Friday, November 29, 2013

...Tribal Travelogue……Part 3 of 4 ...

A rooster's crowing and a gong-like noise were our alarms in the morning.  I found out later they were hitting a large railroad tie that was suspended to a tree.

We applied our morning toiletries: a very thick layer of insect repellent, and on top of it, sun-screen.  Though it was early, the insects and sun were relentless. 

With the new day, so came hunger and thirst.  We marveled that the Indians never seemed to drink, eat, or sleep, as we do.  We saw them eat an occasional mango, but never more than that. 

With no supplies still, I was overjoyed I could still have my morning coffee.  Such little luxuries.  I must admit, though, we were getting a bit nervous without a sign that our airplane was approaching, but continued with the day’s activities as if we had no worries. 

The band was led to a hut where they were given the traditional bamboo wrist and ankle bands, the rope and feather necklace, and the rope belt.  Lastly the paint was applied. 

The paint from the healing ceremony was red paint from the waist to neck, with three stripes down each arm and on each side of the chest, and also red paint on each thigh, like a band.  Black paint was applied from the ankle to the knee.  Feathers were then arranged in their hair to provide the finishing touches.  


  During the painting ceremony, as luck would have it, our plane with supplies arrived.  Finally!  Along with our food and water, it carried our most important gear - our recording equipment.  The gear was set up under the three mango trees we visited so often.  The Indians said the acoustics were great, and the large trees provided us with sanctuary from the sun. 

A short test song was done this time.  Sepultura sat in the center of the circle, Max and Andreas on acoustic guitars, Paulo and Igor on drums.  Ross Robinson, our producer, directed.  He was "connected," he told us. 

Some of the men used various percussion instruments - handmade gourd maracas.  They all stamped their right foot in time to their chanting, which grew louder and louder, sometimes diminishing to almost a whisper. 

Once, the children surrounded me, admired my tattoos and writing, and touched my green hair.  I was joined by a tribe elder and shared my Marlboros.  He was splendid, with the red paint on his forehead and both ears pierced. 

Me with the tribe kids
 They wear a piece of wood which is inserted through a very large hole in their ear.  In September, they held their piercing ceremony.  When a boy turns 14, he is to become a man.  They stand in the river for two days to soften their skin, coming out only to eat and sleep.  A slender piece of wood is inserted through their ears.  The older and wiser they get, the large the piece of wood. 

The women and children watched the dance, only the men participated this day.  I learned that when a man marries, his father chooses his bride.  They are also allowed more than one wife. 

We soon stopped for a break, with the hot sun beating on us.  We took a lunch of potatoes, rice and chicken, and the enjoyed the luxury of a short rest.  The flies and other insects attacked us as we tried to sleep. 

Around 4:30 P.M., the band did a very impressive photo shoot with Michael Grecco manning the cameras.  It took place in an old abandoned building nearby.  When this was completed, we returned to the recording site. 

The Indian performed various chants to decide which chant would be most suited to accompany Sepultura.  The Datsi Wawere chant was selected and the test recording done.  It was now dusk, we had a break for dinner and returned for an hour.  

  We returned and the final take was done.  The tribe asked for Sepultura to perform, but we explained that Sepultura plays with amplifiers and much more gear.  They understood and returned to their late night activities. 

The band, Roadrunner reps, Ross, myself, Cipasse, Severia and the chief met at the school house for a meeting that went on until midnight.  It was here that we went into detail about the intent and usage of the photos and video.  The tribe was extremely concerned about how we will project their image to the world.  It was a great meeting, with Sepultura also expressing their concerns.  They, too, have suffered prejudice because of their music, tattoos and overall appearance.  We ended with mutual respect and heart felt admiration for each other. 

Friday, November 22, 2013


…The red paint is made from a small fruit called urucum. It is collected, cooked, and then made into a paste. The Indians chew coconut which, when mixed with their spit, produces an oily mixture, which is then spit on the block of red dye and then applied to one's skin and hair.

We were then allowed a short swim in the river and relaxation time. I met Severia, Cipasse's wife, who speaks English. Apparently, she was from a more privileged family and was allowed education at the University of Goiania.
 A few of us went back to the mango tree for a meeting regarding the recording. It was short and technical; afterwards we returned to dinner. After the meal of rice, beans and chicken, we were invited to the parliament area for a typical night of chanting, dancing, and generally warming up.

 We were seated on benches in the center of the Indians, with both men and women. The moon provided a brilliant atmosphere, as it was the only light. I am told that the Indians can see much better in the dark than we can. The mood was intense, with their chanting and circling, and I felt as if I had been teleported back in time. It was explained to us that this was the Daitsi Wawere healing chant, which they perform all night around the house of a sick person. Some of our band and crew joined in the circle and turned it into great fun for the closing of the day.
w/Ross Robinson

As I lay in our tent, listening to the termites crunching the leaves under us, I marveled at how this ancient civilization had made its way into the present day, still preserving their year's old traditions. Their life goes on, day after day, without a care of what is going on in the rest of the world. No TV, radio or magazine stand here, only self preservation. It was as if they had made it through time, holding on to their values, to share them in this very special meeting with Sepultura-a merging of cultures in the one truly universal language that has no

To be continued….

Class dismissed….

Friday, November 15, 2013


Early this year, when Max mentioned his idea to record with a tribe, I knew I had to take the idea seriously.  I knew him too well.  Ten months later we sat in the sweltering heat outside the Xavaante's kitchen, and awaited our airplane with supplies.

Since the previous day we had been without our airplane with supplies containing recording and camera equipment, along with our food and water rations.  Apparently, it had become too late to arrange for the fourth plane; landing at night on the tiny airstrip with no lights was not a possible task.  The generous Xavante hosts shared their food with us - rice, beans, and spaghetti, which I found out later had a tapir-meat sauce.

Yesterday, we had arrived in Sao Paulo and met with the various people accompanying us:  Max Cavalera, Andreas Kisser, Igor Cavalera, and Paulo Pinto Jr.; Ross Robinson (the producer); Igor's wife, Monika; Christina Newport with baby Igor; Michael Grecco, our photographer; and myself, the band's manager.  The next morning we were joined by Roadrunner Records Brazilian staff, Junior and Luciano, the Indian affairs spokeswomen, Angela Pappiani, sound engineer Evandro Lopes, and video producer Silvestre Campe.  Our party now complete, we left for the city Goiania, the capital city of the state of Goias, in the north.

In Goiania, it was discovered that the tape was on the wrong size reels.  A radio station was found where the tape was rewound onto smaller reels.  Some last minute shopping was done for supplies.  The baby and Christina left securely to the Castro Hotel.  Then we were all off to the airport for a 1:00 p.m. flight.   It was raining heavily so we waited in the airport for the weather to clear.  We were granted our wishes and departed before long, dividing up between 3 airplanes.  

The flight from Goiania was unequalled by any previous flights we had been on.  The tiny, six seater, twin engine Cessna, battled turbulence and rain for nearly two hours.  The Earth below never seemed to far away, or so vast, seeming to go on forever.  

We slowly circled over the tribe during our descent.  We were all craning our necks to see what was out there.  To our amazement, we saw majestic huts of bamboo, with children running to greet the plane.  We could see their strong faces filled with anticipation - like our own.  It was around 4:00 p.m.  

We were led to our quarters: a two room school house.  We were welcomed by the Xavante spokeswomen Cepasse, the Chief Isupto, some elders and various members of the tribe.  They shared their feelings of waiting for Sepultura, for their two musics to be joined as one. Everything we found was like a ceremony, a wonderful ritual in which everyone understood when they walked away.  
Me and the Tribe

We were led through the village to the area they call "Wara," or parliament.  It is here the tribe gathers for their discussions - everything being discussed.  On this day, it was the site of our formal introduction to the Xavante community.  We were lined up and they proceeded to file past us one by one - elders; young warriors; and lastly the women - shaking our hands and welcoming us.  Their warm expressions told us they were happy and sincere.  The Indians then went under the mango trees and the eldest told us a story of their prior experience.  We each, one by one, introduced ourselves to the tribe.  Max and all the band members spoke to the tribe, the mutual respect was overwhelming.  Throughout this ceremony, several children and women lingered nearby.  Each was a masterpiece of it's own, from the smallest child to the eldest.  Their typical Indian features were accented by their haircuts, bracelets around their ankles and wrists, rope and feather necklaces, red and black paint appropriately garnished.  

To Be Continued...

Class dismissed...

Friday, November 8, 2013


How many times I saw those tour buses cruise by...dropping some celebrity off..... bulleting past our little putt-putt cars on the highway. I never thought I would one day feel at home on one of those night liners!

The first bus I ever had was a beat up Model 10 from Nashville. It came complete with a tiny hillbilly driver. The first thing he told Sacred Reich and me was "no grabassing on the bus!" We shot quizzical looks at each other; what the hell was he talking about? The bus blew up 90 miles outside Phoenix, 1 1/2 hours after we left on tour, and we found ourselves stuck in Flagstaff. Another Model 10 came to our rescue. The last I remember, it made it through the tour, but the AC broke entering the desert from California. As we happened to peer out the microwave window, the Space Shuttle flew over us and landed in front of our eyes!!

There are many rules on the bus. Throw your garbage away. Don't leave socks laying around or they go in the garbage. Or any clothes laying around, for that matter. Never ever go number 2 on the bus!!! That is the main rule! I have been on many poo-ed in buses that end up broken, plugged and phewed, from unsuspecting guests and secret bomb droppers leaving their territory. This is a big no-no. If you are invited on a bus, I suggest you keep your poo to yourself or risk becoming the next joke!

Some buses have kitchens, some have showers and some have real bedrooms in the back. I have traveled on all types. Willie Nelson took me on a tour of his bus and it was decked out cowboy style! He had a bedroom with a beautiful woolen horse blanket, a compact computer room and a nice front lounge. It smelled like country..and something else...

For many years, to raise our children and stay a close family, Max and I got our own Family Bus. It was costly, but the rewards of raising our children from an arm's length and not on a telephone from the other side of the world, was priceless. That time with your family, when the children are young, can never be gotten back if you miss it. It was very important to us.
Red Carbus

Check out the photos of the bus we are on now. We have a bus company, Taylor Tours, in America and Red Car, in Germany, and they are family now. We have our 'home on wheels' in Europe and North America. It feels good piling on the bus, lugging your tour shizzle you can't leave home without! We have the same bunks each tour. In Europe, I even have a private office in the double decker!

Come inside, and see for yourself!

Class dismissed....

Friday, November 1, 2013


As we continued our tours, I arranged a European co-headline tour with a band called Paradise Lost. They had a new album out, like the Seps and together we would make a great bill.
 It was winter in Europe, at the time, and we were cruising on 3 buses with a catering company snug in the crew bus...Cat and Mouse Catering. Two English girls with amazing culinary skills and warm hearts to match. Eating healthy and comfort food at the same time!
Mouse and Cat
Eddie Roche
Silvio Gomez
We were playing in Berlin to a sold out crowd. The tour was very successful and camaraderie was thick. Our bus left about 1:00am for the next city, pulling out before the crew and Paradise Lost's buses.
Bill our bus driver
Cruising not far from the venue, Andreas, baby Zyon and I were in the top lounge at the front of the double-decker. The street was dark and deserted in front of us. All of a sudden, a tiny car pulled around us, stopped abruptly in front of us, causing the driver to hit the brakes. We watched speechless as the car's driver and passenger jumped from the car, put a small blue light on top of their car and ran to our bus. The door opened and a man wearing plain clothes jumped in the front door and ran upstairs pointing a gun at us! The only words that came out of his mouth was "a baby?' The other man entered the rear door and had a gun to Iggor's head. Our first thought was "we are getting hijacked by terrorists!"
The 2 men forced the guys off the bus, and arranged them in a line, with their hands high on the outside of the bus. They let Zyon and me stay inside because it was too cold out. The shakedown began... I peaked out the window and saw the owner of the bus company, Steve Witter, lined up with the band. How was I going to get through this? Surely he would never lease me a bus again!!

 Team after team arrived and we realized we were in a drug sting operation, which made no sense. The officers tore each inch of the bus apart. Then came the German Shepard's, then more police and more dogs. Over and over, meticulously turning over and destroying all personal bags, bunks, food storage area, bathroom, you name it; they searched it!
After 3 hours, the Commander entered the bus. Long wool coat, officer's hat, black gloved hands...he walked from the downstairs to the upstairs and out the back, turning his skull every which way as he walked, making sure no stone was unturned. Then....they all got in their vehicles and drove off without a peep!!

Feeling very violated and with the bus engine dead from the power used up in the search, we huddled in shock, trying to figure out what just happened! The driver made contact with the crew bus through a cb radio and found out the police had also raided the crew bus and Paradise Lost's bus at the same time as ours! They both got nabbed in the bus parking lot of the venue!

Their officer was nice enough to explain what was going on, and to apologize for the unnecessary search. Earlier in the day, our crew bus driver said he had to fly home because his wife was suddenly taken ill. He left and the new driver arrived with the owner of the buses. Imagine our surprise when the police said the driver reported us to the Berlin Drug Team for being cocaine dealers from Brazil!! He told the police Sepultura were disguised as a band in order to carry out some very shady business enterprise! We were all shocked to say the least.


The tour got back underway and the driver was never heard from again! I never got a chance to interrogate him or give him a kick in the pants!! The moral of the story? Keep your guard up around never know who the psycho is!!
Sepultura with fans

Andreas, Rapadura and Goody

Class dismissed...