SOULFLY leader Max Cavalera says that he is “very hurt” by the things the band’s former guitarist Marc Rizzo has been saying in the press since his departure from the group.
Although Rizzo‘s departure from SOULFLY wasn’t officially announced until August 7, it was widely speculated that he was out of the group two days earlier when it was revealed that FEAR FACTORY‘s Dino Cazares will play guitar for SOULFLY on the band’s upcoming U.S. tour, which kicks off on August 20 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Max touched upon Marc‘s split with SOULFLY in a new interview with Heavy New York. Regarding Dino‘s addition to SOULFLY‘s touring lineup, Cavalera said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I’m hugely inspired and excited and happy that Dino is doing this with us. Dino is an old friend. Our friendship goes back to the early days of SEPULTURA coming to America. I believe we met on the ‘Beneath The Remains’ tour. For sure by the ‘Arise’ tour we were friends. He tells the story better, but he had to wrestle me [over] the [FEAR FACTORY] demo tape that had ‘Big God’ on it. I loved it. I was listening to it on his Walkman. I didn’t wanna give it back to him. And it was his only copy. And we had to wrestle. He finally got it out of me. But I ended up bugging [then-Roadrunner Records A&R executive] Monte Conner at that time and saying, ‘You’re a fool if you don’t sign this band.’ I think I even called them ‘the future of metal’ at that time. I was, like, ‘This is the future of metal.’ If you pass on it, you’re a fool. And then Monte signed them, and the rest is history, as they say.”
He continued: “That’s why this link, this possibility, the situation that happened and we needed somebody to fill in, I couldn’t think of a better person than Dino — musically and as a friend. ‘Cause we’re still very hurt, mostly from the stuff that Rizzo has been saying — it hurts us a lot. And it’s good to have a friend that you could talk about it. And then musically I think it’s insane. To think of songs, especially the songs that have crunchy guitars, I close my eyes and I imagine Dino‘s sound on some of those songs, like ‘Downstroy’ and ‘Babylon’… ‘Cause there’s a lot of chugging — SOULFLY always had chugging. But Dino is a whole another level of chugging. [Laughs]”
Last week, Rizzo told Pierre Gutiérrez of Rock Talks that he “got no support from SOULFLY” during the pandemic. “There was no sort of loans that were taken out for the bandmembers or the crew,” he said. “This is just the honest thing of what happened. I had to go back and get a day job. I was doing home renovations, working very hard, 10 hours a day. A [SOULFLY] live record came out [last year]. I never saw a dime off that. So, basically, within the [first] six months, seven months of COVID, I just said, ‘You know, man, I don’t want this anymore. I gave you guys 18 years of my life.’ And it was a great time. Back in the good years, it was great. But the last I’d say eight to 10 years have not been very good. [I was] away from my family. Scheduling is crazy. It was impossible to have a personal life, see my family, make plans with my family. So, basically, six months into COVID, it was just, like, I don’t even wanna do this anymore. I’d rather just concentrate on my solo project and spend time with my family where I’m happy, where I get my credit for everything I do.
“I put 18 years in,” he continued. “It’s a long, long time to be in the band. When COVID hit, I felt like, what have I been doing these last 18 years? Normally, you work a day job, you get support during a pandemic like COVID. And I was working very hard. I was doing plumbing, electric. Finally, my very good friend Nic Bell at Godsize Booking, he was, like, ‘Listen, dude, I can get you back on the road to the states in America that are open.’ So he got me to Montana, Texas, Florida, doing my solo project. And I was able to quit my job and get back on track playing music for a living and making money. Big props to Nic Bell, ’cause he was one of the few people that supported me during the pandemic and helped me to get back on the road. Again, I got no support whatsoever from anyone else. So, it’s a good thing. Again, I’m very excited about the future.”
Asked if it’s fair to say that his decision to exit SOULFLY was based on a financial issue, Marc told Rock Talks: “I would say that was one of [the issues] — for this year, yes. There were years that were good financially, but this year — again, there was no loans, there was no, ‘Hey, let’s do a live video to make money for the bandmembers or maybe let’s do a special merch deal.’ A lot of my friends, they were doing special merchandise deals. I mean, if you look online, SOULFLY didn’t do anything for the bandmembers or the crew. It’s just not right to do that to people during a time like this.
“So, whatever, man,” he added. “They have the right to run their business however they want to, and I have the right to do I want to do. So, again, I’m very excited to do my solo project. That’s what got me through COVID, back to being on the road and doing what I love to do as a living. And then this spawned Tony [Campos, STATIC-X, FEAR FACTORY] and me finally getting together to do a project that we’ve always talked about. So we’re excited with HAIL THE HORNS — we’re very, very excited to get that going. I’ve got my death metal project REVENGE BEAST. And these were guys that called me. They were, like, ‘Hey, what’s up, man? How are you? How are you doing?’ I never got a phone call from anybody in the SOULFLY camp during COVID. It just opened up my eyes this year about what I should be doing in 2021.”
Rizzo also confirmed that he hasn’t had a conversation with Max since they last saw each at the final pre-pandemic SOULFLY show nearly a year and a half ago. “I haven’t talked to Max since [March] 2020 when we played the Hell & Heaven festival in Mexico,” he said. “I had no contact with him. I don’t think he has a phone, so it’s not like I can call him.”
Rizzo joined SOULFLY in 2004, and has since appeared on all of the band’s subsequent records, including “Prophecy” (2004), “Dark Ages” (2005), “Conquer” (2008), “Omen” (2010), “Enslaved” (2012), “Savages” (2013), “Archangel” (2015) and “Ritual” (2018). In 2007, Rizzo became a member of CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, the side project of SEPULTURA co-founders, brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, and has performed on all CAVALERA CONSPIRACY releases including “Inflikted”, “Blunt Force Trauma”, “Pandemonium” and the critically acclaimed 2017 LP “Psychosis”.
Rizzo was originally a member of New Jersey Latin metal favorites ILL NIÑO, appearing on their classic 2001 Roadrunner release “Revolution Revolucion” and the 2003 follow-up “Confession”.