I Heart Guitar: The new [SOULFLY album, “Omen”] album really kicks ass, and it’s full of lots of old-school energy. Was that a reaction to the more precise, thrashy style of the CAVALERA CONSPIRACY CD?
Max: Yeah, I think there’s the influence of that. It’s really SOULFLY‘s most metal and hardcore album, divided in the middle between those two styles. There’s a trash metal element in a lot of the other songs too. All of the elements that make music exciting right now. I love the hardcore scene, I love the metal scene, so I wanted to put them together in one album. That’s why “Omen” turned out this way.
I Heart Guitar: It’s great that you have the CONSPIRACY and SOULFLY to explore these different aspects.
Max: Yeah, it’s good to have both bands to give me the freedom to do different things. In CONSPIRACY I play with [brother and former SEPULTURA bandmate] Igor and it’s more of a Max-and-Igor thing, and the connection with him, the way I play with him is very unique. And with SOULFLY, SOULFLY is my main band, so most of the things that take most of my time are connected with SOULFLY. But I’m very happy to have both bands, and they’re both doing good. I’m just waiting for the release of “Omen” so I can go on tour and play this stuff live.
I Heart Guitar: You worked with producer Logan Mader again on this one. What was that like this time around?
Max: It was even better than the first time, because I got to know Logan a little better. He’s becoming a really great producer and engineer. I love the work he did with the DEVILDRIVER album and the GOJIRA album. They were two very powerful records that he made, so when it came time for me to decide the person to engineer and help me with the new SOULFLY album I thought of Logan. He also did a great job on the CAVALERA CONSPIRACY and he also made life really easy for us in the studio. It was easy to get sounds out of him. The drum sounds, the guitar sounds, he’s a really great engineer, and a good friend. And it’s easy to work with a friend. It’s the best of both worlds, and I really believe he delivered a great sounding album for me because in metal it’s really hard to have an album that’s crystal-sounding and which is still heavy and aggressive. And I think “Omen” has that. It’s crystal. You can hear all the instruments, but it’s still very aggressive and very heavy, and you don’t lose the edge. On that point I think Logan did really good.
I Heart Guitar: And, of course, he was in MACHINE HEAD so he understands things from that side of the glass too.
Max: Yeah, he’s an old guitar player himself, so he helped me out even in structures of songs, and different choruses and different verses and ideas I had. I bounced back and forth with him, and it ended up being a really pleasant way of working.
I Heart Guitar: Could you tell us about “Rise of the Fallen”, which features Greg Puciato from THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN?
Max: That was one of the great surprises of “Omen”. It turned out to be such a classic song, really a great, killer song, and it was done from scratch. I had the idea to invite Greg after I bumped into him at a DEFTONES concert in L.A. that we both sang with the DEFTONES, I invited him to come to the studio, and I mentioned the name of the song, “Rise of the Fallen”, and I wanted him to write original lyrics for it, and he felt really good about that. So he wrote all original verses and he helped me with the choruses. Every time I say “rise of the fallen” there’s a Greg response to that. He was just a great guy to work with. A lot of energy, really excited about the song. He really wanted to make the best song possible. I give him a lot of credit for making “Rise of the Fallen” one of the most exciting songs I’ve been part of in my career. It’s a track that stands out from the rest, I think. Greg‘s ideas were really flowing.
I Heart Guitar: I hear you’ve also just recently finished a new CAVALERA CONSPIRACY CD?
Max: Yeah! It’s very explosive. A lot of fast songs, short songs, like a minute and a half. So it’s a little bit like “Reign In Blood” or MINOR THREAT. Igor is playing like crazy, really really hungry to play fast and aggressive, so he’s in his best shape that I’ve seen him since the SEPULTURA days. It turned out to be a very explosive CD and it’s going to surprise people. I think it makes the first album sound like pop music!
Red the entire interview at the I Heart Guitar blog.