Iggor Cavalera: Korn Did Influence Sepultura on ‘Roots’ Album, But So Did Others
Over the weekend, it was revealed that Korn's Jonathan Davis had some mixed feelings about the classic Sepultura album, Roots, which the Cavalera brothers are currently on tour celebrating. In an interview he revealed that he looks at it as a compliment in some ways and is fine with things now, but felt at the time of its release that Sepultura had ripped off Korn's sound. Davis also revealed he wasn't happy with producer Ross Robinson, whom both bands used, and let Robinson know about it after hearing the Roots album. Meanwhile, former Sepultura drummer Iggor Cavalera was a guest on the Do You Know Jack podcast with Jack Antonio and admitted that Korn was definitely an influence on the disc, but so were other acts.
Speaking with Antonio about the Korn influence (heard above), Cavalera stated, "I think they did [influence us]. Not only them, but them with Deftones at the time, they had a particular sound that was quite interesting for us, and that's also one of the reasons that Ross [Robinson] came into the picture — 'cause he could capture that raw sound at that time, and that was really cool."
The drummer continued, "Those bands, they influenced us at the time of Roots, but I think there was a lot more going on than just that. So I think it's all part of a whole combination of elements. When we had someone like Carlinhos Brown, a massive percussionist from Brazil, or even someone like Mike Patton, there's a lot of things going on on the record."
At the time, Roots was viewed as a bit of a departure from the band's previous work. The drummer also spoke about the reaction from their label, Roadrunner Records, stating, "I have to say we built a relationship with labels and everything that they had to trust us. We proved to them that we knew what we were doing, so when time came to do a concept record like Roots, they had no choice — it was either that or we wouldn't be doing an album; it was that simple. Of course, Max can recall and I can recall some people being a bit anxious about what we were doing, but at the same time, they knew that we were really focused on what we were doing and very, very serious about things, so it wasn't, like, just us messing around, trying to be funny with what we were doing. It was very serious."
In a separate interview, singer Max Cavalera also addressed the Korn influence on Roots, telling Metal Insider, "I don’t deny the influence from the first Korn record, which was something we listened to and liked a lot. I liked the rawness of it, and what Ross Robinson did on it, which was why we ended up recording with Ross. Looking back now, I experiment with every tuning – A, D, E, and every possibility now. I think it was worth having a fight over to make it happen."
He added, "Some stuff on the album is in D, like 'Straight Hate' and 'Ambush,' 'Dictators--t,' and then everything else is in B. I think it’s cool because we don’t sound like Korn, and I think that’s what’s cool. When Sepultura played in B, because of Iggor’s drumming, because of the way the songs are structured, it’s very different from Korn. So, it opens up a whole new world."
20 years later, Roots is viewed as one of the gems in Sepultura's catalog, and even though Max and Iggor Cavalera are no longer with the band, they wanted to pay homage to the landmark album by playing it in full to revisit the 20th anniversary. There are a few weeks of dates still remaining stateside before the brothers take it on tour in Europe to finish out the year. Check out the itinerary here.
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