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30 Sep 2013

Soulfly

Max Cavalera answers the phone on the other side… of the planet, sounding up for yet another interview. It’s noon over there, while it’s 10PM in Athens, Greece, while the conversation is fired up with the new Soulfly album, the guests, the family atmosphere in the band, as well as Max’s memories from Greece. Oh, he also made a comment about his old band, you know… Sepultura!

Interview: Alex Kollias



Rockpages.gr: Hello Max, let’s talk about the new Soulfly album,it’s called Savages and it’s out in October I think…  I’ve only listened to two tracks, ‘’Master Of Savagery" and ‘’Bloodshed", can you describe us the rest of the album?

Max Cavalera: For me Savages are mix of everything I like in Soulfly as an extreme side in songs like “Cannibal Holocaust”, “Fallen”, “K.C.S.” would reach for Napalm Death, is the more extreme side of Savages and then has some really old Soulfly groove like “Bloodshed”, “Master Of Savagery”, "El Comegente" and “Spiral” and some new stuff like "Ayatollah Of Rock ‘N’ Rolla" which is new for Soulfly territory we’ve never done a song like that and It’s kind of great to explore this kind of mix of Soulfly and Clutch together,kind of a really interesting mix of sounds and ideas.I think Savages is for me a perfect combination for Soulfly because it has both things, the extreme stuff that people love from Enslaved and the groove that people love from records like Soulfly and Prophecy and that’s what I tried to make with Savages, a mix of old and new.

Rockpages.gr: That’s what I wanted to tell you from the new songs I heard, musically they are like back to the roots but with the trademark groove of Soulfly…

Max Cavalera: That was the idea, especially “Bloodshed” has my favorite riff I’ve done the last twenty years, it’s in between my three favorite riffs of all time and Iwas really happy to find a riff to open, it’s a kickstarter the “Bloodshed” song and “Master Of Savagery” got a great groove, a very very powerful groove,the kind of stuff that people expect from Soulfly, so I think is really great for the fans to hear that Soulfly are still making this stuff. You know there’s still plenty of brutal like “Fallen” and “Cannibal Holocaust” are very very brutal and very extreme .I think it’s good to have this mix between brutal, extreme and melodic. Savages to me is more diverged than Enslaved, it goes into different territories like "El Comegente" which the outro is like Led Zeppelin/flamenco folk kind of ending of a song.We have some very interesting passages in "Ayatollah Of Rock ‘N’ Rolla" kind of southern rock and “Spiral” is a very heavy kind of grove almost like new bands like Suicide Silence and this is violent, very brutal but again with the very common Soulfly groove trademark. I think overall was a very good record to make, Terry Date did a great job producing it and I’m very pleased.I thing it’s a very nice record and no one will be disappointed with Savages.

Rockpages.gr: I’m glad you mentioned Terry Date since it’s the fourth time that you work with him.He has mixed the albums “3”, “Prophecy” and “Dark Ages”…

Max Cavalera: Yes, and he did a great job on those records. Working in the fourth record with him like this is much more exciting and it was a great experience, we loved the studio in Seattle where we recorded, Terry had a great assistant and for me the sound of Savages is the best sound we ever had of any Soulfly record thanks to Terry Date, you know he’s got that Pantera sound that people just love, is a full big sound and that’s why we love to work with him, I will work with him again.

Rockpages.gr: Of course, if you like what you hear…

Max Cavalera: Yeah I think I can make another really great record with him, he’s a great guy and I think that now that I know him better and know what to expect I can even be more involved and get even a better record out of him.

Rockpages.gr: It’s the first album that you have your son Zyon on the drums as a full member of the band how does it feel?

Max Cavalera: For me is natural to play with Zyon because I played with Igor for all my life, he is a family member. It’s very similar actually playing with Zyon and with my brother, they hit the same, with power, very hard and to me there is a connection between the way they both play. I was very happy to have Zyon joining the band and he did a great job recording Savages.He is only twenty years old and his energy is super exciting and that’s what we wanted to capture.I love the fact that he’s doing so good and to me like Isaid having family members in the band is natural and usual because I’ve done that with my brother for the most of my life and now I’m doing it with my son.

 
Rockpages.gr: And you also have your other son Igor guesting on “Bloodshed”…

Max Cavalera: Yes I have this really punk chorus on “Bloodshed” and Igor has this kind of punk voice so I asked him to do the chorus and actually made the song better, it was really great having him in the song, I think he made it a little bit more interesting.

Rockpages.gr: So we can say that Soulfly is a family business…

Max Cavalera: I always involve my family in lots of the stuff that I do,It was always family for me from the beginning that I started playing with my brother, after I started my own family and Zyon’s heartbeat opened “Chaos A.D.” It’s great that I work with my wife for all those year managing, we work great together and we are a good team and we are a house full of metal, we are a true metal family and I think it’s really cool.

Rockpages.gr: Me too I think it’s great, I know you have some guests on the new album, let’s start with Neil Fallon from Clutch…

Max Cavalera: Yes, when I wrote the beginning of "Ayatollah Of Rock ‘N’ Rolla" it sounded like Clutch actually and I was thinking that it would be great to have Neil singing on this song so I called him and he was really excited to be a part of a Soulfly record, I think he did great, the talking stuff in the beginning that Neil putted is fantastic. It’s one of my favorite songs on the album and it’s such a cool journey between the mix of Clutch and Soulfly and I’m very proud for this collaboration with Neil. He is an old friend, twenty years ago we toured together in the 90’s with Sepultura.

Rockpages.gr: The next guest is Mitch Harris from Napalm Death…

Max Cavalera: Mitch is another old friend and it’s so cool to have two old friends on the album. We toured with Mitch with Sepultura, Napalm Death, Sick Of It All and Sacred Reich, that was an amazing tour we had really great time.You know Mitch has been around for ever, he really even changed Zyon’s diaper once when he was one month old, Ialways thought he was going to be a good dad when he did that, he’s got three daughters, he’s a great guy and I love Napalm Death and it was so cool having him sing "K.C.S." with us he did a great job and I love his high pitch vocal like a witch, he makes the song so cool and I had a great time recording with an old friend.


Rockpages.gr: And last but not least Jamie Hanks from I Declare War…

Max Cavalera: Jamie is from a new band that I really liked I Declare War, I listen a lot of all these new bands like Psycroptic, Man must Die and Armed For Apocalypse, a lot of this new heavy stuff and some of my favorite albums was actually from I Declare War and I thought Jamie’s voice was so brutal and so good and it would be good to connect me with the new generation of metal because I wanted to be part of this movement so I found a way to get in touch with Jamie. I think he was very surprised to get my phone call very excited and he did great, I loved what he did on “Fallen”. It’s very brutal and exactly what I imagined. It sounds a lot like what he does on I Declare War, pure brutality, completely violent vocals, it’s amazing and I love the track, it’s one of the strongest songs on the album. I t’s great to work with a guy  I just discovered and also from the new generation of metal. I ‘m glad to be part of it.

Rockpages.gr: I can’t wait to hear the track and the whole album of course.Are you going to tour after the release of Savages?

Max Cavalera: Yes, in October we start the American/Canadian tour it’s going to be a great time, we are going to play a lot of songs from Savages and in the beginning of the next year we come to Europe for a full European tour and I’m sure Greece will be included. I can’t wait to be back in Greece, I love playing there the fans are so crazy, exciting and manic. Especially with the new material mixed with all the other Soulfly stuff it’s going to be a great set list. So I look forward for the next year for a lot of touring, I think we are going to be on the road for most of the next year, it’s going to be amazing doing a Savages world tour and going everywhere.

Rockpages.gr: We are waiting for you!You have played in Greece with Sepultura in the early 90’s, with Soulfly in clubs and Rockwave Festival and of course with Cavalera Conspiracy what’s your favorite gig experience from Greece?

Max Cavalera: I think with Cavalera Conspiracy, there was a great festival, a HUGE circle pit and I remember that it was one of the biggest circle pits I’ve ever seen and the crowd was completely insane. I remember seeing at the side of the stage all the Morbid Angel guys watching us and headbanging, that was really quite amazing. That was a great festival with great,great,great fans, the energy of the crowd was amazing and of course Iwant to come back and play again in Greece.

Rockpages.gr: That was my favorite too along with the Soulfly appearance in the same festival in 2004…

Max Cavalera: Exactly that was also amazing, so we look forward to come back, it would be awesome.

Rockpages.gr: Sure we look forward too. I have one last question and it’s about Sepultura. Have you ever heard the albums they made after you left the band?

Max Cavalera: No I haven’t, I’m not interested. For some reason I found it difficult to listen them, after I left I really don’t care what they do. I got my own life and I’m not interested in what they are doing.It doesn’t really mater.

More in this category: « Chaostar Danger Angel »

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