Watch Sepultura and their fans lay waste to a British TV studio in 1993


Metal and mainstream TV rarely mixed well in the 80s and 90s. Fans and bands alike were mocked, patronised, ignored or held up as emissaries of Satan (granted, that last one might have been true in some cases).

Cult late-night British TV show The Word was an exception. During its early 90s heyday, it gave airtime to the likes of Rage Against The Machine, who inspired a stage invasion, and L7, whose singer Donita Sparks memorably appeared naked from the waist down.

But one of the greatest performances came from Sepultura. The Brazalian band were promoting the single Refuse/Resist, from their 1993 album Chaos AD, and the Max Cavalera-fronted line-up were at the peak of their powers. If the powers-that-be wanted carnage, they’d get carnage.

The show’s producers couldn’t quite stop themselves from taking the tired old ‘metal fans are animals’ tack. They’d bussed in a bunch of Seps fans, only to put 'em in a fairly ropy-looking metal cage, cos, uh, people who like metal hang out in cages. 

Still, as this 29-year-old video proves, it was worth the wait. After host Dani Behr unlocked the cage to let the feral horde free, Sepultura exploded into Refuse/Resist and all hell broke loose. 

What followed was basically the inside of a small club transported to a TV studio. Bodies flew, hair windmilled and the stage was invaded, while some crazed TV director decided to add to the carnage by projecting psychdelic lava lamp images on the wall behind the band.

It helped that Sepultura were absolutely on fire. It might have been a sterile TV studio packed out with a regular Friday night crowd who weren’t entirely sure what they were watching, but Max and co play it like they absolutely do not give a shit about anything other than the people right in front of them. “Fuck shit up!” he roars at one point, which is the definition of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Their performance on The Word didn’t kick Sepultura to the next level – it went out after the pubs had closed so its audience was either completely shitfaced, utterly baffled or both. But it did rubber-stamp them as hands-down the most exciting breakout metal band of the year. Nearly three decades on, they're still sweeping up the debris in that studio.

Dave Everley

Dave Everley has been writing about and occasionally humming along to music since the early 90s. During that time, he has been Deputy Editor on Kerrang! and Classic Rock, Associate Editor on Q magazine and staff writer/tea boy on Raw, not necessarily in that order. He has written for Metal Hammer, Louder, Prog, the Observer, Select, Mojo, the Evening Standard and the totally legendary Ultrakill. He is still waiting for Billy Gibbons to send him a bottle of hot sauce he was promised several years ago.