In Conversation with Max Cavalera: "I Think [Metal] Keeps Our Family United"
The Cavalera name is one that commands bone-shaking respect in the heavy metal universe. They're the first family of metal, and to say they have deep-seeded roots (pardon the obvious shameless pun) in the genre would be a gross understatement.
Stripping down, brick-by-brick, the contributions of the Cavalera clan is a fucking tedious endeavour. Sepultura, Soulfly, Killer Be Killed, Cavalera Conspiracy, Nailbom, Incite and Lody Kong are just some of the projects the Cavalera's have left their definitive stamp on through thirty plus years in the business.
"I love having the family (in music)," Max Cavalera shares with Metal Injection. "When they were born it was my wish that one day I’d get to jam with them. A lot of times in life, the norm is the kids rebel against the parents and don’t want to have nothing to do with what their parents are doing. In our case we got kind of lucky. The kids love metal and grew up with it."
Max and brother Igor themselves, as we the collective metalverse are well familiar, are two of the founding and instrumental members of the influential Brazilian powerhouse Sepultura. It should come as no surprise that the family tree would inherit that ability to melt faces with thick ridiculous grooves and break-neck aggression.
Three of Max's sons are directly involved in heavy metal, with Igor Jr. serving as vocalist and bassist for the sludge metal outfit Lody Kong, which also sees brother Zyon man drums. Zyon joined his father in his groove metal crossover band Soulfly in 2012, while his stepbrother, and Max's stepson, Richie, fronts groove four-piece Incite.
"Igor loves the heavier stuff like me. Zyon is a bit more classic, like Black Sabbath type stuff. I love that the family is metal. It’s so cool. Everybody goes together and we travel and we work. I think it keeps our family united through metal. I love the metal connection our family has."
Max announced that Soulfly are in the final stages of hammering out their 11th studio album, the followup to 2015s Archangel. The record is tentatively due to drop this summer, with producer Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God, Gojira, All That Remains) attached.
Dropping some fan-gasm level Easter eggs, Max shared that he's eyeing Immolation frontman Ross Dolan for a guest vocal slot on the album, while the record itself has shades of classic Sepultura, namely the seminal throw-down Chaos A.D.
"It’s quite different," Max explains. "Josh has done a lot of Lamb of God records and Gojira. He’s a huge fan of Chaos A.D. It’s funny because a few parts of the record remind me of Chaos. It has that kind of mid-groove that’s really catchy and really cool. There’s a lot of fast stuff also. It’s a cool record, I don’t know how to explain. It’s a bit different from the Cavalera record. A bit more fast with really killer grooves. There’s still some songs I still need to sing on. I think we might get Ross from Immolation to sing in one song. We have one song that’s kind of death metal/thrash metal, really inspired by Schizophrenia."
It's damn near impossible to be as artistically engaged as Cavalera. Yet despite being neck-deep in the new Soulfly, actively touring his industrial project Nailbomb through North America and following up the fall release of the brutally epic Cavalera Conspiracy record Psychosis, Max still manages to flex muscles that few artists have, and do so without re-treated, re-hashed or bullshit carbon copy.
"I’m glad it’s a bit different from the Cavalera record," he says of the upcoming Soulfly material, debunking those concerned that a C.C. album back-to-back with Soulfly may lead to repetition. "I didn’t want to make the same record. Just the fact that the Soulfly record kind of reminds (Josh Wilbur) of Chaos A.D. made me really happy."
And yes, son Zyon has an exponentially bigger role on the upcoming album. He was more a stand-in with Savages, and still cutting his teeth through Archangel. By all accounts, Zyon fucking owns the 11th Soulfly album.
"Zyon was actually really involved on this new Soulfly and that’s cool because he wasn’t really involved with Savages," Max says. "Savages he just kind of played what we asked him to do. Archangel he was a little more involved, but with this one he was really involved," Max says. "His input was really cool. Drumwise it’s great. He plays really great on this record."
Stay tuned to Metal Injection for much more on the new Soulfly album in the coming months. The band tours Nailbomb's Point Blank through Canada and selected U.S. dates in February and March with special guests Today Is The Day, Lody Kong and Uncured.
SOULFLY – Performaing Nailbomb's "Point Blank"w/ Today Is The Day, Lody Kong and Uncured
2/23/2018 Las Vegas NV @ Dive Bar
2/24/2018 Colton, NV @The Hub
2/25/2018 Lake Tahoe, NV @ Hard Rock Lake Tahoe
2/27/2018 Bend, OR @Domino Room
3/1/2018 Victoria, BC @ Upstairs Cabaret
3/2/2018 Vancouver, BC @ Astoria
3/3/2018 Vernon, BC @ Status Nightclub
3/5/2018 Calgary, AB @ Dickens
3/6/2018 Edmonton, AB @ Starlite
3/7/2018 Regina, SK @ The Exchange
3/8/2018 Brandon, MB @ The 40
3/9/2018 Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid
3/10/2018 Thunder Bay, ON @ Crock's
3/11/2018 Timmins, ON @ The Working Class
3/12/2018 Sudbury, ON @ The Townhouse
3/13/2018 Ottawa, ON @ Mavericks
3/14/2018 Montreal, QC @ Les Foufounes Electriques
3/15/2018 Shawinigan, QC @ Le Trou du Diable
3/16/2018 Quebec City, QC @ L'Anti Bar
3/17/2018 Toronto, ON @ Opera House
3/18/2018 London, ON @ London Music Hall
3/19/2018 Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
3/20/2018 Seabrook, NH @ Chop Shop*
3/21/2018 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon *
3/22/2018 Cincinnati, OH @ Mad Frog *
3/23/2018 Memphis TN @ Growler's *
3/24/2018 Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom *
3/25/2018 Gallup, NM @ Juggernaut *
*No Today Is The Day