Keefy of Ghost Cult magazine conducted an interview with SOULFLY frontman Max Cavalera prior to the band's September 11 concert at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On SOULFLY's 2018 album "Ritual":
Max: "I'm still enjoying it and still kind of dissecting the record. We are playing, right now, five tracks live, which is cool. I'm hoping to get more in the future. We do have another run in February, so I think we're going to add some more songs. But right now, we are opening with 'Summoning', going into 'Under Rapture', then we play 'Ritual', 'Dead Behind The Eyes', and 'Feedback!' in the end. I'm good, man. To me, being in this metal game for a long time, you got to kind of find your place where you're comfortable, where you're happy with it, and I think I found my place. I'm really excited to get out and play every night. It doesn't matter how many people are there. I just love the metal, man. I love the whole vibe of the metal show and the fans and playing the stuff, playing the new stuff together with the old stuff. SOULFLY has got a big catalog now, so we get to play a lot of songs. Stuff from 'Primitive', stuff from 'Dark Ages', 'Prophecy', it's fun. We have a killer band. My son [Zyon] playing drums, [Marc] Rizzo on guitar, Mike [Leon, bass]. It's a cool band. We're just excited, happy, thrilled to be alive and be playing metal."
On SOULFLY recently eclipsing 20 years as a band:
Max: "I think the secret is actually I was watching this AGNOSTIC FRONT DVD. It was really cool at one point they mentioned that they were never going to be mainstream; there's always going to be a raw element to it. I was thinking, 'That really fits us, too. That's my story, pretty much.' It's weird because I'm quite popular, but at the same time, it's not METALLICA popular. It's not like mainstream popular. It still has an underground feeling to it, which I think is fucking great and raw. It's still raw. You go see us live, especially shows like this, like tonight, that you get to actually touch people and feel it. I think the secret is to enjoy those and really have fun with that. That's where I am. I don't have big wishes of playing gigantic stadiums and stuff like that. To me, this is good. I get a couple hundred metalheads, get my guitar, my four-string guitars, I do some screaming, it's going to be fun. We're going to have a blast. That's it. I don't wish anything bigger than that. It's cool, man. It's good. I'm okay — I can do this forever."
On whether SOULFLY would ever tackle any Bob Marley covers:
Max: "To me, it's interesting to mix it up with metal and just go places where metal has not really gone before and put it out there and let the people feel it. Because a lot of it, some of it had the same kind of message, especially a lot of Marley's lyrics were really anti-establishment, almost like punk. It's got a lot of attitude, man. I love that. That's what I love about it. Down-to-earthiness. The SOULFLY show, we try to make it different. That's why I do the berimbau. We do some drums, we do some groove stuff, we do a lot of fast stuff. It has a little bit of everything. It's fun. I think the crowd digs it. Towards the end, I can say that the crowd really had a good time. We had a great time. I get out totally wet, totally soaked and throw water at everybody, but it's all about having just a kick-ass time and feeling it, feeling the metal and spreading the message."
"Ritual" was released October 2018 via Nuclear Blast.
SOULFLY recently completed a 22-date U.S. tour with UNEARTH, INCITE, PRISON and ARRIVAL OF AUTUMN in support.