ILL NINO have hit back at former guitarist Marc Rizzo over his assertion that the band use backing tapes during their live performances and that he gave the group's lead singer, Cristian Machado, a "beatdown" after Machado allegedly "talked shit" about Rizzo's current band, SOULFLY, from the stage while on tour as the support act for SOULFLY.
In a recent interview with Metalrage.com, Rizzo had the following to say regarding his much-publicized conflict with his former bandmates: "Basically, what happened, I left the band.. Well, you know.. I'm into playing music, I'm not into faking music. When ILL NINO goes on stage every night, they play to a tape. So when you go to their show they play to a tape. What you hear is actually me playing, the tracks I've recorded for the albums. So that been said, we (SOULFLY) brought them out on tour with us in America, and the singer went on stage talking shit about us. So after the show I jacked him. I just gave him fucking beatdown, you know.
"It's all about respect. Especially if you're a band that gets up on stage, and you fake what you do, and you don't even play it for real. That means putting your instrument through an ampliflier and have music coming out. If you don't do that, you should say nothing about someone else. Then you should be happy you've got a record deal and be quiet. Don't go talk shit about other bands that don't fake. When SOULFLY gets up on stage it's real. When you see me and Max playing, that's what you hear.
"This is metal, you know, rock. You're not supposed to fake it. If you want to fake music, you should go join a boy-pop group, and lip-synch on stage and shit. Not in rock and metal, that's not real."
Responding to Rizzo's remarks, ILL NINO posted the following statement on their official web site:
"We'll say this ONCE! This is very immature of Marc Rizzo, but this one time we can't help but lower ourselves to his standards. Let's set the record straight as to why Marc Rizzo left ILL NINO. This will better explain his bitterness and jealousy towards the band he wishes he was still in...
"Rizzo, with his wannabe-tough-boy attitude and his big mouth, thought he was going to change the face of music with a new band he then called CORE-TEZ, but failed miserably. His attempt to recreate ILL NINO came up short, and sounded more like an ILL NINO cover band. Rizzo couldn't even strike an indie deal, and this left him even more frustrated. This left him with no choice but to join SOULFLY as a hired punk, who only receives a menial paycheck and nothing else. If Rizzo feels that strongly about being a real hater, then he should stop cashing in his ILL NINO royalty checks...but I guess he needs ILL NINO's money.
"As for ILL NINO playing to tape, we run sample tracks live because we have samples and keyboards on our albums. Many bands run samples live — ROB ZOMBIE, STATIC-X, FEAR FACTORY, LINKIN PARK, and OZZY [OSBOURNE], all run samples live, just to name a few. For a band he claims is 'fake,' we're doing better after Rizzo's departure. ILL NINO's 'Confession' has sold over 400,000 copies worldwide, outselling our debut 'Revolution..Revolucion', which sold 320,000 worldwide.
"As for Rizzo claiming that he put a beating on Cristian, someone should wake him the fuck up and tell him the truth. Rizzo got knocked around so much he must have experienced a loss of memory. You got lumped the fuck up, kid. Let's not forget that the blood pouring from his face was not Cristian's...it was from Rizzo's bloody lip and cut up eye.
"No one in ILL NINO talked negatively about SOULFLY or its members, but he had to start this shit once again. If you talk shit about NINO, you talk about all 6 members, not just one.
"Don't forget where you came from, or what got you where you are now, stop crying already!!!"