By Dillon Collins
Soulfly’s Max Cavalera talks heading out on the second leg of the Nailbomb Point Blank Tour, new material and more in a candid one-on-one interview. Soulfly is hitting the road for the second half of the Nailbomb Point Blank Tour this March, with an extensive tour of Canada. Obviously the initial Nailbomb dates must have gone amazingly well to justify a second go-round?
Max: We started and it was just awesome. Everybody who came to the shows really liked it, so we thought that maybe we could do it a little bit longer. We got all set up and we told our booking agent about Canada. We always wanted to do a big Canadian tour, but I don’t think I really did. It was always on the wishlist. He put this together and it looks great, it looks awesome. We’re super excited.
This is an album you really never got the chance to test out live, since Nailbomb was such a short-lived project. How do some of these tunes translate, especially in the hands of Soulfly?
Max: I love the record, I love Point Blank and it’s a record that’s made to play live. It has a lot of energy, a lot of anger. Having Soulfly playing it as a band kicks ass. It makes it really cool. We have all the samplers too, so it really sounds like the record. It was the first time we did the whole record. It is every song on the album, including some songs we’ve never played like “24 Hour Bullshit”, “Sick Life”. We never played those. Right now we’re playing everything, so it’s the whole record. It’s great and it’s such a cool record and it’s so different. It has all the great electronic stuff and we managed to convert it all into a real band because we had Soulfly behind it. We managed to turn the songs into real live songs. It sounds really killer. Songs like “World of Shit” and “Religious Cancer” on the album have the drum-machine, but live it’s the real drums and it sounds great. It has a lot of organic feeling to it.
How was Alex (Newport) when you approached him to resurrect this material?
Max: He was totally cool. Alex is a great guy, he just doesn’t want to go on tour again and doesn’t want to be in a band again, which I understand. He was very helpful. He made a list of all the samplers we’d need and said if we needed anything to call him … It’s awesome that it has his blessing. I thought it was really cool that we got to play this record, not that it was going to waste, but it was such a shame that we never played this stuff live. We played a couple of songs through the Sepultura tours through the years, and Soulfly and Cavalera have played a couple of Nailbomb songs, but this is the whole record. It’s way more fun and way more deep. Going through every song right that I think is really special. It’s a really great chance for all the fans who love the record to hear it like this.
It’s pretty amazing that at this stage of your career you have the option to bring out a full-length tour for Nailbomb or Roots. With so many projects it certainly must help limit creative fatigue.
Max: Definitely. The Nailbomb idea was born after the Roots tour. It was so fun and so good that it gave us the idea to continue with something like Nailbomb. I like the way things are going because I have one foot in the future. The new Cavalera came out last year and a lot of people like it and it was really well received. I’m working on the new Soulfly right now and that comes out in the summer. The record is all done. I’ve still got to sing two songs, but all the music is done. Then I get to go back and tackle old stuff like Nailbomb and Roots and things like that. It’s cool that I get to be able to look back at my career and do stuff with it. Some other musicians don’t get to do that. I’m pretty lucky and it’s actually pretty influential on my stuff. I feel the new Cavalera record was pretty influenced by the Roots tour. Not in the songs but in the whole vibe of the record, the energy we felt on that tour from the fans. We took that to the studio, and I think that’s why Psychosis came out so good.
It’s well documented that, outside of being an iconic metal frontman, you’re a huge fan of metal. What are some bands and albums you’re enjoying these days?
Max: The new Genocide Pact is amazing. It might be my favourite death metal record I’m listening to right now. New Harms Way is so heavy. They actually toured with us on the Nailbomb tour in October. The Dying Fetus record to me was great. Cannibal Corpse was great. I’m looking forward to the new Behemoth. Nergal told me a little bit that the new Behemoth was influenced by Killing Joke, so that sounds good and I’m excited for that. In general I just love metal. I love the reaction we got from Psychosis. I’m looking forward to the releases this year and touring all over the world with it.
For Soulfly tour dates and more visit soulfly.com
MHF Magazine/Dillon Collins