Inspirations: Max Cavalera

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What made you want to be a musician?

Early on I wanted to be a soccer player. And then Queen came to Brazil in 1981. That show changed my life. It took place at my soccer team’s stadium, so it was very familiar but, with all the lights and stuff, totally different. Next day I went out and bought Live Killers on cassette and my brother bought Alive II by Kiss and we listened to them non-stop.

Was there much home-grown inspiration?

International bands came maybe once a year. I wanted to see Kiss but my mum thought they were satanic and wouldn’t let me go. There were some local bands, including Overdose, who later recorded a split album with Sepultura, and another from Rio called Dorsal Atlântica.

How did you get your first guitar?

By saving money from shitty jobs. It was a piece of shit. I brought it home, played it and waited for that Black Sabbath-style sound and nothing happened. So I took it back to the store and the guy said: “Well, you’re going to need a lead, an amplifier and a distortion pedal.” I had no idea.

Are great musicians born, or nurtured?

You can develop to a certain extent, but ability is born within. I always say that I have a gift to write angry songs, just like The Beatles had a gift to write love songs.

Did going to the jungle to record with the Xavante tribe for Sepultura’s 1996 album Roots affect the way you write music?

Not really. But it was a bizarre experience. Spending three days recording with them was just fantastic because it was going back to the roots of Brazilian music.