The following interview was conducted on Monday, July 1st between Max Cavalera and Metal Injection’s Frank Godla via phone, in an effort to clear up any confusion surrounding a potential reunion.

Frank: Max, you’re currently slaying across countries in Europe right now with Cavalera Conspiracy. I know that you basically live on tour, but how has this particular run been treating you so far?

Max: Well, this one’s been great, man. It’s been a while since I was here in Europe, especially for the festivals – the festivals are off the hook here. We just did Graspop and Tons of Rock In Norway. Graspop was crazy. Like, we played at the same time at Tool and we still had 20, 000 people watching us in a tent. It was like, ‘fuck!’

Hey, I would like to go see them, you know? It feels like it’s gonna divide the crowd, but that didn’t happen, man. We had an awesome turnout and it’s just great doing this. We’re doing the third world trilogy, playing the three albums together, which is really freaking cool because it’s even better than when you go out and play one record. It’s cool.

People love the nostalgia, man. I think we’re gonna do the same tour in the US in the beginning of next year so Americans will get a chance to check this out.

Frank: You’re out there with your brother Igor just dominating some Sepultura classics. You recently re-recorded those early Sepultura albums, Schizophrenia being the latest release.

Max: Fuck yeah, man. We’re gonna catch some shit with this one.

Frank: But now everyone is going to ask like, ‘What else are they gonna do? Are they gonna do Chaos A.D and Roots?

Max: Let’s pump the brakes! [laughs] I really feel these three that we did were done the right way to do it. Very honest, from the heart. You record them, you don’t really change them, you don’t need to mess around too much with them. It was good back then, it’s still good. It just needed to sound better, just needed some TLC on the playing part and the recording part, making the guitars cool because people discover stuff on it that they didn’t even realize was there. We were doing those Metallica harmonies back in the day, you know, so it’s cool to know that we actually were doing that.

Frank: Honestly the re-recordings made me realize what really came out of it, you know? Like when listening to Schizophrenia for instance. I’m like, “holy shit.” This is basically ground zero for Power Trip! It’s like they just listened to Schizophrenia over and over and basically made a band out of it. But you notice those details even more with that re-recording.

Max: I think that’s super cool. The most surprising revelation of the whole process was actually the new track “Nightmares Of Delirium” because it’s entirely new. There’s no rehash, like I didn’t have anything saved from 1987. I spent a whole week only listening to Schizophrenia on rotation non-stop. I was like getting brainwashed by this album, and then I sat down with my guitar and said, “okay I’m a teenage Max Cavalera. The record label just said we gotta put one more song on this album.” So I gotta write one more song and I put my mind into that. That state of mind as a young Max writing a brand new song for Schizophrenia and the result is mind-blowing because I think it fits the record man. It’s crazy.It’s like ‘whoa, this could have been on the record.’

It’s gonna take a little time for people to get to know the song and embrace it entirely, but I think it has all the elements in this song that people love about Schizophrenia, and it’s a brand new track. That is one of the coolest things I think about the rerecording of course. Rediscovering the album on its own also was a great journey. I realized Wow, we were ahead of our time for teenagers to be writing “Inquisition Symphony”

Frank: That’s what I’m saying. I feel like you guys were ahead of your time and I think these re-recordings are a testament to the importance of what you did then, and who you are now. You’ve always been the Max Cavalera I know, the dude who just wants to get out there and rip, raw bones.

Max: I think when talking to Arthur Rizk, the producer, Arthur was really like “this is your Ride the Lightning man” I was like, “Chill just let’s just go for it.” Like we did Morbid Visions man, because that came out great.

He was a bit more, I’m not gonna say nervous but more apprehensive. Like we cannot fuck this up. “It’s gotta stay the right way. Like, this is even more important than those other two that you just did, you know?” So I think we went with that and I think we tweaked a couple things that to me feels cooler than the original. I think it’s faster, it’s a little bit faster than the original.

There are cool things in the record. I don’t know how we did it, but the picking of the guitar and the drums are not entirely synced and that’s beautiful. It is so hard to do because if we would have synced them, it would sound great, but it would sound like a machine. It would sound like Fear Factory. It’s badass, but it’s badass for Fear Factory. It’s not machine tight and that’s the attention to detail. I actually wanted to put that on the album, like “this album has no AI at all” that’ll be really cool.

Frank: [laughs]I think bands will start doing that from now on whenever they do an album. It’ll have a sticker that says “AI FREE.” I mean, that’s some of my favorite shit about real bands like yourself – there’s this human element to what you do live, in the studio, no matter what it is. You’re just human about it.

Max: Yeah, you know it’s more about balls than being technical, it’s more about attitude than musicianship. It’s always been more about that. Although through the years we became better musicians ourselves. So now we get to apply a little bit of that, right? Of course It’s always been more about the attitude and the energy And the anger and all that more than making something perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist. It’s like we live with the non-perfect results that we get, they’re actually kind of cool. It’s hard to do it the way we did it on these recordings, But I think we managed to do it somehow.

Frank: Of all the classics that you guys have been rocking in your set list lately, what do you think is like that standout track that excites the shit out of Max Cavallera still?

Max: Right now, the Schizophrenia block just takes the whole show to another level. My favorite song that we’re playing right now is “Septic Schizo”. It’s a deep cut from Schizophrenia. We never even played that song live very much, and of course, “From The Past Comes Storms” that you know, has a triplet opening riff that has become like a trademark riff that I did back in the years, and still today. When that part hits, you can see the crowd is at attention, man. It creates this excitement in the air, but the whole set is really cool, man. We get to do an hour and a half, the best of these three records and some other stuff that we’re gonna keep changing as the tour goes by. We keep changing the end of the set, but it’s really cool, and of course we toss in some Chaos A.D.

Frank: Chaos A.D. is always going to be one of those special records to a lot of people, myself included. It’s the first Sepultura record that I heard as a kid, it’s what taught me how to play drums. It’s just that record for a lot of people.

Max: It’s cool to know that this record has such an influence and impact in metal that is still bearing fruits, man. Right after Arise we were like, “all right. What do we do now?” Like we could have made another record that sounded just like Arise and it would have been great. I think people wouldn’t mind, but we decided to do something very difficult that a lot of bands don’t have the courage to do. Which is kind of like- let go of the last record. So we let go of Arise. We embraced a whole bunch of shit. You know, all the influence that gave Chaos A.D. that kind of crazy vibe that it has.

Frank: I love that you change up what you do constantly, and I think that you hear that in those Sepultura records, but you even hear that in Soulfly going from the first record to the latest. It completely shifts and moves, it’s like a living breathing thing on its own, and I enjoy that because you’re never really gonna know what to get from Max Cavalera on the next record

Max: Having older musicians also paying tribute to this stuff is also really fucking awesome. Like doing the Sonic Temple Fest and then you know Mike Patton called me up and said “We’re doing ‘Territory’ it would be awesome if you come and sing with us” and I was like, of course i’m there already! That was a cool moment, I feel me and Patton, we had this huge connection that goes all the way back to the beginning of Faith No More. You know, they came to Brazil to tour for Angel Dust and we became real good friends and stuff, you know, he’s doing Mr. Bungle and they’re doing a tribute song from Chaos, and I get to sing with them and that was just like a classic awesome moment, man. I also saw footage of Gojira playing “Territory”.

That was really kick-ass. It’s good to know your peers, the people that that you listen to- because I’m a huge Bungle and Gojira fan myself, you know. I mean, you’re right, I keep trying to make the Soulfly records as interesting as they can too. I think this new one is really interesting. It’s going to be really interesting for many reasons, one of them being the death of my mom who passed last year. So it’s a huge thing in my life and I’m gonna dedicate the record to her.

So it’s really gonna be the most heartfelt Soulfly record ever made. Now that I have the Cavalera extreme fix pretty much satisfied, I can actually explore different things for Soulfly. A different Sonic avenue, so I think we can be more adventurous. So i’m really excited for the new Soulfly that’s probably dropping next year.

MAX CAVALERA Sets The Record Straight On A SEPULTURA Reunion, Talks About Their Breakup, His Future Plans & Much More With Metal Injection

Frank: I did want to shift gears here a bit because the name Sepultura has been talked about a lot lately across the press, because they have announced their farewell. Which in turn has seemingly put a lot of questions on you and how you feel about the end of Sepultura. First, could you give us insight into your thoughts and feelings about them calling it quits?

Max: My insight about the whole thing is I’m kind of surprised by it, you know. As far as a reunion – I wanted to reunite with my brother and that’s what he also said a long time ago when we first got together. So to me that was the real reunion, me and him, and we did that and it’s opened the doors for all these re-recordings and playing, all these records. It is so cool the way we’re doing them.

We have like an unwritten rule between me and Igor, like we’re gonna do this thing now differently than how we did it back then, because back then there was a lot of drama and stress that we didn’t like, and a lot of political stuff. So it was like, if we’re gonna do it now, we’re gonna do it for the love of it, you know for the pure enjoyment of the thing. That’s how we’ve been doing all these years, with all these tours and recordings and everything.

So for me, there’s not really a reason to go back to Sepultura. I know it would be back to more stress and stuff that I don’t really need in my life, man, and I think us playing live, and even having like Travis and Igor Amadeus with us is so badass because they connect with the younger generation. Yeah, I don’t see a need to do a reunion and I think more than ever now, especially now that they’re gonna disband. The band is done and me and Igor will get to keep doing what we want with Cavalera Conspiracy, which is Sepultura in itself.

Frank: I know that this question has been beaten to death since I think you even left the band in 1996. 

Max: [Laughs] I think it goes on record as like the question that any band has ever been asked!

Frank: [Laughs] Someone call Guinness! For decades I’ve watched that answer go from a hard “No” to what seemed like a “maybe” a few weeks ago in a new interview circulating in the press. I know that these things could be misconstrued. So I just wanted to ask definitively, to set the record straight – do you feel differently right now about a reunion and has that answer in fact changed a few degrees over the years?

Max: The more the time passes by, the more I feel that I don’t need to. Like I said, the real reunion is between myself and Igor, and I did that. It’s pure magic and amazing what we’re doing right now. You kind of have to realize if we end up doing a Sepultura reunion, it’s almost like we can’t go back to the Cavalera thing, You know? It won’t really make sense. People probably will be like “I don’t want to go watch Cavalera if they’re doing a “real” reunion. To me, I don’t want to do that because I love what we have here in Cavalera now. It’s so Bad ass. So yeah, it’s definitely out of the question.

You can ask Igor the same question. He doesn’t want to do it either. I think people can just give up, it’s not gonna happen man. It’s not gonna happen.

It had its time. You have all the videos to watch and we’re still carrying it. The spirit is with us, the spirit of the whole thing is with me and Igor right now in Cavalera. They’re gonna call it quits, they’re gonna be done and it is what it is.

We’re still here. We’re still playing. We’re still gonna celebrate all the efforts. And then who knows, later we can just do the best of the whole Max era. I don’t want to go into detail why, but it’s pretty much the same reason I left them back in ‘96. I feel the same way. It was a lot of betrayal and a lot of stuff that people don’t know about.

I think that’s where the problem arises. People are so misinformed. The first thing they do is blame Gloria. Like “oh yeah, she broke up the band”. To me, that is the craziest thing ever, because her contract was done. You know, she was pretty much done. They asked her to stay and manage me, but she didn’t want to. She even told me that I should stay in the band, but I didn’t want to either. So I told them “No, we’re not doing that”. I’m out, you know. Out by my own integrity.

And I couldn’t do the thing anymore after everything that happened with Dana and all that. So it’s like, when I see those things on the internet, people saying shit, they don’t know the whole story. It’s really easy to scapegoat one person, they just blame her for breaking up the band. But if you really ask the people that were in the know, everybody in the know knows that’s not true. That is not true. The four of us grew apart from each other.

It happens in bands all the time. And it’s just one of those things, man. I just couldn’t stay with them anymore. I had to leave, man. And then, you know, I was really missing my brother. And now I’m back with him. So now more than ever, I don’t see a reason to do a reunion.

Frank: Thank you for setting the record straight, man. I think that you are 100% correct in that the spirit and entity, everything’s alive in what you and Igor are doing. And I love watching it happen. Even events like last year’s Metal Injection Festival was such a beautiful thing to see. It was like the old days coming to life. It was amazing.

Max: We talk about that show all the time!

Frank: Oh, really?

Max; Yeah, all the time. I remember Greg from The Dillinger Escape Plan, he was on the stage. He looked at me and he goes “this is kind of unreal right now, you know? What am I watching here?”

You’re watching some real shit with us. This is organic, man. This is years and years and years of passion to record this music, put in display, you know? And on that festival, everything came to fruition. It was fucking amazing, man. The place was packed. There was an energy there that you could feel, you know?

It was an incredible, I think, one of my favorite shows of all time, by far, you know?

Frank: Wow, I’m so stoked to hear that, man. It’s always a pleasure to have you. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you, man. Again, keep the spirit alive. To me, you are Sepultura, brother.

Max: Yeah, like I say on every show, this is the real Sepultura. So people out there, if you wanna feel it, come see us play live. It’s the best it’s gonna get. Thank you for all the support through the years and everything, man.

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