1)- Thank you so much for answering our interview. How did the idea of rereleasing the 1989 «Rotting» EP arise?
Manu “Joker”: Greetings to all! I really cannot say … But it probably came from the Cogumelo and Greyhaze crews. I’m actually quite far from these decisions (laughs).
2)- As I have just said, this album dates back to 1989; a cult album into the underground 80’s scene. Maybe due to the new technologies and the easy access to albums, have you noticed an increasing demand more on this release than any of your other ones?
Manu “Joker”: The new generation has been discovering more and more about the metal scene of Brazil, especially as it relates to the bands from the 80’s that are the best known. If you like extreme metal it is inevitable not to know Sarcófago and Rotting, of course. I particularly think it’s a great album.
3)- Tell us a bit about this opus; what did it represent back in its day and what do you think it represents now?
Manu “Joker”: Rotting is a transition between two important stages in the band. It is so extreme as INRI but it also has more variety. It’s got much of the original sound but with more thrash and hardcore moments. We also used some keyboards and backing vocals. I think it is a provocative and defiant album and also defined Wagner as a riff maker. It is the only Sarcofago album done as a trio and represents the rebirth of the band after a two year Hiatus.
4)- The cover artwork also has its charm. You had some trouble back in the day. How did you come up with this idea for this cover?
Manu “Joker”: The concept came from Wagner and we decided to call Kelson Frost from the band Gothic Vox to create the art. He did a great job certainly and is a very nice person. He told us he did not feel very good about painting the figure of Christ, so he removed the crown of thorns from the painting. So, the guy rotting in cover could really be anyone, maybe a long-haired hippie? (laughs)
5)- Listening to the album we can notice the influences of bands such as early SEPULTURA, BATHORY, HELLHAMMER or VENOM. Were these your influences when it came to create this release?
Manu “Joker”: Bathory, Hellhammer and Venom are seminal references to Sarcófago. Both me, Wagner and Gerald loved these bands since the beginning. Regarding Sepultura i can say that they are also part of my musical background too. But I think Wagner and Gerald will have different opinions about it (laughs). Considering that Wagner was one of the founders of Sepultura he has a connection with the initial sound of that band. But I think that in 1989 the two bands were in very distinct musical moments. I remember that in addition to the bands you mention, Wagner and I listened to a lot of crossover bands like Cryptic Slaughter, D.R.I. S.O.D. etc…. Gerald has always been a more hard rock / traditional heavy metal guy.
6)- Do you consider «Rotting» the perfect SARCOFAGO’s release?
Manu “Joker”: I think the word «perfection» does not apply to this band (laughs). In my view Sarcófago released 3 classic albums , and Rotting is certainly one of them besides being my favorite.
7)- Talking about the album and now that I have the chance of interviewing you, and in order to let people know a little bit more about you; I would like to tell us the history of the band. How did SARCOFAGO born?
Manu “Joker”: The band was born like many other rock bands in the world: kids playing in a garage. Earlier they had another singer and made a type of heavy rock sound. The song “Satanas” was made at that time and initially had Portuguese lyrics, with an obviously less extreme sound. When Wagner left Sepultura and joined the band (around 86) Sarcofago began to sound more extreme. With Wagner, Gerald, Zeder «Butcher» and Eduardo “DD Crazy” they really made the band the world has come to know. They recorded two demos, a classic compilation (Warfare Noise) with another drummer, and the first full-length INRI.
8)- You are hailing from Brasil, a land that gave birth to cult bands during the 80’s, such as SEPULTURA, RATOS DE PORAO, DORSAL ATLANTICA and so on. How was the 80’s scene in Brasil? Did you coincide with these bands in any occasion?
Manu “Joker”: Yes, we met those bands sometimes. The scene was very strong throughout the country and especially in Minas Gerais, we were always on the road. Regarding Sepultura and Ratos De Porão, those two bands have never been friends with Sarcófago for sure. About Dorsal Atlântica we never had any problems but did not have close contact either. Currently I am a friend of Carlos “Vândalo” (Guitar and Vocals for Dorsal Atlantica) and my current band Uganga has played some festivals with Sepultura and Ratos De Porão. I’d say the closest bands to Sarcófago were Sextrash, Witchhammer, Cirrhosis, Angel Butcher, Insulter ,Holocausto and Overdose.
9)- Your first full-length album was «INRI», in 1987. Tell us about this album, for me another kick ass opus. What are your thoughts on this first albums and what doors did it open for the band?
Manu “Joker”: Despite not having played in INRI, I can say that it is the most important album of the band. This album took the name of Sarcófago to the world. It is a machine of destruction that influenced bands around the planet for sure. Satanic Lust has one of the best riffs from the entire Brazilian scene!
10)- Then it came «Rotting», which is the release in concern and the one we have already talked about but please, tell us what were for you the differences between «INRI» and «Rotting».
Manu “Joker”: First and foremost, there was a line up change. INRI had DD Crazy on drums and Zéder “Butcher” creating riffs. In Rotting the riffs were created by Wagner except Sex, Drinks & Metal who came from Gerald. Also I came in on drums and, as you can hear on the album, my influences as a drummer are not the same as DD. As I said, in my vision INRI is a little more direct and Rotting more varied.
11)- Already in the 90’s you released three albums that, honestly, I don’t know nothing about. Tell us about these albums that were released in 1991, 1994 and 1996.
Manu “Joker”: Honestly I cannot go into details about these albums because at the time I was totally away from the band. I respect the whole discography of the band, but as I said, I think these albums a you mention are not as good as others.
12)- Then it seems you had some inactivity. What prompted this inactivity up to the date? And now that you are releasing an album, do you plan reissuing any other records?
Manu “Joker”: Well, Sarcofago ceased activities. The legacy is there for the all fans but there are no plans for a reunion. It’s nice to see this material reissued in such a nice way but things stop there … Or not… Who knows the future? (laughs)
13)- And now coming back to the present, how are the shows and touring plans? Is there anything?
Manu “Joker”: No, everything about Sarcofago is over. Each member is taking care of their own stuff, projects, family etc. On my side I’m fine with my band Uganga and working as an architect.
14)- And on a view to the future; will there be any other rerelease? With new tracks maybe? Do you have anything in mind?
Manu “Joker”: I think other reissues will surely happen. The band has a very loyal fan base so I think it might happen in the future. I do not believe there will be any
new material, however. All that Sarcofago created was either saved or discarded.
15)- That’s all from our side, our best wishes and thank you so much. Regards from Spain.
Manu “Joker”: I appreciate the opportunity to talk to our brothers from Spain. I’m still active in the underground and invite everyone to check my work as a singer in my new band Uganga. We have a new clip called «Guerra» and will soon return to Europe for the third time. See you around, saludos manos!