Interview - Max Cavalera


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Live SoulFly pics

Sam hunts down Max on the Ozzfest tour in Saratoga Springs, NY

Sam: What can we expect the new album to sound like?
Max: "Um, better, I hope (laughs) more stuff on it ya's heavier."
Sam: Heavier? any new instruments on it?
Max: "Umm...mostly...yeah, we've got some stuff, like percussion stuff that's different, Jamacian stuff, Brazilian and Jamacian percussion."
Sam: Any reggae beats goin' on?
Max: "Yeah, there's one song "Bring It" that's got a dub section. Kinda like a heavy, heavy reggae, like dub with alot of low's pretty cool."
Sam: You're gonna have alot of guest appearances on the album?
Max: "Yeah, I mean every record I work with has some people involved, I think it's fun, it's fun to make music like that."
Sam: Think you're keep having guests on every Soulfly album going through the band's career?
Max: "I think so, I think that's a way of making records that started in Chaos A.D. and Roots, and now seems like today it's very normal in other people's albums you see alot of people. I've been in a couple different records...The Deftones, I produce a band in Argentina, it's common to have a guest, I think, I mean it's nothing out of the ordinary."
Sam: Do you think the departure of different band members that have been in Soulfly has affected the overall sound of the band...?
Max: "Yeah, I think it made it better...because if you keep the same members sometimes you sounds the same all the time..."
Sam: Gets kinda stale...
Max: "Yeah, you know like, Mike on the guitars on this album has brought much more fullness and heavyness..."
Sam: Yeah, Mikey's cool...
Max: "yeah, than like, what we had on the first record, so it's keeps it more exciting, more interesting."
Sam: So is he doing any of that trippy stuff that he was doing with Snot?
Max: "Yeah, he does some stuff on the record, he doesn't over do it, but here and there you hear some stuff."
Sam: You guys just get a call up about this tour?
Max: "Well, we were invited, and it felt good because the album comes out in September and then we get to play a song, one or 2 new songs everyday and let people know that we have a record coming out, 'cause alot of the people don't know that yet. So we gotta let people know."
Sam: What new songs are you gonna play?
Max: "Primitive, and probably either Prophet or Mulambo..."
Sam: Are you guys gonna be making a video for the new single?
Max: "Yeah for Primitive...Back To The Primitive"
Sam: Any extra tracks?
Max: "We did some stuff, some remixes, for Fire, that's a really cool one, done by a guy in England, Rootsman..and there's some live stuff, but we didn't really record any covers this time, we're waiting for out of ideas. That was like..I didn't find a cover I really want to do. Maybe it just wasn't like the right time. When you do a cover I think you've gotta put all your heart and soul into it, to try to make're touching other people's music, you've gotta really do it right. The last cover we did, the Black Sabbath one for that tribute..."
Sam: Nativity In Black...
Max: "Umm hummm, yeah, that was the last cover we did, and it was fun. We had some time to do it, and I really like how it turned out...we bang at the end of the song, we bang on these big oil can hear...we didn't even list it on the track, but that's what it is, if you listen towards the end you hear this metal's like these huge oil cans that were laying down in the studio. I think they were oil cans..I donno, they were definately big ass cans."
Sam: You just dragged 'um in and started beating?
Max: "We just...yeah, and they're heavy too, took like 10 of us..."
Sam: Hope they took the oil out first...
Max: "Nah, it was like, heavy and we all brought them in from the parking lot, into the studio...start banging it, it was fun."
Sam: Where'd you guys record?
Max: "Phoenix..."
Sam: So you didn't go too far eh...
Max: "Nah, we recorded the new record in Phoenix, didn't feel like going in some far place...we stay in Phoenix so we stay more focused on the record"
Sam: Who's producing it?
Max: "Toby Wright"
Sam: Oh yeah, trying to think of what he's done, I've seen his name on alot of albums...
Max: "He's also an engineer so he did uhh..Slayer, Metallica 'And Justice For All...' which was probably their last good record" (Editor refrains from comment but makes a facial expression)
Sam: I don't know that the production on it was that good...
Max: "Yeah, I know.."
Sam: Where's the bass?!?!?
Max: "He didn't produce, he engineered...but I guess that's kind of his fault too...(laughing) he forgot the bass... and he did like Alice In Chains and Korn and some stuff like that. But we just picked him 'cause I thought we could change a little bit, I used Ross for 2 albums and I love Ross you know..."
Sam: Yeah, he's doing everything right now...
Max: "Yeah, I wanted to do something different, I'm very happy with the sound...the sound of the album is fat, but still like heavy, but you can hear all the instruments you know? It's hard with my kind of music, I put so much percussion know... the guitars should cover the percussion, but you don't want the percussion to make the guitars sound thin. So it's a complicated... you spend alot of time on it, to get it right..."
Sam: You've gotta put the bass in just the right place...
Max: "Everything has gotta be the right place, one thing that's out of place, it fucks up the whole sound, and you've gotta do it all over again."
"Before the album comes out they should definately check the track I did with Tom Araya, it's called "Terrorist"
Sam: You did a track with Tom?
Max: "Yeah, it's's a sick song, I think it's like full metal voice and Tom's voice together, it's pretty fuckin' sick, like brings back old memories you know Beneath The Remains, Rein In Blood type of memories...
Sam: I've been listening to those albums alot...
Max: "Actually what we did was Tom sings two lines of 'Criminally Insane', and I sing two lines of 'Inner Self' in the song, in the fast part..."
Sam: That's like my favorite Seps song ("Inner Self")
Max: "Mine check it out"
Sam: You guys were just hanging out and you wrote it?
Max: "Yeah it was cool...I wrote the song, the music, 'cause I knew that I had to give something...just for Tom... like fuckin' heavy, just real heavy riffs...find my real heavy riffs and shit that kicks you right in the face. But then we wrote the lyrics together in a room, and it's all about spreading terrorism through the music. And terrorism doesn't really mean like you go blow up some building n'shit, but you know, you do that musically."
Sam: Musical terrorism...
Max: "Musical terrorism yeah, that's the idea of it, you use music for a weapon, and Tom liked that very much, he had fun in the studio."