Ex-SEPULTURA Drummer IGOR CAVALERA Says 'Roots' 'Was A Necessary Record' That 'Broke A Lot Of Barriers'

February 2, 2021

In a new interview with Drew Stone of The New York Hardcore Chronicles, former SEPULTURA drummer Igor "Iggor" Cavalera reflected on the group's groundbreaking 1996 album "Roots", on which he and his bandmates collaborated with the Brazilian Xavante tribe.

"We were experimenting with a bunch of stuff, and I remember I had this talk with Max [Cavalera, Igor's brother and then-SEPULTURA frontman], where we felt that there was no way to go any deeper in our roots than to do something with the Brazilian tribes," he said. "And that inspired us through the whole record — it was a whole inspiration on how they were there before anyone, and they were already making music. So it was the deepest connection you can find, in my opinion, it's the natives of Brazil. And to have a chance to go there and record with them, it was amazing. And that's something that's crazy."

Igor went on to say that "Roots" "broke a lot of barriers" for both SEPULTURA and the heavy metal genre in general. "We're talking from people like Dave Grohl, Moby — all these people — at that time, they were paying attention to what we were doing," he said. "And that was really special. And then, of course, not everyone loves it. There's people that they don't think it's our best record — they think they like 'Arise', they like 'Beneath The Remains' [better] — but it was a necessary record at that time, where we were really pushing the limits of music. And from that moment, we influenced a lot of bands to look into their roots. Even Norwegian black metal bands started doing stuff with their roots.

"I think that album [was] a big step in the right direction of breaking barriers, and also people being more open-minded," he concluded.

"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 a 2009 interview with Live-Metal.net, Max admitted that he drew inspiration from some of the so-called early "nu metal" bands during the songwriting process for "Roots". He explained: "SEPULTURA did [take] a little bit of an influence from KORN and DEFTONES in some areas. And the funny thing is that we influenced those bands from when they started out. I talked to the KORN guys and they said they listened to 'Chaos A.D.' religiously when they started — it was like one of their favorite records. So it's kind of a 360 degrees kind of influence — back and forth."

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 son (who was born in January 2006).

In 1996, Max exited SEPULTURA after the rest of the band split with his wife Gloria as their manager.

For a decade and a half, Igor has been part of the MIXHELL DJ/hip-hop/electro project with his wife Laima Leyton.

Two years ago, Igor teamed up with Wayne Adams (BIG LAD, DEATH PEDALS, JOHNNY BROKE) to form the PETBRICK project. The band's debut album, "I", was released in October 2019 via Closed Casket Activities in the U.S.

Igor's other current musical projects include CAVALERA CONSPIRACY (alongside Max) and SOULWAX.

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