Brazilian heavy metal musician Max Cavalera, who has lived in Phoenix, Arizona since 1992, has slammed the country's president Jair Bolsonaro, comparing him to Donald Trump and saying the divisive Brazilian politician "embraces the negative stuff with pride."
The 51-year-old SOULFLY and CAVALERA CONSPIRACY frontman addressed the political situation in his former home country during a brand new interview with Landry.audio. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I watch a lot of — whenever I can — Brazilian artists in podcasts and things like that, and it was really shocking to me to hear them say in Brazil there's families that are being divided because of this guy. Because half of the family like him, the other half don't like him, they divide, they don't talk to each other.
"I'm the first one to say — this I know for a fact — almost anybody that gets in power in Brazil immediately goes into the corruption," he continued. "It's almost like it's a virus; it's like a disease; it's like a president's disease. Brazil cannot have a good president, even he tries to [be one]; he can't. But it seems like this guy is even worse. Because he's kind of like Trump, he embraces the negative stuff with pride — [he's] proud to kill people, [he's] proud to destroy the Indians. It's kind of scary because he's proud of those things.
"To me, I don't know any politicians. I never met any politicians. I don't wanna meet any politicians. They're all scumbags, the way I look at it. None of them really wanna help.
"It's not just the guy; it's the system behind the guy that goes with the guy.
"It sucks that it's dividing families and doing so much damage, just like Trump did so much damage here [in the U.S.]."
Max added: "I sang that on [the SOULFLY album] 'Primitive' back in 2002 — 'Back to the primitive. Fuck all the politics.' And I was referring to all the politics — [including] politics of music. I really think that's a career where you barely ever really look out for the people. You get corruption — you start corrupting, and you can get rich from it, and you just do for yourself, and that's it, man. And in the meantime, all the poor people are still dying, the problems are never solved.
"They say Brazil's gonna be a great country three hundred years from now. Hopefully I'll be reborn and I'll be born again three hundred years from now. I'll be in a good place. [Laughs]"
The conservative Bolsonaro has minimized the coronavirus's threat in his country, where more than 400,000 citizens have died from COVID-19. He has also been criticized for his comments on gays, women, and his nostalgia for Brazil's former military dictatorship. In addition, he has called for greater leeway for law enforcement to shoot and kill criminals.
In September 2018, Max told United Rock Nations that the SOULFLY song "Evil Empowered", taken from the band's latest 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 in October 2018 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment.