Former SOULFLY guitarist Marc Rizzo says that he knew six months ago that he wasn't going to be returning to the band.
Although Rizzo's departure from SOULFLY wasn't officially announced until Saturday (August 7), it was widely speculated that he was out of the group two days earlier when it was revealed that FEAR FACTORY's Dino Cazares will play guitar for SOULFLY on the band's upcoming U.S. tour, which kicks off on August 20 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Rizzo addressed his split with SOULFLY in a new interview with Sofa King Cool. Regarding the fact that he went out and got a job doing home renovations during the pandemic to make ends meet, Rizzo said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It basically was a survival thing. I did what I had to do. And a lot of musicians — some people made out; some people got these loans, and they made out, and they made money. Some people didn't. And then there was people like me who were basically a hired gun and treated like a hired gun during this whole pandemic. We had to fend for ourselves. And basically that's where the decision came where, six months into being home during COVID, I was, like, 'Man, I don't wanna do SOULFLY. I just don't see the point.' After 18 years of giving my heart and soul and my loyalty and being away from my family three or four months at a time, giving up my personal life, I was, like, 'This just doesn't make sense anymore.' Especially at my age — 44 years old — to have to deal with the situation I was [facing]. But it is what it is, man. That's life."
Asked if there was a chance, when the SOULFLY tour was first announced this past June, that he would still take part in the trek, Marc said: "Dude, after the year I had, there was no way I would have been able to get back on that bus with everybody. There was no way. I was not in the state of mind to get back on a bus with a bunch of people that I haven't even talked to in a year, let alone other things. I knew I couldn't get on that bus. Honestly, I basically had a meltdown about everything about a month ago. It happens. I've been through a lot of shit, man — a lot of shit. And there was no way I was gonna be able to do that tour mentally. I just wasn't there anymore. I didn't have it in me… There was no way I could mentally be healthy on the bus with everybody. There's no way. And trust me, out of respect to them, they probably would not wanna be on a bus with me either. I can have meltdowns from time to time. So it works for everybody both ways. I'm definitely in a better headspace now. It's just better for everybody."
Rizzo joined SOULFLY in 2004, and has since appeared on all of the band's subsequent records, including "Prophecy" (2004), "Dark Ages" (2005), "Conquer" (2008), "Omen" (2010), "Enslaved" (2012), "Savages" (2013), "Archangel" (2015) and "Ritual" (2018). In 2007, Rizzo became a member of CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, the side project of SEPULTURA co-founders, brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, and has performed on all CAVALERA CONSPIRACY releases including "Inflikted", "Blunt Force Trauma", "Pandemonium" and the critically acclaimed 2017 LP "Psychosis".
Rizzo was originally a member of New Jersey Latin metal favorites ILL NIÑO, appearing on their classic 2001 Roadrunner release "Revolution Revolucion" and the 2003 follow-up "Confession".