MAX CAVALERA Looks Back On SEPULTURA's 'Roots' Album: It Is 'A Courageous Record' That Has 'Aged Very Well'

MAX CAVALERA Looks Back On SEPULTURA's 'Roots' Album: It Is 'A Courageous Record' That Has 'Aged Very Well'

In a new interview with Australia's Blunt magazine, former SEPULTURA frontman Max Cavalera reflected on the group's groundbreaking 1996 album "Roots", on which he and his bandmates collaborated with the Brazilian Xavante tribe.

"It's good that it's still appreciated to this day," he said. "I think 'Roots' was controversial; a lot of people loved it and a lot of people hated it. [It was] one of those divisive records. I like that about it — that it was not going to please everybody. It's going to piss off some people.

"I think 'Roots' is a courageous record with some really cool stuff in it," he continued. "The tribal stuff, and going to record with the Xavante, it's stuff that's influenced even the new bands like GOJIRA. [Their track] 'Amazonia', that's totally influenced by 'Roots'. It's cool to see bands being influenced by that, people showing respect to the record.

"I think the record's aged very well," Max added. "It's one of those records that just sounds great when you put it on right now. It's not where I am musically; I'm more into stuff like [my extreme metal side project] GO AHEAD AND DIE at the moment. But I am proud of it."

"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 2016 interview with Metal Hammer, KORN singer Jonathan Davis said that he felt "Roots" borrowed heavily from his own band. He said: "I thought [it] was a big compliment, but I also thought it] was fucked up. That was just a blatant KORN rip-off, and I had it out with producer Ross Robinson about that, because he just took our sound and gave it to SEPULTURA. My young brain couldn't handle it. But they were one of our biggest influences, so I guess they get a pass. And that's a classic album, so it's all good."

Later that same year, Max told the "Démentièllement Vôtre" show on Québec City's CKRL 89.1 FM radio station that he disagreed with Davis's assessment of "Roots". "I don't see it like that," he said. "I think especially the sound of KORN, in my opinion, with the bass, is horrible. We didn't have that; we had a lot of low end and things that the KORN album didn't have. So I don't see why he would be pissed off, because I don't see that much of a [similarity] between the two of them. Plus, KORN wasn't the only reason we wanted to work with Ross. He had done a FEAR FACTORY demo that I really liked and had a really raw sound. And he had done a DEFTONES song on the 'Adrenaline' album that I really liked."

He continued: "Saying that is like saying SEPULTURA should be pissed off at CANNIBAL CORPSE because they used [producer] Scott Burns. I'm not pissed off at CANNIBAL CORPSE; I think they're great. 'Cause we were one of the first that used Scott Burns, we should be mad at all the bands that use Scott Burns? That's childish. So he's just really being childish. And I really don't give a shit about KORN or anybody.

"We [were] very different from [KORN]; we have own way of playing and the songs are different. Everything is different. It's just the same guy that recorded [both albums]; that's the only similarity."

Davis was featured as a guest on the "Roots" track "Lookaway" — along with Mike Patton of FAITH NO MORE.

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


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