Brazilian heavy metal musician Max Cavalera, who has lived in Phoenix, Arizona since 1992, has told the Reading Eagle that he is still closely tied to his birth country. Brazil's recent controversial election of Jair Bolsonaro as president, whose policies and actions are very far-right, has him concerned.
"Brazil has a history of corrupt leaders, [even though] we had a couple good presidents that did some stuff for the country," the former SEPULTURA and current SOULFLY frontman said. "I was there when [Bolsonaro] got elected and it was a really weird vibe in the air. It was kind of similar to when Trump was elected [in the U.S.]. Half of the country voted for him, the other half didn't.
"I feel very negative about stuff he says about Indians and black people. He doesn't care for the indigenous community. That's the stuff that really bothers me the most," he added.
But Max is hopeful.
"Politics is so dirty; they're all corrupt," he said. "[But] everything passes. Even this guy will pass and somebody else will come and hopefully it will be somebody better."
Bolsonaro has been criticized for his comments on gays, women, and his nostalgia for Brazil's former military dictatorship. He has also called for greater leeway for law enforcement to shoot and kill criminals.
Last September, Max told United Rock Nations that the SOULFLY song "Evil Empowered", taken from the band's 11th album, "Ritual", was written "about the corruption of leaders." He explained: "Every leader that gets elected, pretty much, with the exception of very few, gets this corruption disease and they just use their power for evil means instead of for good, instead of for the people. Brazil has been a victim [of] that for many years now, since I was a kid. We only had one good president, and he was murdered after they took power. And it just goes to show, if somebody's good, they kill you; they don't want good people involved. It's the system; it's [how] the whole society, the whole system works. It's pretty much similar around the world, I think, everywhere.
"It's too bad, 'cause [Brazil is] a really great country, I think, with a lot of possibilities to be really, really good," Max added. "And it's kind of been wasted with corruption and just doing the wrong thing — instead of helping the country, they do the opposite. And it kind of sucks. Hopefully one day it will be better."
"Ritual" was released last October via Nuclear Blast Entertainment.