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Max Cavalera: I should've kept Sepultura name, fired 'two a-holes'

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 7:22 AM PT
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The history of Sepultura is extensive and well-documented, but can be summarized quickly: Brazilian metal band releases several classic albums (a few of which went Gold), however, frontman quits, and the band begins decline, both in popularity and relevance.

Max Cavalera exited Sepultura in 1997. This happened when the band was at its commercial peak, on the heels of their Roots album. The group was never the same, and while some may argue that its current incarnation is still churning out quality metal, there's no denying that from a commercial perspective, the band is a shell of its former self (their last album sold only 1,800 copies in the U.S. in its first week). It should be noted that Sepultura's viability without Max Cavalera was further damaged in 2006, when Max's brother Igor quit the band, leaving guitarist Andreas Kisser and bassist Paulo Jr. to carry on as the heart of Sepultura.

Max Cavalera went on to have significant success with Soulfly and, to a lesser degree, several other bands. However, his decision to depart Sepultura probably wasn't the savviest of business moves. That fact isn't lost on Cavalera in 2016. In a recent interview with Metal Insider, Cavalera laments his approach, but explains that the band's 20th anniversary Roots tour with Igor is a "happy ending":

"Well, looking back now, it was a really hard time in my life, a very difficult period, because I never thought I was going to leave the band. For the first month I didn't even want to play anymore, I was like, 'I'm done with this.' I just wanted to get high and get drunk and not give a fuck. But then, little by little I started writing some stuff and it started coming out again, and it was cool, because it carried the same elements as what I had been doing before. The riffs, structures, choruses, all of that was very similar. But, it was a difficult time and I'm glad it's over – I'd never want to go back to that time. A lot of people really liked the first Soulfly album, a lot of people say it's their favorite. Maybe that's because there was a little bit of desperation on that record (laughs). It's kind of like you lost everything and had to start again with what you have.

"Sepultura was really close to my heart, it was like my baby. Now, after all this time passed and I think about it, Iggor and I should have just fired those two assholes and kept the name; why we didn't do that, I don't know. At that time we didn't have the vision to do it, so I just quit. That's why I think this tour is so special, because I get to go back to that time to an album where I was very much involved with the ideas of the album – those were almost all of my own ideas, so Roots is very close to my heart. Now, 20 years later, to go back and do this with Iggor again is amazing – it's the best thing to come out of this story. It's a happy ending, even though we had to go through all that hardship to get to where we are now."

You can read move of the interview with Cavalera here.


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