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20 Countries, 8 Weeks

Posted on February 12, 2008

Ever wonder what it would be like to tour 20 different countries? What it would be like through the eyes of Max Cavalera? Sure ya have…well, wonder no more. Since January 27th, Soulfly has been on tour in Europe, and will be until the end of March – 20 countries in eight weeks. Read below for a bit of Max’s tour diary from the travels thus far. The entire European tour Diary spanning the whole tour will be featured in the July ’03 issue of US magazine Metal Maniacs. Until then, read below… 1/26/03 We arrived in Copenhagen in the evening, 7:00 pm, surprisingly more alert and rested than we expected to be after the fifteen hours of traveling we had just gone through. We waited for weeks for this tour to begin – 20 countries, 8 weeks. Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Norway, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Greece, and on. The last time we had done this thorough a tour was on the 1993 Chaos AD Tour. We knew what to expect and we got it. The Pumphouse in Copenhagen had sold out quickly. We felt at home, we played there several times before – the crowd raged and gave us their best. A ferry crossing awaited us so we said goodbye to Denmark and hello to Norway. 1/27 Oslo, Norway. The days are getting shorter, darker, and colder. This doesn’t stop the fans that are outside all day long. We breeze through the day and the show. The Scandinavian crowd pleases us, begs for more and accepts it savagely. Next stop, Stockholm, Sweden. We cut through the icy landscape at night. Except for a few trucks, we are one of the few vehicles traveling on the frozen road. 1/28 Oversleeping much later than normal, and it never got light? Can it even be dusk? No, it’s 2:00 pm and dark is approaching. The fans are outside, we can count on them. They tell us there are plenty of tours now, but no one international. 1/29 Today we traveled 8 hours on a ferry from Sweden to Finland. We watched out our window as the ship pushed icebergs out of our path. The air is bitter cold and the Baltic Sea quite frozen. We arrive at night in Helsinki. 1/30 Press all day long and a sold out show at night. It is the first Soulfly show ever in Finland, and the insane crowd shows their appreciation. Actually it took only two hours for the show to sell out. 2/1 7:00am – dropped off at the train station. It took until midday to arrive in St Petersburg. The crew left for the hockey arena to set up while Gloria and I went on a tour of the Hermitage – the palace of the Russian Tsars. We marveled at the treasures and spectacular architecture. Never had we been in such an elaborate palace. Over three million pieces of art which was collected for 300 years of reigning. With Catherine the Great putting the wheel of acquiring art into motion. We were taken into the very staircase the Bolsheviks stormed up and into the room the Tsar’s family was arrested in. As we know months later, the entire family was murdered at the order of Lenin. Three thousand raging fans awaited us at the hockey arena. Russia has come a long way in thirteen years since we first played here in 1991. The police used to batter the kids and now only professional security watches them mosh. They bring their official CDs to sign and they buy our merch. We were the first international group to EVER do a merch deal in Russia. At midnight, we boarded a train to Moscow, which would arrive at 9:30 am. 2/2 We awoke about 4:00 am, as the lady watching our train car popped our door lock open. Thinking this unusual, Gloria went to the hall and noticed no one…but that all of our doors had been popped open. Believing it to be some train procedure, Gloria locked our door again and returned to bed. There were small cabins with two small bunks to sleep on. In the morning, brief cases and wallets were mysteriously missing. The police were called at the Moscow station, and the lady who opened our doors was detained. The wallet was found with all of the money gone and the briefcase was gone too. We learned our lesson – Watch out! Only a short bit of sightseeing in Red Square, The Kremlin, and St. Basil’s Cathedral – the famous church with colored onion shaped tops. When the Tsar saw the Cathedral for the first time, he loved it so much he had the eyes removed from the architect so he could never repeat his creation. We learned that Red Square is so named because of all of the blood spilled there. The show in a very famous Ballet Theater was sold out, in fact 600 tickets sold over capacity. After the show, we went to an old castle-like building that featured knife throwing and archery ranges while you were eating. The champion snowboarder and the editor of Russian Elle Magazine joined us. We feasted on caviar and a traditional Russian meal complete of course with Vodka. 2/3 Around 2:00 pm, as we prepared for our train journey from Moscow to Warsaw, we felt that something was wrong, but no one would tell us. They would mention a country, Belarus, but we were not familiar with it. We boarded the train with a Russian translator and began our eighteen hour trek across Russia.


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