Bringing half the Cavalera Clan through Glasgow recently, Gary had the chance to sit down with the main honcho himself, Max Cavalera. As ever, he was the laid back guy that he’s famous for being and gave some great answers to our questions.
Archangel – how has it been received? I think you’re playing 3 tracks from it tonight?
We’ve been playing between 3 and 5, depends on what show. Sometimes, if you play the same place or nearby, some people want to come to both shows, so we try to switch songs. It’s between “Archangel”, “Sodomites”, and sometimes we play “Titans” and sometimes we play “Bethlehem’s Blood”. It’s really good y’know, especially “Sodomites”. I love this song, I think it’s a fantastic song, it’s one of my favourite Soulfly songs I ever did. “Sodomites” is so heavy, it’s like Black Sabbath mixed with thrash y’know, so it’s pretty killer!
I’m happy with it. it’s like try a couple of different things, and the biblical stuff came out really cool and some of the real kinda metal stuff, like “Sold Our Souls to Metal” it’s like an anthem. It gets the whole crowd singing that. It’s really cool, so, I’m very happy with the record. I think it was the right record to make for the fans and very happy with the performance of the band; Zyon did amazing on the drums on the album. Mark did some great guitar stuff, y’know so, and I have new bass player. Mike now playing with us – very killer. So we are in good spirit and everybody in the band is in a very good place right now.
The set list from a few nights ago seems a good balance between new and previous albums.
It’s a bit of everything as I think it’s important to, almost play, I call it ‘Soulfly Hits’, stuff like “Prophecy”, “Primitive”, um…”Seek ‘n Strike”, “Blood Fire War Hate”… But of course there’s always “Refuse Resist” which is a favourite song for the crowd. They want to hear me sing those songs and they want to sing with me. I’m planning to add some more stuff, like “Arise Again”, maybe “Fire” and maybe “Mars” from Prophecy, and “Execution Style”. There’s so many songs, I could play for 3 hours if I wanted to (laughs).
How do you go about picking the set list?
Uh, It’s kind of like favourites of the fans, I think also my favourites. I love playing “Blood Fire War Hate”, I love playing “Sodomites” so it’s good to mix the old and new together too. We play “Refuse Resist” and go right into “Sodomites”. That’s like old and clashing with each other, so that’s really cool.
Do you have any thoughts about the ongoing Phil Anselmo story?
Not really, I don’t know much about it, I’ve been on this bus and we don’t have internet. I’ve kinda heard about it, but I’m the wrong person to ask as I haven’t seen the footage. I just kinda heard in the air kinda stuff. I don’t know… He’s an old friend of mine from a long time ago, so I’m not gonna talk shit about him. I’m the wrong guy to make a comment. I wanna stay outta that one.
How do you find writing/touring constantly for two bands. Does it feel more than full time?
I love touring, I think touring is great. Touring is a great way to meet fans and play your music. There’s a magic about live music, it’s not like plastic music. Every night is different, every song sounds a little bit different every night. This is a miracle thing to happen, and I think this package is really cool with Lody Kong, Incite and King Parrot, but unfortunately tonight you won’t have Lody Kong. They are playing some of the other shows over Europe.
We got lucky to get King Parrot also on the bill, think they are a great sounding band. It’s a great night of metal for everybody. I think everybody’s going to leave happy tonight, full of metal!
What is happening about 2014’s Killer Be Killed – anything happening at the moment in terms of new material or possible touring?
Not right now, at the moment, I’m touring with Soulfly right now. This tour goes on for 5 more weeks in Europe, then South America and then America. We’ll do some more Killer Be Killed later, maybe at the end of the year and an album for next year.
What’s it like touring with younger Cavaleras? Are you spending your time making sure they don’t get into trouble, or do you trust them?
Ah yeah, yeah, it’s family and it’s fun and it’s everybody together. There’s 16 of us on this bus, so it’s um, quite crowded but good y’know? We all love each other and as a big family, they are good and I am proud of them and they are doing good. Proud of Zyon, Igor, and Richie they all work hard. They do load out, do extremely hard work. Nottingham was pouring rain, poor guys were out there soaking wet, doing load out and selling their shirts and stuff. Everybody works hard, there are no free rides on this, you gotta pay your dues.
Last year in Metal hammer you talked about a possible Sepultura reunion for fans who never saw the Max experience first time round. Would that still be a possibility?
Um, I wouldn’t know, it’s impossible to say. I would say “no” right now, just from knowing what’s going on as I have so much on my plate right now anyway. I’m so busy with Soulfly, Killer be Killed and Cavalera Conspiracy, I don’t really need a reunion. I kind of think that it’s maybe for the best that it will not happen, maybe, we’ll see. It is what it is, and the past was good and we had some really good footage, very classic stuff for people to watch and we have right now. We are OK with that.
King Tut’s is a fantastic small venue, do you prefer this kind of gig or would you rather (money aside) be at somewhere bigger like the Barrowlands (around 2000 capacity)?
We like these mosh holes a lot, it’s very intimate with your crowd. You’re very close to your crowd and those shows seem to be more fun than big shows. We do a lot of the big festivals and stuff but I think myself, my favourites are the smaller packed shows like tonight. Tonight’s gonna be great, I’m very excited, we’re sold out and it’s gonna be an intense live experience.
Interview and photos by Gary Cooper.