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Interview - Max Cavalera (Soulfly)

Interview with Max Cavalera from Soulfly
by Emily Coulter at 20 March 2014, 1:30 PM

In the world of Thrash Metal Max Cavalera is one of the best known figures. Beginning his musical career in one of the most influential bands to leave Brazil SEPULTURA, he followed this by creating CAVALERA CONSPIRACY and SOULFLY. It seems that Cavalera has his roots in everything. Recording 9th album ''Savages'' with SOULFLY last year, Max and his tribe have finally got round to touring the UK accompanied by SAVAGE MESSIAH. Emily Coulter talks to Max Cavalera about touring, influences and the transition between bands. 

You're halfway through your UK tour, how has it been so far?

Amazing! I love the shows as they were packed, most of them were sold out so everyone ends up leaving the venue soaked in sweat.

You have SAVAGE MESSIAH supporting you on the tour, how have you been getting on with them?

Really well as they're awesome guys, I like there style and sound.

What has been your favourite night so far?

Glasgow was really cool as it was packed.

Any memorable moments so far on the tour?

Birmingham was really cool, at the end of the show we did a tribute to BLACK SABBATH and NAPALM DEATH.

What other tours and festivals have you got planned for 2014?

Not much so far, we have Hellfest lined up and a Russian tour with KORN. Hopefully some festivals will come to us later on.

What are the best and worst things about touring?

The best thing is seeing the world and going back to places you love, there's nothing I really don't like but you don't get to have many showers which suck.

Where are your favourite places to perform?

I love visiting new places but I was in Tunisia earlier in the year and I loved it there but I'd love to do some dates in the Middle East.

You recorded your last album ''Savages'' last year, do you think you received a good response from that?

Overall, all the records I create get mixed reactions for example ''Enslaved'' got some great reviews but some found it too extreme, ''Savages'' isn't as extreme as the previous but it has people featured on it like Mitch from NAPALM DEATH but overall I really enjoy the last album.

What inspired the lyrics to the album?

Everything. Life in general, books, movies and events.

You had a number of guests on the album, who was your favourite to work with?

I loved working with Mitch from NAPALM DEATH as he's a great friend and I love his band, we did the song together but other tracks which had artists featured were sent to them so it wasn't as fun.

It's your first album with your son Zyon on drums, what's it like working with him for the album?

It went really well as he's a good kid, very energetic as he's only 21. He's going to be one hell of a drummer some day as he's still learning.

When do you think you'll be next writing an album for SOULFLY?

Probably next year.

What has been your favourite SOULFLY album?

For my own personal taste I have to say ''Enslaved'' as I love how extreme it is.

What are your favourite songs to play live?

''Master Of Savagery'' as Mark plays a really cool solo in it and then there's the classics like ''Primitive''.

You're known as one of the biggest names in thrash metal, how do you feel about that?

It's an honour really and I'm glad people consider me that. I never tried to be anything big, I made metal because I loved it which turns into a lifestyle which you live and breathe in. I've been working this game for 30 years and to be considered a legend is a huge thing for me.

You've been in a number of projects such as SEPULTURA, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY and SOULFLY, how do you handle the transition between each band?

I just go from one to the other and try to create the best situation possible for that band, I'm with SOULFLY currently so I'll focus on that but next I'll be with CAVALERA CONSPIRACY so I will switch to that sound. I love having so many outlets for music as it keeps me entertained so I never get bored with music.

You're currently making an album with CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, when do you think it will be released?

October hopefully, it's all been recorded it's just waiting to be mixed. Nate from CONVERGE plays bass on the album so it's going to sound great! It's going to be a grind core album essentially, every song is super fast and it's everything I've been wanting to create.

What guitar gear do you use?

I use ESP guitars and my camouflage one is my favourite.

How long have you been playing guitar?

Since I was 13 and I'm 44 currently so a long time.

Who are your favourite guitarists?

Mark Rizzo, The Edge and Lucio Maia.

You play a 4 string guitar when most people play 6 or more, why is that?

It's because I don't do any solo's because I do rhythm and I try and to take riff making to another level so it puts me on a new challenge.

Who are your inspirations?


If you could tour with any band, who would it be?


Max, thank you very much, give em hell tonight!

Thanks, it will be done, cheers!


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