Former SEPULTURA and current SOULFLY frontman Max Cavalera recently spoke to the Phoenix New Times about his determination to incorporate as many non-traditional influences into SOULFLY's brutal brand of heavy metal. "Being from another culture and living in America for 10 years has taught me a lot," he said. "And now I want to bring world music into metal.
"What people end up loving about SOULFLY is the 40 different instruments that show up on the album, the world music influence that comes across — the things that they don't hear on a METALLICA record," Cavalera explained.
"Most bands don't want to get their hands into it," he said. "World music is scary to most metal heads. They think if they get caught playing something beautiful or melodic, their career's over.
"But I'm not afraid of it at all," Cavalera insisted. "I can sit down with the jazz guys, or jam with an Aboriginal didgeridoo player. It's all about feeling, about the heart of the music. A lot of bands are afraid to leave the formula of metal — what sells, what everybody's comfortable with. My attitude is, I want to play with even more different cultures. Morocco, east Africa. The weirder the combinations, the better."
According to Cavalera, he makes a point of seeking out indigenous musicians in all the various countries SOULFLY plays, and he finds the average Third World percussionist is often just as eager to branch out in his direction.
"A lot of these musicians are older guys who don't know what to make of metal at first," he said. "But once they can see that I'm not scary, that I'm not freaked out, they actually get so motivated. They're like, Wow, I never played with a metal band before! This is so cool.' The didgeridoo guy from Australia was like, This is so awesome to jam with you guys!' It was probably the first time he got to say 'awesome'!" Read more here.