Metal Wani‘s Carl O’Rourke sat down once again to catch up with titan of metal, Max Cavalera of Soulfly. The two spoke about the bands new album, ‘Ritual’, what Max hopes his legacy will one day look like, what he cites as ‘The new face of Soulfly”, and much more!
Speaking about the bands new album, ‘Ritual’, Max said,
“It was a challenge. We were like can we do it, can we write a really modern tribal metal song? In the style of “Roots Bloody Roots”, “Back To The Primitive”, “Ratamahatta”, “Prophecy”, I think it does have elements of all those tracks I just mentioned. But it also has something new on top of it. It also has a new face of Soulfly right now. Soulfly is born again with ‘Ritual’. It was a challenge but it was cool.
On producer Josh Wilbur coming in and producing the album as a Soulfly fan,
“First of all we never had a producer like that. Everyone was always more on the professional side… This was different.” “He was like, when are you writing some of the groove stuff, some of the tribal stuff. And I kept blowing him off. But eventually we finally got down and dirty on ‘Ritual’ and wrote the whole song, and Mark [Rizzo] put that amazing ‘Prophecy’ digi-tech wah-wah guitar in the beginning.”
Max continued, speaking about the tribal chants on ‘Ritual’,
“When Josh put them in the song, it was like magic. It was pure magic. All that was left was just signing. It was one of the last songs I sang on the record. Everything was done and we ended up recording in my house because we ran out of studio time. Josh flew here and we finished the vocals in my house, which was great!.”
Crediting much of his streak of strong records over the last eight years to sobriety, Max shared,
“Especially the last eight years, I’ve been straight edge. All my attention went back to metal, my focus went back to metal. I didn’t have the distractions of taking drugs and drinking on top of it anymore. That’s really what goes to the bottom of it. I became even more of a metal fan than ever before, and that translating into work, I’m working more. And the reflection is on those records. I’m extremely proud of those records.”
Asked what he hopes the legacy of Max Cavalera will look like one day, Max said,
“To me, hopefully it was somebody that wasn’t afraid to take risks, and wasn’t afraid to try new things. I never let whatever people, or ideas, or opinions get in the way of something that is in your head, or is in your heart. If I feel it is right I will go ahead and do it. I think that has always been, right from the start. It’s even how I discovered the whole thing that you can mix tribal music with metal in the first place. It was by doing those kind of things. Even though I never think about retirement or anything like that, Slayer already freaked me out too much with that kind of stuff! [Laughs}. It’s a big freak out, I don’t understand.”
“To me, if I retire tomorrow, what the hell am I gonna do? Sit around the house and do nothing? I would drive everybody crazy, including myself. I would go nuts, literally I would go insane. So I don’t think of retirement ever. I wanna be doing this until I’m done, until I die. And passing the torch is kind of cool, because I feel that my kids will carry on for me after I’m done. Eventually, at some point, it will come to all of us, it’s inevitable. But whenever it comes, I know that I will be very well represented. My kids will carry on for me, and that’s kind of comforting for me as a person. And knowing that I left a mark which is cool. It’s more than I could ever ask, for a guy that started this shit in Brazil thirty years ago. To leave this kind of mark in the world, it’s quite amazing. So I’m very, very proud of it.”