Home » Max Cavalera Compares Crafting Sepultura Lyrics to ‘Torture’

Max Cavalera Compares Crafting Sepultura Lyrics to ‘Torture’

In a recent interview with Project Backstage, Max Cavalera, the former lead singer of Sepultura and current frontman of Soulfly, delved into his tendency to address societal and political issues in his music, shedding light on his perspective on lyric writing: he likens it to a form of torture. During the conversation, he shared his sentiments about lyrics and drew a comparison to playing the guitar:

“To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of writing lyrics. It feels like homework to me. I’m all about riffs. As a guitarist, I can pick up my guitar and jam for hours—it’s fantastic. But crafting lyrics is a bit like torture, although something good usually comes out of it.”

Over the years, Cavalera has shifted his focus towards political-themed lyrics. Reflecting on the lyrics he penned for his former band Sepultura, he explained:

“As time passed, I became more politically aware and attuned to the world around me. Consequently, my records took on a more political tone, like ‘Chaos A.D.,’ ‘Roots,’ and even the Soulfly material—exploring topics such as slavery, superstitions, prophecies, and the like.”

Cavalera’s Preference: Riffs Over Lyrics

While openly expressing his dislike for lyric writing, Max Cavalera acknowledges the audience’s appreciation for them. Despite this awareness, he emphasizes that his favorite aspect within the band, in his own words, is crafting riffs. He explained:

“Yeah, it’s not something I enjoy. I approach it almost like a form of torture, but I appreciate the outcome. Hearing the crowd singing along and getting the message across is satisfying. However, it’s not my preferred activity. Riff creation is what I truly love.”

Cavalera’s Perspective on Integrating Politics into Music

While some musicians may disagree with the notion of incorporating politics into their music, there are those who staunchly support this idea. Max Cavalera aligns himself with those who advocate for political expression in music. Recognizing that not everyone may be inclined to hear political themes in music, the rocker points to his background, deeply rooted in politics, as the driving force behind his inclination to write lyrics with political themes. He elaborated further in the same interview:

“Though some people just want to rock out, and that’s perfectly fine, my background is heavily influenced by punk music, which often carries strong political messages. This influence has shaped my work to reflect that political charge. However, I keep it simple. I don’t try to be something I’m not. I write in a very straightforward manner, making it accessible for anyone to understand.” You can watch the full interview below.

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