Anton Koltykov of Lithium Magazine recently conducted an interview with Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, SEPULTURA). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Anton: [SOULFLY‘s] latest album, “Enslaved”, is the heaviest and the darkest SOULFLY album so far; what led you in that direction?
Max: Yeah, I just wanted to do something different, you know… I thought the last two records sounded a little bit similar — “Conquer” and “Omen”. “Omen” was a little bit more trash and hardcore, and I was, like, “What else can I do?” I always like to surprise the fans a little bit, so I started to listen to a lot of heavier stuff, and I listened to a lot of my older records, my old death metal records like ENTOMBED, NAPALM DEATH, MORBID ANGEL, DEATH, MASSACRE, and then I also started listening to a lot of newer bands that were really heavy like OCEANO, THE ACACIA STRAIN, MOLOTOV SOLUTION, IMPENDING DOOM, I DECLARE WAR, and I was, like, “This is killer!” This is cool music that is being done right and I should take SOULFLY one step heavier. It was kind of an experiment, but I think a lot of people like it the energy of the record, ’cause it’s real brutal from beginning to end. In fact, it was the first SOULFLY record I didn’t even put an instrumental on; it came as a special song on a special edition because I thought the album sounded so heavy, no room for instrumental on this record. It was fun working with [producer] Zeuss…. great guy and he’s done some amazing records like OCEANO. He had a lot of input on that heaviness and helped us create this kind of heavy record. I achieved what I wanted; I wanted to make a completely different record from the last one and we did that.
Anton: You set up great collaborations on SOULFLY records, how do you choose musicians?
Max: Mostly I am fan of their music, some of them I know already so it’s really easy. The friendship comes in place and makes it easier to work with, you know. Like Dez from DEVILDRIVER, I known him many years, so it was really easy going in the studio with him. It’s mostly bands that I really like and I wanna work with, and I think it’s really cool this collaboration idea started with SEPULTURA back in early days. And then “Beneath The Remains” had Kelly Shaefer from ATHEIST, who wrote some lyrics, for “Stronger Than Hate”, we used that, and, of course, “Chaos A.D.”, we used Jello Biafra, who wrote the lyrics for “Biotech”. On “Roots”, we did Mike Patton and Jonathan from KORN, we did “Look Away”. That continued on SOULFLY; “Primitive” had Tom and Chino from the DEFTONES. I got to work with some of my favorite musicians and its fun to put them in a different environment. Like when you hear “Terrorist”, it doesn’t sound like SLAYER, but it has Tom Araya singing in it, so it makes it really cool; this is what he sounds like when he is not in SLAYER. I will do it on every album, I’ll pick somebody different. It doesn’t need to be big, it can be from the underground too, ’cause I like underground music. I like a lot of new bands that not many people like.
Anton: Your music carrier has always involved your family. How do you manage to rock the both worlds?
Max: First thing was not hide it. A lot of musicians hide from the world when they have kids. I don’t know why. I think it’s cool to have kids and still rock out! There is nothing that says that if you have kids, you have to stop rocking out, you gotta be a pussy, just because you became a dad. [Shakes his head] Fuck that! That doesn’t work. When I had my kids, I was proud and tattooed their names on my knuckles and took them on tour. It’s been like that forever. Richie was with NAILBOMB, 1995, my brother gave him a Mohawk, shaved his head and we gave him a guitar and he would go in front of hundred thousand people and make some noise! So yeah, family has always been there. This tour is very family oriented. LODY KONG, which is the young one’s band and Richie‘s got INCITE. It’s an awesome tour, it’s a great package for everybody. Come early to see all the bands and then in the end of the SOULFLY set, we do “Revengeance”, we bring everybody together and do the whole family on stage. It’s great atmosphere. It’s great traveling with the whole family; I think it’s very unique tour.
Read the entire interview from Lithium Magazine.