"People are so misinformed": Sepultura is the one metal reunion that hasn't happened but Max Cavalera seems to now have the final word on the matter

Max Cavalera from the Cavalera Conspiracy performs on stage at Rockefeller Music Hall on November 21, 2023 in Oslo, Norway
(Image credit: Per Ole Hagen/Redferns/Getty Images)

This year will see the final performances of the band that records and tours as Sepultura, featuring 'classic' era members Andreas Kisser on guitar and Paulo Jr on bass, alongside vocalist Derrick Green and new recruit Greyson Nekrutman, following drummer Eloy Casagrande joining Slipknot in February. But for many, this is not the Sepultura people really want to see.

For some semblance of that they'll need to go and watch Cavalera, the band featuring Sepultura co-founding brother Max and Igor Cavalera that was formed after the siblings reconnected following a decade of not speaking. The band are currently out playing festivals in support of recently re-recorded early Sepultura releases Schizophrenia, Morbid Visions and Bestial Devastation. And yet the question remains, will Kisser and Paulo Jr ever reunite with the Cavaleras to fully celebrate their legacy? 

Max Cavalera has plenty to say on the subject when asked in a new interview with Metal Injection – and it's not good news for promoters looking for a Sepultura-shaped payday.

"The more the time passes by, the more I feel that I don't need to," the vocalist-guitarist tells Metal Injection. "Like I said, the real reunion is between myself and Igor, and I did that. It's pure magic and amazing what we're doing right now. 

I think people can just give up

"You kind of have to realise if we end up doing a Sepultura reunion, it's almost like we can't go back to the Cavalera thing, You know? It won't really make sense. People probably will be like 'I don't want to go watch Cavalera if they're doing a "real" reunion'. To me, I don't want to do that because I love what we have here in Cavalera now. It's so badass. So yeah, it's definitely out of the question."

Cavalera - Live from Graspop Festival 2024. Full Set - YouTube Cavalera - Live from Graspop Festival 2024. Full Set - YouTube
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And Max says his brother is on the same page. 

"You can ask Igor the same question. He doesn't want to do it either. I think people can just give up, it's not gonna happen man. It's not gonna happen.

"It had its time," adds the Brazillian pioneer of thrash-death metal. You have all the videos to watch and we're still carrying it. The spirit is with us, the spirit of the whole thing is with me and Igor right now in Cavalera. They're gonna call it quits, they're gonna be done and it is what it is.

We're still here. We're still playing. We're still gonna celebrate all the efforts," he continues. "And then who knows, later we can just do the best of the whole Max era. I don't want to go into detail why, but it's pretty much the same reason I left them back in ‘96. I feel the same way. It was a lot of betrayal and a lot of stuff that people don't know about."

Max CAVALERA and SEPULTURA and Igor CAVALERA and Andreas KISSER and Paulo JR; Posed group portrait L-R Igor Cavalera, Andreas Kisser, Paulo Xisto Pinto Jr and Max Cavalera

Sepultura in 1996 (L-R): Igor Cavalera, Andreas Kisser, Paulo Xisto Pinto Jr and Max Cavalera (Image credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns/Getty Images)

For Max Cavalera there still seems to be unresolved business that saw him walk out of the band months after their 1996 Monsters Of Rock show at Donington with the remaining members forced to perform as a trio. Some blamed the influence of the band's then-manager and Max's wife Gloria as the reason for the permanent split that followed but the singer refutes that. He left the festival that day after learning of the tragic death of his stepson Dana Wells in a car accident but later when the rest of the band requested to fire Gloria as their manager, Max found it unacceptable. The band would play their final show with Max at Brixton Academy on 16 December the same year.

"I think that's where the problem arises," Max says of his departure from the band in '96. "People are so misinformed. The first thing they do is blame Gloria. Like, 'Oh yeah, she broke up the band'. To me, that is the craziest thing ever, because her contract was done. You know, she was pretty much done. They asked her to stay and manage me, but she didn't want to. She even told me that I should stay in the band, but I didn't want to either. So I told them 'No, we're not doing that'. I'm out, you know. Out by my own integrity.

"And I couldn't do the thing anymore after everything that happened with Dana and all that," stresses Max. "So it's like, when I see those things on the internet, people saying shit, they don't know the whole story. It's really easy to scapegoat one person, they just blame her for breaking up the band. But if you really ask the people that were in the know, everybody in the know knows that's not true. That is not true. The four of us grew apart from each other."

It's this factor that seems to be the unbridgable divide, with the former bandmates trading barbs in the press over the years but having no known contact beyond that..

For his part, Andreas Kisser has left the theoretical door open for the Cavalera Brothers to appear during Sepultura's final performance.

"I won't deny that it would be great to have a very last show with their participation, but it has to be great," Kisser told Metal Hammer. "It has to have people who are there to celebrate and not trying to discuss who was right or wrong on decisions from the past. In the end, we are celebrating now as the Sepultura of today. If they want to be a part of it, it would be amazing." 

Somehow we don't think the brothers do. 

This is the real Sepultura

"It happens in bands all the time," reasons Max to Metal Injection. "And it's just one of those things, man. I just couldn't stay with them anymore. I had to leave, man. And then, you know, I was really missing my brother. And now I'm back with him. So now more than ever, I don't see a reason to do a reunion."

As for the fans, Max Cavalera has some simple advice.

"Yeah, like I say on every show, this is the real Sepultura," he says of Cavalera Conspiracy. "So people out there, if you wanna feel it, come see us play live. It's the best it's gonna get."

Read the full interview at Metal Injection. For Sepultura's 40 Years farewell tour dates visit sepultura.com  and for Cavalera Conspiracy festival dates head to cavalerasconspiracy.net 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.