Jean Dolabella On Leaving Sepultura: 'I Was Raising a Flag That Wasn't Mine'

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Felipe Vieira
Jean Dolabella

If you’ve watched the documentary Sepultura: Endurance, about the band Sepultura, you’ve seen the moment the drummer Jean Dolabella quit the group. He was responsible for filling the space left by Iggor Cavalera, one of the brothers who started the band.

Dolabella played in Sepultura for five years and couldn’t stand being away from his family and how hectic the Sepultura tours were.

“I was raising a flag that wasn’t mine. I took over someone," he told Billboard Brazil. "And there are the other sides of the story, other stuff."

Now, he is the drummer and guitarist for the band Ego Kill Talent.

Read the interview here:

Ego Kill Talent has a short career, but it has already played on many festivals. Is it part of the band’s strategy or did it happen naturally?

Everything happened quite naturally. I met up with Theo [Van Der Loo, guitar and bass] while he was the artistic director for the SWU festival, and I had just left Sepultura. I wasn’t doing anything, so I invited him to a jam session, as friends … just for fun, but at the same time we were doing something nice. Then Raphael [Miranda, drums and bass] showed up, he plays the drums as well. Until when we started to write our songs. It wasn’t meant to be a project, but the chemistry was too strong.

How did the idea become a reality?

We started to talk about ego. Theo was dealing with the egos of the artists who were playing in SWU. I used to be part of one of the biggest metal bands in the world … then we searched for a vocalist. We recorded with John Dolmayan, from System of a Down -- he’s friends with Theo, and he suggested this guy from Las Vegas. We wanted to expand the coverage. But Theo already knew Jonathan [Correa, ex-Reação em Cadeia] for a long time so we invited him. Niper Boaventura [guitar and bass] completes the band.

You’ve played Lollapalooza, Atlântida, Maximus -- that’s quite a list with big stages for a new band.

It started out casual, but as soon as we realized it was going to happen, this festival thing became a strategy. We got together, analyzed each other’s networking ... I’ve played on hundreds of festivals, Jonathan has played Atlântida more than 10 times with Reação em Cadeia. So, it makes sense we are playing them today. And then, of course, there’s our music. In the industry, it isn’t just about knowing the right people. A lot of bands know the same people we do and aren’t there.

The Sepultura documentary focuses a lot on you because it shows you leaving the band. Have you watched the final cut? What did you think?

Actually, I haven’t watched the final cut yet, but I got an invitation for this. The documentary is told from the perspective of the director and Sepultura. In the context that they show me, it wasn’t only about being away from home and family. I had problems with the manager; it wasn’t positive. I was raising a flag that wasn’t mine, you know? I started playing with them after they’d been together for 20 years. I took over for someone. There are other sides, other stuff that wasn’t told on the documentary. And it’s the band’s story, not mine. In this moment, I’m going through it, but with Ego Kill Talent ... it’s different dealing with it your family by your side and with something that was created by you. It’s all new and different from what was going on at that moment. No hard feeling, there was no fight ... that’s it. And if today we sing in English, if we want to tour Europe or the United States … I know I’ll have people closer to me and I’ll be able to take a breath.