Interviews

That One Time Soulfly's Max Cavalera Pissed on a Star-Struck Fan, and Other Tales

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So writing the book. What was the process like?

Most of it was phone calls. I dreaded it. When the phone would ring, I thought, oh no . . . I didn't want to talk. It was like therapy. I thought, here we go again, therapy time.

But you made it through it. Was it therapeutic for you to go through all of this?

We treated it more like conversation, like we're doing right now. It was more like us just having a talk. I wanted to be easy for people to read. I didn't want it to be complicated. I wanted it to be as easy as possible.

The book starts in Brixton [London], which was the last show with Sepultura. Then we go back to my childhood in Brazil. I didn't know it was the final show at the time, but it was a really explosive way to begin. I thought it was a really cool to open it like that. It was his idea, instead of going chronologically. I was on top, conquering the world, and then right after that, getting kicked in the head and everything was gone. My band was gone, my brother was gone, Dana had just died.

Dave Grohl did an awesome intro. He tells a story about how he bought a $50,000 speaker for his studio sound system, and he pops in [Sepultura album]Roots and it blew up the whole fucking thing. [mimicking Grohl] "Roots blew up my whole system." I love that story. If your album can blow up a $50,000 system, you're doing something right.

Mike Patton [Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk] says really cool shit about us in Brazil. He was hanging out with us in Brazil, going to voodoo places. I took him to voodoo rituals in Brazil. He was staying at Igor's house. It was really cool.

Sharon Osbourne talks about the Dana thing [in the book]. We were playing Donington [Download Music Festival] with [Ozzy Osbourne] and they flew us home in their private jet when Dana died. It was a horrible thing. We were flying home because Gloria's son died, in Ozzy's plane. It was horrible. The whole time. It was so dark. I wanted to say something to Gloria and words couldn't even come out of my mouth. Sharon talks about feeling like we needed a friend at that time and she was able to help us. They didn't have to do anything. They were just playing a show with us, and yet they showed their true colors. Somebody else could have said, "I'm sorry for your loss," but they didn't do that. They put us on their plane, gave us money and gave Gloria a crucifix. It was amazing.

Then when I got kicked out of Sepultura, it was around January, we were invited to their [Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne] house for a dinner because Ozzy wanted to encourage me to go on. That's how felt, like he should do something. I went to their house and sat down. Ozzy sat me down and said, "Fuck them. Fuck those guys. You need to get up off your ass and do something." It was awesome to hear that from him and I needed to hear that. He played me some Black Sabbath demos and it blew my mind. It was fucking awesome to hear that from him. I was tripping the whole time. I never even imagined I would do that. You know, like when I was a kid in Brazil, if you would have told me I would sit down with Ozzy, fucking Black Sabbath, I wouldn't have believed it.

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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon