Soulfly. Max Cavallera
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Etichete: Brazil, Capitalist Society, Cavalera Conspiracy Project, Conquer, Gloria Cavalera, Igor Cavalera, Karma, Max Cavalera, Mozart, Phoenix Arizona, Primitive, Roman Catholicism, Soulfly
SOULFLY, CONQUEST TOUR
2009. March 16. Monday.
Bucharest, Romania (considered the most unfriendly Capital in Europe, bah humbug)
It was the first day of Spring.
YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW THE MUSIC PRESS WORKS IN ROMANIA?
- The Local Record Company (Roadrunner Records licensee, A&A Records) gave the organizer the interview schedule they worked out only a couple of days in advance. At the same time, the organizer had already worked out his own schedule, not knowing anything about this. What irked the organizer is that somebody on the Record Company list was NEVER going to get on the organizers list…
- The Record Company had scheduled 4 interviews. Only one reporter showed up. The Record Company called the other three, there and then, for reconfirmation. I got two of those conversations:
- a) a local independent national Music Television (One Music Television) doesn’t have the budget to send someone out on location for the interview. They weren’t coming, but no one called to say (wow!);
- b) a national monthly rock Music Magazine (Maxim Rock) could only come in an hour (the interview having to take place AT THAT TIME) because the reporter was not told by his boss about the interview.
2009. Somewhere at the Gates to the Middle East, this is what is happening in the Romanian Music Industry.
RiCo (Zile şi Nopţi): What do the finger tattoos say?
Max Cavalera (MC): Those are my kids names: Dana, Zion, Igor.
RiCo: Is Portugeese spoken differently in Brazil than in Portugal?
Max: Yes, basically, the polite way - but we changed it, we put more slang words; we incorporated many African and Indian words in it. It’s definitely different.
RiCo: Why did your parents decide to stay in Brazil? (his father was the Italian ambassador to Brazil)
Max: My mom loves Brazil. She lived in the States for a little bit but she thinks it’s just too fast. She likes the Brazilian way of life, which is slower. It’s really laid back. It’s still the old mentality, like everybody knows everybody and they help each other. For me it’s different because I’m working. In Brazil it’s difficult to make money, so it’s better to be traveling around the world touring - but for her it’s better to be in Brazil.
RiCo: You like futbol. If Italy was playing Brazil tonight, which team would you root for?
Max: I have to go with Brazil. Italy is my dad’s team. As much as I like Italy, for me and my brother, Brazil is in our blood. We met some players. My younger brother, Igor is even more into football than me. He met Del Piero and people like that. Juventus Torino is my dad’s team. I met some Brazilian players, like Marcos… and the American goalkeeper is very cool… Cassey Keller. He loves heavy metal. He’s a fan of my band. He’s been to my shows in Belgium and in Italy.
RiCo: Is the tour manager I met outside your wife, Gloria? What was family life like, you being involved with the music, constantly on tour, with the small children at home?
Max: Well from the beginning we decided to involve them, rather than separate them. Some guys work and have kids waiting at home, and it works for them. For me it was the opposite. I was proud to be a father. I loved to tell people that I was a father and I am still in Metal music and play loud and play fast. I’m still the same person, but I just had kids. I was very proud. I tattooed the names on my fingers and when they were about a year old, I would take them with me and hold them up, like in The Lion King, like Simba, at 100,000 people festivals in Brazil. So they knew this life. They go to school, they’ve been around other kids, but their lives are so different. They’ve been around the world with me and stuff like that.
RiCo: I love your albums. They are dedicated to God. Are you baptized Roman Catholic?
Max: I am and actually it’s very freaky or whatever. My father had me baptized in the Vatican. I was nine years old. I don’t know why he did that. We were all in Italia but I don’t remember much Italian. It was in the Vatican, like underground. I went from the Vatican to heavy metal… it’s a pretty drastic change but I do believe in God. I am not a religious Catholic per say, but I do believe in God.
RiCo:You have your own way of believing in God.
RiCo: What is your view on the Vatican and the fact that the Pope is representing God on Earth.
Max: Well, it’s ironic, because I was baptized there and we came back a few years later and I couldn’t get in because I was wearing Bermudas… I didn’t have long pants on and my wife had on a sleeveless shirt and I was just saying this is kind of weird because I was baptized here but I can’t come back here… I don’t know. I felt that was a bit too much, like Disneyland. It’s very commercial… all the people taking pictures. It’s not really like a Church. I think the Orthodox Church is more real. I follow the Serbian, Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches. I’ve been to monasteries in Serbia where I believe that the monks and the people are more in contact with the REAL meaning of religion. Not commercialized at all. They are just up there in the mountains by themselves, the complete opposite of the Vatican.
RiCo: Do you believe in Karma?
Max: A lot of things in life I believe in but you just don’t know. It’s just like Death. You know it exists but you don’t know how it is or what’s going to happen after that. You can believe in something and in the end it may not even be true, so… I think the System of Karma is good because it keeps you from fucking people over and I think that’s a good thing. Cause it’s not going to get back to you. I don’t do it because I’m afraid of Karma but because I’m afraid of the feeling of Betrayal.
RiCo: I was listening to the music, listening to the words and I got the feeling that you hate the modern Capitalist Society, the taxes, the Government but you decided to live in the USA. Aren’t you being a hypocrite?
Max: Ya. It’s actually more extreme. I think, like, I’m attracted to extremes. I live in Phoenix, Arizona, which is more extreme because it’s a very redneck state … and then there is me… but it’s great because they leave me alone and I can do my own thing which is music. So you know you have people like Lee Perry who lives in Switzerland. And then you have Mick Jagger or Jimmy Page who have houses in Brazil. People find places they can connect to and I think that’s more important than the politics. You might not like the politics but you like the place. I don’t like the US politics, but I like the place and I like who I am and I have friends I can relate to – although I don’t like the politics.
RiCo: How do you relate to Dubai? I read in Wikipedia you own a house there.
Max: No. I do not have a house there.
RiCo: That’s wrong.
Max: Yes, that is wrong.
RiCo: That’s the internet (haha)!
Max: I wish I had a house in Dubai. I’d go there right now!
RiCo: could you tell me why the 12 years of lack of communication with your brother? Did this happen because of personal competition or was it a music strategy problem?
Max: Neither. I was never competing with Igor. There was no reason to compete. We played different instruments. It was really… I believe it was two things. A band that was broken in half that we both couldn’t be part of together anymore but we both had lives to live. We both had things to do still.
We both continued. He with Sepultura, I with Soulfly.
The other reason is it was necessary to stay apart 12 years maybe to appreciate more your brother. I think that there are a lot of brothers out there who have a fake relationship. Mine with Igor is REAL now. We have a real brotherly relationship now. So I think this was necessary. I think life sometimes requires sacrifice and if you get through it it’s really worth it.
RiCo: When you decided to make peace and start the Cavalera Conspiracy Project, Who called Who first?
Max: Igor called me. It’s more his style of putting the silence away. Igor was also more going through a very hard time and together with my mom, he started believing more in spiritual things and started believing that very difficult things could be solved. So he recently got a new tattoo that he showed me, one of the first things he showed me when I saw him again. It is a Saint from Brazil that undoes a knot. The Saint actually untied the knot, meaning solving relationship problems. He made this tattoo two years ago and our relationship knot was untied. I think Igor really believed that and this came from him and I really love him for that, for doing the right thing. I probably would have called him. I wouldn’t have waited too much anyway, but I’m very glad he called when he did.
RiCo: I understand you don’t use the high pitched strings on your guitar – so you just play yours like a four string guitar.
Max: Ya. I don’t do solos. I’m not good at that. I never did solos and a long time ago, back in Brazil, the strings broke and we were very, very broke (poor). We had no money, we were sleeping on the floor and my roadie/friend gave me an option: he said, “well tonight you can drink beer or you can put two strings in your guitar” (haha) and that’s how it came to me. I never put the strings back on, so that became my own thing and I thought that was cool – and I saved beer money.
RiCo: Why did you contact Sean Lennon to produce Primitive?
Max: I met him going to Australia. Again I think it’s one of those Fate interaction things. It was very, very odd, because he was flying in from New York and the flight stopped in Phoenix – it was a layover. We sat across from each other all the way to Australia which is a 28 hour flight. He knew my band and I knew him, so we started talking and he told me he was really into Soulfly, he liked the record, and I was very surprised. So I ended up seeing him in Australia, and he saw some of my shows and we kept up the friendship. Then I invited him on to Primitive. He’s never been to Arizona before so that was cool. He stayed at my house. He didn’t want to stay in a hotel and it was great. I really like him as a person. He’s a positive, very cool person. But my wife and my mother were like groupies because they liked The Beatles. I missed the Beatles because I was too young. So you should see them freaked out about having Sean at my house… they were saying like, “Oh my God, Sean Lennon!” and stuff like groupies. He was a very, very cool guy.
RiCo: and you were writing on the album cover that you loved Mozart and thanking him for his influence on your music. How does that fit into thrash metal?
Max: I think a lot of the people I mentioned in the CD cover one way or the other had an influence on me and it goes all the way back to Mozart, even people like Czar Nicholas II from Russia, who again, had a tremendous influence on me. I either admired them or felt that there was some kind of connection. I thought it was something cool to share with the fans. Some people will be very surprised who I mentioned there. Many people would be intrigued to find out who I like. Mozart is very close to me, because although he was involved in Classical music, if he was alive today he would be playing whatever he’d play but his attitude would be more punk rock. I think he was very punk rock for that time.
RiCo: My last question is about the new album. Will it be out this year and is it still with Roadrunner Records?
Max: We are touring for the Conquer album now. We have some new songs for the next album and we’ll work on that maybe during the summer. It’s a year old but we’re playing for Conquer tonight here in Romania.
RiCo: … And you are here for the third time now. Last time, you played in Timishoara and you put on Guerrillas T-shirts?
Max: Guerrillas, ya. My guitar player didn’t know but he got a football jersey from a team Romania was playing against at that time and people were throwing stuff at him because of that and it was very funny – so he took the shirt off and threw it in the crowd, and they burned the shirt. I told him, “that was very Brazilian of them”. In Brazil we have this football attitude, like if I have a team and you have a team and we see each other, oh man, we fight hooligan style. He was a good sport. He freaked out first. Threw the shirt. They burned the shirt. I’d never seen anything like that. It was so cool. This is totally punk rock. It is the third time here and I’m very excited. I understand we have 1,000 ticket pre-sales, so I think it’s going to be a good show.
Interview by: RiCo
SUPERTARE interviul RiCo!
Numa’la final n-am inteles de ce nu si-a amintit MAX de faza cu tricoul GUERRILLAS purtat la TM atat de el cat si de BOBBY..
Anyway, conteaza ca atunci cand au primit tricourile de la baietzii de la GUERRILLAS, le-au si purtat imediat pe scena
Ba, tocmai ca si-a amintit. a explicat cum s-a intamplat ca au pus acel tricou la concert … pentru ca au ars alt tricou, nu? spune-ne cum a fost, daca ai fost acolo?
DECI NU SI-A AMINTIT. TRICOU DE CARE VORBESTE CA A FOST ARS ESTE DE LA PRIMA LOR VENIRE IN RO. MAI EXACT LA ARENELE ROMANE UNDE MARC RIZZO PURTA UN TRICOU CU DINAMO. LA UN MOMENT DAT L-A ARUNCAT IN PUBLIC DIN CATE AM INTELES INTR-O ZONA CU STELISTI, CARE NORMAL I-AU DAT FOC PE LOC. DESPRE ASTA ZICE SI EL CA ASEMANAREA IN TRE BRAZILIENI SI ROMANI CA SUPORTERI IAR TRICOU CU GUERRILLAS A FOST PURTAT DE BOBBY BURNS IN TIMISOARA INTREG CONCERTU SI CHIAR SI IN GRECIA SI IN CATEVA CONCERTE DIN ACEL TURNEU, CHIAR SI MAX L-A PURTAT UNDEVA PE LA MIJLOCU CONCERTULUI PT VREO 2 PIESE…
woooow!!!!!!!!! superb interviu!!!
MAX, TE VREM IN TIMISOARA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! e un om extraordinar, care are foarte multe de spus, de oferit….. merita tot respectul si toata atentia. E un multicultural, iar asta e ceva extraordinar……….
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