Max Cavalera (SEPULTURA, SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, KILLER BE KILLED) spoke to Pollstar about the "Return To Roots" North American tour with his brother Igor Cavalera (drums) during which they are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of SEPULTURA's classic album "Roots" by performing the LP in its entirety.
"We actually couldn't really practice because Igor broke his ankle, like, ten days before the tour started," Max said. "So, that was bad. … We had rehearsal set up but he couldn't do it, so we ended up canceling that. But he's okay. His ankle is better now. They put him in a cast for ten days and so now he's off the cast. So … as we say in our world, we wing it. [Laughs] Trial by fire. We went on with what we knew … Everybody knows their parts. Get in there and do it."
He continued: "I think the energy is more important in this kind of music. It's not really about playing exactly perfect like the CD. That's more for a band like RUSH. For SEPULTURA, it was always about the energy and the vibe. And we have that with us. The energy is there, the vibe is there. The show is really cool now because we are playing everything, including 'Lookaway' and 'Itsári', which is the Indian song. So it's full on… It goes on for about an hour and five minutes, which is the length of the record, without 'Canyon Jam'. And 'Canyon Jam', we use that for walk-out music when people are leaving the venue. So it's a full experience of the record, which is great."
Regarding how fans have been reacting so far to the tour, Max said: "Aw, really great. You know, like they sing [along to] all the biggest songs and the other stuff they kind of just watch, which is really interesting, like 'Lookaway' and 'Itsári'. They just really pay attention. They're really watching everything. The album also has dynamics, which I think is cool. It's not only one tempo. It changes. You have some songs that are like more groove… 'Endangered Species' is almost like doom metal and 'Dictatorshit' is more like hardcore, punk hardcore. 'Spit' is more punk hardcore. So there's all these different vibes going throughout the whole show. I think the fans really enjoy that. We're giving 1,000 percent every night. I told Igor we are here to conquer them and show them why this record was so important 20 years ago, to do justice to the album. So we have to go out there and give 1,000 percent every night. And we are doing that and it feels great."
Asked if he keeps in touch with his old bandmates from SEPULTURA — Paulo Xisto Pinto Jr. or Andreas Kisser — and whether there was a conversation about them going out to do this tour, Max said: "Nah, nah. We just did it. I mean, we don't really keep in touch. It's really kind of a separate world of what we live in and what they live in. We just decided to do it because it was me and Igor because we were there from the beginning and we think it's really cool for the fans to see that we are doing this. I mean, I don't think there will ever be a reunion, so I think this is the closest to a reunion [laughs] that we'll ever get to see."
"Roots", along with 1993's "Chaos A.D.", is considered SEPULTURA's most commercially successful release, having been certified gold in 2005 by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) for U.S. shipments in excess of 500,000 copies.
In 1996, Max exited SEPULTURA after the rest of the band fired Max's wife Gloria as their manager.
Igor left SEPULTURA in June 2006 due to "artistic differences." His departure from the band came five months after he announced that he was taking a break from SEPULTURA's touring activities to spend time with his second wife and their new son (who was born in January 2006).