Australia's Inside_Out666 recently conducted an in-depth interview with SOULFLY guitarist Marc Rizzo. Several excerpts from the chat follow:
Inside_Out666: Were you guys happy with the outcome of [the new SOULFLY album] "Dark Ages"?
Marc Rizzo: "Oh, yeah, I am 100% happy with the outcome of the new record. I think we all were about recording this past year on tour and I think it came out better than we expected. We really challenged ourselves and really pushed ourselves to limits to make this record."
Inside_Out666: I love the new album. It's somewhere along the lines of old SEPULTURA meets new SOULFLY.
Marc Rizzo: "Exactly! Joe [Nunez, drums] I are both huge thrash metal fans as is Max [Cavalera, guitar/vocals]. We wanted to get back to that style. We love the SOULFLY stuff but we really wanted to get back to solos and great thrash riffs."
Inside_Out666: When it came time to record "Dark Ages", did you approach it in a different way to albums you have worked on in the past?
Marc Rizzo: "I think we talked about getting back to the thrash style because Joe and myself are really into that style of music and we're both well schooled in that style of music. Max also wanted to go back into more of the world music vibe that he's always had. He continued to go around the world to look for strange instruments to use on the record."
Inside_Out666: Recently you re-released your solo album "Collasol Myopia" on Shrapnel Records in America. When I heard this album I was really impressed, it's somewhat a departure from the work you're doing in SOULFLY. I believe this project has taken a couple of years it wasn’t something that you just threw together over night. Can you tell us how the project came about?
Marc Rizzo: "It's basically something that I've wanted to do for a long time. I had released this CD on my own record company and I put it out, then it got picked up by Shrapnel Records. Basically it's an instrumental shred CD. It's a mixture of Yngwie Malmsteen and Paco De Lucia, who are two of my favorite guitar players; I've always been a huge fan of flamenco and Latin guitar music and of course heavy metal, [Yngwie] Malmsteen, Jason Becker, Marty Friedman etc. Basically I wanted to do a record that combined those two styles together. Mike Varney, president of Shrapnel Records, really dug the album and signed me up, gave me a record deal and hooked me up to write a couple of new songs for the record and put it out. I can't wait to make another one."
Inside_Out666: Max recently said in an interview that he is looking forward to playing shows again in the future with SEPULTURA. With statements such as that and yourself having side projects, what does the future hold for the SOULFLY?
Marc Rizzo: "I think SOULFLY will be going on forever. For as long as Max is around, SOULFLY will continue. If Max put SEPULTURA back together, that would be awesome, I'm the first person who'd love to see that. I'm a huge SEPULTURA fan, I grew up on SEPULTURA, and they’re still one of my favorite bands."
Inside_Out666: Now SOULFLY are heading back out on tour this month, what can fans expect to see this time around?
Marc Rizzo: "This time around we're going to do everything off the new record; the fans can really expect to see a thrash set. We're also going to be doing all the old classic SOULFLY songs and a lot of old SEPULTURA stuff like 'Inner Self', 'Dead Embryonic Cells', 'Territory' and 'Mass Hypnosis'. We try to get all these songs perfect, note for note cause we're such fans of the music. I think you can expect a fast, brutal and heavy set from us."
Inside_Out666: Over the years you have shared the stage with many great bands. Who have you enjoyed touring with the most?
Marc Rizzo: "Hmmm, I would say the two bands off the top of my head are BLACK SABBATH and MORBID ANGEL. Obviously the BLACK SABBATH tour was awesome; we did the whole tour with them in Europe a couple of months ago. Walk down the hallway and there's Ozzy walking past you [laughs]. It's crazy man. Tony Iommi's dressing room was over from mine and every night I would listen to him warming up, just jamming out before the show. MORBID ANGEL was another band I really enjoyed touring with. They were great, man!"
Inside_Out666: Now you guys were just on touring. You're taking this short break then the plans are to head back out this month. Can we expect to see a live DVD anytime soon?
Marc Rizzo: "Actually we just recorded some shows in Poland. I figure they're putting it out sometime this year or early next year! I don't really know what they plan on doing with it. I can't say at this stage if there will be extra footage or not. I do know that the footage of us playing in Poland is fantastic. Every time we play in Poland those kids go insane for us. We've got great fans everywhere but in Poland they are just so hungry for SOULFLY. It's really too early to say what's happening with the DVD, but I would expect it to get released in the next few months. I can't wait to see it myself."