Former SEPULTURA and current SOULFLY frontman Max Cavalera spoke to the "Scars And Guitars" about his tendency to occasionally address societal and political issues in his music.
"I still enjoy political messages, and some of them are quite strong," he said (hear audio below). "If you look at an album like [SEPULTURA's] 'Chaos A.D.', even though it was done [nearly 30 years] ago, it seems like a lot of those songs fit the world right now perfectly — like a glove — even more than when it was written. Or [Max's 1990s side project] NAILBOMB. NAILBOMB [is] the perfect example. We were doing a tour [where we performed the songs from] NAILBOMB two years ago, and it was fantastic, and kind of creepy, how those songs that were 20 years old, they fit the times now better than they did when we wrote them in the first place.
"I probably would do more of that kind of stuff, 'cause I do enjoy having a voice," he continued. "There is the right things and the wrong things out things, and there's a lot of wrong messages being portrayed. The problem, I think, is that you have the Internet and everybody has a platform, and you have all this brainwashing, especially here [in the U.S.]."
Max, who was born and raised in Brazil before relocating to Phoenix, Arizona in the early 1990s, touched upon the rise of right-wing populism around the globe, saying that Donald Trump used the weight of the most powerful office on Earth to give the movement legitimacy.
"What Trump did here was really just taking the mask off and just exposing all the ugliness that was underneath America," Max said. "But now the masks are off. And it's fucking crazy. And my country [Brazil] is not any better. We have [Jair] Bolsonaro, which is a product of the Trump era. This guy is even way worse than Trump. He wants to just kill all the Indians and legalize murder and just make the police go in the favelas [Brazil's slums] and just kill everybody. I mean, this guy is a sick bastard. He's in control in Brazil. Hopefully Brazil wakes up too and makes a change in the future too."
Cavalera remains hopeful that some good will come from the Trump era and the coronavirus crisis, inadvertently or otherwise.
"When we're in times like this, a lot of good music comes out of it," he said. "In the '70s, we had the Vietnam war, so you have all that great music come out — CREEDENCE CLEARWATER [REVIVAL] and the Woodstock [era], all the revolutionary [artists like] Gil Scott-Heron, [and] all that great stuff. In '77, the punk stuff [was in the spotlight when] Margaret Thatcher [came to power in the U.K.], and great music came out of that. In America in the Reagan years, great music came out of that. So now probably is a good time for good shit to come out. Especially with COVID, man, a lot of people are at home writing their brains off. I think we're gonna see a lot of music next year."
Max's side project KILLER BE KILLED has just released its sophomore album, "Reluctant Hero", via Nuclear Blast. He is joined in the supergroup by Troy Sanders (MASTODON), Greg Puciato (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN), and Ben Koller (CONVERGE, ALL PIGS MUST DIE, MUTOID MAN).
This past June, SOULFLY released a new digital EP, "Live Ritual NYC MMXIX". The effort was recorded at The Gramercy in New York City on February 11, 2019 while SOULFLY was on tour in support of its most recent full-length album, "Ritual". The audio for the EP was mixed and mastered by Charles Elliott (ABYSMAL DAWN) from Tastemaker Audio. Cover artwork was comprised of live photos taken by Rodrigo Fredes.
"Ritual" was released in October 2018 via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2015's "Archangel" was produced, recorded and mixed by Josh Wilbur (KILLER BE KILLED, LAMB OF GOD, GOJIRA).