Well, to begin I would like to say that it is an honour to meet you. We at Lords of Metal are very pleased that you could find the time to do an interview with us.
No problem, man!
Let's begin in the history. You started Soulfly in 1997. Why exactly?
Well, I had left Sepultura, but I still had all this music inside me. I was looking for something to continue what I was doing with Sepultura. And I think Soulfly is it. I'm very proud of it; the tribal rhythms and stuff, the fast songs, I still do those. It's just that music is my life, I mean, Soulfly is a different band, but it doesn't stop me from making music, which is what I love. Now we have finally reached our spot I think, people respect Soulfly now for who we are. It took us three albums, but we're there!
What's the difference between Soulfly and your previous projects (Nailbomb and Sepultura)?
The main difference is that Soulfly is more diverse. Nailbomb is great, I love it, but very much…uni-sound. Very hard and very heavy all the time. Sepultura is kind of similar, very much in that same area. I can stretch and bend the music in Soulfly as much as I want to, but I always go back to the heaviness. That's what I like!
Do you also have the feeling that Soulfly is more your band?
People always viewed Sepultura as four, but actually it wasn't. Paolo never did anything but play the bass, and he could barely play the bass right. Igor is a great drummer, but so is Roy (Soulfly), they are both amazing drummers. I did all the writing and shared some of the lyrics with Andreas. I think I did about 70% of the work, but I never felt like taking the credits, so we split everything four ways. I shouldn't have, 'cause that's what split the band up, because everyone was fighting in the end. I just thought, I don't care, we're all in this boat together. I shouldn't have done this.
Which Metalbands influence you or have influenced you?
Slayer, Celtic Frost, Kreator, all the great thrash names, Exodus. In the moment I listen to Eyesburn (a band from Belgrade) and Warhammer.
Which other bands do you listen to?
I listen to a lot of dub music. Bob Marley, of course. Paul Simon, for instance, is someone I really like. I listen to bands like Massive Attack, Brazilian Music, Dead can Dance.
What are the three best records ever?
I would have to say Queen 'Live Killers'. They meant so much to the music; it's still one of my favorite albums… 'Exodus' by Bob Marley, 'cause he just is brilliant, and it is an amazing record. And I think Nailbomb, 'Point Blank', because even though it's a completely strange record, I still listen to it today. I was like …. SO PISSED OFF.
To me, one of the most impressive tracks on the new album is 9 11 01. Where were you when you heard the news?
Well, actually I was at home, writing this record. I was in this fase, just me writing songs all day long like a mad scientist, without the band for like two months or so. Then my wife called me and said “Max, come here, you have watch this.” So I went to the TV-set, and saw the second plane hitting the WTC live, and then there was a split screen, and I saw a plane crashing into the Pentagon as well. I thought this could not be true, I don't believe this. The Third World War must have begun or something…
You deal with it in a completely different way than most other musicians do. You as a musician chose silence to deal with it. Why?
Well, first of all I like doing something different, so that was one reason. It's original and different. But also, I think this minute of silence makes people think for themselves, in stead of me telling them what they should feel or think or whatever.
How do you feel about the Iraq question? Or do you think Iraq is not the problem?
Well, I agree with you there. I mean, we've been focusing on Iraq so much, that it almost scares me. They are building nuclear weapons in North-Korea as well; they're building six more bombs by June. Iraq has almost become a little problem. India, Pakistan, Iran has bombs too now, you know.
Yes, they too, man. They say they won't use it, but that's not true. I think we should all just disarm. The UN should be focusing on that. Universal disarmament. War can never be the solution. It's getting very problematic, as we can see now. If I was the president of the UN, I would enforce that. I would say: “All you motherfuckers disarm right now!”
I agree with you and I'll ask our readers to vote for you when the vote comes up!
What are the most important emotions in your music? What is your music about?
Energy! The tribal grooves are very important, they make the whole place go up and down. But sometimes the melodic stuff is very important too. It's very spiritual, you know. The beginning of “Tree of Pain” fills up a part of me that in the past wasn't very evident, you know. It's coming out of me more nowadays. I think we will be hearing more of that on the next album. I think this mix of aggression and melodic stuff is a good mix.
OK, Finally, I would like you to respond to ten short statements.
A real friend
Latin America and its economy
This is not hard. Gone form bad to worst
Ok, thank you for the interview
Thank you, and enjoy yourself!