Sepultura Sodom Slayer Celtic Frost Kreator style !!!
Keeping in mind that the band was actually forged and recorded the tracks during the Covid era, would you like to paint us a picture of how things rolled?
Sure. It was amazing ! Never saw something workout like this before !!! And it gives me pride also. We had never met each other till now ! We live in different states of Brazil, maybe a thousand kilometers from one another…and also we are living in this pandemia ! So…we create everything, every detail, every guitar riff, lyrics, drum session, using WhatsApp and the digital home studio (DAW) ! We took our own photos by ourselves, alone at home ! Marcelo Vsco is a very known graphic artist and he put everyone together in the same photo. The songs we sent to Oysten Brun from Borknagar, and he mix and mastered the whole record in his studio in Norway !
Besided the obvious occult themes of the record, I sensed some more personal vibes in your lyrics; does that though stand or am I wrong?
Yes, you´re right ! Alex is more into this process. He writes lyrics and brings it to the table. We discuss it and everything flows in that way ! We like to give this dark and evil aspect to everything, but also to conceal the real and material aspects of our lives. Satan is evil. I mean, “he” represents evil. But also it is with mankind. What is paradise but a promise, and what is hell if not a punishment ?
It’s been almost two months since the release of your EP and as far as I can see from my peer circle, people have warm reacts towards it; what’s the feedback you are getting? Are you satisfied?
We are very satisfied and proud ! We didn’t expect so many good vibes and positive feedback as we got till now ! This is the proof that we are doing the right stuff and the fuel to continue this work.
“The Rise of Heresy” is an EP, as I understand; any thoughts about releasing a full length album soon enough?
We are already working on the next album, hope we can release it by june/july 2021, before the European Tour in November/December.
Now a couple of more general questions; given you’ve been around for quite a long time, from your point of view, what has changed and what has remained the same in the music industry though the course of time?
With the internet advent everything went different ! I remember when me and Max and Iggor were writing letters by hand, sending it to a lot of countries and waiting months to get some feedback hahahahahaha !!! Nowadays everything is different. Record labels, recording process, media…we have to learn how to do it every day !!! But I believe the music is the same – if it’s good enough, you will get it !
Extending the previous question, as you probably can see for yourself, new Thrash Metal fans and metalheads in general keep poppong up all around the world. Do you believe the metal genre is timeless? What’s your spin on it?
I don´t believe that METAL is a kind of timeless music style or fashion…METAL is the same, is the spirit, is a way of life, is in the blood and soul. Every metalhead knows it is forever. We can have ups and downs in the metal market, but once you love metal music, this is eternal.
Alright, thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, it really means a lot. Hope to see/meet you in Greece sometime! You can seal this interview any way you see fit! Take care!
Thank you guys for this interview. Hope to gig on Greece also, this is a dream for me! Thank you!