Ellen Gager of Midwest Excess recently conducted an interview with SOULFLY/ex-SEPULTURA frontman Max Cavalera. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Midwest Excess: Do you feel that the European and South American music scenes are different than the scenes in the U.S.?

Max: "Yah, you know, they bring different elements. I think the stuff that I do, it wouldn't be the same if I was born in Europe, I don't think. The fact that I am from Brazil brings out some shit that is different I don't see anywhere else, which goes the other way around, too. There's bands from here that sound like they are like just from here. If they were from Brazil, they wouldn't pry sound like this. So, I think it's cool to be like that, 'cuz every country has a little bit of a style to their metal, or rock, or whatever. Musically speaking in general, I'm a big PAUL SIMON fan. And I think PAUL SIMON's stuff is definitely...I love it 'cuz he mixed American music with world music. Very cool. But he's strictly, you know, listening to his records, he's coming from American roots."

Midwest Excess: What do you perceive to be your main driving force for sticking with music all these years? What keeps you doing it?

Max: "Well...I have to be very thankful for people like Gloria [Cavalera, wife] to be in my life, 'cuz I gave up many times, where I didn't want to do anything. You reach a level, like too many disappointments. When you work your whole life towards something and when it's kinda like stripped away from you, like the SEPULTURA thing, it's really to me kinda lost. 'Yah, I've lost the whole thing, bye, I don't want to do this anymore. This is not worth it.' But I was wrong, and she made me see I was wrong, and I went back to the game, and stuck to it. And then apart from that, music itself. Because music, to me music is like different from what a lot of people think. To me music is not here to teach, it is here to evoke. That's why I don't give a fuck much about technical music. It's nice if you learn music, nothing wrong, and I respect those people, but I think it's much more important that the music evokes something out of you, that you have no control. And all of a sudden, you got this, you know, this feeling hits, and you would do something that normally you wouldn't do. That is what is cool about music that's different from movies or books. And also writing music, everything is different. Ten people have ten different ideas, visions of a song, which is probably totally different than the guy that wrote the song. So the translation of it, it's really exciting, 'cuz it's not so obvious. I like that."

Midwest Excess: I have to ask about your recent work with APOCALYPTICA [Max appears on APOCALYPTICA's new single "Repressed", also featuring a guest appearance by Matt Tuck from BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE. What's it like working with a metal cello band?

Max: "It's very exciting, you know? I didn't really see them recording the cello, which sucks, I wish I was there when they were doing it. But I did see them play live with us in the festivals. I've seen them doing that, and it's pretty amazing. The whole cello thing, it's cool. The songs are really cool, they're very cool guys, Finnish guys.

"Yah, one afternoon in Munich, We had a show, and there was like, four hours between the show and time to go in the studio and do some screaming in there for them. I went in there and did that, you know, so it's great. The way I like to do these kinds of things, very...I didn't really hear the song much, before. He sent me a copy, and I only heard it like once. I went into the studio, 'We'll figure something out. Like rotate, man.' I just started screamin', and it came's a great song, though. It's really a cool song. I can't wait to hear the rest of the record. And I went to L.A. to do part of their video. [Watch the video at this location. — Ed.] So yah, I'm excited, 'cuz this is something that's really cool. Again, it's another thing that I'm part of, like the Dave Grohl project, PROBOT, and APOCALYPTICA. It's cool to not do everything, and when you do do something, it's quite cool and different. I hope that the fans dig it. Gloria wants to bring them to tour with us in the states, it was her idea, and I think it would be great. I think the crowd, once the they see it, they'll be like, 'Whoah.' So hopefully that tour will come up sometime later this year, because we have to go to Europe and do some shows in June and July, but then after that, we'd like to tour a little more in the States."

Read the entire interview at


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