Max Cavalera, front man of Soulfly and a founding member of the influential Brazilian thrash group Sepultura, has led a storied musical career thus far. He’s the owner of one of the most distinct voices in metal, and the groups he’s been a part of have produced a startling number of critically acclaimed albums.
It’s all more than enough to leave a fine legacy if he simply stopped playing music right now, but Cavalera isn’t slowing down one bit.
On top of an autobiography due for release later this year, Cavalera and co. are currently on a tour that’s been dubbed “Maximum Cavalera,” thanks to all the family connections that’ll be featured: in addition to Soulfly, the tour includes Incite (with stepson Richie Cavalera) and Lody Kong (with sons Igor Jr. & Zyon). Zyon will also join Soulfly on drums.
“We’re touring [in support of 2012’s] Enslaved, but we’re playing material from all the Soulfly records,” says Cavalera.
“It’s going to be a huge set, and the show is an hour and a half long. With Zyon, he wanted to play a different Sepultura song that we haven’t played in a long time, so we’re doing ‘Straighthate,’ off the album Roots. It’s a really killer song and we had to relearn it. It’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re also playing some Nailbomb songs as well.”
Cavalera formed Soulfly in 1997 after he left Sepultura, the legendary death metal band he’d formed in Brazil with his brother Igor way back in 1984. He’s also kept a busy schedule with multiple other projects, including The Cavalera Conspiracy.
Although their 2012 release Enslaved — an album Cavalera says is one of his heaviest to date — is only approaching the one-year anniversary of its release in March, Cavalera says Soulfly is already gearing up to record a new album.
“I’ve been working on a new Soulfly record, which will be recorded after this tour,” he says. “We’re going to record with Terry Date, who’s worked with Deftones, White Zombie and Pantera — I’ve been a big fan of his work for a long time now. Hopefully the album will come out sometime before the end of the year.”
Although he won’t go too deeply into what direction the new album will take, Cavalera says that he does plan on continuing along the lines of Enslaved, an album that borders on death metal.
“At first [Enslaved] shocked a lot of people because it’s so heavy, and a lot of people weren’t expecting that — but I think now people have gotten used to it and are really into it. I’m really into it because I listen to a lot of heavier music, and I just want to get even heavier. I love the aggression and energy of the album. I love to see the fans’ reaction, because we’re doing something new.”
On top of a busy touring and recording schedule, Cavalera is also looking forward to the release of his autobiography.
“The book will come out before the end of the year,” he says. “I’ve been working on it for two years now and it’s really going to get into the intricate details. It’s going to have the early years when I was a kid growing up in Brazil, to the creation of Sepultura and taking that band around the world. And then it will go to Soulfly.”
The book will also feature a bevy of cameo interviews from several high-profile names, including Chino Moreno from Deftones and Sharon Osbourne.
“It also has a foreword from Dave Grohl,” adds Cavalera. “He is a huge fan of Sepultura and said that Roots is one his favourite records of all time. So I’m excited to have him do that introduction.”
She may not be well-known in English Canada, but here’s betting that’s about to change. For her fourth full-length album, Québec indie-pop singer/songwriter Ariane Moffatt dipped into both French and English (the latter being her second language). Taking cues from both electro and folk, the album, MA (which is apparently named after both her initials and the Japanese concept of negative space — double word score!), showcases intricate textures between Moffatt’s ethereal vocals, synth sounds and drum beats.
Her 2002 debut, Aquanaute, went platinum in Québec,and her album Tous les sens picked up a Juno Award in 2009 for Francophone Album of the Year. Still, Moffatt says she’s breaking new ground with her latest album.
“It’s definitely a new kind of attention because of its bilingual content,” she says. “Because of it, I’m getting outside of Québec more, into the rest of Canada and the States. Maybe [it’s also a] more personal thing — with the pop song structures, I wanted to push that further.”
Moving even further away from her usual folk sound, Moffatt also released MA: Remix.
“The main reason to do the remix album was because I had done the album by myself, and I think I was too attached,” she says. “I wanted to give the songs a second life, and it was a nice way to give the album a compliment.”
Currently, she’s looking forward to introducing herself to music fans on the prairies.
“It’s the first time I will be going to visit you all in the west. There will definitely be a few people in discovery mode,” she laughs.
Riding A High Tide
For their second album, Winnipeg band Boats teamed up with esteemed Portland, Ore., label Kill Rock Stars — a pretty huge score for the band. But even though the label typically works with big-league American indie groups such as Sleater-Kinney, The Decemberists and The Gossip, it’s a good fit given the Canadian group’s off-kilter pop inclinations.
The label has also released their latest album, 2013’s AFairway Full of Miners. But rather hilariously, when asked about the details of signing to Kill Rock Stars, frontman Mat Klachefsky had no real idea why the label found the band so endearing.
“We were playing in Portland and we told them we were coming, and they showed up. And they liked us, and that was pretty much it.”
Crafting highly caffeinated pop songs that are generally impossible to nail down to a traditional song structure — and featuring lyrics about subject matter such as animated GIFs and what not to do around bears — Boats is both eclectic and genuine. There are five members of Boats — but when it comes to those songs, the ship is essentially Klachefsky’s own design.
“I don’t really know how to make music with other people — I’ve never really done it,” he admits. “Maybe I will one day, but this is just how I do things. I don’t really know how to jam or anything. If someone told me to come up with a part, I’d need to hear it for two hours first before I could decide on what was best to do.
“I think being in an actual band with me would be really frustrating.”