INTERVIEW: Soulfly’s Max Cavalera

As founding member of Sepultura, Max Cavalera’s place in the books of metal history is assured. Even before the epoch-changing Roots, Max was carving it up with classic tracks like “Dead Embryonic Cells,” “Refuse/Resist” and “Troops of Doom.” But in 1996 Max split from Sepultura and went out on his own with Soulfly, a sometimes-rotating collective of incredibly able metal musicians. Initially Soulfly’s work carried on the tribal metal vibe of Roots, before the band started to carve out a niche of its own. And yet there was always the spectre of the Sepultura sound lurking in the background. Max’s other band, The Cavalera Conspiracy with his brother Iggor, has taken up the challenge in giving the world new music in the Sepultura mode. That seems to have freed up Max’s writing even further and fed into Soulfly’s latest, Enslaved. Just as previous Soulfly albums have demonstrated different facets of Max’s metal vision, the new one presents yet another side: full-on skull-crushing death metal. It’s an imposing, aggressive, brutal, jagged, glass-chewing, blood-spitting freak of an album. And Max is justifiaby proud.

 

This year Soulfly is celebrating its 15 anniversary. That’s a long time!

It is, man! It’s unbelievable. Sometimes I look back and I think it feels like yesterday that we were recording the first record in California. And now fifteen years later this is our eighth record. So many songs, so many tours, the band is still rolling and the band is even more popular now than ever.

 

How would you describe Enslaved compared to the last one, Omen? 

 

It’s more extreme. We have an extreme metal drummer who joined the band called David Kinkade who comes a school of death metal playing. He comes from a band called Borknagar and they’re a death metal band from Norway. He plays with double bass and blast beats. A very extreme way of playing. We actually built those songs around him. I was very influenced by that, so some of the stuff¬† even sounds like old Morbid Angel and old Death and Suffocation. So it’s really going to surprise a lot of people. It’s a very extreme Soulfly record, the most extreme Soulfly record of all of them. The most extreme record we’ve done for all the times.

 

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