Metal Wani’s Chuck Marshall had the pleasure of chatting with Max Cavalera during rehearsals for the upcoming tours. We wanted to find out if Soulfly would unveil any new music while on the road. Max indicated that they are actually rehearsing at least one song to include with the ‘Point Blank’ tour and hopes to have two songs ready for the tour with Nile.
We asked Max if the recent “Return to Roots” which celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Sepultura ‘Roots’ album had any impact on the musical direction of the new Soulfly album. Max said that it actually had more of an impact on the last Cavalera Conspiracy album ‘Psychosis’. He described the new Soulfly music as “Tribal Thrash”. He’d gone back to the first Soulfly album which he loved and listened to the grooves. In addition, he has been listening to a lot of hardcore and death from bands such as Genocide Pact, Harms Way, Immolation, Suffocation, and Homewrecker. All of this led to new Soulfly which blends the metal genres while still being Soulfly.
Max delved into the tribal themes as they relate to suffering of the Native Americans of North and South America. There is also music which centers around the death of Navajo Loreal Tsingine in Winslow, AZ. For this song, Max worked with Navajo natives in Tuba City, AZ to record chants for use on the new record.
Another new song tentatively titled “Feedback” has a Motorhead vibe and covers all the aspects of life as a metalhead. The new Soulfly album should be out either in July or August of 2018. The band worked with producer Josh Wilbur (Gojira, Lamb of God, Killer Be Killed) during recording and have enlisted artist Eliran Kantor (Testament, Iced Earth, Anacrusis, Sodom) to create some magical imagery for the record.
Given that Max writes for a variety of musical projects from Soulfly to Cavalera Conspiracy to Killer Be Killed, we wanted to know how he goes about determining what riffs or ideas fit with a given project. Max relayed that many times the vision you have before you start recording turns out to be much different than the final product. For the new Soulfly, he was thinking of the concepts of tribal percussion and thrash combined with death metal. Each project is done in the moment and is influenced by what is going on in his life at that time.
On the Killer Be Killed front, Max mentioned that he has been so busy that he really hasn’t had time to focus on the band. However, he has talked with Greg Puciatio (The Dillinger Escape Plan) and Troy Sanders (Mastodon) about the band and said that Greg and Troy may start working on some new music. They would then pull in Max once he was free from the upcoming tour. Max hopes they can complete the project this year and potentially have a new Killer Be Killed album in 2019.
We talked about Max’s thoughts on Slayer’s retirement. Max does not plan to retire and wants to keep playing metal until he dies. He mentioned that it really is a personal decision for the band, but he believes that the members of Slayer, such as Kerry King will keep making music. We suggested that perhaps he and Kerry work on a new project once the dust settles. Max mentioned that Slayer will definitely be missed. However, metal will also carry on. He thinks 2018 will be a great year for metal with new music from Behemoth, Nile, Soulfly as well as younger bands like Gatecreeper, Homewrecker, and Genocide Pact keeping metal music alive and well.
With the new trend of hologram performances, such as the latest with Ronnie James Dio, we wanted to know what Max thought about these. He mentioned that he hasn’t seen one yet, but can understand the nostalgic appeal they would provide to fans.
Finally, we talked a bit about his wife Gloria’s blog posts on “Growing Up Green”. Gloria Cavalera provides wonderful insight into the past and present of the Max Cavalera family and the music they create. Max laughed and mentioned that some of the stories on the blog aren’t in his auto-biography and that perhaps they should be in another book. We also discussed a bit about the musical path of his kids and how he hopes his grandchildren will eventually become metal heads like their grandfather.