Soulfly Interview
04 th June 2004 - Lyon
This interview has been made in Lyon the 04 th of June 2004 on the Soulfly "Prophecy" European Tour. We 've met Max Cavalera, the singer.

The new album " Prophecy " has been released in april, what's the reaction of the fans and from the medias about it around the world?

The reaction's been very special in terms of that the fourth album...they always make a comparasion with the old ones, but "Prophecy" manage to be succesful but at the same time stay true to the music, to the soulfly spirit from the beginning. You find the same, my voice didn't change and things like that, I still believe in this power of music, hardcore, metal and combination even if you can hear on the record some dub and reggae like "Moses". So it's the most succesful record of Soulfly. I don't want to say it's the best one 'cause i don't like to say that shit, you know, I like all of them, I like all Sepultura, Nailbomb, Soulfly so for me it's all about the songs but i'm happy that a lot of people like "Prophecy" a lot.

What's your feeling about "Prophecy" compare to the other albums?

It's just more mystical I think, a litlle bit, because the name and some of the songs, some of the words are not so easy to understand even for me, they have triple meanings sometimes and I think the other records are more direct, more direct to the point. But everybody has a diferent view you know so I let people think for themselves, what they think is different between this record and the rest. I feel a little bit special because, it's hard to explain but when I play the songs of "Prophecy" live, they uplift, there's really a power on it. It makes me happy because I hate when bands make a new record, they go out, and they only play old songs, they play one song from the new record (lol), that's a sign you don't have a good new record. For me we play 80% of "Prophecy" you know, as much as we can play.

Why did you choose such a name, " Prophecy " ?

The name comin' out while I was writting the album. This name came in different places, I was like haunting. One time I got up and I was looking for something, and a bunch of books fel of, I haven't touch these books for years, they just sit there with spider's web and shits. And one of the books which felt in front was about the celestine prophecy which is a really interesting book, then I see the name "Prophecy" somewhere else, and there was a movie and I thaught that this name was following me (lol), so I should name the record "Prophecy", there was a least three signs (lol). So it's just more of that, there's not really a deep meaning behind it. Only some signs so I should name the album "Prophecy", there's no better explaination.

It's the second time you took part for the production of a Soulfly album. Why don't you want someone else, who's his job, and how was it compare with the production of the album "3"?

It was not the time yet for a producer to come in, next album maybe I think, next album will be a good time to have someone else to head. This time I had a whole new band for everybody, so to keep focus, I took the responsability to produce the record and had a great job of Terry Date who mix the last record cause it's a quality on Soulfly sutff, that's very important of the sound for me as a crazy musician like me. Every detail count you know like the order of the songs... My family think I'm crazy, everybody from my wife to my kids are thinking "He spends like the all day making order of songs after song"s (lol) I think I'm a fan you know, so it was really cool to produce the album but I'd love to record different people maybe somebody like... from a different area music and to create something really explosive. One of the last cds I like is "Gueta Priest" I don't know if you know? The production is really good like the bass, I'd love to have some of them on Soulfly (lol), so maybe next time.

The fact that all old Soulfly's members left the band, didn't create problems for you with this new album ?

No I think the opposite. I was more excited... I was playing again with musicians who have this chance, this opportunity that they've been waiting there all life. They wanted to show me all that they can play. Mark Rizzo was amazing, he's amazing right now and when he was in the studio, it's great to have Joe Nunez back, he was on "Primitive",
I always kept frendship with him, I like the guy a lot, we have the same musical taste from Hellhammer to dub music, we like the same stuff. Bobby Burns also was great. I really think it's awesome band, the chemistry was great. I wrote the songs, they heard the songs, they loved them, they were like "whow...this is really great shit!". So I think they're would be a problem if it was the same Soulfly line-up. For all I understand from people they're seen what they're doing now, they went very comercial, very radio oriented to try to make it to the american radio market and I would never like that for Soulfly, that's something I'm not interested in to be on a radio, I don't give a shit.
I prefer to make the music the way it is, with the fire you know. So I think it was better for them to go their way and for me to continue the way I am with Soulfly, it's a continuation, don't have no drastic.

Would you talk about your trip in Serbia for the song "Moses" with the band Eyesburn?

It was very similar to Brazil in many ways. Serbian's people, like in France, people are very similar to Brazilian people, the same passions of music, football, drinking I felt very comfortable and the guys were great. Creativity was very energetic, a lot of energy in the studio making "Moses" from nothing, from zero. I had the one riff , they come up with the other part and we start making together, and the song was just build up from that. I think that's very cool. We play it live, we'll play it tonight, on this tour and the reaction is fantastic. I think it's one of the few first real metal/roots/reggae songs probably like Bad brains, but Bad Brains was hardcore. In the metal world I think it's one of the first, I don't know really other bands that mixed that, quiet like "Moses".
So that makes me happy to have something new.

There are less guests on this album than on the others. Is there any reason of that?

Yeah, we wanted to show the world right now that Soulfly is a band even with the change of musicians but I'm part of the band and I felt very confiant on the songs that they didn't need really more people involved. Just felt more personal."Prophecy" in many ways is a very personal record in the lyrics, in the stuff I'm singing, it's sometimes too personal for some people (lol). But I don't give a shit, that's what I felt, I wrote it and put it there. I think to would have been strange to share a song like "I believe" with somebody else. It's such my own personal believe, it's too personal to share to another musician. It was better to make this record more personal, more a Max record. And I think the guest on "Prophecy" are more underground like Eyesburn, percusions,....
It's more like a world music album, the name aren't famous names but very interesting the stuff they're doing on the record you know. I choose the opposite of "Primitive", less big names but there's also a lot of people involved, there's about 40 instruments
on "Prophecy", we don't counting guitars (lol)!

We've heard that's Prophecy's cover has been made by Fabien, a french guy from Saint-Etienne, which is a town very near from here. How did it happen to collaborate with him?

It started with Thibault who works for Roadrunner France who gave me some bunch of cds of Alpha Omega, I like it very much and one of the cover really interested me. It looks like an old book, with some really strange graphics, and I wanted to try something different so I contact Fabien and talk to him. He was very excited, he never makes a metal cover album, he knows me and he was surprised a little bit but he was great, great artist from the beginning to the end, no miscommunication, no stress. Everything we talked just went very good. I love the album cover, I really do. I think the Lion of Juda is very powerful, a very strong image. It's more simple and a direct artwork, there's no many confusion, not many colour, only gold and brown, we choose to do something like that. And the other part was made in america, the backcover is the Navaro land, so it's still my conection with the tribal people, this time is an american tribe. It's really great because it's american, but it's not because they have their own country, the Navaro country and they were very excited that I choose that for the album back cover, also for the video for "Prophecy" which was filmed in the Monument Valley in Navaro lands, it was great. There will be a show in august for 10000 people there, the first really big metal show with mostly Navaros so I'm excited about that. Maybe we'll film that that and put it on a dvd or something.

What does significate for you the lion on the cover ? Is this lion Max Cavalera?
Or is it in relation with the fact that your astrological sign is lion?

I knew that my sign was lion but it's more whan I talked to him the name was "Prophecy", I just wanted something strong. I think Fabien suggested "What about the lion of juda?". It's different, and yes it's from the reggea mostly so that would be cool to put it on a metal album because we gonna be crossing over just like the last record with the idian's symbols. I think Fabien did a great job, really, and now live we have a huge backdrop, huge Lion behind the stage, very excited!

Personnaly, I would like to see on your future albums as guest, people like Ozzy, James Hetfield, Robb Flynn or Phil Anselmo. Are they people you would like to collaborate with? Or have you got other name in mind?

Those are pretty good (LOL). I always wanted to do a song with Hetfield or Ozzy. I grow up and will play with metallica in 2 days at Donington. It's the first time ever, even with Sepultura, I've never play with Metallica, so it's the first time, I'm very excited. Maybe one day we'll do something together. It should be interesting, we're born quiet the same day, he's born august3rd, I was born august4th, it's gonna be stuff like Ride the lightening mix with Beneath the remains, you know what I'm saying?....browwwwww!(LOL) Really strong!

Interview & Translation Manu

Find the interview of Max released last year !!!

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