Today we invite you to meet Derrick Green, charismatic singer of Sepultura. We had the chance and the honor to meet him just a few hours before the concert at the Elysée-Montmartre, Paris. The man, as physically impressive as he is charming, opens the doors to us about his relationship with sport and how it fits into his everyday life, but also as a musician on the roads all over the world. Derrick also gives us here his commitment to a global awareness of the importance of healthier food (for us and the planet) and of the "plant-based lifestyle".
Come on GOOOOOO!!!
1) What is your relationship to sport, what place does it have in your life?
I started doing sports at a very young age. Where I grew up there were so many different options to take advantage of. So the first thing, I believe, I started with, was a little baseball league. Then within junior high school, I started to be a little more interested in doing sport, but it’s definitely in high school that it kicked off. It was around the age of fourteen or fifteen that I started playing football, American football. Then I did wrestling in high school, and then I also did track and field. So, it gives you just a little idea of different sports that I was trying, but those are the major ones that I was doing. They just really got me into a discipline at a young age that a lot of people didn’t have, and it’s helped me since then. You know, that is something I’ve always carried with me. Discipline of waking up very early before most people and doing a workout, and doing the training.
It’s a sensation that is unbelievable, not only physically, but also mentally. It really helps in so many ways, as far as staying strong, your body itself but also your mind. Just keeping it very sharp. I feel that sensation… it’s hard to get away from it when you’re tapping into it. It’s a good place to be, it’s a healthy addiction. It's something that I cherish, it has always been a part of me. Having that ability to workout. I appreciate that.
2) What sport(s) / sports activity(ies) do you practice regularly?
I guess it’s mostly weight training, weight lifting, but when I’m on the road, I usually use my body weight. I'm not bringing any weight or anything with me, but I try to do as much as possible with my own body weight. And I do a lot of hiking when I'm at home, I really got into that during the pandemic. Those are the two things I primarily like to do. I’m a big guy, naturally, so if I start lifting weights, I get huge very fast! And that’s actually what I’m trying not to be. I’m trying to have slim muscle mass, just because it feels better on stage, I feel more comfortable in that frame
3) What does it bring you as a musician and in your everyday life?
As a musician I want to be the best that I can be on stage and I think the training and working out that helps to bring it to a different level. There are a lot of bands I was watching when I grew up. They were Hardcore bands, Punk bands, and the bands that drew my interest were the bands that had a lot of energy and were able to move on stage and to catch the audience, and to really tap into the audience. I think it has a lot to do with the ability to be physical on stage and to be in good shape. There was always appealing to me these type of bands. On stage, I always wanted to feel that I’m in shape, not wounded, to have this energy level, to create a bigger show. It helps vocally as well. I’ve always been impressed from these musicians that take care of themselves. It shows a bit of their personality which I admire. Take care of themselves and not to be all messed up and on drugs and drunk and everything. They really care about the show, they really care about their craft, and their fans.
4) Do you listen to music when you workout, and if so, what kind?
Yes, I listen to music when I workout. I have a playlist I like to play. Doesn’t have Metal on it, it’s pop stuff from the 80’s 🙂… I don’t know why… it just gets me in the same mind set, I guess, I had when I was training with wrestling. There was always music that was going on, and it was music from that time period, the 80’s. These songs remind me of that type of motivation. It motivates me, you know. I like to mix it up. Since I’m hearing music all day, all the time, it’s nice to have that variation.
5) On tour, how do you maintain a constant level of training and a healthy lifestyle?
It’s pretty simple for me, I don’t drink alcohol, so it helps a lot with staying very healthy and having a lot of energy. I’m a vegan. I have been practicing for many years. I stopped eating meat when I was fifteen, so I believe that helps a lot, and keeping the energy level up, and being able to be on stage. On the road I usually do the basics like push ups and sit ups, very simple sets that I repeat over and over. I like to do this before the show, in the midday, because it gives me more energy actually for the show instead of sitting around. I have the blood flowing and going so for me it just works out. It's almost like two workouts in a day : before the show AND the show! It’s a different workout with the show, the body movement and being on stage… It's really great. I started that on this tour consistently and it really helps so much. I do my workout routine everyday.
6) Do you have any sport / health / nutrition advice or tips to share with us?
Yes, I’ve always been pushing a plant-based lifestyle that I think can change a lot of people's lives. It's also the future. The way that we’re going now as a society has to change. It's inevitable. It will change because It’s not sustainable. The methods and the processes that we use to create our food, it’s ridiculous in a lot of ways, and a lot of people are not educated in that. For me, it’s important for people to know about this, to know about what they’re putting in their bodies, to know where they’re putting the money to buy these products.
I have a show that I’ve been working on for the past few years called “Highway To Health” and it’s with another musician who plays bass with Whitesnake. Her name is Tanya O’Callaghan, she’s from Ireland. We decided to do the show by traveling around the world, then talking to people, meeting different chefs and different types of people who are involved in a plant-based lifestyle. The idea is also to answer questions that people might have, who are thinking about changing their diet or changing their lifestyle. They don't necessarily have to become vegans, but it’s great to have those options available to them and to know about it. We recorded one season, and we are pushing for a second season. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/@derricktanyashighwaytohealth We have special guests like Paulo Jr. from Sepultura, Kevin Smith, Kat Von D, Moby, MMA fighters, UFC fighters … a wide range of different people.
It’s really to talk about the highway to health, it’s not necessary only for vegans, it’s for people who don’t want to be preached to, but who want to hear great conversations and learn something. It’s such an important aspect of our life what we are eating and with all the propaganda all around for bad food, and really processed food, it’s key to be aware of how it works. You can see how it has a connection with every aspect of our society, as far as the US where the majority of the people are very overweight. They have been sick for a long time. What’s more, when you have a Covid pandemic, you have a lot more people dying because of a bad general state of health. I think that this is something that should have been talked about with government agencies, like “Hey, this is the time to really take care of your health, and eat better!”.
7) What is your current news?
2022 has been a really incredible year with a lot of events. For 2023, we plan on touring on our latest album “Quadra”. We have a lot of festivals still to do, and a whole round of touring again in the US, South America, Europe… That's the plan.