SOULFLY's Max Cavalera recently spoke with Natalie Perez of NataliezWorld. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his plans for 2019:
Max: "I'm super excited to get back on the road. This year, actually, my plan is for touring. I'm not messing with any new music this year, which is cool — a whole year open just for touring. We're going to try to go everywhere... I put two records out one after the other, which was the CAVALERA CONSPIRACY [album] 'Psychosis' and 'Ritual'. The way it worked out left this year open for touring, and we already have tour dates all the way to August booked up. It's good to have a year devoted to touring, because I love touring so much. I think it's great. I mean, this kind of music, it's all about the live show. It's all about the magic [of] live performance. The places that we play are perfect. They're not too big, not too small — they're special places for this kind of music, and I think it's going to be just fun. We're just going to have a blast every night... I look forward to just get out and share the music with the fans. That's the best part of it, I think. I've been doing for 30 years, and I still don't get tired of it. I still get excited to go on tour. I'm still fired up to be going back on the road, so I'm very, very confident it's going to be a great tour."
On juggling CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, SOULFLY and KILLER BE KILLED:
Max: "I remember when [wife and manager] Gloria told me right after I got done with 'Psychosis', 'You've got to work on new SOULFLY,' I was like, 'No! Stop! I'm empty right now — I've got no ideas!' But little by little, the ideas start coming, and we end up getting an album out of it... I think the hardest part is actually dividing the material for what goes on what. Sometimes I'm writing riffs when I don't have to write for anything, and certain riff looks like, 'This would be better for KILLER BE KILLED,' [or] 'This would be better for CAVALERA,' or 'This would be better for SOULFLY.' But overall, I like the challenge. I like the fact that I do have three ways of output out there. I think it's kind of cool. It kind of keeps me more flexible, too. I get to really try to do three different things, plus we also get to tour with some of the famous SEPULTURA records. We did 'Arise' and 'Beneath The Remains' last year. We're doing a little bit of that this year also. It's kind of like one foot in the past and one foot in the future. You get to enjoy your works from the past, and then you also move to the future with your new works. At my point in my career right now, it's really a blessing to be able to play these kind of shows and go back and revisit an album from the '90s, and then tour for a new album like 'Ritual'. Some people just do either one or the other. We get to do both, and that's pretty amazing."
On his writing process:
Max: "A lot of times, I write specifically for certain records. I like to do it more like that, so it's not all mixed up. When it was time for 'Ritual', I was completely immersed in the SOULFLY world. I was actually revisiting SOULFLY albums. We listened to a lot of the early stuff, a lot of the first album 'Primitive'. [We] tried to see what was magic about that record that people liked so much, [and] tried to figure out why people like it so much, and tried to recreate some of that magic. The other thing is, my own love of metal. I love the combination of the three things — groove combining with the death metal [and] thrash metal that I normally play. That's my universe right there. Those three things together, I'm in a total comfort zone. On 'Ritual', I actually took myself out of the comfort zone in songs like 'Feedback', which was, like, a MOTÖRHEAD kind of song — like, rock 'n' roll almost. If you told me 20 years ago I was going to be doing a rock 'n' roll song, I would have laughed. But we did it, and it was fun — it was awesome. It's kind of cool to get out of the comfort zone to try something a little more exotic, experimental. I think the fans dig it too... I think you've got to be like that in order to grow as a musician. It's a fine line between pleasing the fans and doing something innovative that you have not done before. We try to do both."
On keeping it real:
Max: "Music, we don't do it to be on [the] cover of magazines or to win Grammys. It's not about that. It's really for the fans. It still feels [like] an underground thing. The bands I listen to are mostly underground. I get in contact with them; I get their shirts and I wear them and I support them. I'm still part of that world. It was like that in Brazil 30 years ago, and still is part of my life right now, which I think is great that I never lost contact with that side of me — kind of a young Max that fell in love with metal. That's still alive, and I think that's really pure and cool [to] have that. It's something that I treasure very much."
"Ritual" was released in October via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2015's "Archangel" was produced, recorded and mixed by Josh Wilbur (KILLER BE KILLED, LAMB OF GOD, GOJIRA). Cover artwork was painted by artist Eliran Kantor (TESTAMENT, ICED EARTH, SODOM). Additional booklet art was handled by Marcelo Vasco (SLAYER, HATEBREED, KREATOR), who also handled the package design. The album features multiple guests, including Randy Blythe (LAMB OF GOD) and Ross Dolan (IMMOLATION).
SOULFLY's first full tour in support of "Ritual", which kicks off February 5, will feature support from KATAKLYSM, INCITE, CHAOSEUM, ALUKAH and SKINFLINT.