Delving into the most aggressive styles of the metal world, Soulfly consistently create something unique with every release and from a band commanded by the man behind Sepultura, Max Cavalera, nothing less would be expected. Forever adapting and taking influence from a new school of metal bands, Cavalera wants to push the boundaries with album number eight ‘Enslaved’, stating that it’s the heaviest album to date and a step further in the death metal direction experienced on previous release ‘Omen’. They are joined by new members Tony Campos of Fear Factory fame on bass and drumming whirlwind David Kinkade. Both Max Cavalera and lead guitarist Marc Rizzo caught up with Killyourstereo to talk Soulfly while recently in Australia with Cavalera Conspiracy.
Have you enjoyed your Big Day Out shows with Cavalera Conspiracy?
Max: They have been really awesome, we got some really great circle pits. Circle pits on every show is our mission.
Marc: Our next mission is triangle pits (Laughs.)
On a three week festival tour such as Big Day Out I’d imagine you’d get to see a bit more of Australia than you usually would?
Max: Yeah it’s good. I still haven’t seen a kangaroo or a shark though.
Marc: Have you seen a Kangaroo?
Yeah, I actually have them in my backyard most of the time.
Max: Well maybe we should play a show in your backyard.
I can definitely key that up if you guys are keen! Considering you were the only metal band on the lineup next to our local crossover bands Parkway Drive and The Amity Affliction, I think there would have been a lot of diehards in the crowd.
Max: Yes and I think it’s awesome that those fans came along and we try to give them the best show possible. We were very proud to be one of the only metal bands on the festival, along with Parkway Drive and I guess Soundgarden are kinda metal. I love the old Soundgarden, Badmotorfinger stuff. It’s a cool festival to be on, I did it in 99 with Soulfly and it was amazing. It was really good this time too. Our first time in Australia with Cavalera Conspiracy, finally!
Soulfly is set to release album number eight Enslaved, what can you tell us about it?
Max: It’s definitely Soulfly’s most extreme record, the heaviest so far. Marc did a lot of cool guitar stuff all over the record. Really tasty stuff sonic wise in all the songs. It was produced by Zeuss and it was really cool working with him, he’s done a lot of my favourite bands like Oceano and Whitechapel. It was a fun album to make.
You’ve introduced a couple of new members for this record as well, what do you think Tony Campos (bass) and David Kinkade (drums) have brought to Soulfly?
Max: Tony is a great bass player and a great guy and he brings a lot of professionalism to the band. David brings his youth and he comes from a death metal school of playing and we’ve used that, a lot of double bass, blast beats, that sort of thing.
How did the recording sessions go?
Max: Really good. I actually got a bit of a shock when I got told it was only two weeks til we were in the studio. I fucking freaked out (laughs.) I started collecting riffs from everywhere and wrote until like 1am every morning, went crazy with the work. But when we went in the studio and started jamming it all sort of worked itself out.
There have been collaborations on almost every album you have released and there another few on this record, one with Dez Fafara of Devildriver and one with Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation. Were they good to work with? Were you happy with the result?
Yeah they worked out very good. We didn’t physically work with Travis Ryan because he was tied up with other stuff, so we sent him the track and he recorded vocals for us in San Diego. It sounds great, he’s a great singer and I love Cattle Decapitation, so brutal. I’ve known Dez since the Coal Chamber days, we used to tour together all the time and it was great to do a song with him. We always wanted to do a song together and on this record I picked a song called Redemption of a Man By God which is a religious song, like from the bible. It was really cool to do that song with him.
You also did a song with your three sons on this record, that must have been pretty cool?
It was cool. My kids are growing up and getting very good at their music. In fact Zyan actually played a whole show with us in Belgium and he did really good. It was the right time to invite them to the studio, I know they’re old enough to come into the studio and do their own thing and perform really well.
What has your favourite Soulfly Collaboration been so far?
Marc: They have all been great. Every record we have worked with some really amazing people.
Max: I particularly like ‘Blood Fire War Hate’ with David Vincent, it’s so heavy and I love Morbid Angel. I would have to say the song we did with Tom Araya as well because I’m a big Slayer fan, we all love Slayer, Slayer are fantastic.
Marc: There was a question about the best thrash album being Reign In Blood or Master Of Puppets and I’d say hands down Reign In Blood.
Tough call but I’d agree. Last time I talked to you guys you were just about to release Blunt Force Trauma with Cavalera Conspiracy and were in Australia with Soulfly, now you’re in Australia with Cavalera Conspiracy and you’re about to release a new album with Soulfly. Does it get hard keeping up with two prolific, hardworking bands at the same time?
Max: Yeah one of these days I’m going to get up on stage and announce “Prophecy!” and I’ll look around and will be shaking their heads and saying “wrong band, wrong song.” Nah we manage okay, it’s cool having both bands.
If you could create a supergroup of musicians alive or dead, who would you put in the band?
Max: I’ll do a dead one, it will be more fun. Sid Vicious on bass, Jon Bonham on drums, Hendrix on guitar, Freddie Mercury on vocals. I’d call the band The Deadly Platypus.
Marc: That’s a tough one. I’d have Sammy Hagar on vocals, Dimebag on guitar, Cliff Burton on bass and Vinnie Paul on drums, it would be great to see him and Dimebag re-united.
When can we expect so see Soulfly in Australia again?
Max: Well Hopefully later this year! Or maybe on Soundwave next year. I’ve heard it’s a really cool festival and there’s lots of metal and hardcore and I’d love to be part of that at some point.
What would have been the album of the year last year in your eyes?
Max: To me it would have been Oceano’s album Contagion. Fucking amazing record.
Marc: I don’t listen to much new stuff really but I loved Anthrax’s new record, but I think I preferred Megadeth’s album ‘Thirteen.’
What albums this year are you psyched for?
Max: I’m really psyched for the new Gojira record, they are an amazing band, are you seeing them at Soundwave?
Max: Right, they are a really great live band.
With eight albums now with Soulfly, is it getting hard to put together a live setlist? Especially you incorporate Sepultura songs into the mix?
Max: I think now with eight albums we will be playing 90% Soulfly on the next tour, maybe only one or two Sepultura songs. When we tour with Cavalera Conspiracy as well we don’t need to play so many Sepultura songs with both bands.
Fair enough, well thanks a lot for your time guys, and we’ll see you both when you’re over here with Soulfly!
Max and Mark: Thank you.