Interview With Soulfly's Max Cavalera
Band Photo: Soulfly (?)
Recently I had gotten the chance to interview one of my all-time favorite musicians/vocalists Max Cavelera of Soulfly. This was amazing to do since I’ve been a big fan of Max’s since way back when he was in Sepultura. I found Max and his wife both to be extremely nice and very down to earth as well. Anyway, without further adieu here is my interview with Max Cavalera:
Mike (corrosivemind): So, how is the tour going so far?
Max Cavalera: Really good, kick ass shows, we’ve been playing longer then ever our set is, like, an hour and twenty minutes. Twenty four songs, everything from the whole catalog, a bunch of songs from the new album, Prophecy, some Sepultura songs, even some Nailbomb songs.
Mike: What’s it like to be with the new members of the band since the previous members kind of up-and-went before this record?
Max: I’m actually really happy that that happened because Prophecy wouldn’t be the same if it was done without the change. Like, Marc Rizzo, he brought a lot of that thrash back to Soulfly. He’s like c’mon Max you know you have those riffs still in you. I came up writing Execution Style, Defeat U, and Porrada, which is kind of Chaos A.D. era, but with the sound of now, the Soulfly sound. As far as people asking why didn’t they stay, or why did they leave, Soulfly is just different, period, ya know? The one thing that won’t change is my commitment to the fans and to the music.
Mike: In what ways was writing this album different from the previous ones?
Max: Not really at all, I’m just learning new things in the studio. My approach is similar, I write stuff on my own on my four-track. Which is the core of the song, has a verse, has a chorus, that’s really rough. Then I bring it to the guys and let everyone listen to it, then they just add to it. I used to joke before about it being like a cake, or pyramid, you have that foundation, that structure, then you have to just build on top of it. They (the band) can write stuff on their own if they want, that’s what Marc did with the flamingo thing, that’s all his own style. But most of the stuff I wrote myself and had them playing it with me.
Mike: What happened with that whole Ill Nino leaving the tour, what caused that to happen?
Max: I’m not sure really because I don’t like to get involved when it’s all drama like that. From what I saw they just had different views on what the tour was then we did. They thought it was like a rock-star tour, which it is not. The fact that Marc beat up Christian that’s old blood. They had their own tension just building. The fact that they’re mad or whatever that Marc is playing with us and we’re headlining that’s just too bad. I wish they would’ve stayed to be honest, I never did anything to those guys. I never did anything to them, or anyone for that matter. You don’t see me very much, I’m like a ghost. That doesn’t mean I don’t like anyone I’m just private. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I just need my own space. I do what I do, I do the show, but I don’t hang out. Don’t get me wrong I just don’t like to hang out with me much. Whoever thinks it’s a rock-star thing or whatever, it’s really not that’s just who I am. If some one thinks that I can’t argue with them, I don’t think it’s like that but everybody needs their own things. If you ask anyone we’ve toured with like Slayer or Hatebreed if you ask them if they see me much they’ll tell you no. I’m just kind of private. I hope things with them end well, I mean I have been wearing their shirt and saying their name every night of the tour, and I’m still going to wear there shirt. I just hope they come around you know because I like those guys.
Mike: What’s your favorite movie of all time and why?
Max: I think Apocalypse Now, I have lyrics inspired by it, when I wrote Bring It. Just a great, awesome mix-up of madness and mayhem, and chaos and beauty. When they enter that jungle there it’s beautiful and I’ve always wanted to have a stage set-up like that. I always envision the temples and the whole nine yards, I think we need to get a little bigger to be able to do that but when the time comes, yeah I’d love to do that.
Mike: What is your favorite band or even person that just influenced you in your every day life or music, who would that be?
Max: I don’t have one, I have many, but Marc and the other guys are getting me into the new stuff like God Forbid, Chimaira, Machine Head, Slayer I love those bands. Anything from that to Bad Brains, and I love everything pretty much. I like pretty much anything other then country music, pop music, or Hootie and The Blowfish.
Mike: What’s your favorite song to play live?
Max: Eye For An Eye, although Primitive is coming up, on this tour Primitive is just becoming the next big song. The crowd response to that is just fucking crazy. Off the new record, I’d say Living Sacrifice which is kind of obscure cause when we play it live you can tell that the crowd really gets into the song. We’re playing about eight songs off the new record tonight too.
Mike: What was it like working with Dave Ellefson from Megadeth on this album?
Max: Really cool, Dave is a cool guy. It was more like a guest type thing but he ended up playing about four songs and did the Prophecy video. He’s really updated he loves Soulfly, and he knows all our stuff. He’s doing his thing with his new band F5 now, and he’s doing his own thing and I wish him the best he is a great guy.
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