Asked if he has any regrets about the way things went down with guitarist/vocalist Max Cavalera leaving the band in 1996 and whether he would ever consider playing in a band with Max and Igor Cavalera (former SEPULTURA drummer) again, Kisser said: “To talk about regrets is weird. You learn from all the stuff that happens in your life, especially from the mistakes and all the fucked-up things that happen. You really have to let the anger go and think reasonably to resolve things. So I have no regrets.
“I know it was really hard for us to keep everything in place at that time. A lot of stuff was happening and we were growing very fast Max and Gloria [Max‘s wife and SEPULTURA‘s then-manager] were marrled with kids, and she was always on the road with us. She was more like a tour manager than a manager, and that really got in the way of how SEPULTURA always was: four guys going everywhere in the world and doing stuff. That’s why we never had problems on the stage or inside the practice room, because nobody went in there except us four. That was our sacred place where we managed to put all the problems away and really jam and enjoy. So everything was kind of a mess, and after we said that we wanted to replace Gloria with another manager, Max basically said fuck off and left. With the band he formed, SOULFLY, he basically just kept the same structure that we took 10 years to build — recording in the same studio where we did ‘Roots’, using the same producer, the same mixer… everything.
“For us, we really had no choice but to start from scratch and find a new manager and new singer. But like I said, you learn from those bad moments and from struggle. We have such a great structure now, with great people working with us — a great label and a great album. Sometimes when one door closes, 10 more open. And to play with them agaln — who knows? That’s not my plan. There’s nothing in place for that to happen.”
In a recent interview with RockMusicStar, Max stated about his split with SEPULTURA: “My only options were, at that time, to stay with them and do what they wanted me to do, which was fire Gloria, which I thought was the wrong thing to do, or me leaving. And I was left with no choice, so I ended up just leaving it. I had faith in myself that I would do something else. I didn’t know exactly what it was, what I was going to do right away. It took six months to get SOULFLY going. But, I knew in my heart, I always want to make music and I was going to continue making music, and I was going to try my hardest to make whatever band I was going to make next be as powerful as it could be. I’m, you know, in a way, kind of now looking at how it turned out. I’m actually really happy, because, I think maybe, if I would have stayed with SEPULTURA, maybe it wouldn’t have been that good, you know? Maybe it would have been too hard to maintain the high-caliber quality that we were used to in all the SEPULTURA records. And SOULFLY is really great for me, because it’s really a freedom band that I can do all kinds of stuff that I like to do with metal. I like metal to be different; I like to push the boundaries of metal. I like to bring all world music themes, I like to do all these guest songs, and SOULFLY lets me do all of that. So, in a way, I think it was a blessing in disguise that I ended up leaving SEPULTURA.”
He continued: “Everybody that knows what’s going on knows that that band is actually taken hostage by Andreas, by guys that weren’t even there in the beginning. They were not there in the beginning. SEPULTURA was formed by me and Igor, it had all different people. Paulo [Xisto Pinto Jr., bass] and Derrick [Green, current SEPULTURA vocalist] are not former band members; they are not original band members. The way I see it, they took the band hostage, and they are just using the name, promoting themselves. But they’re dragging the name down, because they’re getting less and less popular, and I don’t really hear anything good about their records. So, it’s like, to me, I don’t really care what they do. You know, for me there’s always the classic SEPULTURA that I love. I think we did some amazing records, but it’s all in the past.
Pick up a copy of the Guitar World issue at your nearest newsstand or order it online at this location.