SOULFLY Interview: MAX CAVALERA Nailbomb’s Canada

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There is never a dull moment when Max Cavalera is in town, and his recent sojourn through Canada with Soulfly hammered that truism home. Soulfly has been touring on and off since last fall, performing as Nailbomb. Max and company have been playing Nailbomb’s lone studio album, Point Blank, in its entirety.

Cavalera forged Soulfly in 1997 shortly after leaving Sepultura. Since then Soulfly has released 10 studio albums stretching from 1998’s eponymous debut to the most recent release of Archangel which was released in 2015. Currently the band consists of Max Cavalera (vocals/guitar), Zyon Cavalera (drums), Marc Rizzo (lead guitar), and Mike Leon (bass). Prior to the birth of Soulfly, there was Nailbomb. Created by Max Cavalera and Alex Newport (Fudge Tunnel), Nailbomb was strictly a side project with no intentions. It wasn’t until Max’s wife and manager, Gloria Cavalera suggested to Max and Alex that they make an album that it took grew into something more. The album, Point Blank was released in 1994, and a live version Proud to Commit Commercial Suicide was released in 1995. Nailbomb performed only a few shows before Alex chose to stepdown and pursue other interests. Now, over two decades later, Max decided to bring Nailbomb back to life through the power of Soulfly. Along with the current Soulfly lineup, Igor Cavalera has joined Nailbomb in the absence of Alex Newport who could not be part of the reunion due to prior commitments.

On the day of Soufly’s appearance as Nailbomb at the London Music Hall in London, Ontario, Canada. I had the opportunity to sit with Max Cavalera prior to the show. Max was gracious enough to invite me on the bus to talk about the current tour as well as past and future endeavors.

Soulfly has played Canadian dates in the past, but never to this extent with 13 shows stretching across Canada over just two and a half weeks. If you have ever toured Canada you can sympathize with the dedication and long hours put into such an endeavor.

“One of my favorite Canada tours we ever did. All the shows were packed, and a lot of them were sold out. I think Canada is real metal, they really like their metal.”

Speaking further about the Point Blank album, Max elabaorated on Nailbomb‘s original plans.

“We never said anything about touring. We never mentioned if we were ever gonna tour or not, and then last year Gloria had the idea, that you should tour that. It would be cool, your fans love it, and it would be good for you to revisit like we did with Roots, which is really cool. So we put a really cool record on with a power band like Soulfly, and it’s on, the fire is on!”

Max continued:

“We decided to do it like underground. We’re gonna go to small places, we don’t give a fuck. We’re gonna pack them in, we don’t care what kind of stage. We don’t care if there’s no stage. We don’t care if there’s no barricades. It’s punk, punk as fuck man.”

On tour with Soulfly is Uncured, Today is the Day, and Lody Kong. New Jersey’s Uncured led by brother Rex and Zak Cox, opened the show with huge energy, if I had to label the music I would call it “progressive beat down” Huge heavy riffs followed by desecrating breakdowns. Great lighting effects and the occasional melodic transition. Lody Kong followed, with Igor Cavalera (vocals, bass), Zyon Cavalera (drums), and Travis Stone (guitar). Lody Kong was very much a sludge metal experience. Fudge Tunnel and hints of Nailbomb influences certainly appeared relevant within their sound. Pulling double duty after missing 2 shows from being ill, Igor certainly did not disappoint. Legendary metal heads Today is the Day provided main support with a collection of blackened death metal, obscene bass tones and effects, powerful vocal performances, broken up by a mesmerizing drum solo leaving the crowd wanting more.

Soulfly/Nailbomb took the stage and immediately kept the crowd fired up with tribunal chants and breaking right into “Wasted Away” with no hesitation. Nailbomb performed Point Blank with much crowd participation. I was lucky enough to be front and center when Max announced the next song “Refuse/Resist” and the crowd went insane, singing every word and creating a truly amazing pit which felt like a swirling pool of metal and love for the band. Truly an experience I will not soon forget!

When asked if the Nailbomb tour has ignited a flame for recording the next Soufly album, Max offered:

“I think it did, and I’ve already recorded it. The Soulfly record is very interesting to me because it is a return to a bit of the tribal from the beginning mixed with the death metal and trash metal that I love. So I’ve been calling it tribal thrash which I think is really cool, because it’s the best of both worlds”

Soulfly is set to release the new album this summer.

Soulfly finished off this tour with shows in Seabrook NH, and Syracuse NY, and soon will be joining Nile on their North American tour “From the Amazon to the Nile” which will consist of approx 33 shows stretching from April into May.  You can listen to the full interview below as Max discusses album art, Cavalera Conspiracy’s recent release Psychosis and  a next Soulfly release.

All photos © 2018 Lauren Hedges

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