Former ILL NINO and current SOULFLY guitarist Marc Rizzo has hit back at ILL NINO 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 [See previous BLABBERMOUTH.NET stories: Story#1, Story#2]. Rizzo's latest missive reads as follows:
"So once again ILL NINO is lying and manipulating the truth to make themselves look like the good guys in front of their fans.
"Since I left the band, there has been nothing but lies said about me in interviews.
"When I first quit, I left on what I had considered good terms. I was happy to be out of the band and had no interest in bad-mouthing anyone in interviews. The truth is I even wrote songs on 'Confessions' — this after I had all ready quit the band. I'd work twelve- to fifteen-hour days recording that record and then go to another studio to work on my instrumental record. The point is, I had no bad feelings and was asked by Roadrunner Records and producer Bob Marlette (producer of 'Confessions') to help the band out and record. While I was there, no one had a bad thing to say to my face. Why would anyone? I'm there recording their record? This is where all the cowardly shit-talking truly started.
"After the record came out, I'm hearing from people and reading in articles that I had nothing to do with the record as well as a lot of negative things being said about me and Roger [former ILL NINO percussionist Roger Vasquez]. Next thing you know, there is a song apparently on 'Confessions' about me and Roger. Mind you, I played on that song and contributed to that song. That is an act of cowardice in and of itself.
"If anyone had anything negative to say to me, wouldn't the man thing to do [be to] say something to my face and not hide behind a song? The band had two weeks in the studio to say something to my face and instead they picked the coward thing to do and say it in a song. How corny is it to write a song about leaving members?!?! People quit bands; get over it!
"Now, I ran into the band in Europe at a festival and figured it was Chris [Cristian Machado] who wrote this corny song about me and Roger leaving. So I went up to Chris right before we were about to take the stage and confronted him about this song. With tears in his eyes and shaking uncontrollably (that is God's honest truth), Chris told me that this song was not about me. This proves to me what a coward this guy is. You can talk like a tough guy in a song, but you don't have the balls to say it to my face. Is this what you would call a stand-up guy? I call this guy a little girl. Again, when I left, I left on what I thought were good terms, there was no reason for insults. There were a couple more interviews going around about me not contributing anything to 'Confessions'. Meanwhile, I'm letting none of this bother me at the time. I mean, why should it?
"I was having no problem cashing those ILL NINO royality checks — why would I? It was my songs. Also, I'm touring all over the world with SOULFLY and having a great time. I had nothing to complain about and was very grateful for everything I had.
"Next, we (SOULFLY) take ILL NINO out on tour with us, and honestly, even though there were lies that were circulating about me, I figured I would let it go and do my gig. I really did believe it was going to be a great tour and one that would make a lot of fans happy. But of course, in typical ILL NINO fashion, they pulled all types of rock-star shit (particular cigarettes, fat-free milk, etc...) and got themselves kicked off the tour. Now, as we already know, Chris, the big coward he is, decided to talk shit about SOULFLY members, crew and management. Naturally, he does this on stage where he can grandstand in front of an audience, but not to any of our faces. This was it for me, I had enough of all the fake and phony shit from this guy. Mind you, during this tour, I was hanging with Laz, Jardel, and Danny and things were cool. I was having a good time, but this insult was the last.
"Everyone who knows me knows the one thing I don't do is lie! This is the absolute true story of that night in Michigan!!!! As painful as it is for these guys to admit the truth, this is it!!! I ran over to their bus after the show and attacked Chris with many punches and kicks. It was then, Chris practically in tears, tried to hug me in a completely non-threatening way saying he 'doesn't want to fight' and he 'didn't mean any of the things he said on stage.' It was here when I continued to hit him and the only thing he could do was try to hug me saying he 'doesn't want to fight' and he didn't mean what he said. There was no act of fighting back from him whatsoever!!! As a matter of fact, I was thinking, 'WOW, this was easy. I just punched this dude in the face and he didn't even put up a fight.' From there someone came and got me off him. I then said, 'Let's fight. No one break this up.' But like a little girl, Chris then walked away and said he didn't mean to say everything he said on stage and clearly punked out of a fight! I then punched myself in the face in disgust of this coward and then called out the whole band for a fight, but no one answered. Any bleeding on me was completely from my own doing, I get fucking nuts and need to hit shit when I'm pissed including myself sometimes, haha. Chris didn't even touch me in any threatening way. Honestly, I can't even say it was an even fight because I never punched someone before who never fought back! Again, this shows, twice now, that this guy talks shit but does nothing to back up his words. I had all my crew guys see this and fans who can vouch for this. The whole band clearly backed out of any confrontation with me. That is the truth, but in typical ILL NINO fashion, they have to lie and cover up the truth to make them look like the good guys. After all of this, by the way, ILL NINO called the cops on me for assaulting Chris (check with the Michigan Police Dept.). As you could see, if Chris lumped me up, THEN WHY DID THE ILL NINO GUYS CALL THE COPS ON ME TO GET ME ARRESSTED? Does that make sense to anyone? The officer let me go on a warning, and in another act of cowardness, ILL NINO took off, too. I was just defending my friends and my band like any other stand-up person would do. I never gave those guys one reason to talk shit about me. Chris got what he deserved. I don't think fighting solves any problem, but how much disrespect can any honest person take? The time to talk shit about me was to my face that night in Michigan, but everyone backed out! Now, after all this, I had not yet done a interview dissing anyone ever. I never let anyone in press know why I left ILL NINO out of respect to everyone in band and I never wanted to see the band not be successful. Every time the old songs are played I get paid so why would I want to wish bad about them?
"ALTHOUGH NOW, after all the lies that have been said about me since I left, I now have no problem telling why I left. Would anyone else? The primary reason I left was because what ILL NINO does is play along to a tape machine that plays not only sound effects but also my guitar tracks from 'Revolution' and 'Confessions'. I was forced to do this and these guys still do it! In other words, when you see the band playing guitar, what you're hearing is me playing. When Ahrue [Luster] walks up to that acoustic (and actually I do think he is good enough of a guitarist to not have to do this) guitar, what you're hearing is me playing guitar. It's like lip-synching. I'm an honest person and pride myself on being an honest human being. I don't believe in faking playing guitar. ILL NINO's electric and acoustic guitars are on tape and actually I don't know of anyone who does that out there besides ILL NINO. Some bands have effects on tape, and I think that is fine, but when you are lip-synching guitar, that is dishonest and you are lying to your fans!! When we first started, we didn't do all this, but by the time we hit the road for 'Revolution', it was in full effect. It was then I made up my mind that I was going to leave the band if it didn't change. Well, guess what — it never changed, so I left. We don't do this in SOULFLY and I'm very happy where I am now. If all the dishonest things that were said about me were never said, then I wouldn't be letting people know why I REALLY left ILL NINO. The shit-talking all started on their end because egos were bruised when I left. ILL NINO are scared as shit of their audience finding this out. In fact, I recall Laz and Jardel joking with me on the SOULFLY tour that technically I'm still playing with the band every night because those tapes consist of my guitar tracks recorded from 'Revolution' and 'Confessions'. It's amusing, because often I wonder if I should get paid for playing shows with them because you see them, but you're hearing me! Of course, ILL NINO will deny this, but ask anyone who has toured with them any band that has been on the road with them also knows this and they will tell you the truth!! ILL NINO has constantly talked lies about me for no reason. If they didn't, then that very embarrassing night for them in Michigan would never have happened and I wouldn't have uncovered all this. They brought this upon themselves. I looked out for every one in that band when I was in it and out of it. There was never any reason for talking shit about me. After all the lies that have been said about me, I don't feel wrong for telling the truth now to why I left. Am I wrong to defend my friends when things that aren't true about them are said? The truth is ILL NINO lies to their fans and to everyone else! Don't bring me into your lies!
"About CORE-TEZ failing… Roger and CORE-TEZ are doing great and I'm so happy in SOULFLY and my instrumental career (which just got signed to a major label itself). Roger and I both decided that we wanted to do different things. It never failed and we'll be hearing good things from CORE-TEZ soon. The past two years in SOULFLY have been the best of my life!
"ILL NINO, REALLY, ENOUGH OF THE LIES!"