Heart of Steel: Interviews

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Interview With Soulfly

Interview By Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjala
Live pics by Miika Peltola, Inferno Magazine
Interview pics by Marko Syrjala

Max Cavalera definitely has divided the world wide metal map to several camps. People either hate, like, or just ignore Max nowadays because the direction of his current jungle-based Soulfy does not please most hard core old school Sepultura fans. Soufly has automatically been linked to the now collapsing nu-metal - aka mallcore crap genre. The Finnish Metal Rules team had a chance to talk to the former Sepultura and current Soulfly frontman about his views about nu-metal and in general his passions to be involved in the activists and of course a little bit about Sepultura and his passion toward the old Finnish hard core punk stuff.

 

It been quite a long time, about six years, since your last visit to Finland with your old band Sepultura. Well how come you only managed to come over until now because you have visited Sweden anyway !?

We came to Sweden on the tour with the first Soulfly album, but I don’t know actually, maybe because of the timing and probably logistic problems. But I am happy now to get here. For example Bulgaria where I have never been before entire my life and now we will play there.

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Well Sepultura did a lot of gigs here and I for one have witnessed the band three or four times. Do you have any specific golden memories from your gigs here ?!

Well I remember the festival called Monsters…

Giants Of Rock….

Yeah Giants Of Rock, Sepultura was there and played before Winger and it was a summer time during a day and it was great, great festival. Then we came back with Iron Maiden at the Nummirock festival, which was also good. But I liked the first one, much better.

 

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You are known as a fanatical Finnish punk hard core fan digging for example Terveet Kädet, but do you still keep the contact to the main man of T.K by the way ?

Only thru letters. We usually write one or two letters during a year. But I haven’t kept the contact to Rattus, only met them one time when they were working on the backstage doing other things, not playing the music.

 

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I remember having read somewhere that you even tried to get Terveet Kadet on the tour with Sepultura in the past, but the whole idea fell apart anyway ?!

Yeah I did. It was really difficult. I think it is ok here in Finland, but outside, no. All the promoters wanted something like else like Paradise Lost back then. It is still the same problem nowadays and that’s why we don’t have any support bands with this tour. I wanted to get VoiVod for this tour, but most of promoters and countries didn’t want VoiVod, they weren’t interested, instead they wanted something ”new” metal or something pop. Then I said ”No opening bands and Soulfly will tour alone”. That really suxx.

 

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Well speaking of this new/nu metal as Soulfly has been linked to this category more than often and you have been accused of turning your back on the old school thrash/death metal genre and in general there are a lot of negative things said and written about you on several metal boards. How can you stand all the criticism and back stabbing, do you just ignore it?

Pretty much yeah. Of course it is not nice to hear that. Because I don’t agree with that. All the albums I have done, I used to have influences from different bands like Metallica. I have always had fast songs on albums. This new album has Call To Arms on the latest Soulfly album which still carry the same, some of songs of, the thrash time. But I think the music has the different forms and I don’t wanna make an album with the same form. Even in the Sepultura days we tried to make different records. Chaos A.D. had fast songs, but also had this New Model Army cover song. We always tried to be different. Of course it always irritated the most radical fans, so it is up to you, you can live your life by following the radical fans or you can live your life following your own instincts. So I follow my own instincts. As for new metal, I don’t know how it can be my fault if bands like Slipknot, System Of A Down like Roots so much that they have taken some sounds from it…(laughs)..... But I can’t do anything, I can’t help… So that is strange accusations.

 

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So Putting Soulfly into the new metal category is unfair from your point of view ?!

Yeah Because how I can even argue that to stop that… Hmm well on the other hand some of influences actually I can be proud about for example Slipknot, that is so much Chaos A.D and Roots. And some new bands like Ill-Nino which I like and they really like Soulfly a lot and influenced by that too which is cool I think. But some people just like to talk shit....(laughs). They deserve to be ignored.

 

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You have toured around the world and still keep the contact the contact to your old Brazilian friends and their bands, but have you ever though of putting together some sort of Braziliand metal package, Dorsal Atlantica, Ratos De Porao ?!

Well the money is really problem, because the touring is very expensive, you gotta pay for bushed, flight tickets, hotels, If a band touring with you and their label doesn’t give any money then touring is totally impossible. We can cover our costs, but their labels, mostly 99%, won’t pay anything for those bands as a label usually says ”You are crazy, we don’t have those kinds of money”, because those bands don’t sell any records in Europe and that is a reality.

 

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But Krisiun does?

Yeah they are different styles and they are more involved with those types of bands and I think they don’t even like touring with us, we have nothing to do with their music… But that’s become a really main problem. We tried to bring NorthSideKings which is a hard core band from Phoenix and they are on the Soulfly album and on the last minute their label said “Fuck you we are not giving the money for the tour” and that really suxx, because they are friends of ours and they were really excited about getting to the tour. One of them moved out of a house and put all his stuff away and now he had to find a house to live cos they are not living.

 

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When listening to the Soulfly stuff and reading your lyrics carefully I have paid attention that you are a real activist what comes to helping diabect children or speaking about the devastation of rain forests, these things are very important for you ?!

There are people who are really serious about this issue and sends letters around the world. This Havier living in Uruguay, he is a friend of mine and his purpose in his life is to write and send letters to Brazilian mags, which are like People Magazine in America, to bug the shit out of them to tell them in public eyes article what they are doing to rain forests. This guy is a real activist, definitely not a joker. He became my friend because he loves my music and at least what I can do is to put his name on the record that people can write to him. He can educate people with the issue which he really can do. It is quite minimum, but it is better than nothing. The same thing with the diabetes stuff. My son has the diabetes and it is a real hard core disease that the way it took to today is, I believe, to be like thousands of years behind every other disease. They are taking blood out four times every day and… It is brutal.. They could do something better for the diabetic people than throwing the money to worthless things. They don’t care about the diabetic people and that’s why we are doing this thing.

 

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Speaking of the live album Under The Pale Sky recorded from your last show with Sepultura. How did you like the general layout of the album in terms of artwork and production?!

Well yeah I gave the name. I have only heard it once. I didn’t like the artwork to be honest. It was pretty stupid even I could do the better artwork…(laughs)… But I wasn’t involved.. But the show and music are good.

 

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Did you feel that this is like your final show with Sepultura ?

No, no… It was on the tour and it was the last gig of that tour.

 

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Oh yeah before quitting this chat, I managed to get a hold of this weird cd “We Are Fucking Shit” being some sort of project band thing with Sepultura and R.D.P guys involved playing old school punk shit and recorded back in 1988…

YEAH ! This was recorded with a tape recorder and without any tricks. And it is very underground… (laughs)…

 

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All right our time is up, we thank you for your valuable time for this interview.. Have a nice gig..

Thank you guys! 


Band Website: www.soulflytribe.com