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Interview

Max Cavalera Speaks Out About Killer Be Killed And Autobiography "My Bloody Roots"

Photo of Soulfly

Band Photo: Soulfly (?)

Between touring the world with Soulfly and preparing the upcoming Cavalera Conspiracy album, Brazilian Metal icon, Max Cavalera, found the time to release an album with the super group Killer Be Killed and finally unveil his long-awaited autobiography, "My Bloody Roots."

It's fair to say that this 44-year-old metal legend isn't resting on his laurels but striving for new creative heights. For him, stopping isn't an option.

We had the opportunity to talk with Max about his experience with Killer Be Killed (which also includes members of Mastodon, The Mars Volta and The Dillinger Escape Plan) and the process of putting together "My Bloody Roots" with author Joel McIver. We found him eager and excited to talk about these two new projects.

Do you remember how Killer Be Killed was put together?

Yeah. It was (vocalist) Greg Puciato’s idea. He wanted to do a project and he invited me to do it with him and we did some demos and it was really cool. We added a drummer, David Elitch. He was Greg’s friend, great drummer and we wrote more songs with him and then we ended up inviting Troy from Mastodon, to be the bass player and singer and having three singers. I think that’s really the coolest thing about Killer be Killed, the band has three vocalists. That’s so unique in Metal and made the record really cool and we practiced a lot.

We practiced and wrote songs in different phases and finally we entered the studio and sit down and did the whole record. I’m really excited because I think is a really good record.

You are very well-known guys in the Metal scene. On top of that, the band has three vocalists. Was this an advantage or a problem while writing/recording? Were there big egos clashing during the process?

No, I think it kind of helped that we were from kind of established bands and I think that the mix is really great. I mean, you have Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon, Soulfly and the Mars Volta. It’s a really wild kind of mix. Normally those bands do not really mix but we forced them to mix and that’s what came out on the making of the record. There were no big stars, nothing like that. Everybody was really cool in the studio and we all really just wanted to make a really cool record. The only pressure we had was to make a strong record, make something we could be proud of and we could add to our career, to our catalog. I’m very proud of the Killer Be Killed record. It’s going to be one of my favorite records I’ve ever done.

How different was the working process in comparison with your other bands?

It was pretty different. You know, on Soulfly I write everything, all the riffs, and with Killer Be Killed I wrote with people, I wrote with Gregg and I wrote with Troy and we were sharing everything and although I ended up recording all the guitars except for one song. I did all the rhythm guitars on the studio that was the only difference but on the writing actually me and Greg and Troy were the ones who wrote the record and that was really great. Also on the singing part, I didn’t have to sing so much. For Soulfly I sing the whole record, on the Cavalera I sing the whole record. In Killer Be Killed I only had some songs and sometimes I only had 2 lines on the whole song so it was really easy. I sang two things and that’s it, I was done already, you know. So it was quite different from what I normally do in my own band. It was fun, for me it was actually more fun not being on the front but kind of being in the background, it was actually very interesting for me to do that.

Are there any plans to do live shows/touring with Killer Be Killed or this is just a recording project?

No, we are going to try next year, we are going to get together and do some live shows. Probably a three week to a month American tour and then a month in Europe, maybe South America, Australia and then hopefully we get together again sometime in the future and make a second record. I’d like to do it, personally I think this can be a great project that can really develop into a great future project that makes a lot of really interesting awesome records in the future. I don’t know when, it’s kind of early to say now, we still have to do the shows first. But after we do the shows I’d like to get together with them and maybe start working on more new Killer Be Killed stuff.

Let's talk a little about your brand new autobiography, "My Bloody Roots." Who came up with the idea of doing a book?

Actually it was my wife’s idea. She was like, "I think it should be good for you to do a book right now. I think it’s a good time in your career now. You’ve done so much and you have a great story to tell its an inspiring Rock story, Metal story." We ended up connecting with Joel McIver that did a lot of great books like Metallica, Slayer and Motorhead and Ozzy, he was a great writer and I decided to do it with him.

With so many writers available out there... Why did you choose Joel?

I thought he would be a great guy to do it. He wrote in such a cool way, such an easy way to read. His writing is very simple but very catchy, and keep you wanting to read more and more and I think the book is like that. And we have a lot of great people like Dave Grohl, who did the intro of the book, and great musicians like Mille from Kreator, Mike Patton, Dino from fear factory, a lot of great friends of ours in the book. So I think it's really cool. I'm really proud of it.

Can you tell me more about the creative and writing process... The conversations between you and Joel?

It was mostly by phone because he was in England, but we did meet 3 times when I was there. We talked face to face and those were little longer sets, like 2 or 3 hours conversations. But normally, the phone calls were an hour each and each phone call was about a different story or different phase of my life. So, we talked a lot on the phone, many thousands of hours but it was necessary to get the story right, to get all the parts and not forget anything that could be really critical, I think that’s definitely important.

How long took the whole process from the beginning to end?

Probably 3 years.

Surprisingly, this book is not just about craziness or excess like other biographies out there. It's more focused on your life, struggles and your love for music. How do you think people will react to it?

I think its going to surprise a lot of people. Well, you know, my story is kind of different because I come from a different place. Brazil is really not a Heavy Metal country, so it’s really a different story because of that, because I come from Brazil. It was cool to talk about my childhood and how I got into music and how we created Sepultura, there are great stuff there. So I think you’re right, it's about life, it’s a biography, it's about somebody dreaming of something, conquering and making that dream come true. And I think that’s going to be very inspiring for people to read. Especially if you're young guy in a band that wants to make it into the Rock world, I think if you read that book it's going to be very inspiring, That’s really cool.

Oscuro's avatar

Ramon Martos Garcia proudly writes for Metal Underground.com, PureGrainAudio.com and other metal/rock related websites. He's the owner of an indie record label and runs a site about Metal album covers, And Justice for Art.

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5 Comments on "Interview With Max Cavalera"

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Anonymous Reader
1. Tutmés writes:

Dave Grove? Who's that? Most definately he said "David Grohl", which wrote the intro to the book.

# Jun 1, 2014 @ 2:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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2. BrokenFace writes:

Its a very interesting book. I personally loved it, it finally explains why Bobby Burns left soulfly.

# Jun 1, 2014 @ 2:55 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. chips rafferty writes:

Anybody surprised it was gloria's idea?
Me neither.

# Jun 2, 2014 @ 9:50 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
4. GUEST writes:

awesome book

# Jun 4, 2014 @ 2:29 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. the devil's rejected son writes:

Max Cavalera is a big pile of sh**

# Jun 4, 2014 @ 7:42 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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