My Bloody Roots: Max Cavalera Autobiography

Hey Everyone, Max's Autobiography is now available in multiple languages! Check back here at to find out where the book is being sold in your language! With the help of the truely awesome Joel McIver, Max is telling his story of the past, present, and his future. It's all here in "My Bloody Roots" for the reading. Grab a copy here.

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An Exerpt from the Autobiography

Losing my dad had a lot to do with me drinking so much. It was to fill a void. When I drank I felt different: I liked the high that you got from the booze. Music sounded better when you were drunk, and food tasted better. It’s true: when you hear a record when you’re wasted, that shit sounds so fucking badass. You listen to Slayer real loud when you’re drunk: it sounds great, man. And when you listen to your own music drunk, it sounds great too: you’re like ‘I can’t believe that’s us’. I used to listen to Arise at full volume in the back of the bus and think ‘Listen to that vocal. This is fucking great!’

Booze was always there, both when I was a kid and as an adult. I especially loved vodka. Later, when I got married I switched from vodka to wine, which felt like a good choice of beverage. It helped me chill out at night, but first I drank a bottle and then I switched to two bottles. That became my rider, so after every Sepultura show I’d be wasted on two bottles of that shit. Despite this, a lot of the people who toured with me never actually got to see me getting really fucked up – apart from a couple of rare occasions.

I was definitely pretty wild back then. I got in a car wreck once. I had a white Fiat, which I saved money to buy for a couple of years. I went out one night in this car and I watched A Clockwork Orange on TV in a bar in Belo, while getting loaded on booze. I was thinking ‘This is the best fucking movie ever. I want to be one of those fucking guys!’ because I loved the violence.

I hung a huge poster in my room from that film alongside my Slayer, Morbid Angel and Death posters. The violence of it made a huge impact on me. It’s a metal movie, essentially. I was surprised when Sepultura later recorded an album based on A Clockwork Orange, because the other guys didn’t like it at the time. I would watch it, but they showed no interest in it. Very strange.

So I watched this movie and at three o’clock in the morning, it was time to go home. It was raining, and my conscience was telling me, ‘Get somebody to drive you home’. But the evil side of my conscience told me, ‘Fuck that! Drive home, motherfucker’. I went with the bad one – the wrong one – and right away I was driving along, zigzagging along the road. I was really, really drunk, man: wasted. A turn came, and the car just did a fucking 360 on the road and hit a wall. I looked out of the car and there was a huge church, right there, staring at me. It was three in the morning, I was standing there by myself, and the whole front of my car was completely destroyed.

I was looking at the church and I was mad at it. I was thinking to myself, ‘Why did I have to hit a church? Why the fuck are you in my way, church?’ I was blaming the church for my wreck. It was hilarious, now I come to think of it. I got out of the car and I was flipping off the church, shouting ‘Fuck you, motherfucker!’ I wasn’t injured apart from a bloody nose, but the car was trashed. No cops came, which was lucky. I managed to restart the car and drive it home, in a terrible condition.

Next morning I had to lie to my mom, which was bad because she’d helped me buy it. I told her, ‘I parked my car, mom, and went into a bar, and when I came out someone had wrecked it’. She knew I was lying. I was all hungover, and she said ‘Did you drive home last night?’ and I said ‘Yes!’ and she said ‘Well, how are you feeling right now? How’s your head?’ and I’m like ‘It’s OK, I’m just a little tired…’ but I finally told her that I’d got in a wreck. She said she knew that already, because no-one could hit a parked car and cause that much destruction, and that I’d better not do it again because she didn’t want me to kill myself.

I thought everybody lived like this. In the group of people that Iggor and I hung out with, that’s what we did. I had issues with all the shit that was going on in our lives. We had no money and there was all this depression around the house. That stuff made me want to drink. I thought Iggor was weird because he rarely drank: he was pretty much straight edge, although he didn’t walk around saying he was straight edge like all these bands do. But that’s what he was, which was strange to me.

When Iggor did drink, though, he was like the Tasmanian Devil from the old cartoons: he was trouble. He went fucking nuts, getting into fights and saying crazy shit. He was a scary drunk and I told him, ‘You’re better off not drinking, man, because you’re not like me: you’re fucking scary when you’re drunk’. I was a happy drunk: I made jokes and I liked to play pranks on people. But he was no fun to be around when he was drinking, so he didn’t drink very often: I never knew how he had the willpower. He was very strong. He only cared about his drumming.

I was having fun with drinking, I never saw it as a problem. Some of the most fun shit I ever did was while I was drunk. I had a drinking partner, this guy called Maurinho: he was my best friend. I’d heard people say that he could beat up 10 people and that he was a total fucking psycho. I was 16 when I met him, right at the beginning of the band.

This guy loved everything about Sepultura and encouraged me all the time, saying ‘You’re gonna make it. I know you’re gonna be a huge star one day, man. I fucking know it. Just keep doing what you’re doing’. We used to go out and get fucked up all the time. We’d get into huge fights, too. He was a little guy, but he knew karate and tai kwon do and other martial arts, and he could fuck people up. He’d destroy huge guys: it was fun to be part of that.

I was a good fighter too, when I got drunk: I was fucking nuts. There was one time when we were in a bar and this guy was fucking with me. He kept calling me ‘poser’ and getting on my nerves, saying ‘You’re a poser, man… you’re a fucking poser… your music is fake’. I’m like, ‘Motherfucker, you’d better stop or you’ll get what’s coming to you’. But he kept fucking with me, and finally I said, ‘OK, that shit ends now. Let’s go out to the front of the club. We’re gonna throw down, right now’. I started beating the crap out of him and I grabbed a rock that was on the ground and destroyed his head with it. It opened right up, with blood gushing everywhere. My shoes were totally covered in his blood when I got home. I remember looking at my shoes and thinking, ‘Shit. How is that guy still alive?’ But he asked for it. I was just minding my own business and having a good time with my friends. My friend Maurinho had seen it happen and he told me afterwards, ‘You took care of that one’. He didn’t even need to step in.

This happened a couple of times. I think it was something to do with the hardcore mentality about violence that came to me after I saw A Clockwork Orange. Some nights we’d go out and we’d say ‘I hope we get into a fight tonight’. It was almost like a skinhead mentality. It’s fucked up: maybe I was taking out my depression in these fights. There’s a theory that boys who grow up without a father end up being more aggressive, because they don’t have a dad around to show them what the limits should be. That theory totally works for me.