INTERVIEW: Max Cavalera (SOULFLY)
"You know when you're bullshit, you know, metal fans, they have a bullshit detector. You try to push at them, you get caught and you'll be fucked"
On the new Soulfly album rituals...
Max: Yeah, man. You know, this record, we worked very hard on it since last year. And I think we started working on this around September of last year and it's been the whole October, whole November so it's a whole year to make a record like this the right way. We actually entered the studio, January 2nd. It was, like, celebrating New Years and then next day getting ready to get packed and go to California to record. But, it came out really great. I love the collaboration. Ross is great on The Rapture. Being an Immolation fan, I could not help but love the song. Randy did great on Dead Behind the Eyes. Great, great track. Great voice. I'm a big Randy Blythe fan. I love the record in general. I think the song Ritual stands out. It's one of the classic Soulfly songs for the ages. There's a lot of cool tracks on the album, Summoning, Demonize, Blood On The Streets. Even Feedback is a bit more like a rock and roll Motorhead kind of a song. It's a fun record, I think. It's angry, heavy, but fun. It's actually ... It's enjoyable. I think that's the word I was looking for. I think when you listen to Ritual, you engage with it. I think it's kind of cool. It draws you in and makes you want to be part of the experience.
On staying inspired It's hard, it's not easy. Okay man I think a lot of it is what I listen to. I'm a sponge, I'm a musical sponge I listen to all kinds of stuff. A lot of the new stuff. Everything from Bolzer to Gatekreeper all the way to Genocide Pact to Outer Heaven. I'm a huge metal fan so I'm a huge huge nerd when it comes to metal. I make lists of bands that I wanna check it out, I try to get into contact with them, support them on the ground so it's a bit back to how it was when I started Sepultura because I was tape trading with Chuck from Death and trading with Morbid Angel. So it's similar to what I do right now with these new bands. So, as far as the music itself, I'm very critical of myself, you know, I'm very, I don't settle for just good it has to be killer, it has to be great, you know. So when I'm in the studio, I'm very demanding of the other guys. I'm very demanding on myself. The shit's needs to got ... It really got to hit hard, it really gotta be on point otherwise it doesn't cut in the album. Actually, we threw a whole song away, on Ritual that we didn't feel was strong enough to be on the album. We ended up scratching the whole song and you know, it just didn't make the cut. But yeah, I, I really love what I do I'm a passionate guy for what I do. Those records are made with my whole heart and I think they're very honest albums, yes I think people can see through the honesty. You know when you're bullshit, you know, metal fans, they have a bullshit detector. You try to push at them, you get caught and you'll be fucked. So I think like on that area I think we're pretty safe. I think, I think Ritual is a very honest record from beginning to the end. It feels like a good rec ... it feels like a solid record. It's like the Soulfly record I wanted to write for a long time and I finally did it, you know. And uh, yeah. I don't know, working with Josh was great. Josh Ruben, who's a great producer, the collaborations was great. The album cover came out great. You know, they are a good, like a good team ... good team making the record.
On the album Psycosis by Cavalera Conspiracy
I still listen to that right now and love it. I still, even though we haven't not even toured, we haven't toured for that record yet. I think hopefully that next year we can do a little bit of touring for Psychosis. Um, it's a very strange record. It doesn't have the big hopes like the Soulfly records have or even some of the simple tour of Blazer record had, but it has the kind of underground vibe of Schizophrenia. It really takes me back to the schizophrenia era. Even the name psychosis, schizophrenia is a bit similar. And, uh, I think you could draw parallels about ... about those two records in a big sign and I've been able to embrace the sound of right now, our tour's production was amazing. He's a great, you know he did power trip and inquisition and he's a great producer and the tracks came out great man. You know, they're really, really cool, really fun. And you know, Spectral War. Those are all really fun, really fun songs to play. On playing with David Ellefson (Megadeth) again on the latest Metal Allegiance album...
I was not actually in the studio with him when he wrote it. He wrote the song without me and he just gave me the song instrumental for me to put vocals on. But David is a great guy. He played in, in Prophecy, he was even in the video of Prophecy with us, um, when he asked me to be part of that, I was extremely happy and very honored and he wrote a tribal song for me, man. It was killer. It was our ... Everything was up my alley, you know, it was a matter of finding inspiration and uh, inspiration came in the form of a serpent in the rainbow, which is kind of a Wes Craven Nightmare, voodoo nightmare kind of a movie and a lot of the lyrics for that were from that movie. And uh, yeah, so I called it Voodoo of the Godsend and it's just kind of a freaky, creepy name, Kinda like really kind of exotic kind of name. But yeah, I did some chanting again the second ... I think I was inspired when I did that Voodoo Of the Godsend was same kind of time that I was doing a Ritual. So I ended up doing some of the chanting on Ritual ... also on the Ritual album. Um, the tribal thing it hits home with me, man. It's just killer. I love it, you know, every time I have a chance to do something that's tribal-oriented material, I go for it, you know. It's always fun. Thoughts about the impact of of recently deceased drumming legend Vinnie Paul...
Max: Yeah, we toured together with Sepultura, with Pantera, with Soulfly, with Pantera and Morbid Angel. Vinnie was always nice and he'd come to see me all the time, you know. Even his brother came to see Soulfly first time we played in Dallas back in 99 ... 98. There were huge awesome bands and really good guys, you know, very ... I think the era, you know the Texas brothers, it's almost like a whole era is gone and it's very sad to me to think that that whole era is actually gone. Especially the two brothers being all dead now it's really, really sad, but they created some great music and he was a great drummer and a great guy. And uh, so definitely left ... they left a mark in the metal world, you know.
Hear the full interview
New album "Rituals" is out now!
SOULFLY - Under Rapture feat. Ross Dolan (OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO)
SOULFLY - Dead Behind The Eyes feat. Randy Blythe (OFFICIAL TRACK VISUALIZER)
METAL ALLEGIANCE - Voodoo of the Godsend (feat. Max Cavalera)
CAVALERA CONSPIRACY - Spectral War