MAX CAVALERA: 'When I Get In Writing Mode, It's Like A Factory'

March 28, 2011

Peter Hodgson of I Heart Guitar blog recently conducted an interview with Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, SEPULTURA). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

I Heart Guitar: Last time we spoke you said you'd actually recorded [the new CAVALERA CONSPIRACY album "Blunt Force Trauma"] last year, before the latest SOULFLY CD was released. Is the album exactly as it was when you finished it or did you take the opportunity to go in and tweak it?

Max: No, we didn't change much. It took a little while for the artwork to get done. I was doing the artwork with Igor [Cavalera, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY drummer and Max's brother]. We wanted it to look punkish, like European '80s punk — like GBH and DISCHARGE — so we needed to find a special way to do this artwork. But we figured it out and it turned out really cool. We really love the way it got done. We also worked on a special edition. It comes with a DVD that was filmed live in France. It's got a lot of great songs. It's a full CAVALERA concert. It's a really cool show and it's really cool for the fans. They get something extra, the full DVD along with the album, some more artwork, some more photos from the studio. But as far as the sound, the album is exactly the way it was finished. I didn't touch anything. I love the way it turned out. I love the work that Logan [Mader, producer] did. It's heavy, it's crisp, it's big-sounding, it's aggressive, it's brutal. It's more brutal than [2008's] "Inflikted", and I wanted to get that result. Right now I'm just very excited to have people hear the record.

I Heart Guitar: When you were writing it, were you like, "That's a CONSPIRACY song, that's a SOULFLY song…?"

Max: When I write, I write all together. I just write riffs all the time, not really thinking which one it's going to go into. It's later on when I listen to the songs that I make that decision, whether it goes for SOULFLY or if it goes for CAVALERA. But when I'm writing I just write them all together. When I get in writing mode, it's like a factory. Riffs come out one after the other and I don't even stop to think about where it's going to go. I just put it on a CD and put it aside then listen later. It's working so far. It's a good technique that's been working for me for a couple of years. Since SEPULTURA days we did things like that. I started writing like that on "Arise". That's when I started getting my drum machine and my guitar and starting to write albums full of songs by myself. I really love doing it. It's a therapeutic kind of thing. I lose myself with a guitar and a drum machine. They feel like a real song because of a drum machine. They have beginnings, middles, choruses, vocal parts. Some of them are really quite finished songs when you listen to the demos. I have some demos of "Refuse/Resist" that are like that… "Arise", "Dead Embryonic Cells"… songs I wrote at home first then took to the studio to show the guys. It's a technique that's worked for me for years, and if it's working it doesn't need to be changed.

I Heart Guitar: I hear you're working on something with Greg Puciato from THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, who was on the last [SOULFLY] album?

Max: I really like collaborating with him. He loves NAILBOMB and he's been bugging me about doing something like NAILBOMB ever since I met him, since we did the "Omen" recording of "Rise Of The Fallen". It turned out really cool and I really like that song. Greg's a great singer and he's got a lot of great ideas. So Greg has been calling me from time to time. It will probably be a lot more like a project than CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, which is a real band which goes on tour. It would be just one off, maybe just one album like NAILBOMB was. Something off the wall. We're just getting ideas put together to see what's going to happen with that.

Read the entire interview from the I Heart Guitar blog.

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