Soulfly’s MAX CAVALERA Discusses Band Member Changes, His Kids, and “Enslaved” Album chats it up with Soulfly frontman Max Cavalera regarding the changeup in the band, his kids, the Enslaved album and more.

Soulfly are gearing up for the release of ‘Enslaved.’ Can you tell me a little bit about the theme of the album?

It’s really Soulfly’s most extreme record and I’m really excited about that being the eighth record. I do think they expected us to get that extreme but it was heavily influenced by death metal music and the topic. Most of the songs were about slavery. It’s a strong topic — I think it’s a real hardcore topic — not many bands touch it so it was kind of original. I was happy that I got the idea to use this topic on the record; that’s why it’s called ‘Enslaved.’

We have two new band members in the band, our new bass player Tony [Campos] and a new drummer David [Kinkade]. I work with those two new guys in the studio a lot and I think they brought a lot of new blood to Soulfly and help make the record more aggressive, more brutal.

So it was a really good work team in the studio and [with] Zeuss producing. It was the first time I worked with a producer since ‘Primitive,’ Soulfly’s second record. So that was really cool to have somebody to produce the record with me. I had some ideas to bounce back and forth and I’m very pleased with the final results of the record, I think it sounds really awesome and the message is good. It’s a powerful message so I think the fans will be pleased.

You mentioned that Soulfy has two new members, bassist Tony Campos and David Kinkade. What brought on the lineup change and how would you describe the new chemistry of the band?

We had a problem with our [last] bass player. I won’t go in details ’cause I already had some problems with that. I don’t want to talk s—t about him anymore, we just had problems with him so we took him out of the band. The drummer Joey told me he wasn’t going to play this kind of music forever. At some point he was going to quit and the time came. He wants to do something with video and cameras and stuff which was cool ’cause I thought the band needed a change because the last three records really sound alive. It was becoming a little bit, I don’t know if boring is the right word,  but it was becoming the same sound, same people playing.

So I thought it was good that it happened and to find two other killer players that could bring new blood to the band; bring new fire to the music and they did. Tony and David helped me make this record really killer. I love playing with Tony. He’s a professional, he’s a exciting guy, he’s got great ideas. He sings in one of the songs called ‘Plato O Plomo’ in Spanish. He sings for Asesino a side project he has with Dino [Cazares] from Fear Factory and it’s got these great Spanish death metal vocals that he does, so we decided to sing together and he plays great.

David, I worked with him for three days. He came here to Phoenix and I wrote three songs with him and before we entered the studio, I just fell in love with his double bass and the extreme way he plays death metal. It’s supersized; he can hit every note and it sounds killer. The whole ground shakes when he plays the double bass and he was perfect for this kind of sound that I was looking for with this record. I wanted for Soulfly to go in this direction, so it was great to have these guys around for this record.

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