SOULFLY Bassist Says Every Note On 'Dark Ages' Is 'Very Natural'

SOULFLY fan site recently conducted an interview with SOULFLY bassist Bobby Burns. An excerpt from the chat follows: When you began to record "Dark Ages", what was the band's goal and your own personal goal?

Bobby: "Well, when we went in to record this record, we pretty much started everything as bare-knuckles from beginning to end. Nothing was completely written at all. Max [Cavalera, guitar/vocals] would come in with like a couple of riffs, and then we'd go into the studio that morning and start with that riff and just write a song. And we gave each individual song on the record that kind of attention. That was a pretty cool way that we recorded the new record. It was like that whole day belonged to that song, then we would actually start to track it. So it wasn't preconceived or nothing like that. Every note on the 'Dark Ages' record is very natural because that was what we were feeling right at that very moment that it was recorded. And as far as recording myself, personally, I was like the late-night guy. I really hate doing stuff during the day, especially recording. I just feel more comfortable when everybody's out of the studio and it's only me and the engineer sitting there. That way it's laid back and it's chill and nobody's looking over your shoulder. I feel like I'm more creative, personally, that way. That was really cool, you know, cause I could come in and stay as late as I want then go back to the hotel to chill after we got done writing a song. Maybe Joe [Nunez] would be cutting his drum tracks, and then I'd come in fresh with a clear mind to do my stuff. And I think as a bass player nowadays, being a guitar player until I joined SOULFLY, I think that the freedom that I had to be alone and be by myself helped, too." Many critics have already tried to compare the new album to the SEPULTURA releases of the late 1980s and early 1990s, but to me the album sounds much more like a SOULFLY release mixed in with other elements from each member's career. I can definitely hear the thrashy SEPULTURA elements, but I also hear electronic stuff that could have surfaced in a NAILBOMB album and some Latin guitar work. Would you agree?

Bobby: "Yeah, totally! I think you've nailed it! You know, I don't think SOULFLY sounds like SEPULTURA, myself. I think it's just that whole connection that people have with Max. I think it's just like a vibe thing with most fans. But I consider myself a fan of music first, and I agree with you. You know, I definitely think SOULFLY sounds like SOULFLY, and I think that SOULFLY is more of a groove-oriented band. As opposed to SEPULTURA, which was really thrashy and pretty much straight metal. I mean 'Roots' was a really groovy record, and half the songs on that were really groovy, but I think that that was a natural progression of the way that Max was writing at the time. And then, as opposed to the way we do stuff now." Yeah, but either way, I would still say that this album is a much more technical record than anything you guys have done before, so I was wondering if it was Max himself who facilitated this change back to a more technical style or was it you, and Marc [Rizzo, guitar], and Joe who pushed him to do this.

Bobby: "It's kind of like what I was saying. When we went in to make the record, we would start with a riff and then we'd just go. There was really no rules at all on what we were doing. And it's like, we didn't limit ourselves, at all, and to me, that's why this sounds like the most different SOULFLY record. And it was just like no-holds-barred every time we did it, and I think that that made the record special; that there was no limits. You know, maybe there has been in the past. Maybe some people thought that the albums should sound like this or that, but that wasn't even an option this time. You know me and Max, we love PRODIGY, too. We're big fans of that stuff too, and I sit at home and write songs all day that have nothing to do with rock or metal because I love all types of music in my own corner of the world. But we were all free to bring that stuff to the table on every song. Everybody was open to everyone else's ideas."

Read the entire interview at


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