Steven Rosen of Ultimate-Guitar.com recently conducted an interview with Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, ex-SEPULTURA). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: How did you get the new members?
Max: With Bobby [Burns], we got rid of him, and Joe [Nunez] quit and didn't want to play music anymore, which was something he told me years ago. He said, "You know, Max, I'm not gonna do this forever." I'm like, "Yeah, I know," and he said, "At some point I'm gonna let you know that I'm out and I want to do some camera work." And the time came and it was cool ‘cause it came right in between records so he gave me the chance to find somebody before I started working on the new record.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Where did you find Tony Campos [bass] and David Kinkade [drums]?
Max: I found Tony to replace Bobby. [Tony] was a great guy [who] played with ASESINO with Dino Cazares and PRONG and MINISTRY and had toured with me in STATIC-X when he used to come and sing the chorus of "No" every night and come onstage. I knew he was a badass bass player but I did not know he was that professional, man. 'Cause when I started playing with him, I noticed it's a whole new level of bass playing. He's in a whole category and plays so solid and he doesn't fuck around. He's just killer, a killer guy to have in the band.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: And David Kinkade?
Max: There was an email David sent to the office with some clips of him playing with BORKNAGAR and it was as extreme as fuck, man. All this crazy death metal shit and I'm like, "Yes, that's what I need right there. This is the guy we need," I told myself. "With a drummer like that, I can make some records, man. I can turn SOULFLY around again." So I flew David here from Chicago and jammed with him for two days and said, "Show me some of that double bass shit I heard on that video," and he started doing it and I was like, "Yeah, man, fuckin' yeah." It sounded like old MORBID ANGEL and GOJIRA and precision. A double bass that's not sloppy and precise and just played right.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: And you picked producer] Zeuss.
Max: Enter Zeuss. I got familiarized with some of Zeuss's material and I really liked the new stuff that he did. He's known more for working with SHADOWS FALL and HATEBREED but I was more into the other records he did that were obscure like OCEANO and WHITECHAPEL and THE RED CHORD. Those are the records I really liked his production on and thought this guy was great and had a great ear for heavy music. Delivers great drum sounds and great guitar sounds, so I was really excited to work with him. And he was really excited to work with me. He's been a fan for a long time so it was a great match. We got along great from the first day in the studio and we talked about metal and what I wanted to do. He's like, "Max, I'm gonna promise you right now I'm gonna give you a new sounding record. It's gonna sound nothing like anything else you've ever done. This is my promise to you — that you're gonna come out of here with a new record that you're proud of it, a new sound, a new SOUFLY. You can look back at these other records and say, 'This one is different.'" He made a promise to me in the beginning and he kept it, man. It is a new record; it is a new sound.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Dez [Fafara of DEVILDRIVER] sang on "Redemption Of Man By God".
Max: He told me that the week I call him 'cause I was in the studio and I found out they were gonna be in Phoenix on tour with ARCH ENEMY. I called him and he said, "Man, it's weird. I just been listening to a lot of [SEPULTURA's] 'Chaos A.D.' this week." And I was like, "Wow, that's weird. That's kind of a cool coincidence." He's like, "Yeah yeah, I've been hooked on 'Chaos A.D.' and been listening to the record like non-stop all week long and now you call. That's just weird, man." I was like, "Well you're gonna be here on this day so I'm gonna come around and kidnap you from your soundcheck and you're gonna come record with me, man." He was like, "Yeah yeah, fuck yeah." So he came and I played him the song "Redemption Of Man By God" and there was something that happened with that song. There's a preacher voice in the end, which came out of Tony's bass rack. And it was this preacher talking about Egypt and blood on the walls and sacrifice of the firstborn kid. We put that in the end of the song and it was this fuckin' crazy religious freak guy talking about Biblical shit.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: And on "Revengeance", you have the whole Cavalera clan: Richie, Igor and Zyon.
Max: Yeah, the whole tribe is there, man. It was insane. It was a family day and the next thing I know I'm sitting with my kids and talking about the song. I had me, Igor, Richie and Zyon all in a little group and I saw Zeuss come out of the booth with his camera all excited. "I've got to take a picture of this Cavalera moment." So he takes the picture and I'm like, "Go back to the booth, man. You're a producer and you're acting unprofessional." [laughs] Busting his chops.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: What was that like working with your family?
Max: Well, we had a whole day for the song and I work a little bit with Zyon a couple days earlier in the house and we did the main song but then little Igor got involved and he changed the beginning of the song and he came up with a new riff that I really liked and he came up with a chorus riff that we put in the middle of the song. So I liked his input because he was actually writing riffs and I was so proud because he's only 16. I was like, "It's cool you're writing riffs, man. That's the way to go." And then we all sing on it: I had a verse and Richie had a verse and Igor had a verse. The song is about their brother that was murdered in '96 and it's really a cry for justice and blood on your soul and revengeance and really hardcore. Asking questions kind of song and amnesia and all this shit and it turned out really good. It was recorded all live so it was recorded different from the rest of the record so it has more of a raw dirty kind of sound. When I listen to it I love it from the beginning when I first heard it. I told Zeuss, "It sounds great, man. It sounds real dirty and raw and fucked up. I really like the sound of the song." So I'm gonna put it as the last song on the record so I can finish the record with this song.
Read the entire interview from Ultimate-Guitar.com.
"Gladiator" audio stream:
"World Scum" video: