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Massimiliano Antonio "Max" Cavalera is a Brazilianmarker singer, guitarist, and songwriter of Italianmarker origins. He was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the metal band Sepultura, before forming Soulfly in the late 1990s. Cavalera was also involved in a short-lived side project, Nailbomb, and is currently performing with Soulfly and another project, Cavalera Conspiracy.


Max has been nicknamed "The Bob Marley of Metal" due to his South American origins and his consistent dedication to experimental and spiritual music. His father, Graziano Cavalera, was the Italianmarker Ambassador to Brazil; he and his family stayed in Brazil after his tenure as ambassador ended. Graziano is buried in Belo Horizonte; Max was only 9 when his father died.

Max's family were in a state of financial crisis and family turbulence when he formed Sepultura with Jairo Guedes, Paulo Pinto, and his younger brother Igor Cavalera. Soon Sepultura would go on to be one of the biggest names in Heavy metal music.

In the early 1990s he relocated to Phoenixmarker, Arizonamarker. He did not begin to make "spiritual" music until after he quit Sepultura. His lyrics are influenced by religion and spirituality as a whole, though he is critical of religion. His albums have all been dedicated to God, and he has often been depicted by the press as a man of religion, especially in America, something that Cavalera himself says he does not understand. As he himself put it:

When asked in an interview whether he was a Christian and whether Soulfly was a Christian band, he said:

 He also stated that he does believe in God, "But it might be different than the God the preacher preaches about."

Of enduring influence to his music is the unsolved murder of Dana Wells, his stepson, who was killed after the release of Roots in 1996. The songs "Bleed," "First Commandment," "Pain," and "Tree Of Pain" are tributes to Wells.

He has reunited with his brother Igor, in their band Cavalera Conspiracy, and wrote and performed on Soulfly's Conquer, which was released in 2008.


With Sepultura, Cavalera played a B.C. Rich Warlock, and now plays a custom ESP 6 String signature guitar. Designed to his specifications and based on the Viper design, the guitar features a Seymour Duncan SH6 Distortion pickup. A budget version (with a stock pickup) is sold under the LTD moniker. Another signature guitar produced by ESP, based on the AX model, is white with a Soulfly logo inlays. He also used a series of Gibson SG guitars during his later years in Sepultura and on the first two Soulfly albums and the tours that supported them.

Cavalera's own guitar is only strung with four strings, as he has claimed that he never used the highest two strings. Besides the guitar, he also plays a berimbau, a Brazilian one-string instrument (cordophone family), and a sitar.


Cavalera has collaborated with many different artists while in Sepultura and Soulfly. In 2006 he joined forces with former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters' frontman Dave Grohl to produce "Red War" for the self-titled release of Dave Grohl's metal project, Probot.


Cavalera has worked with the following musicians:


Cavalera has collaborated with the following bands:

Cavalera appeared in The Scorpion King in an off-camera role, providing the guttural screams for Dwayne Johnson.He also appears in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV as a DJ for the radio channel LCHC.



Cavalera, a dedicated soccer fan, still lives in Phoenix, Arizonamarker with his wife Gloria and his two children, Zyon and Igor.


  1. Exclusive: Talking Music & Horror with Max Cavalera of SOULFLY

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