WHEN Sepultura played South Africa all those years back, they were considered one of the best live metal acts on planet Earth. We walked out of the BAT Centre Hall in a daze of louder, harder, faster.

Never had metal been that aggressive, that fearsome and yet that laid-back. The boys from Brazil come in peace, apparently. If they didn’t love distorted guitar so much they could have been hippies. What a dastardly thought!

Sepultura’s lead singer, Derrick Green, remembers the tour with fond memories: “It was incredible,” he tells me from his home in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

He originally hails from Connecticut and looks more like a character from WWE than the lead singer of a metal band.

“We can never forget that tour. We did some incredible shows and South Africa definitely rates in the top five greatest events I’ve experienced with this band. We went on a little safari and saw pretty much everything except for lions.”

Staying with the South African connection, what was his experience with the recent World Cup?

“We were touring at the time, but I remember when Brazil won the contract. People here are so fanatical about soccer that they didn’t realise what Fifa was up to. A lot of corruption followed. A lot of public money went into building things that were not necessary.

“I think it was the most expensive World Cup. As soon as it came around it got a bit better, but you still got the feeling of being ripped off. We have learnt a lot from that Fifa debacle.”

Gosh, it felt like listening to a fellow South African.

The conversation then moved on to more uplifting topics, like their latest album, The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart.

The album was made sans founding member Igor Cavalera, who has left the band. The current members are the only remaining original member, Paulo Jr, Andreas Kisser, Green and 20-something drummer, Eloy Casagrande.

“The title of the album came from the film Metropolis. It’s from right in the beginning where people are in this robotic mindset. We must remember that the heart can guide us. We never listen to the passion that comes from within anymore.

“We recorded the album in Venice Beach and it’s been a long time since we recorded in the US. We used Ross Robinson who produced our Roots album. Since the release of the album we have been touring the world.”

Speaking of Roots, which has to be one of the greatest albums of all time, what are Sepultura planning for their set list in South Africa?

“We will have a wide variety of songs from each album. There will be the hits and then others that people haven’t heard before.”

As time on the interview runs out, one question must be asked.

This year they are celebrating 30 years as Sepultura. What does Green believe is the legacy of the band?

“It’s the attitude, the attitude towards life. It is a strong, positive attitude. Our lifestyle is also important and being open-minded.

“There is also our history of connecting with different cultures. That is what Sepultura is about.”

• Sepultura play Carfax, Joburg, on Sept 12 and The Assembly, Cape Town, the next night. They will be supported by Groinchurn who apparently are emerging from the swamp for the tour.