SOULFLY frontman Max Cavalera (ex-SEPULTURA) recently spoke to FMQB about his contributions to the ROADRUNNER UNITED "The All-Star Sessions" CD, which contains original tracks that are collaborations between 55 artists from 42 of Roadrunner's past and present bands. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
FMQB: You sing on the ROADRUNNER UNITED CD on a Robert Flynn [MACHINE HEAD] song. What was that experience like?
Max: "It was cool. I was going to go to San Francisco to record with Robb there. It was my original idea, but it didn't come through because we had a death in the family and then we had to change plans. So I ended up recording it here [in Phoenix]. It's still good — I think it's good for the record, the message is good and I'm just proud to be part of it. I just wanted to do something different but it didn't quite happen like that. But, I still think it's a very cool song and I told Robb, 'Thanks for picking something that's easy for me to sing.' The riffs on it are right in my neighborhood.
"I'd actually done everything in like two hours, from lyrics to the vocal patterns, so it has a very spur-of-the-moment jam session feeling to the song. I didn't want to spend too much time. Even when I got the CD from Robb, I did not listen until I went to the studio. I didn't want to know the song yet. I wanted to get the feeling of being under pressure, like, 'You've got two hours man, you've gotta do this shit!' I work better like that anyway. Pressure is always good for me to write stuff. It's not fun, but it works and the results are always good."
FMQB: So he sent you the music and let you write the lyrics?
Max: "Yeah, the lyrics are very direct. It's called 'Independent (Voice of the Voiceless)', meaning that Roadrunner and me, going back 20 years plus, they gave me a shot with my music at a time when nobody knew who SEPULTURA was and nobody knew who I was. It was very underground. They gave me a platform. So I'm always grateful. That's how I got signed. Both of us — SEPULTURA and Roadrunner — were being an instrument to give fans a voice when they didn't have a voice. So that's the main message of the song. At the end, I also throw in a Max thing — a typical saying that people say in Brazil. It's referring to people that try to bring you down, try to cause negativity in your life. The actual phrase is: 'God give my enemies long life so they can see our victory.' Instead of saying, 'God, kill my enemies,' it’s saying 'Let them live and watch us succeed,' which is even more painful. Robb really liked the Portuguese thing. He told me, 'Put in Portuguese words. It's you, it's your trademark.' So I did."
FMQB: You have been with Roadrunner since the very beginning. What is it like to be a part of a label with such a rich metal history, especially since you embody so much of that history?
Max: "It's cool. You know what I like about it? It's similar with some artists that I like a lot. Two good examples would be BOB MARLEY with Island Records, which he never changed labels, he was always with the same label until he died. And LED ZEPPELIN — always the same label. I kind of like that. It's a cool relationship with a lot of fights, with a lot of good and bad moments. That's what makes a relationship, because if you don't fight then it's fake. When you have a friend you fight with your friend and even beat him up, but you're still friends. That's the basis of a good relationship. So with Roadrunner it's the same."