MAX CAVALERA on the Recording of Roots

2016 is the twenty-year anniversary of Sepultura’s milestone album Roots. To celebrate, Sepultura’s spiritual successors Cavalera Conspiracy are out there on the ‘Return to Roots’ tour, where they’ve been playing the whole thing front-to-back.

We sat down with the OG Max Cavalera and he gave us the inside scoop on what he remembers about recording the iconic album. He also drops some details on the gear they used and what he perceives as the broader stylistic significance of the Roots album.

Roots was both simultaneously “of the era” and ahead of its time. It slid neatly into the landscape of Nu-Metal and the other mall-ternative music of the mid 90’s, while also sticking out as a groundbreaking slab of heavy music. It was somehow both ignant, downtuned, chug-grooves and experimental World Music at the same time. No one had really done that yet. From the percussion focused rhythms, to the Ross Robinson production this is where bands like Slipknot come from.

As a Thrash Metal nerd in high school I loved Seppy. Their Beneath the Remains and Arise albums were both in constant rotation in my Discman. But Roots was a marked left-turn in the band’s catalog and, as I’m sure you know, metal nerds fear change. I think I watched the “Roots, Bloody Roots” video on gauntletvideos.com and soured on any later period Sepultura. But coming back to the album years later, I realised that I missed out on some god-tier mosh riffs.

Speaking of mosh riffs, if you played Roots for some HC kid and told them it’s a new album produced by Taylor Young, they would 100% believe you. In case you don’t know, sounding like a late 90’s Roadrunner band is the big thing in Hardcore right now. Which I back completely. Someone should book Cavalera Conspiracy for ‘This Is Hardcore 2017’ and watch mosh-bros lose their minds.

Check out the ‘Return to Roots’ tour dates, here.

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Gear Gods intern Zeke studies marketing & economics at university and produces his friends’ disgusting slam bands. He is too old to still be doing either of those things.