Former SEPULTURA member Max Cavalera (guitar, vocals) spoke to Peavey about the "Return To Roots" North American tour during which he and his brother Igor are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the band's classic album "Roots" by performing the LP in its entirety.
Speaking about the making of "Roots", Max said (see video below): "'Roots' was an album that I started myself. I was already doing four-track recordings at the time, which I actually started at the end of [the] 'Arise' [cycle]. At the end of the 'Arise' tour, I bought a four-track machine, and I started traveling with that and writing on the road. And I wrote a lot for 'Chaos A.D.' — 'Refuse/Resist', 'Territory', a lot of those were done on a four-track — so I decided to do the same for 'Roots'. And I had already at home, before I even talked to the SEPULTURA guys, there was already a demo with pretty much the whole 'Roots Bloody Roots' song except for the end part; we didn't have the end part. On the demo, it's fast; it ends fast."
He continued: "So we started with that, so I collected a lot of that material, and then we went into a jam mode, as we call it, so the whole band goes and jams. And that went on for a couple of months. Then we worked on stuff like 'Straighthate' that had a big build-up beginning, a lot of feedback. And then we worked on… kind of the heavier stuff, the 'punk' stuff on 'Roots', like 'Spit', 'Cut-Throat'… 'Attitude' was one of the four-tracks — I had that on a demo, so it was heavily influenced by Brazilian sounds. And then in the studio, we did a lot more experimenting, with 'Ratamahatta', 'Lookaway', 'Ambush', 'Endangered Species'… And then, of course, we closed it with 'Dictatorshit', which is full-on hardcore. And in the studio, we had [famous Brazilian percussionist] Carlinhos Brown doing percussion, so we did the 'Canyon Jam' [hidden song] that's on the CD that goes on for, like, fifteen minutes after the record is done. And we had 'Lookaway' with Mike Patton from FAITH NO MORE and Jon [Jonathan Davis] from KORN."
Max added: "It was a fun record to make. But it was not until now that I really dissected the record to play on this tour that I went deep on the tracks that I realized how cool of a record 'Roots' really is. It is really one of a kind. It's a groundbreaking record, and it's got a lot of cool stuff that I kind of rediscovered on this tour that I love to play live — stuff like 'Spit', 'Cut-Throat', 'Straighthate'… So fun… 'Breed Apart'… It's so fun live. I actually like those better than the classic songs."
Max and Igor first played all of "Roots" at this year's edition of the Amnesia Rockfest on June 24.
"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 1996, Max exited SEPULTURA after the rest of the band fired Max's wife Gloria as their manager.
Igor left SEPULTURA in June 2006 due to "artistic differences." His departure from the band came five months after he announced that he was taking a break from SEPULTURA's touring activities to spend time with his second wife and their new son (who was born in January 2006).