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Soulfly’s Max Cavalera: ‘I Would Not Be Here Without Ted Nugent, Metallica’

Roadrunner Records

Soulfly, led by former Sepultura front man Max Cavalera, remains one of the metal community’s most consistently exciting bands. Since 1997, the band has released seven studio albums, one tour EP, several singles, and one live DVD. Their next studio album is called ‘Enslaved’ and it’s the first to feature Asesino frontman Tony Campos (also formerly the bassist of Static-X) on bass, and former Borknagar drummer David Kinkade on drums. Interestingly, some songs also feature a guest violinist, merely one of the new sounds and styles that the band has incorporated into their sound.

Cavalera spoke with Noisecreep about the album and his love for American heavy metal.

So it looks like you went back to your death metal roots throughout ‘Enslaved.’

Oh, man – it’s pretty extreme. We delve into serious death metal roots – and some really old school riffs. The adding of our two new players, Tony and David, makes for a pretty brutal outfit. This made me feel like I was sort of getting back to the Sepultura sound – I’ve also been listening to a lot of heavy music lately, Morbid Angel, Oceano, which got me back into a more old school groove. I think it will surprise people how much heavier this sounds. We just allowed the power of the music let it take over. There are a lot of transitions and dynamic changes in the songs, but while some bands decide to go melodic, we decided to go more extreme.

Watch Soulfly’s ‘World Scum’ Video

Talk about the ‘Enslaved’ concept.

The idea of the slavery as a concept slavery to me has always been a very unique thing. I actually first had the idea 15 years ago and it seemed like a powerful metal concept. What has happened to people over the years, the brutal behavior that has been thrust upon people, it involves just so much pain and struggle. I remember reading a poem in an old book, a cry for justice from someone being owned and abused, a slave, and my mind just took off from there. I want people to pay attention to the lower tunings on this new album – the tone and the feeling of those tunings really lends to this concept. Songs like ‘World Scum,’ ‘Gladiator,’ ‘Chains’ – I am seriously proud of all these new songs.

You also manage to pay homage to your early American influences on the new record. Talk about the song called ‘American Steel.’

Oh man, yeah, I had to get that in there. ‘American Steel’ is my personal tribute to my personal love of American heavy metal. Seriously, man, I would not be here without Ted Nugent, KISS, Van Halen, Metallica. I saw the original Van Halen in Brazil back in the early 1980s. For me, they brought it all back where it needed to be – they made music very special. I LOVE Van Halen, man. I would get haircuts like the guys in Metallica back then! America has produced such amazing stuff. I live in Arizona, now. I just love the American desert. The drama of it, the intensity – it totally influences my music now. My whole family loves it- by the way; speaking of family, look for three of my sons to be on the next tour playing with us on some of the songs- something else I am very excited about.

Soulfly’s ‘Enslaved’ will be in stores on March 13 via Roadrunner Records. The album is available for pre-order through iTunes at this link.

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