After the Brixton show and Sepultura’s collapse, we returned home mentally exhausted and physically drained. Christmas was only days away and the mood around our home was of despair. We tried to carry on for the children, but with their brother gone forever, it was next to impossible. On Christmas Eve, we received a letter saying the funds from all Sepultura accounts were frozen because of the split. It was the last straw. No money, no Sepultura and even worse, no Dana.... life was spiraling, deeper and deeper into the dark unknown.
Christmas morning we all watched a video of our Christmas the year before. Dana was passing out the gifts and Zyon was rocking out to the Deftones' Bored. It seemed an eternity away. All we could do was go through the motions.
1997 rolled in like a foreboding storm. The sun was shining in Arizona, but our house was full of gloom. Max and I were fighting breakdowns 24/7. We lived off each other's energy, trying to hold each other up. Our lives were so fragile during this time period.
I knew something was wrong with the police assessment of the accident that took Dana's life. I immediately knew he had been murdered. Why couldn't the police see?? I teamed up with Dana's girl, Kristen Carneal, and we became detectives. If the police couldn't solve this mystery, we would. I wore a Cleopatra Halloween wig to cover my green hair, put on wife beater t-shirts and we went into the gang areas. I never told Max or anyone what we were doing. I did not want him to worry about us. We girls had nothing to lose.
Max created his own therapy. He set up his recording equipment in the kitchen, like he had done since Chaos AD was written. In no time at all, he was the Creator! The first song he wrote was Eye For An Eye. I could only marvel at the brilliance of his writing! The passion of the emotional state of our home was infused in his anger and pain. His original lyrics, which he later revised during recording, said it all...
You stole what I create, playing with my fate, integrity is not a game.
Who do you think you're fooling, pretending that you're ruling,
Can’t you see it's not the same...
We made a short trip to Sedona, to a favorite retreat, The Enchantment Resort. We had stayed there many times before and thought we could clear our minds a bit. When Roxanne, our daughter, and I walked in, we almost had a heart attack! There at the front desk was JFK Jr., checking in to a room. We girls couldn't speak! Damn, the man looked good in a suit! He looked at us, with my green hair blazing and said "Far out!!" We all laughed! We walked out to the car and told Max and the boys about our adventure.
Soon in the room, Max set up his 4-track and began writing in the morning. He wrote the classic song "No" at this moment. The original lyrics also included "No JFK, No Courtney Love." Maybe I said JFK Jr. was cute a few too many times for Max's liking....??
Back at home, Max continued to spit out hits!! I was so amazed each time he let me hear another song. "Tribe, Primitive, Bumba, Quilombo, The Song Remains the Same," they flowed out of his mind like a quick thought! Max also honored a fellow Brazilian artist who had died in a car accident shortly after Dana whose name was Chico Science. He called the track "No Hope, No Fear." “Bleed" was penned during this period of anger and pain. It helped Max release his emotions about the lack of justice and the agony of losing someone abruptly to violence. He also wrote songs that have never been recorded..."Loser" and "Judas" among others. It was also at this time he wrote the basis for "Head Up," a cassette he would carry with him to Seattle at a much later date. I knew my man was slowly healing.
I called Monte Conner at Roadrunner and told him Max was ready for him to hear music. I knew we had enough songs for a killer cd and I could tell Max was ready for the studio. We flew to New York, songs in hand and faith in our hearts. We were going to get through our Dark Ages.
We met with Cees Wessels and Monte and discussed the possibility of a new deal and recording session. Monte loved the songs and we could feel a glimmer of light enter our lives. I explained we had no band and assured them it would be no time at all before we had a lineup. To our amazement and secret hopes, our project was accepted and a giant hurdle was jumped. Back in Phoenix, Marcelo Dias, a longtime friend was hired to play bass. Lucio, the guitarist of Chico Science, was asked to play guitar and a young man we had recently met, Roy Mayorga was invited to drum. We still didn't have a clue to the band name. This would come much later, out of nowhere, standing in the company of the Deftones.
Soon we would be in Malibu at the Indigo Ranch, where we had laughed with Dana and Sepultura. It seemed like the right thing to do. We walked to the outskirts of the property, on a cliff that overlooked a lush valley. A large cactus stood guard over the view. Carved in its soft plumage were the names of friends who had once stood there...Dana, Chino, KORN, and more. We knew we were exactly where we were supposed to be...