Brendan Crabb (a.k.a. Spiritech) of PyroMusic.net recently conducted an interview with SOULFLY/CAVALERA CONSPIRACY guitarist/vocalist Max Cavalera. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
PyroMusic.net: The new [SOULFLY] record, "Omen", is the most aggressive and in-your-face SOULFLY has sounded in some time. What motivated you on this album?
Max Cavalera: Well, I've always liked bands that as they got older, they got heavier. There's only a few of those, but I was motivated by that. I had a chance to do that with my own band, so I decided on "Dark Ages" that SOULFLY's going to go heavier. "Conquer" was even heavier and then "Omen" now is even heavier and more aggressive and also with a little bit of hardcore influence, bringing that side to the album too. So it was just how we felt like doing it and we just kind of let the album take its own shape and the songs were coming out like that. In the end we had a really brutal album. We can play everything, 'cause it's all done by us, there's not really computers involved or synthesizers or any of that shit, it's just really people playing instruments so we could play all that shit live. So it's really good, 'cause we get to play a lot of these songs live and the response has been really good for the new album.
PyroMusic.net: From the early days of SEPULTURA onwards you've never shied away from acknowledging your punk and hardcore influences. Is it still the same group of bands that are inspiring you in this respect?
Max Cavalera: Yeah, pretty much. Like a lot of European stuff like DISCHARGE, GBH and THE EXPLOITED and American hardcore like (from) New York City, like SICK OF IT ALL, AGNOSTIC FRONT, CRO-MAGS, you know? These (are) all bands that I grew up listening to and they still influence me right now. I love that kind of... like the first song on the album, "Bloodbath and Beyond". It's only three riffs, but it's all you need in a song like that is three ripping riffs and the magic's there. That's the beauty of hardcore.
PyroMusic.net: I know that in recent years you've been critical of your work with LIMP BIZKIT's Fred Durst on "Bleed" from your self-titled debut. Are there any collaborations you've been involved with that you regret now?
Max Cavalera: Yeah, Fred Durst, you know, turned out to be a jackass later, but at the time that he did that he was cool. He wasn't like super-famous and the idea to use him was from the producer Ross Robinson, he was friends with LIMP BIZKIT. I didn't know the band, I just had a spot for the song "Bleed" and he said some guy could do some rapping on top of it. So I was like, "Alright, that's cool". I didn't know who LIMP BIZKIT was and then like a year later they were the biggest band on the planet. He also turned into a jackass, you know, so I was like, "Oh well, I've got this guy on my album now". At that time I didn't know... if it was today, I probably wouldn't be using him.
PyroMusic.net: There were reports recently that you had been open to the possibility of the classic SEPULTURA lineup reuniting for a tour, but allegedly talks stalled. Can you shed some light on this perhaps?
Max Cavalera: Yeah, that was with Andreas (Kisser, guitars)... I thought the time was good, it would have been a good time for a reunion, everybody's alive, everybody's here. So I just decided to call him myself to see if we can get this reunion (happening that) a lot of people wanted to see, including my kids, my family, a lot of friends. I know a lot of friends in the whole world who wanted to see this reunion, I thought it'd be a good thing. So I call him and it didn't really go anywhere. He just demanded a lot of stuff, some unreal things, it was not... some of that was not even negotiable. So I just kind of hang up the phone and just say, "I'll try again later, some other time". So it kind of, with things like that now, we just... At least I try, you know, to the fans — I did try my best to get a reunion going, but I couldn't do it because Andreas didn't want to, you know? So gotta wait until next time.
PyroMusic.net: So try again in a couple of years' time then?
Max Cavalera: Yeah, let's see in a couple of years what will happen, maybe he'll change his mind and be more cool about it.
PyroMusic.net: Good to hear. In recent months metal has suffered three significant losses through the deaths of Ronnie James Dio, TYPE O NEGATIVE's Peter Steele and SLIPKNOT's Paul Gray. Do you have any memories of those individuals that you'd like to share?
Max Cavalera: Yeah, I met Paul. He actually came to my house with a friend of mine that was a SLIPKNOT roadie that used to live here in my house for a couple of years. He came over here one day when he was playing in town and he hung out and during the day we had a little barbecue and we were hanging out. He was a really cool guy, man. I was really surprised that he died. A very mellow guy, very cool guy. I was really shocked, really sad when I heard he died. I never got to meet Dio, unfortunately; I'm a big fan of his. Stuff I love, "Mob Rules" and "Heaven and Hell". I love the stuff he was doing with HEAVEN & HELL, too, but I never got to meet him, I heard he was a cool guy. So metal definitely has a big loss that just happened and those guys are going to be sorely missed.
Read the entire interview at PyroMusic.net.