A 411 Underground Summer Series Interview in Partnership with FlashWounds.com: Max Cavalera of Soulfly
During my interview with Max (or Massimilliano Antonio Cavalera , if you prefer!) on 411 Underground, we discussed ~ amongst many other topics ~ Soulfly’s new album Archangel (a departure from previous Soulfly albums that is still a showcase for Max’s signature, unapologetically hard-hitting, diverse style), which hit the streets on August 14, plans for upcoming Killer Be Killed music in 2016, Soulfly’s upcoming tour, and his bucket list of artists he’d like to with, which includes…Willie Nelson. Really. Well, if anyone could pull off a country metal collabo, it would be Max!
Listen to the full interview here, and then check out Max’s legendary biography and Soulfly’s upcoming tour dates ~ and if you haven’t already, grab your copy of Archangel here!
1. We Sold Our Souls To Metal
3. Sodomites (feat. Todd Jones of NAILS)
4. Ishtar Rising
5. Live Life Hard! (feat. Matt Young of KING PARROT)
7. Bethlehem’s Blood
10. Mother Of Dragons (f/ Richie Cavalera of Incite, Igor Cavalera of Lody Kong, Anahid M.O.P.)
Bonus Tracks For CD/DVD Special Edition
11. You Suffer (Napalm Death cover)
12. Acosador Nocturno
13. Soulfly X
Bonus DVD: Live At Hellfest 2014 (Special Edition Only)
4. Back To The Primitive
5. Seek ‘N’ Strike
7. Rise Of The Fallen
9. Roots Bloody Roots
10. Jumpdafuckup/Eye For An Eye
Want to know more ~ a lot more! ~ about Max? Keep reading!
The unquenchable fire of inspiration that consumes and drives Max Cavalera is responsible for giving the world arguably the most prolific collections of urgent, primal, gut-wrenching, and unapologetically transcendental extreme metal. To commune with the dark muse of heavy music’s shamanistic tribal leader is to envelop oneself inside some sort of post-modern sweat lodge: diversity, brutal riffs, trippy esoteric summoning, unrelenting percussiveness… no matter what Max Cavalera hammers out on his four-string signature ESP, it always sets souls free.
“We Sold Our Souls To Metal” thrusts Soulfly’s tenth album into the world with blistering force. The refrain is instantly memorable, the sentiment aggressively relatable, the entire overlying implication unquestionably spiritual. Max Cavalera manages to revisit the ritualistic engagement of the mystical ruminations on Soulfly’s Prophecy and the tribal exploration of Sepultura’s Roots while simultaneously doubling down on the most extreme music of his career.
Biblical in scope, mystical in purpose, exotic in execution, Archangel sees vocalist/guitarist Cavalera and longtime six-string shredder Marc Rizzo pushing musical bludgeoning to its very limit while injecting the songs with moments of trippy nuance and ethereal dissonance. Max’s son Zyon, who made his recorded debut in Soulfly with Savages, truly comes into his own, reminding his father (and many of us) of a young Dave Lombardo with his hard-hitting fills and stylish groove. The destruction of Sodom plays out sonically in “Sodomites,” the Akkadian god of the sun commands his due in “Shamash,” and “Ishtar Rising” and “Titans” are as epic as any fantasy trilogy of modern cinema, evoking the same type of emotion as a brutal battle on Game Of Thrones.
Cavalera is an eternal innovator and also heavy metal’s most efficient sponge, soaking up all of the genre’s historical strengths and cutting edge modern interpretations and reshaping them to deliver something unmistakably, singularly his own. Archangel invokes Old Testament fire-and-brimstone and New Testament crucifixion/resurrection with equal devotion, study and musical pilgrimage into the rich history of the magic-obsessed and supernaturally instinctual meditations of pre-civilized people. This incredible amalgamation is all woven together into a tapestry brimming with death metal as punishingly pulverizing as Behemoth and Belphegor and fierce as vintage Slayer.
The list of metal musicians, hard rock icons, and hardcore brutalizers Cavalera has mixed it up with across ten Soulfly albums, Killer Be Killed’s debut album and Soundwave debut, the Nailbomb record, the unassailable discography he amassed as cofounder of Brazilian legends Sepultura, and all his many related projects reads like a heavy music encyclopedia. The Wikipedia entry alone lists nearly 50 players, and Archangel brings forth some exciting additions: Todd Jones from Nuclear Blast Entertainment label-mates Nails lends his throat to “Sodomites,” Matt Young from King Parrot graces “Live Life Hard!” with blunt aggression, and Max’s sons Richie (Incite) and Igor (Lody Kong) Cavalera throw down on “Mother Of Dragons.”
Between his work with Soulfly, Killer Be Killed, Nailbomb, and Sepultura, Cavalera has worked with nearly every A-list rock producer on the planet and Archangel is no exception. Matt Hyde (Slayer, Children Of Bodom) has helped craft Soulfly’s most daring, exciting, and creative record yet. Fittingly for such a monumental band’s tenth full-length release, Archangel is adorned with a brilliant cover image from Eliran Kantor (Testament, Iced Earth, Sodom), a neo-classical/post-modern mishmash of Biblical triumph and talismans of Soulfly’s past, present, and future. Kantor shared, “I’ve been a fan of Max’s music ever since discovering Beneath The Remains in high school. When my wife and I got married ‘Territory’ was even played at the dance party part of our wedding. Max asked me to do a traditional piece depicting Archangel Michael ~ and I tried to go beyond the straight-up neo-classical style as that has been perfected centuries ago, so I mixed in Soulfly’s own visual world: hence the wings and spear being shaped like the Soulfly tribal icon, the cliff with the ocean view just like on the first record, and the Brazilian flag being the core of its color scheme.”
Max Cavalera is adoptive tribal chief of the heavy music community and a man equal parts growling savage, postmodern Bob Marley, cultural revolutionary, music hungry metal fan, American football fanatic, Brazilian football supporter, caffeinated soda fueled lyrical terrorizer, husband, family man, riff-master, and beloved spirit animal to metal fans around the world. Cavalera has sold millions of albums yet walks freely amongst the crustiest gutter punks with unquestionable credibility. No one doubts Max Cavalera’s commitment to the metal cause. (He’s also the guy who once vomited on Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, as detailed in his autobiography.)
The first Soulfly album went gold in North America. It was a joyful but heavy-as-hell continuation of the innovation established on Max’s final album with Sepultura, the acclaimed Roots. Sepultura’s noisy and raw early work put Brazilian thrash on the map before the breakthrough mastery of Beneath The Remains and Arise, and followed it up with the stripped down weight of Chaos A.D., an album as beloved by hardcore kids as metalheads. Roots helped shape a sound that dominated rock radio for a decade, even as Cavalera went deeper into the extreme.
Soulfly (1998), Primitive (2000), and 3 (2002) stomp with tribal groove, Prophecy (2004) is as unsettling but spiritual as the tombs of martyrs across Europe, and thrash-fueled power dominates Dark Ages (2005), Conquer (2008), and Omen (2010). Critics hailed Cavalera’s never-ending supply of riffs all over again with Enslaved (2012) and celebrated the fierce vibe of Savages (2013). No fewer than three full-length albums by Cavalera Conspiracy, which famously reunited Max with his brother and Sepultura cofounder Igor, were also unleashed, all while Max, his family, and their extended family of musicians and crew continuously toured the world.
Like all innovative heroes from any musical genre, Soulfly crafts anthems for the people. Soulfly’s tenth studio album is both a celebration of Max Cavalera’s continuing legacy and a brand new masterwork to champion in clubs, theaters, and festival stages across the globe. Soulfly songs like “Back To The Primitive,” “Prophecy,” and “Eye For An Eye” have become every bit as important to the metal community as “Refuse/Resist” or “Territory.”
Bursting forth with the perspective, hunger, energy, and determination that can only be forged by three decades as a heavy metal community organizer and champion, Archangel is yet another brutal, vibrant, extreme, uplifting, and unashamedly spiritual entry into the Soulfly canon.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
“We Sold Our Souls to Metal” 2015 Tour ~ Soulfly, Soilwork, Decapitated, Shattered Sun
09/30/2015 Los Angeles, CA – Fonda Theater
10/01/2015 San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
10/02/2015 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater
10/03/2015 Seattle, WA – Studio Seven
10/04/2015 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre
10/06/2015 Kelowna, BC – Level Nightclub
10/07/2015 Edmonton, AB – Starlite Room
10/08/2015 Saskatoon, SK – O’Brian’s Event Centre
10/09/2015 Winnipeg, MB – Park Theatre
10/10/2015 Minneapolis, MN – Amsterdam
10/11/2015 Joliet, IL – Mojoes
10/12/2015 Des Moines, IA – Val Air Ballroom
10/13/2015 Cleveland, OH – Agora Theater
10/14/2015 Toronto, ON – Opera House
10/15/2015 Montreal, QC – Corona Theater
10/18/2015 Columbus, OH – Northland Performing Arts Center
10/19/2015 Pontiac, MI – Crofoot Ballroom
10/20/2015 New York, NY – Gramercy Theater
10/21/2015 Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
10/22/2015 Knoxville, TN – The International
10/23/2015 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
10/24/2015 Ft Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room
10/25/2015 St Petersburg, FL – State Theater
10/27/2015 Houston, TX – Scout Bar
10/28/2015 Austin, TX – Empire Control Room
10/29/2015 Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey
10/30/2015 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
For a full list of upcoming tour dates, please click here, and check back often!
Editor’s Note: Read the whole story on the 411 Underground Rock Is Alive Summer Series ~ which we’ve decided to continue year ‘round! ~ in collaboration with FlashWounds.com here, and to have weekly episodes delivered to right to your Inbox (seriously, does it get any more convenient that that?!), sign up at 411underground.com/contact.html. To read the articles containing the full transcripts of each of our past 2015 Rock Is Alive interviews, just enter 411 into FlashWounds’ home page Search!