Interviews

That One Time Soulfly's Max Cavalera Pissed on a Star-Struck Fan, and Other Tales

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Is that in the book?

No, it is not. It's funny, I forgot so much shit. We did a tour with the Ramones. I forgot to put that in the book. We did a tour with them. Six shows or so. We flip-flopped and we headlined a few and they headlined a few. I went in their dressing room and said I thought it was bullshit that we were headlining. Joey said not to worry about it. He was so cool to us. One of the coolest things was when we were playing one night and I said to Igor, "Look at that," and all the Ramones were on the side of stage watching us. It was like the album cover. That was on the Chaos AD tour . . . right after [Cavalera's side project] Nailbomb.

Will you ever do Nailbomb again?

People ask me that all the time. I haven't talked to Alex [Newport, a collaborator in Nailbomb] in a long time. People are hungry for that shit. I told Lody Kong they should record with Alex. I thought Alex would be so perfect for what they are trying to achieve.

I had a great time working with Alex. I love Nailbomb. Before Chaos AD, the Sepultura guys wanted to go to the beach and I didn't want to go to the beach, so I said fuck you . . . go to your beach then, I'll go to the beach when I'm 60. I don't want to go to the beach right now; I want to fuckin' play. So Alex and I did Nailbomb.

So what else is going on?

The Soulfly record came out last year. Neil [Fallon] from Clutch sang a song on it. He sang some crazy shit. Redneck shit -- stuff about the desert and Mississippi -- called "Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla." [Max's son Zyon Cavalera] is playing drums, which is really cool. He's learning how to divide his energy. He used to go crazy on the first five songs and burn out and crash. I was like, "Dude, you have to divide that energy. It's an hour-and-45-minute set, and you can't burn yourself out in the first half of the set."

He's doing good. He did a helluva job. We recorded in Seattle with producer Terry Date [Soundgarden, Prong]. Terry is really cool -- a great guy. I met him through the Deftones, and I always thought he was really cool. We got a really good studio in Seattle. Soundgarden had recorded there, and I explained to him it was my son's first album, so whatever you can do to help him, please do.

He [Zyon] was really prepared. We jammed every day for two months. But when I'm in the studio, I always change things. I hear different things and I change them, which drove Zyon crazy. "He was like, stop changing, man. We rehearsed for two months. You can't just start changing things."

But he did good. He really pulled it off. He's been doing a bunch of live stuff with us. I think he's going to do most of this tour before he goes off with his brother and does Lody Kong. Their [Lody Kong's] influences are really cool. They have some of the Melvins shit going on in there, but also have some Fudge Tunnel influence, with some of the newer, harder shit like Full of Hell, too. They have a lot of potential.

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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon