Twenty years have almost come full circle for the metal act known as Soufly. Through the course of their musical careers the band has released its tenth album to date, with plans on playing it in full, along with touring restlessly, as well as writing new material in between. Frontman vocalist/guitarist Max Cavalera discusses the band's tenth album, new material, touring, with other topics covered as well.
1. First off, would you mind telling me the story as to how the band came up with its name Soulfly? Does it actually have to deal with a soul and a fly?
Max: No, the name comes from a song I did with the Deftones, on their second record "Around the Fur" called "Headup". On this song I made up the words soulfly and it's kind of a Brazilian belief that when the Indians are playing music, they feel the souls of their ancestors flying around them. So that's kind of the idea of where the name comes from, when we make music, we feel the presents of our ancestors flying around us. So that is why we are called Soufly.
2. You guys have been a band for almost 20 years, do you have an idea as to how you may be celebrating when that time comes?
Max: I don't know yet. I'm not too caught up on those date things, there are too many of those these days ya know? Ten year anniversary thing, I barely remember my own Birthday. The other day I was asked how old I was going to be, and I did not know, I thought I was 45 but it turned out I was 46. I had almost got that wrong. When the right time comes, and we feel good, we can do something special about it. Something like maybe a tour. I like to keep going, looking more to the future than the past, more of a present and future kind of guy.
3. A lot of bands have gone and performed certain releases, in their entirety, will you guys being doing such a thing or is that not your thing?
Max: Like play a whole record? Yeah that's actually what we are going to do on our next tour at the end of September. We are going to play the whole "Archangel" album first then play the Soufly favorite songs after that. I am excited for that, I think it's a cool record to do that with and I think people are going to like it.
4. Speaking of releases, you are on your tenth album to date, did you ever think that Soulfly would have reached this milestone in their musical careers?
Max: No it's crazy and it came real fast too. For me, it feels like the first record just came out only yesturday. But it's been a long time since 98, I am excited and it's cool, I think this is the first band that I have done more records with than any other band, even Sepultura. It's a long career and I am proud of the record, I think all of them have a different vibe, and it shows me in a different state of mind, from all of the years. The thing I am most proud of is that the band became heavier, darker, more aggressive, on the last couple of years, which is the opposite of what people expect, when you become older, you become soft, making more softer music. That did not happen to me, I like more extreme music, listening to the more extreme music, I want to play more extreme music, I love the energy that this music gives me. Like, something I am always searching for.
5. Since you have so many albums, does it keep getting more difficult to put together a setlist?
Max: This idea of playing the whole "Archangel" album first, then the Soulfly hits after that, it made it a little bit easier. It makes the setlist a little bit easier, because all of the main Soufly songs you can just go to Spotify and see what people like, it will be all of the Soulfly hits, "Eye for an Eye", "Prophecy", "Primitive", "Rise of the Fallen", so we are going to play all of those favorite songs for the fans. Then play the whole "Archangel" so I think everybody is going to be happy at the end of the day.
6. When you headline do you change things up and switch songs from show to show?
Max: No I don't let it stay the same way, because it becomes very boring. I change one or two songs night by night and try different things. What I like to do, is start a tour with certain songs, then a week later, add stuff people aren't expecting. By doing that you keep it interesting and exciting. It's not a routine like a factory routine.
7. What's your favorite city/venue to play in the U.S?
Max: The U.S. I like the Marquee Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona, I like all of the House of Blues those are all amazing venues. The Masquerade in Georgia is great, The Gas Monkey in Texas, there's a lot of really cool venues in the states. I think in general I love touring in the states. I love the cities, I always look forward to the U.S. tours. Like the trunk stop at 2 in the morning is always fun haha.
8. A Sepultura reunion isn't likely to happen, but wouldn't you want to do it anyway, just to shut everyone up, that way they won't bother you about it anymore?
Max: That would be great if that were the case right? I would hope, it would be that easier but it's not. It's not just up to me, it's up to other guys too. I don't think it's going to happen, I think they are too hard headed, I am going to be hearing it for the rest of my life, on my last day of Earth, there is going to be somebody asking me about the reunion, I will be on my death bed, "There is no godamn reunion leave me alone".
9. Would you ever consider doing a tour where Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, your stepson's act Incite, and Sepultura all toured together?
Max: I would, it wouldn't bother me, I think the fans would like that. I don't know how friendly it would be between us, have to check on that. But you know we do actually have something quite similar, it's called the Maximum Cavalera Tour. Which is Soulfly, Incite, we try to have Cavalera Conspiracy but it hasn't been done yet. But we would like to have Cavalera Conspiracy be a part of it in the future. I am hoping it will happen. We are also trying to expand the Maximum Cavalera Tour with guests, like some bands that we like, that have been involved with me like Cattle Decapitation or Nails or King Parrot or Fear Factory, or something like that would be kind of cool to do.
10. Will we ever be hearing Soulfly or Cavalera Conspiracy taking their material and turning it into the acoustic format?
Max: I don't know, I am not in there yet. I am still connected to circle pits, I am not ready to unplug yet. Maybe in another 10 years, or in 10 years I will answer that differently.
11. How about a live album or DVD, are either of those in the works for either Soulfly or Cavalera Conspiracy?
Max: I think that will be Soulfly's next thing. I think now that we have ten albums, we can do a really cool live album or DVD. For me, it has to be in a very, very, exotic place. I wouldn't be happy if it was done in like live in New York or live in London, everybody does that, so it would have to be an exotic place, if it does happen in the future.
Max: A lot of touring, we have another European tour in January for three months, then festivals, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, try to go to South America again, and another North American tour. Then write a little bit of new material for another new album to be out in a couple of years.
13. Do you have any last comments or words to the listeners out there?
Max: No, I would just like to thank them for the support, I cannot wait to play "Archangel" for them, I can't wait for the tour to start in September, it's a great package, everybody should show up, it's a great night of metal and thank you for your support.