SPITTING IN THE FACES OF TALENT SHOW JUDGES CAN LAND YOU A RECORD DEAL
Sepultura’s second ever gig was a radio station-sponsored Battle of the Bands event. They made quite an impression. “We’re Sepultura, fuck you all!” Max announced upon taking the stage. “Stick it up your ass if you don’t like it!” The judges promptly cut off his mic. Somewhat miffed, Max then approached the head judge and spat in her face. A huge brawl duly ensued. Backstage, the band were approached by the owner of Cogumelo records, who promptly offered them a record deal. “The spirit of rock ‘n’ roll is in you guys!” he gushed.
MAX ONCE CAVED IN A GUY’S HEAD WITH A ROCK AFTER BEING CALLED A ‘POSER’.
Max Cavalera takes heavy metal very seriously indeed. Questioning his commitment to the cause is a very bad idea, as one mouthy young man learned to his cost in the mid ‘80s. “You’re a fucking poser,” he informed Max. “Your music is fake.” Oh dear.
“I grabbed a rock that was on the ground and destroyed his head with it,” Max recalls. “It opened right up, with blood gushing everywhere. My shoes were totally covered in his blood when I got home. I remember…thinking “Shit. How is that guy still alive?”
MAX AND IGGOR’S MOTHER DATED A STRIP CLUB-OWNING BOLIVIAN DRUG LORD
Following the sudden death of her husband Graziano, Max and Iggor’s father, in 1979, Vania Cavalera dated only sporadically. One short-lived boyfriend turned out to be a gun-toting Bolivian drug lord, who made quite an impression upon her teenage sons. “He asked us if we had any enemies or anyone we wanted to get rid of…” Max recalls. “He said ‘Anybody fucks with you, you tell me.‘”
MAX ONCE PUKED ON EDDIE VEDDER
While supporting Ministry on their 1992 Psalm 69 tour, Sepultura were often invited to party with Al Jourgensen and friends. Once such gathering occurred following a show in Seattle, when members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam dropped by to say ‘Hi’ to the headliners. The excitement of the evening rather got the better of Max, however, who puked over Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder after drinking neat rum. Vedder graciously brushed off the accident, and remained charm personified when Max subsequently asked him to sign an autograph for his sister.
METAL SHOWS IN INDONESIA ARE INTENSE
In the summer of 1992 Sepultura played Indonesia for the first time, drawing a crowd of 40,000 metalheads to Jakarta’s Stadion Lebak Bulus. When the crowd got a little over-excited, the PA was immediately cut, and armed policemen beat the crowds with huge bamboo sticks until the entire crowd sat down in complete silence. “The whole place was completely silent, like a fucking church.” Max remembers. “It wasn’t the same show anymore.” No shit.
SEPULTURA HAD NO IDEA THEIR LAST EVER SHOW WAS BEING RECORDED FOR A LIVE ALBUM
On December 16, 1996 Sepultura closed out the European leg of their Roots world tour with a sold-out show at London’s Brixton Academy. That same night, they broke up. Unbeknown to the band, Roadrunner Records had decided to record the show without telling them or their manager, Max’s wife Gloria. A live album of the gig, Under A Pale Grey Sky, finally emerged in 2002.
AFTER RECORDING THE FIRST SOULFLY ALBUM, MAX BURIED THE MASTER TAPES IN THE GROUND BEFORE HANDING THEM OVER TO HIS RECORD COMPANY
Yes, you read that correctly.
“I must have been tripping on something that day..” Max admits, “but I thought that Soulfly needed to be blessed by the earth for a day. We dug them up a day later in a cool ceremony. We all had shovels, and I said ‘The tapes are coming back from the grave!‘”
GLORIA CAVALERA WAS TIPPED OFF IN ADVANCE ABOUT THE 9⁄11 BOMBINGS
On the morning of September 11, 2001 Gloria Cavalera received a voice message on her mobile phone from a man with an Arabic accent. He spoke about how New York was going to fall, and there were going to be dead bodies. Two hours later, American Airlines flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center’s North Tower. “It was a spooky fucking message,” Max recalls, with some understatement.
MAX STOPPED DRINKING IN 2006 AFTER BEING ARRESTED FOR SHOPLIFTING VODKA
Always a big drinker, Max decided in 2006 that he needed to change his ways, after being arrested for shoplifting a bottle of vodka from a supermarket. “If you’re stealing vodka from stores, you’ve got a problem,” he notes, not unreasonably.
MAX’S NEW BAND KILLER BE KILLED IS GOING TO SLAY
Recorded in September 2013, the ten track debut album from Killer Be Killed – which sees Max teaming up with Greg Puciato from the Dillinger Escape Plan, Troy Sanders from Mastodon and ex-Mars Volta drummer Dave Elitch – is set to be the latest release in Max’s storied career. “Mastodon and Dillinger Escape Plan fans are going to be really into it,” Max promises. We can’t wait.
‘My Bloody Roots: from Sepultura to Soulfly and beyond’, written by Max Cavalera with Joel McIver, is published by Jawbone Press on April 15, 2014. Buy it here (opens in new tab).