In a new interview with Sweden’s RockSverige, SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser said that he feels “definitely better” than he did when he was 21 or 22 years old. “I quit alcohol almost a year and a half ago now, and I feel clearer,” he revealed.
Asked if he quit drinking because he felt it was becoming a problem or it was just a way to become healthier, the 52-year-old Brazilian-born musician said: “Both. I realized I was a slave to alcohol. Every situation where I had to choose a restaurant or what type of traveling I would do with my family, what kind of social thing we’d go to, alcohol was the biggest element to make the choices. Like, ‘In this land, they don’t serve alcohol, so I don’t want to go there.’ That type of stuff. It didn’t matter if I was with my family or great friends — alcohol was heavier than anything else. I realized I was really losing myself because of that idea and the choices I was making. I was really having this dark shadow making the choices for me. It was getting in the way of my relationship with everybody — my family, my friends and with myself. Then I quit from one night to the other.”
He continued: “It was very clear once I realized I was a slave to alcohol, which path I had to follow. I made the decision and I feel great. I don’t feel any urge to drink. I love drinking — don’t get me wrong — but I did it already. I know what it is and I know it’s very dangerous as well, especially with the style of life I live — backstage parties; everything is free and easy to get. You have to be very careful with that kind of situations, and I’m glad I made this choice. I’m at peace with myself with that. I didn’t make any promises to anyone or any saint or to any situation. It was a choice I had to make. If I made a promise to something, I would put all that responsibility to that promise and not to myself so I have to face that and really embrace the choice and I feel great.”
Andreas added: “Alcohol is very dangerous, but like I said, I like drinking.”
Kisser is not the only member of SEPULTURA’s classic lineup to have gotten sober. Back in 2016, former SEPULTURA frontman Max Cavalera told Metal Insider that he had been “straight edge” at that point for a decade. “I was kind of a mess 10 years ago, drinking and doing a lot of drugs, and it was affecting some of my touring,” he stated at the time. “I’m a very extreme guy, so when I do something, I do it all the way. I quit drinking and doing drugs entirely, and when I did it, I realized my passion for metal grew even more. I became more into metal, into new bands and stuff.”
Cavalera reflected on his 16-year battle with drug and alcohol addiction in a 2016 interview with Metal Hammer. He told the magazine that he became hooked on prescription drugs not long after his father’s death. “I was taking too many of them on a daily basis and then drinking on top of it,” he said. “It’s a lethal combination, and then I added sleep medicines on top of all that.
“It’s a miracle I am still alive.
“There’s a lot of pressure that comes with fame. Record label pressure, fans pressure, and we don’t have a manual or a guide to surviving this shit.”
Max continued: “I think for some musicians the pressure of fame gets to them. For me, it started with the death of my father. I became very sad and drinking was one way to deal with my sadness. The drugs — I just liked them. I liked the buzz of a painkiller. The energy it gave me.”
Last year, SEPULTURA launched “SepulQuarta”, a weekly event where the band gave insight into its colorful history, took part in question-and-answer sessions with fans and performed music while in quarantine. Some of the musical collaborations, including those with members of MEGADETH, TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, TRIVIUM and SACRED REICH, will be released as a full-length album, also titled “SepulQuarta”, on August 13.