Max Cavalera Reflects On Sepultura’s ‘Roots’ – Says He Thinks It’s Not A Nu Metal Record

Max Cavalera: Jonas Rogowski, CC BY-SA 3.0, (Wikimedia Commons) / Sepultura Roots: Michael Whelan (artist), Roadrunner Records (label)
Published on:

Upon its release, there were some fans who were not super fond of the Sepultura album Roots. In a new interview with Chile’s iRock, Max Cavalera spoke to the album, reflecting on the work that was put in to create Roots (such as working with the Brazilian Xavante tribe), as well as sharing how he feels about the album today.

Cavalera is asked his thoughts regarding some fan criticism that expressed that the album wasn’t “metal enough.” To this, the ex-Sepultura singer disagrees and says that “I don’t think they gave the record a real chance.” He then goes on to say how some listeners thought of the album as a nu metal record, but he doesn’t view it that way.

Per Max Cavalera (as transcribed by Blabbermouth):

“I don’t think they gave the record a real chance. To me, Roots is a very heavy record. I think some of the stuff like ‘Straighthate’, ‘Spit’, ‘Ambush’ and ‘Endangered Species’ was so frickin’ heavy and it’s fast and it’s brutal. I think it’s because it got tagged… It got really popular; it got trendy. Some people connected it with ‘nu metal’. I don’t think Roots is a ‘nu metal’ record. In fact, I think it’s very opposite — it’s really kind of more caveman. It’s simpler — downtuning but simpler riffs. Very heavy percussion.

“On its own, in its essence, to me, it’s a special record for sure. I won’t say it’s my favorite ’cause that’s like choosing your kids; it’s not right. I don’t wanna choose between Sepultura records; I like all. But to me, Roots feels like… It’s an idea. It was born at the right time. And it was just a crazy idea that I had in my mind, to record with Brazilian Indians and to bring that to metal. And I think that was very ambitious and very courageous. ‘Cause not many people do that with their career; not many people gamble everything and make a record with crazy ideas like that. ‘Cause so much can go wrong. A lot of bands like to play it safe: ‘We just make this record for the fans, and we’re good.’ And we’re just not that kind of band. We like to push the envelope. We like to go forward. And we always never really tried to make the same record. To me, it was an exciting record.”

Later, he goes on to share this about the album:

“I think it’s a very complex record; it’s a very strange record that’s very unorthodox and very cool to listen to. If you listen to the whole record, it has some very different dynamics that’s really, really great.”

What are your feelings when it comes to the Sepultura album Roots? Is it one of your personal favorites?

Max Cavalera Tells Fans To Stop Blaming His Wife For Sepultura Splitting Up

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

Of All His Releases, Max Cavalera Says This Album Was ‘The Most Fun’ To Make