In a brand new interview with Metal Insider, Max Cavalera spoke about his decision to form SOULFLY after his departure from SEPULTURA in December 1996.
"Well, looking back now, it was a really hard time in my life, a very difficult period, because I never thought I was going to leave the band," he said. "For the first month, I didn't even want to play anymore, I was, like, 'I'm done with this.' I just wanted to get high and get drunk and not give a fuck. But then, little by little, I started writing some stuff and it started coming out again, and it was cool, because it carried the same elements as what I had been doing before. The riffs, structures, choruses, all of that was very similar. But it was a difficult time and I'm glad it's over — I'd never want to go back to that time."
He continued: "A lot of people really liked the first SOULFLY album, a lot of people say it's their favorite. Maybe that's because there was a little bit of desperation on that record. [Laughs] It's kind of like you lost everything and had to start again with what you have.
"SEPULTURA was really close to my heart;it was like my baby. Now, after all this time passed and I think about it, Igor [Max's brother and then-SEPULTURA drummer] and I should have just fired those two assholes [Editor's note: Max is presumably referring to guitarist Andreas Kisser and bassist Paulo Xisto Pinto Jr.] and kept the name; why we didn't do that, I don't know. At that time, we didn't have the vision to do it, so I just quit."
Max also talked about the recently launched "Return To Roots" tour, which sees Max and Igor celebrating the twentieth anniversary of SEPULTURA's classic album "Roots" by performing the LP in its entirety. They are joined on stage by their CAVALERA CONSPIRACY bandmates Marc Rizzo (guitar) and Johny Chow (bass).
Max said: "I think [what makes] this tour is so special [is that] I get to go back to that time to an album where I was very much involved with the ideas of the album — those were almost all of my own ideas, so 'Roots' is very close to my heart. Now, twenty years later, to go back and do this with Igor again is amazing — it's the best thing to come out of this story. It's a happy ending, even though we had to go through all that hardship to get to where we are now."
In a 2013 interview with MTV Iggy, Kisser stated about SEPULTURA's split with the Cavalera brothers: "For SEPULTURA fans, there are many SEPULTURAs in their head. It's not only because Max and Igor [left]. If you [compare] the albums that we did together, from 'Schizophrenia' to 'Roots', they are totally different bands — but the same lineup.
"We all change; we all grow up. The choice to leave the band was their choice. We never fired any musician in the group. We only fired our manager after the 'Roots' tour, and Max chose to leave and stay with her and start a solo career. He didn't care about the name during those days. He didn't fight for the name. He just turned his back and said, 'Fuck you guys; I'm better off myself.' And Igor left ten years later; he didn't care either to fight. It's like many fathers who have children and leave them.
"For [the Cavaleras], SEPULTURA is like an abandoned child. They really turned their back on us and left. But it feels great to be here and keep the SEPULTURA name strong, bringing new stuff to the albums. The SEPULTURA spirit never changed, and that's why we're still here as SEPULTURA."