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 dont 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.
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.
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
havent kept the contact to Rattus, only met them one time when they were working on
the backstage doing other things, not playing the music.
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 thats why we dont have any support bands with this
tour. I wanted to get VoiVod for this tour, but most of promoters and countries
didnt want VoiVod, they werent interested, instead they wanted something
new metal or something pop. Then I said No opening bands and Soulfly
will tour alone. That really suxx.
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 dont 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 dont 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 dont 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 cant do anything, I cant help
is strange accusations.
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.
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
doesnt give any money then touring is totally impossible. We can cover our costs,
but their labels, mostly 99%, wont pay anything for those bands as a label usually
says You are crazy, we dont have those kinds of money, because those
bands dont sell any records in Europe and that is a reality.
But Krisiun does?
Yeah they are different styles and they are more involved with those types of bands and
I think they dont even like touring with us, we have nothing to do with their
But thats 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.
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 dont care
about the diabetic people and thats why we are doing this thing.
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
Well yeah I gave the name. I have only heard it once. I didnt like the artwork to
be honest. It was pretty stupid even I could do the better artwork
wasnt involved.. But the show and music are good.
Did you feel that this is like your final show with Sepultura ?
It was on the tour and it was the last gig of that tour.
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
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