Max Cavalera Once "Got Busted" Drinking Hand Soap for Alcohol | Revolver

Max Cavalera Once "Got Busted" Drinking Hand Soap for Alcohol

Sepultura founder recalled a "final straw" experience prior to getting sober
max cavalera PRESS 0218

Max Cavalera has had a pretty wild life. The former Sepultura frontman, currently of Soulfly, Killer Be Killed and Go Ahead and Die, grew up living in poverty in Brazil, which yielded a rough and rowdy upbringing for the prolific metal titan. On a new episode of the "Hardcore Humanism With Dr. Mike" podcast, Cavalera opened up about a lot of the crazy shit he got into when he was younger, specifically focusing on some scary situations he got into prior to becoming sober. 

At one low point, Cavalera said that he "got busted" by his wife, Gloria, for drinking liquid hand soap in order to get a buzz off of the product's alcoholic content. He said that incident was "one of the final straws" prior to him getting sober. 

"[We were on] some European tour and I wanted to drink real bad and there was nothing on the bus to drink," he recalled, as transcribed by Blabbermouth. "I ended up going to the bathroom and drinking hand soap, liquid hand soap. I got busted doing that. My wife opened the door, and I've got the whole jug of hand sanitizer. She was, like, 'What the fuck are you doing?' I [was], like, 'I'm drinking hand sanitizer. I need help.' It was one of those crazy moments." 

Elsewhere in the interview, he reminisced about a totally nuts night doing cocaine in the Amazon rain forest after a show. 

"I remember one time we played fucking Manaus — that's in the rain forest in the Amazon — and I did the best coke you could probably do," Cavalera said. "After the show, this guy showed up with the purest Bolivian white powder. I did a shitload of that. I was up all night.

"I ended up going to the rooftop of the building and I sang the entire Beneath The Remains [Sepultura album], air guitaring by myself on the rooftop of the building and I watched the sun come up — super high on fucking cocaine. It was an amazing experience, man. Maybe the cocaine was just good. I don't know. But it was an amazing experience. And I had some many interactions like that throughout my life."

Eventually, Cavalera ended up finding the strength to pursue his sobriety, and ultimately succeeded.

"Little by little, I went through the different phases of to stop drinking, stop taking drugs," he said. "One of the main ones was actually going to a place, going to a facility. It's very cliché, but I think it does [help].

"Everybody is different. Some people can do it on their own; they have that willpower. I really couldn't; I didn't have that much willpower. So I went to a place. I was there six to eight months. It was in Florida. And it was a miserable experience there, just learning. They drill that shit in you 24 hours a day in the classes. 

"I missed my family a lot. But because of that, because of missing my family, being in this place, I kind of looked around and realized what I really love most. Do I love getting fucked up and drinking and doing drugs more than my family and music. No, I don't think so. I really like music a lot and I like my family a lot. So it was kind of one of those kind of moments. When I got out of there, I was, like, 'All right, so…' I made the decision what my prio…I have different priorities. It's back to my first love — metal, music. It's as simple as that."

Listen to the full interview below via Spotify.