Sepultura’s 1996 album Roots is often associated with nu-metal, and just like many other artists have left the label, former Brazilian band leader Max Cavalera disagrees. He believes the record was slapped with categorization due to its success and popularity.
Korn essentially spearheaded nu-metal when they released their self-titled debut album in 1994, and other bands such as Limp Bizkit, System of a Down and Slipknot began to break through over the next two years. . Thus, the time of Roots’ the release likely contributed to its association with the subgenre. In an interview with Chile’s iRock, Cavalera shared her feelings about the album’s uniqueness.
“Tome, Roots is a very heavy disc. I think some stuff like ‘Straighthate’, ‘Spit’, ‘Ambush’ and ‘Endangered Species’ was so heavy and it’s fast and it’s brutal,” the singer recalls. “I think it’s because that it was tagged…became really popular, it became fashionable. Some people have associated it with nu-metal. I do not think so Roots is a ‘bare metal’ record. In fact, I think it’s very opposite, it’s really more caveman. It’s simpler – simpler but lower riffs, very heavy percussion.”
Cavalera praised the musical risks the band took on the album, such as recording with Brazilian natives, as experimenting is something he doesn’t think enough bands do with their own music.
“A lot of bands like to play it safe. [They’re like] “We’re just making this record for the fans, and we’re good at it.” And we’re just not that kind of group. We like to push the limits. We like to move forward. And we never really tried to make the same record. For me, it was an exciting record,” he explained.
The Sepultura founder further added that he understands why old school metalheads may prefer the band’s albums. Arise (1991) and ANNOUNCEMENT of chaos (1993) on Roots, but that was just the direction they wanted to go at the time. But, coincidentally, this ended up being the last of their records he performed on.
See the full discussion below.