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Max recording at the studio.
Max Cavalera
Musician Info
BornAugust 4, 1969(Age 42)
Years-Active1984 - Present
Cavalera Conspiracy (2007-present)
Notable InstrumentsVocals, Guitar
LabelsFather:Graziano Cavalera
Associated actsGloria
WebsiteZyon, Igor, Richie, and Roxanne

Massimiliano Antonio "Max" Cavalera (born August 4, 1969) is a Brazilian singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He was former lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the heavy 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.


His father, Graziano Cavalera, was an employee of the Italian Consulate in São Paulo and died at 40 years of age and 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.

In the early 1990s he relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. He did not begin to make "spiritual" music until after he quit Sepultura. His earlier lyrics for Soulfly were influenced by religion and spirituality, though he is very critical of religion. His later albums, starting with Dark Ages, began to incoporate lyrical themes of violence, warfare, anger, and hatred. 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 untimely death 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, as well as Deftones' song "Headup", in which Cavalera co-wrote and was featured.

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."


Cavalera has collaborated with many different artists while in Sepultura and Soulfly. In 2003 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:

  • Rhys Fulber (Front Line Assembly, Delerium) - live keyboards for Nailbomb
  • Tom Araya (Slayer) - guest vocals and bass on "Terrorist", on Soulfly's Primitive
  • Grady Avenell (Will Haven) - vocals on "Pain", on Soulfly's Primitive
  • Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory) - vocals on "Eye for an Eye"
  • Jello Biafra - on "Biotech is Godzilla", for Sepultura's Chaos A.D.
  • Ill Bill / Immortal Technique - vocals on "War Is My Destiny" on Ill Bill's The Hour of Reprisal
  • Eric Bobo (Cypress Hill)
  • Carlinhos Brown - "Ratamahatta", on Sepultura's Roots
  • Rex Brown (Pantera) - bass on "Ultra Violent", on Cavalera Conspiracy's Inflikted
  • Mario Caldato Jr. - producer on Soulfly's debut album
  • Dino Cazares (former Brujeria, current Divine Heresy, Fear Factory and Asesino) - guest guitarist on Nailbomb's Point Blank and Soulfly's "Eye For An Eye"
  • Jonathan Davis (Korn) - "Lookaway" on Sepultura's Roots
  • Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) - "Bleed" on Soulfly's debut album
  • Dave Grohl - vocals on Probot's "Red War"
  • David Ellefson - bass on Prophecy
  • Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, Tomahawk) - "Lookaway" on Sepultura's Roots
  • Dave Peters (Throwdown) - guest vocals on "Unleash" from Conquer by Soulfly
  • Sean Lennon - on "Son Song", from Soulfly's Primitive
  • DJ Lethal (Limp Bizkit) - "Bleed" and "Quilombo" on Soulfly's debut album, "Lookaway" on Sepultura's Roots
  • Cristian Machado (Ill Niño) - "One" on Soulfly's third album 3
  • Roy Mayorga (former Nausea, Thorn, Medication, Soulfly and current Stone Sour drummer)
  • Chino Moreno (Deftones) - guest vocalist on "Pain" from the album Primitive by Soulfly and also "First Commandment" on Soulfly's debut self-titled release; Max performed guest vocals on the Deftones song "Headup" from the album Around the Fur
  • D.H. Peligro (Dead Kennedys) - drummer on Nailbomb's Point Blank
  • Alex Newport (Fudge Tunnel) - co-founder of Nailbomb
  • Ross Robinson - producer on Sepultura's Roots and Soulfly's debut album
  • Evan Seinfeld (Biohazard) - guest bassist on Point Blank by Nailbomb
  • Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour) - guest vocalist on "Jumpdafuckup" from the album Primitive by Soulfly
  • Matt Tuck (Bullet for My Valentine) - vocals on "Repressed" by Apocalyptica
  • David Vincent (Morbid Angel) - guest vocals on "Blood Fire War Hate" from Conquer by Soulfly
  • David Silveria (ex-Korn) - Additional percussion on "Ratamahatta" on Roots by Sepultura
  • Hornsman Coyote (Eyesburn) - Vocals and Trombone on "Moses" from Prophecy and "Innerspirit" from Dark Ages
  • Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan) guest vocals on "Rise of the Fallen" from Omen by Soulfly
  • Tommy Victor (Prong) guest vocals on "Lethal Injection" from Omen by Soulfly
  • Roger Miret (Agnostic Front) guest vocals on "Lynch Mob" from Blunt Force Trauma by Cavalera Conspiracy
  • Benji Webbe (Dub War, Skindred) - vocals on "Quilombo" and "Prejudice" on Soulfly's debut album
  • Danny Marianino (North Side Kings) - vocals on "Defeat U" from Prophecy by Soulfly.
  • Dez Fafara (Coal Chamber, DevilDriver) - vocals on "Redemption of Man By God" on Enslaved.
  • Travis Ryan (Cattle Decapitation) - vocals on as of yet untitled track on Enslaved.


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.[1] He also appears in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned as a DJ for the radio channel LCHC.


  • Point Blank (1994)
  • Proud to Commit Commercial Suicide (1995)
Cavalera Conspiracy


Cavalera, a dedicated soccer fan who supports Brazilian football club Palmeiras, still lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Gloria and his 4 children, Zyon, Igor, Richie, and Roxanne.


  1. Full Cast and Crew for The Mummy Returns. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2009-04-07.