Former SOULFLY guitarist Marc Rizzo says that the support from the fans has been "overwhelming" following his announcement that he was exiting the band.
Although Rizzo's departure from SOULFLY wasn't officially announced until Saturday (August 7), it was widely speculated that he was out of the group two days earlier when it was revealed that FEAR FACTORY's Dino Cazares will play guitar for SOULFLY on the band's upcoming U.S. tour, which kicks off on August 20 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Rizzo addressed his split with SOULFLY in a new interview with Rocking With Jam Man. Regarding SOULFLY frontman Max Cavalera's comment that Marc didn't leave the band but was actually fired "due to personal reasons," Rizzo said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I don't think he really brought up dirt. It's just history of the band; there's always been a lot of drama. I don't like to get into all that stuff. I like to just be honest about what the situation was and move forward, which is what I plan on doing, and letting my guitar playing and the music of my bands do all the speaking. But a thank you to the fans. I think the fans realized what was going on all these years. And the support towards me leaving has been very overwhelming. I'm very much blown away by all the love I've gotten from the news. So I'm moving forward. I'm a positive person. I can't wait to get out there and hang out with all the fans and talk to everybody in person. So, a big thank you for all the love and support from the fans out there."
Asked if he could ever see himself working with SOULFLY again, Marc said: "You never know what the future will hold. But everything would have to change. I don't see there being any change. So it is what it is. With [my new band] HAIL THE HORNS, we will be playing a lot of those SOULFLY songs that I'm known for. Also, with my solo project, I've always played SOULFLY songs in my setlist. So the fans are still gonna get that. So it's all good."
As for how he feels about Dino stepping in for the upcoming SOULFLY tour, Marc said: "I've known Dino for a long time, and I think he's a great guitar player. He obviously has done amazing things with his career with FEAR FACTORY. He was a big influence on me. I like Dino. I think he was the obvious choice, 'cause he's always [gotten up on stage to jam with] SOULFLY. So, good for him. I know he's had some downtime too. So I hope he does good. I wish him the best."
Rizzo joined SOULFLY in 2004, and has since appeared on all of the band's subsequent records, including "Prophecy" (2004), "Dark Ages" (2005), "Conquer" (2008), "Omen" (2010), "Enslaved" (2012), "Savages" (2013), "Archangel" (2015) and "Ritual" (2018). In 2007, Rizzo became a member of CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, the side project of SEPULTURA co-founders, brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, and has performed on all CAVALERA CONSPIRACY releases including "Inflikted", "Blunt Force Trauma", "Pandemonium" and the critically acclaimed 2017 LP "Psychosis".
Back in 2018, Max praised Rizzo, telling "The Classic Metal Show": "He loves what he does; he loves playing in SOULFLY; he loves working with me. We are totally connected. He gives 150 percent every show, no matter if there's ten people or ten thousand, which is rare. Sometimes when there's not a lot of people, it's hard to go out there and still be excited and he does it. I do believe he's underrated big-time, but I'm kind of happy about that because if he gets too big, then he will go away. He will join a big band. I'll be out looking for another guitar player and it would suck. It would really suck to lose Marc. I'm kind of happy. It's almost like a secret thing that we have, this treasure that we have. He's fantastic. He's an amazing guitar player. I sit sometimes around the dressing room just to hear him play. Just go in the dressing room to hang out while he's practicing just to hear him playing some of the flamenco sections in the dressing room or when he's just shredding. He's killer. He is a true, true guitar hero."
Rizzo was originally a member of New Jersey Latin metal favorites ILL NIÑO, appearing on their classic 2001 Roadrunner release "Revolution Revolucion" and the 2003 follow-up "Confession".