Enlarge This would seem to back up the Cavaleras' claim that the band is not to blame for Rizzo's pandemic-induced financial hardships.

Report: Soulfly’s Max and Zyon Cavalera Both Received PPP Loans During the Pandemic

  • Axl Rosenberg

New evidence would seem to back up Soulfly drummer Zyon Cavalera’s recent claim that the band is not to blame for the financial hardships that the band’s now-former guitar player, Marc Rizzo, says he has endured during the pandemic.

To review, for the three of you who somehow haven’t been following this story…

Last week, Soulfly announced that Fear Factory’s Dino Cazares would be playing guitar for them on their upcoming U.S. tour. That naturally lead everyone to wonder what happened to their usual guitarist, Marc Rizzo, who had been in the band for eighteen years and has also played for the Soulfly-adjacent project Cavalera Conspiracy. Rizzo subsequently claimed that he quit the band because, in his words:

“This has been a very difficult year. I got no support from Soulfly. There was no sort of loans that were taken out for the bandmembers or the crew… I had to go back and get a day job… There were years that were good financially, but this year — again, there was no loans, there was no, ‘Hey, let’s do a live video to make money for the bandmembers or maybe let’s do a special merch deal.’ A lot of my friends, they were doing special merchandise deals. I mean, if you look online, Soulfly didn’t do anything for the band members or the crew. It’s just not right to do that to people during a time like this.”

Soulfly mastermind (and Zyon’s father) Max Cavalera then fired back, saying Rizzo did not quit but was let go for “personal reasons” before calling the guitarist “crazy.” He didn’t really address the “no support” thing, though, so public perception seemed to still be on Rizzo’s side.

That’s when Zyon took to social media to assert that Soulfly and the Cavalera family had supported Rizzo during the lockdown, and Rizzo was “salty” because he somehow didn’t realize he could/should take out a PPP loan as an individual:

“This is for anyone who doesn’t understand how the music business works. During the pandemic, independent contractors [most musicians] were able to receive grants and such thru the govt. My band’s guitar player didn’t file that paperwork for some reason and now is trying to drag my family name thru the mud and play the victim. There’s alot of people buying into that.

“Now that the dust is settled if anyone has any questions feel free to DM me LOL.

“Dude got salty cuz he didn’t fill out the paperwork and blamed us for it. And we paid him a large sum of money in February 2021 to record a new record. So how did we not help him thru the pandemic?”

Which brings us up to speed: Records readily available via ProPublica show that Max and Zyon each received PPP loans, government subsidies widely available to businesses and contractors that often ended up being 100% forgiven, during the pandemic. Specifically, Max (whose legal name is Massimiliano) received loans of $20,583, in April of 2020, and $20,833, in March of this year, while Zyon was granted loans of $2,978 last June and $3,800 this past March.

Report: Soulfly’s Max and Zyon Cavalera Both Received PPP Loans During the Pandemic
Report: Soulfly’s Max and Zyon Cavalera Both Received PPP Loans During the Pandemic
Report: Soulfly’s Max and Zyon Cavalera Both Received PPP Loans During the Pandemic
Report: Soulfly’s Max and Zyon Cavalera Both Received PPP Loans During the Pandemic

Why is this important? Well, if Max and Zyon each got individual PPP loans as independent contractors, then chances are, Soulfly as a group did not — which means that Soulfly as a corporation/legal entity did not. In other words: Yeah, it was on Rizzo to be on top of this.

(And it’s not possible that there was a miscommunication issue wherein Rizzo thought the band was gonna take out a loan and only later realized they weren’t; he has said no one from Soulfly or the Cavaleras contacted him at all during the pandemic. So it seems like he just really, truly, earnestly didn’t realize he could take out a PPP loan on his own.)

Some other random things that are worth noting:

-We can’t confirm that Soulfly did not receive any loans as a corporation because we don’t know the legal name of Soulfly business; it could be something straightforward, like Soulfly Inc., but it could just as easily be literally anything else. If they did receive a loan as a company and took out individual loans, that would technically be fraud. For now, let’s assume the Cavalera family did not commit fraud.

-The counter-argument to “Rizzo should have filed his own paperwork” would probably be “Well, why DIDN’T Jumpdafuckup, LLC (or whatever it’s called) take out a loan?”… but honestly there’s all kinds of fine-print-type reasons that could be the case. The fact that Soulfly didn’t do this does not automatically make the Cavaleras heartless bastards.

-Max’s other sons/Zyon’s brothers, Richie (of the band Incite) and Jason, also received PPP loans. There are no public records of Max’s wife and manager, Gloria Cavalera, having received loans. Regardless, it seems safe to assume that someone in the Cavalera circle — I would guess an accountant or a business manager — was keeping their eye on the ball in a way that Rizzo clearly was not.

And hey, you may look at all this stuff and think, “Shit, Soulfly still could have released a t-shirt or done or a livestream or something to make money for the band.” And, yeah, they could have — and we can debate whether or not they were obligated to do so all the live-long day (remember that to raise money you have to spend money — merch and livestreams don’t just produce themselves; so those kinds of fundraisers are not an automatic win). But remember… Zyon also said they paid Rizzo to record a new album! From their point of view, this may have been a non-issue.

Rizzo has not yet addressed the latest claims from Zyon. But this is already the most I’ve ever thought about the dude, other than to wonder what the hell is in that backpack he wears on stage.

Upcoming Soufly live dates:

8/20/2021  Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM ** [tickets]
8/21/2021  Marquis Theater – Denver, CO ** [tickets]
8/22/2021  Sunshine Studios – Colorado Springs, CO ** [tickets]
8/24/2021  Wave Outdoors – Wichita, KS ** [tickets]
8/25/2021  The Bottleneck – Lawrence, KS ** [tickets]
8/26/2021  Red Flag – St. Louis, MO ** [tickets]
8/27/2021  Piere’s – Ft. Wayne, IN ** [tickets]
8/28/2021  Metal In The Mountains @ Pipestem Event Center – Pipestem, WV ** [tickets]
8/29/2021  Skully’s – Columbus, OH ** [tickets]
8/30/2021  Rec Room – Buffalo, NY ** [tickets]
8/31/2021  Crafthouse – Pittsburgh, PA ** [tickets]
9/01/2021  Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY ** [tickets]
9/02/2021  Alchemy – Providence, RI ** [tickets]
9/03/2021  Alchemy – Providence, RI ** [tickets]
9/04/2021  The Lost Horizon – Syracuse, NY ^ [tickets]
9/05/2021  Diesel Concert Lounge – Chesterfield, MI ^ [tickets]
9/06/2021  WC Social Club – West Chicago, IL ^ [tickets]
9/07/2021  Emerson Theater – Indianapolis, IN ^ [tickets]
9/08/2021  Diamond Pub Concert Hall – Louisville, KY ^ [tickets]
9/09/2021  Zydeco – Birmingham, AL ^ [tickets]
9/11/2021  Warlando Festival – Orlando, FL * [tickets]
9/12/2021  The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA ^ [tickets]
9/14/2021  Scout Bar – Houston, TX ^ [tickets]
9/15/2021  Come and Take It Live – Austin, TX ^ [tickets]
9/16/2021  Trees – Dallas, TX ^ [tickets]
9/17/2021  Country River Club – Tyler, TX ^ [tickets]
9/18/2021  Vibes Event Center – San Antonio, TX ^ [tickets]
9/19/2021  Rockhouse Bar & Grill – El Paso, TX^ [tickets]
9/21/2021  Encore – Tucson, AZ * [tickets]
9/22/2021  Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA * [tickets]
9/23/2021  Alex’s Bar – Long Beach, CA * [tickets]
9/24/2021 The Whisky – Los Angeles, CA  * [tickets]
9/25/2021 Marquee Theater – Tempe, AZ+ [tickets]
* = No Support
** – 8/20 – 9/3 – Niviane
^ – 9/4 – 9/19 – Suicide Puppets

Thanks: R.W.

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