Friday, January 25, 2013

A bit of advice...

It is always good to have a mentor, when you are starting out...someone who represents your ideals. I was fortunate to realize I had two; two people to look up to and silently use as my role models. My drive was fueled in part by my mentors. Who are they? Who marched in front of me and held the lantern?

It has been well documented that I have a deep respect and love for Sharon Osbourne. Of course, she was my ultimate role model, side by side with my Mother. Sharon is steeped in charm and wit. She doesn't take any prisoners. It was easy for me to place this woman at my own personal podium. When I met her, she wrapped her wings around me and my family. I knew my perception of her was correct.

Sharon Osbourne
Who else walked hand in hand with this Queen in my Hall of Fame? A man named Cees Wessels, that's who! 90% of you have never heard the name but he played a huge part in your Metal Experience! Many years ago, Cees was the A&R person for Black Sabbath! He could have taken the easy route and nestled in at his desk in the office of a major label, but he didn't. He took a step on a stairway where he could not see the ending....he created his baby, a label you all know as Roadrunner Records! This genius served us more Metal on a platter than most labels combined!! We all need to list him on our list of All Time Metalheads!!

I met Cees when he flew into Phoenix from Holland. He was following up on a band I had just picked up. Atrophy was a garage band from Tucson. I had gotten my hands on their demo, Chemical Dependancy, and I liked it a lot. I sent the demo to the A&R of Roadrunner at the time, Holly Lane. She loved it and sent it on to Cees.
Cees was a G; he flew around the world nonstop, making new labels and checking out the new bands.
One day, I met Cees at the Phoenix airport. It was funny....I was driving a jalopy I had just bought from Jason Rainey, of Sacred Reich. The previous week, I was in a headon accident and the car was a mess! The front was totalled, but still drove. The woman who hit me had no insurance and I had no coverage. I was fortunate it still drove! When Cees got in the car, he exclaimed "They wouldn't let this car on the road in Holland!" I just laughed!

 left to right-The Roadrunner royalty...Monte Conner, Cees Wessels, Myself and Max, Felix Sebatious and Scott Givens

I dropped Cees at a hotel and joined him later for dinner. During the meal, Cees asked me if there were any other bands I was looking at. I said I was checking out a band called Papsmear. He was like "what does that mean?" And that is how we became friends and business partners!

Cees never let me down. The moral for my class?? Find a good mentor and stick with them!

Class dismissed!!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

January 19th, 1993

Pregnant with Zyon

We were rushing to the hospital.  Max grabbed his bag – video camera, photo camera, mic, and DAT machine!  Was this a recording or was I about to give birth. ?

knew one thing, this dude was going to rock; this little creature was going to be Metal!  He was brewed in it, and there was no way out.

No, Max didn’t faint, and yes he did record.  Who knows what pile the tape is in now?  Which box in the archive is that moment buried?

When I looked in those big eyes, framed by a perfect mop of brown hair, I knew his future.  Zyon Graziano Cavalera was here. 

Max, Myself, and baby Z
This little rocker was going to stick like glue.  He was on every tour Max and I did with the Seps.  Every video shoot, every meeting at a label.  Was he a mascot?  Maybe.  He was super chill, and smiled through it all.  You wouldn’t catch Zyon screaming at you on an airplane!
Andreas , Zyon, and Myself

w/ Phil Anselmo

At the age of about 3 months Zyon began repeating what we thought was a riff – do, do, dah over and over.  This music love bonded Zyon with Dana, and they jammed for hours.  We thought Zyon would be a front man, but after a couple years, we noticed he was all about drums. 
w/ Mike Patton
w/ Dave Grohl

He sat at the feet of Uncle Iggor, Roy Mayorga, and Joe Nunez, and the ultimate drummer, Bill Ward. When Zyon was a young teen, he was with Soulfly in Europe on a Black Sabbath tour.  Watching from the backstage, Zyon was chest drumming to the mighty Sabbath.  Bills wife walked up to Zyon, and said “you’re the next Bill Ward.  When I met Bill, he was drumming on his chest like you.”  The next show Zyon was on the stage, getting the lesson of his life.  At the end of the tour, we said bye to Sabs, and Bill gave Zyon a talk I will never forget.  He spoke of his youth, how he would pay attention to the great drummers of his time, Ginger Baker, for example.  It gave me chills at the time. 

You all know the rest – from Moldbreakers to Lody Kong, and guest drumming for Soulfly…..
Young Zyon
 Z 2012

Class dismissed.    

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How we made a band...

A bit of Metal History, a bit of modern Metal History. Let's talk about how we made a band. I call them the Namelous because they don't have a name for the project, or it's been called the Max/Greg project.  


During the recording of Soulfly's Omen in LA, Max was invited to sing Head Up with the Deftones at a benefit for Chi. After the show, as we were exiting, Max ran in to Greg Puciato of Dillinger Escape Plan. One thing lead to another, and soon Greg was in the studio recording Rise Of The Fallen with Soulfly.  

We stayed in touch, and got to be good friends with Greg. He came out to Phoenix and did a guest appearance at the D-Low Show one year, ripping the Marquee Theatre open!! Max and Greg decided to do record together, a brutal masterpiece similar to a Nailbomb part II. It was only natural.  

Greg cruised to Phoenix and we set up a savage camp at our mountain house, free of distractions with only Metal vibrations in the air. The desert was the rehearsal room with giant saguaros standing ground.  

The riffs shot out like bullets, and in not time they had 15 tracks of music. Next, we shifted our launch pad to huntington Beach, where Greg had access to a small jampad. Dave Elitch, former touring drummer for Mars Volta, offered us his skills and soon, the primitive riffs had found a brother, a massive drum sound. 


Troy Sanders from Mastodon, had an interest in the band having been long time friends with Dave Elitch, and it turned out to be the perfect fit!  Now with a sick bass player, the band was complete.  


This week, we all gathered together in California to tighten the screws and throw down some vocals on the music. ''We have to zero in on a name, and I am forever digging in the mountain called the music industry for a really amazing record contract.  

It's all coming together nicely and by the end of the New Year, I am hoping to proudly present all of you with the sickest CD this side of Mars!!

Class dismissed......

Friday, January 4, 2013


1992-I was thrilled when our agent called and said Sepultura had been offered the Ministry tour. Ministry was hot and the venues were all arenas. Helmet was also on the bill, and we were all looking forward to hanging together. The launch day was the day before Thanksgiving, in Milwaukee.
I was nearly 8 months pregnant, but had only gained 15 pounds from all the activity on tour. I felt great! My little bundle was sleeping sweetly in my womb, nestled next to the sidefills; Metal lullabies swimming around him.
The tour was the official last tour of the long, 18 month Arise tour. We ended in style on this one; visitors to the show included Neil Young, Rick Okasik and Paulina, Jello Biafra, Timothy Leary, the Chili Peppers, and on and on...
Sepultura climbed back on the charts, and record sales went through the roof. It was a huge success for us. Shirts were flying out of the merch booth!!
At the San Diego show, Iggor played a prank on a tour manager who dicked us the entire tour. He drew one of his famous cartoons on a shirt and we hung it on the outside of the bus, under the windshield. We caught hell, but it was worth it!
The tour ended right before New Years. We all went home; we were ready for a break after all the world travels.
My break was short because 3 weeks later, on January 19, I gave birth to our son, Zyon. Max was happier than I had ever seen him!! Check out the photos below. You will see one taken minutes after Zyon's birth. I look a bit crazy....
Happy 2013!!! Class dismissed!