SEPULTURA’s ANDREAS KISSER Reflects On A Humiliating Family Incident That Prompted Him To Stop Drinking Alcohol

Andreas Kisser 2019
Photo credit : Marcos Hermes

Despite Andreas Kisser‘s long-standing struggle with alcohol addiction, the SEPULTURA guitarist is now clean. However, this sobriety comes after experiencing the detrimental effects of alcohol abuse.

During a recent appearance on Sonoros Podcast, Andreas reflected on a situation where he ended up making a spectacle of himself at a gathering at his brother-in-law’s residence. This incident served as the catalyst that prompted him to quit alcohol consumption.

Andreas said (as transcribed by Whiplash and translated to English from Portuguese via Google Translate): “Before the pandemic, I went to my brother-in-law’s house with my family. The closest ones were present and it all started out calmly, with some people enjoying whiskey. However, something changed inside me. Uncontrollably, I started to act out of control. Aggressively: I kicked the dog and badmouthed everyone, including my brother-in-law and Patrícia [Andreas‘ late wife who passed away last year after a battle with cancer]. It is worth mentioning that the attacks were verbal, not physical, of course. The atmosphere turned horrible, turning into a typical drunken fight at the end of week.

“People dispersed, seeking refuge in different corners or even walking home,” he continued. “It was then that I started to reflect on myself, realizing how alcohol influenced all my decisions. From choosing a family travel destination to deciding where to dine, alcohol seemed to be in control. It got to the point where I refused to go to Disney with my family simply because there wouldn’t be any beer there. It seemed normal at the time, but later I realized how foolish I had been.

“Talking to myself, I realized that I was allowing alcohol to determine my choices while neglecting precious moments with my family and the people I love most,” Andreas added. “I blamed myself, calling myself an idiot and an imbecile. I decided that I would no longer be a slave to alcohol . It was a promise I made to myself in that moment: never to drink again.”

In a 2021 interview with RockSverige, Andreas first revealed his decision to stop drinking alcohol. He said at the time: “I quit alcohol almost a year and a half ago now, and I feel clearer.”

When 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 musician responded: “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.”

“It was very clear once I realized I was a slave to alcohol, which path I had to follow,” he continued. “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.”

“Alcohol is very dangerous, but like I said, I like drinking.”