Soulfly Singer Max Cavalera Debunks Myth of ’90s Sepultura-Slayer Rivalry

Soulfly Singer Max Cavalera Debunks Myth of 90s Sepultura-Slayer Rivalry
Max Cavalera: Jonas Rogowski, CC BY-SA 3.0, (Wikimedia Commons) / Tom Araya: Antje Naumann (AllSystemsRed), CC BY-SA 3.0, (Wikimedia Commons)
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During an interview with Blabbermoth, Soulfly singer Max Cavalera spoke to a past collaboration of his involving Slayer bassist and singer Tom Araya. Throughout the interview, Max is asked a variety of questions regarding his past work with Sepultura and Soulfly; at one point, the Soulfly album Primitive (released in 2000) is brought up and how Max worked with Araya on that record.

The interviewer brings up how it was a big deal to get Araya to collaborate on that record, for Sepultura and Slayer had a rivalry in the ’90s. However, Max dismisses this idea of there ever being a rivalry between the two bands, and that it was something stirred up by the media.

Per Soulfly singer Max Cavalera:

“It was one of those bucket-list things. One of the things that bothered me the most was this rift that we didn’t even create but the media. They rode with it. It was like two tribes going to war. There was so much weird stuff being said. I had the opportunity to work with Tom and it was great. That whole week I was jamming Slayer in my car and listening to a lot of their old records, which I love. Like, ‘Hell Awaits’, ‘Reign In Blood’, and ‘Haunting The Chapel’, which is probably my favorite EP ever. The cool thing was that we did the recording in two sessions; we didn’t finish the first time. I said, ‘Don’t stress, Tom. Go back home, come back in a week and we’ll finish this thing.’

“He came back a week later. This time, we did it a little differently. We created a wall of Marshalls in the middle of the room with a little window where I could see him and I was singing, looking directly at him. It was back-and-forth. Then, I had to ask him, ‘The end of the song will be fast. Can you please sing two lines out of [Slayer’s] ‘Criminally Insane’?’ He didn’t like the idea at first. I said, ‘Please. I’m asking you as a fan to do this for the song.’ He did it. I ended up singing lines from [Sepultura’s] ‘Inner Self’. It was an amazing thing. It put an end to all that. Tom is a great guy and we had a great time making the track. We even got to play it once in England. It was the first time Tom Araya was without a bass. He had his hands in his pockets the whole time. I don’t know if it’s on YouTube or not, but it was killer.”

So there you have it folks, from Max Cavalera himself, there was no rivalry between Sepultura and Slayer. We love to hear about stories involving Max collaborating with different artists, for there is always some kind of awesome story involved.

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