Keith Chachkes of Ghost Cult Magazine recently conducted an interview with Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, SEPULTURA). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Ghost Cult Magazine: You have come back really quickly with "Savages" following "Enslaved" last year. Why the fast turnaround between albums?
Max: It felt good to bang out another record quickly. It's not always the goal, but it was good to write some new music right away. We like to keep it moving. We had everything planned to do a new record for the new label Nuclear Blast. The deal with Nuclear Blast came through perfectly. My son, Zyon, came in to play drums. We had Terry Date on board to do the record. And I really love what Terry did with it. He did a great job, with a raw-sounding record. And we just went for it. It was great to have all of these great fucking people on the record! I love the guest appearances the most. "Ayatollah Of Rock 'N' Rolla" with Neil (Fallon), "K.C.S." with Mitch (Harris) from NAPALM DEATH, Jamie (Hanks) from I DECLARE WAR on "Fallen", and my son Igor on "Bloodshed". For me, "Savages" is a combination of both worlds. It has the grooviness of the first SOULFLY album and it also has that extreme death metal-sounding songs. A lot of people liked "Enslaved", so I didn't want to get rid of it entirely. A lot of people wanted me to go back to the killer grooves of the very first SOULFLY album. So I decided to write an album that has more of that. And I also like the songs are quite long, like six minutes, seven minutes, ten minute long songs, like "Ride The Lightning" and "Master Of Puppets", on those old METALLICA records. The songs don't even feel like seven minutes, to listen to them. Time just flies when you listen to it. It makes you feel good, and the songs are killer. Overall, I'm really happy with the record and I'm very stoked and I can't wait to even play these songs live. It felt like the right record to make. Like I said, it's a combination. "Fallen" is a perfect song, with Jamie from I DECLARE WAR. To me, it's pretty much a death metal song. It's got all of the elements of death metal. And "Cannibal Holocaust" is a pure thrash/grind/death metal song. But I didn't want to make that same record again. I wanted to do something totality new. But a song like "Ayatollah of Rock 'N' Rolla", it something totally new. I never did anything like that before. It starts with like this country, cowboy riff, and Neil starts talking over it and it was so killer! And of course that line in the chorus "Ayatollah of Rock 'N' Rolla" is from "Mad Max". It's probably my favorite song on the album. I don't want to make the same record over and over. So "Savages"' got new things on it that no one has heard from me before, and I am really glad about that.
Ghost Cult Magazine: I think it is very difficult in music, especially in metal, to reinvent your self all the time. Do you keep that in mind from album to album?
Max: I kind of just go with it. I don't think about that stuff. I just roll with it. If I think about it, it will make me crazy. I just make records. I don't have a favorite one. They all fit together and they are all a part of my history. They are all a little different, which is great. I have been doing this a long time and I have a lot of records under my belt. What I am interested in is to keep going. I have a vision for my music, I see it going for a long time. We don't have to write stupid radio songs. We write what we like, we play what we like. And the fans really connect with that. We are playing what we love. They know we are not writing stupid bubblegum, radio songs, concerned with getting played on the radio. That's not what we're here for. We are here for the heaviness, for the metal that we love. Because I love metal. Metal is in my veins and it is what I love. I want to keep doing this for a long-ass time. To me, this is only the beginning.
Ghost Cult Magazine: You have produced the vast majority of SOULFLY's albums yourself. What was it like to turn over the reigns to Terry Date?
Max: It was just the right time and the right place. Terry has been coming to SOULFLY shows forever. The last time was in Seattle with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. He came to the show and he was just hanging out. I said to him, "Man! When are we going to work together?" I kind of gave the question to him. And he said, "Just call me!" and we'll do it. So when it came time to make the record, we called him. He gave me a great deal because he really wanted to work with me. We first met with the DEFTONES when they did "Around The Fur" I came into to do "Headup". Terry is a really a rocker, man. He loves metal and he loves rock. He is a real professional. He has done so many amazing records, like the PANTERA records, DEFTONES, the SOUNDGARDEN records, like "Badmotorfinger". Those are heavy records. Just classic fucking records. I was really excited and very motivated to work with him. So a lot of the writing for "Savages" had that in mind. I was thrilled that Terry was in charge of the record. I knew working with him, it had to be good. And he didn't disappoint me. To me, it's my favorite sound. This is the best-sounding SOULFLY record. Best guitar sound, best drum sound. Terry has done an amazing job and not to put any others down, even me, but this is the best one. The other records are good, but it doesn't compare to Terry's stuff. Terry is just a master.
Read the entire interview at Ghost Cult Magazine.