Skip to main content

Marc Rizzo, former Soulfly guitarist, rejoins Ill Niño

Marc Rizzo
(Image credit: Gonzales Photo/Nikolaj Bransholm/PYMCA/Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Marc Rizzo has announced that he has rejoined heavy metal group Ill Niño, 19 years after he originally left the band back in 2002.

Rizzo, who already has two Ill Niño stints under his belt, revealed he’ll be rejoining the group for their upcoming record, IIIMortals – their first since 2014’s Till Death, La Familia – after parting ways with his previous band, Soulfy, earlier this year.

Breaking the news during a livestream on Wednesday (October 6) ahead of an official announcement, the electric guitar player also revealed that, as well as recording the album with Ill Niño, he’ll be joining them for their upcoming tour.

“We will be announcing it soon, but I’m doing some recording for the new Ill Niño record,” Rizzo said (via Blabbermouth). “I’m super-excited, man. It’s a different band. It’s not the band it was, obviously, for obvious reasons, from back when I was in the band, in 2002, when I left.

“A lot of things have changed,” he continued. “So, I’m excited to work with these guys. It’s great to reconnect with Laz (Pina) and Dave (Chavarri) and work with the new singer Marcos (Leal), who’s an incredible singer.

“So I’m stoked, man. We’re going to record this new record. I am going to do a tour with them soon, and we’ll see what the future holds. They’re going to be announcing this very soon, and I’m very excited. Yes, I’m rejoining the band.”

Elsewhere in the livestream, Rizzo teased that the upcoming Ill Niño record is “the best shit they’ve ever done”, and heaped praise on new bandmate Leal, whom he labelled “one of the best singers in metal”.

IllMortals is set to be released later this year via Break Silence Music, and will be the band’s first release since the departure of long-serving vocalist Cristian Machado, and guitarists Ahrue “Luster” Ilustre and Diego Verduzco.

As such, it will also be the first to feature the new-look lineup, which now comprises Rizzo, Pina, Leal and Chavarri, as well as Daniel Couto, Jes De Hoyos and Salvadore Dominiguez.

Rizzo’s move comes after he parted ways with his previous group Soulfly in August this year – a group he joined in 2013 after leaving Ill Niño. At the time, the band’s frontman Max Cavalera confirmed, “He did not leave the band. We decided to part ways with him due to personal reasons.”

In a follow-up statement, Rizzo said he “got no support from Soulfly” throughout the pandemic, and that he “never saw a dime” of the band’s 2020 live record, Live Ritual NYC MMXIX.

“Within the [first] six [or] seven months of Covid,” he reflected, “I just said, ‘You know, man, I don't want this anymore. I gave you guys 18 years of my life.’

“And it was a great time. Back in the good years, it was great. But the last eight to 10 years have not been very good.

“[I was] away from my family. Scheduling is crazy. It was impossible to have a personal life, see my family, make plans with my family. So basically, six months into Covid, it was just like, I don't even want to do this anymore. I'd rather just concentrate on my solo project and spend time with my family where I'm happy, where I get my credit for everything I do."

Matt Owen

Matt is a News Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.