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Celebrating the cult: Max Cavalera on his retrospective ‘Return to roots’ tour


2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the legendary Sepultura album ‘Roots’. To celebrate the album which has a cult status among the metal community, Max and Igor Cavalera went on the special ‘Return to roots’ tour and played ‘Roots’ in its entirety.

LuxByNight: Hi, Max. How is the tour going so far? How did fans react to your setlist, dominated by the album 'Roots'?

Max: Oh, it's been very good, very powerful, very exciting. We did a lot of shows in America, some festivals, and then we had a few gigs in Europe. The set is really exciting, really powerful, we are playing all the songs from the album and then some surprises towards the end of the show.

LuxByNight: How did you come up with the idea for the 'Return to roots' tour? Was it planned for the 20th anniversary of the album or was it a spontaneous idea?

Max: That was just a coincidence, it happened to be the 20th anniversary of the album. My wife Gloria came up with this idea, she's managing us. I was playing ‘Roots’ with Igor in London. She saw the crowd going nuts and she thought it would be good for us to play this record entirely, from beginning to the end. You know, with the original drums and the original voice, I think this is what the fans want to hear.

It turned out to be a great idea. Me and Igor worked on it for the fans, we thought of how the fans would like to see and hear this. It's done from the heart, I think that's the right way to do it, and I think that's why it's so successful.

LuxByNight: If you think from the fans perspective, is it possible to make anniversary tours dedicated to ‘Beneath the Remains’ or ‘Arise’, or for your other albums as well?

Max: Yes, I think so, I hope so. We think those albums were also very important, and judging by the success of this experiment, it was really good. I don't see why not to do it. Now we saw a lot of fans who were not even born when ‘Roots’ came out and they loved the show. And the old fans who were there before also came to the show. During those shows you could feel a lot of emotion in the air. I have other projects, you know, Soufly, Killer be killed, Cavalera Conspiracy… and we'll have to wait, but eventually I think we will do more of this.

LuxByNight: When ‘Roots’ came out in the mid-90s it was a very different album for Sepultura, it was something new and it caught by surprise a lot of the old-school fans. Do you think Sepultura was influenced by some of the nu metal bands like Korn for example, or it was the other way around - Sepultura was an influence to a lot of bands with this album?

Max: Well I think it started before, bands like Korn and Deftones were very influenced by stuff like "Chaos A.D." and "Arise", they said so themselves. They were big fans of Sepultura. What I think is cool with influence, and it happened then and it still happens now, is that for me as a fan of music, I'm influenced by everything around me, everything I listen to. At that time I have to say I was listening to some Deftones, some Korn and the idea for down-tuning the guitars did come from listening to the first Korn album. Throughout the years I've been listening to a lot of bands and I've always thought it's great to be influenced by other bands and other bands to be influenced by you. Everybody is connected in the metal world. And I think it's great, I love that. It's the beautiful think about metal, everyone helps each other and influences each other.

LuxByNight: As 2016 is coming to an end, are there any albums which made a special impression on you, that came out this year?

Max: Yes, there were a couple. Gojira’s ‘Magma’ was a good one, Full of Hell and The Body, I also liked the new Dilinger Escape Plan. Some of the new black metal like Abbath and also Infernal War from Poland. This is some of the stuff I've been listening to lately.

Nick Todorov