When SOULFLY were in the UK recently to play shows in support of their recently released aural assault OMEN, we took the opportunity to sit down and chat with Max Cavalera about the Soulfly back catalogue in continuation of our ‘Discography’ series.
In part 1, we chat to Max about the bands self titled debut- where it was recorded, who with and how he feels about the release…
‘Soulfly’ was recorded at Indigo Ranch, it was the same place I did (Sepultura’s) ‘Roots’ with the same producer, Ross Robinson. It’s a very cool studio in the mountains in Malibu – actually I don’t think it’s a studio anymore unfortunately, they sold the place. But it was a great studio, it was where Korn did their first album and Megadeth did ‘Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?’
It was a great old, rustic vibe, a lot of 70s equipment. It’s all wood cabins and a beautiful view over the ocean and mountains, an awesome place to record. A really good vibe.
I had three Brazilian musicians – the guitar player Lucio, and two drummers who played on the record – who all stayed in bungalows at the studio, so it was a kind of homely atmosphere. We’d wake up every morning ready to record and make music, every day there was something new to record at the studio. It was a really fun album to make.
I wrote most of the stuff at home first. I had a demo with ‘Eye For An Eye’ and ‘No’ back-to-back, and they were the initial parts of the album. Then came ‘Bleed’ about Dana, and ‘Tribe’, then later on we started doing ‘Fire’ and some of the faster songs like ‘The Song Remains Insane’.
The musicians were Lucio, a great Brazilian guitar player who plays bossanova-style Brazilian guitar mixed with Jimi Hendrix, really tasty guitar playing – he did a lot of cool stuff on the record. We had Roy (Mayorga – drums) and Marcello (D. Rapp – bass) in the band too. Roy’s an amazing drummer, he still kicks ass today. He made great beats for the record, I love the beats he did on ‘Eye For An Eye’ – he wrote it on a drum machine but translated it to a live set, with the same energy. Marcello’s a really good bass player too- he was a Sepultura roadie for many years so we were friends from when we were teenagers. He started playing bass and got really good at it, so I invited him to be part of Soulfly from the beginning.
[Recording with new people after Sepultura] was scary, I didn’t know if I could trust these guys with the burden of coming from albums like ‘Roots’ and ‘Chaos AD’, it was a huge space to fill, but they did great. The album sounds amazing, really powerful. It’s a lot of people’s favourite Soulfly album.
To me, there’s a lot of pride involved because it was my first American Gold album, before Sepultura achieved that. It’s on my wall, it has huge value to me. It was also Gold in Australia.
It was a fun record to make. We had Chino from the Deftones on the song ‘First Commandment’, he came and sang, then we had Benji from Skindred – at that time he was in Dub War – singing on ‘Quilombo’ and parts of ‘Fire’ (Benji also appeared on ‘Prejudice’). And we had Fred Durst on ‘Bleed’, and DJ Lethal (also from Limp Bizkit), and Burt and Dino from Fear Factory played on ‘Eye For An Eye’ too. We had a lot of good friends come in!
Pick up current album ‘Omen’ online now- CLICK HERE.