Jeffrey Easton of Metal Exiles recently conducted an interview with Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, SEPULTURA, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Exiles: To me, [SOULFLY's "Savages"] is the most brutal but yet atmospheric album you have done to date. Do you think having Terry Date in the producer's chair had a lot to do with that outcome?
Max: Yes, big time, especially with the sound of the record — it was all Terry. He gave the new album the best sound it could possibly have. We worked very hard on the lyrics and choruses, especially with songs like "Masters Of Savagery", "Bloodshed" and "El Comegente"; they all have catchy choruses that people can sing to. There are also the diverse musical pieces, like the end of "El Comegente", with its flamenco outro, the SOUNDGARDEN vibe at the beginning of "Ayatollah". There are also the various noises between the tracks, the NINE INCH NAILS-type machinery sound. When you put it all together, it makes "Savages" very interesting to listen to.
Metal Exiles: Do you think your fans will be shocked to hear some of the progressions that you have taken with this album?
Max: I think so, but "Savages" is a fan-oriented SOULFLY; it was done with the fans in mind. Some of the fans wanted that SOULFLY groove back from the early albums as well as going to heavier extremes. "Savages" has the best mix of the SOULFLY styles.
Metal Exiles: In the past, you have taken your fans on weird journeys with your lyrics. What did you want to focus on with this album?
Max: The idea of "Savages" was that with all of our progress and technology we are all still killing each other, decapitating, blowing up marathons, doing all of these savage acts so at heart we are all still savages. A lot of the lyrics are based around that theme even though this is not a concept record. It is almost like there is something wrong with us, like we are born with savagery in us and we cannot get rid of it.
Metal Exiles: What do you want the fans to take away from the album?
Max: To analyze where we are. They did a study where they found out that the smartest people did not listen to classical, they listened to metal. The gifted people are the ones who listened to metal. With the lyrics I have penned for this album and my previous ones, maybe I can pick their brains a little bit, make them think.
Metal Exiles: The lead guitar is very ethereal on this album, and we have Marc Rizzo to thank for that. Now you have had a revolving door in SOULFLY since the beginning, but Marc has been a mainstay for almost 10 years. What keeps him in the fold for so many records?
Max: Marc is a great guitar player; I love having him in the band and I like to think of us as partners. We are the backbone of SOULFLY. I can be a sloppy guitar player, play open rhythms and Marc holds down the fort with tight rhythms and leads. SOULFLY goes through a lot of members, but when I found Marc, I really wanted to keep him in the band, as he is a great guitar player and has a great personality too.
Read the entire interview at Metal Exiles.