You’re playing some of the biggest festivals in the heavy metal scene this year. Do you think it’s a peak for the band?
You know, I heard the other day about a festival we’re doing where it’s Aerosmith headlining Friday, Soulfly headlining Saturday and KISS headlining Sunday. I was like “What the fuck?” you know and “How the fuck do we get Saturday?” That kind of fucked me up because it made me think “Maybe this IS the top”, you know? Aerosmith last night and KISS tomorrow. I was like “Wow”.
Do you prefer playing festival shows or indoor headlining shows in more intimate scenarios?
It’s the best of both worlds, really. It’s really good food usually at the bigger festivals and you can fuckin’ hang out with your friends and see good music all day, as opposed to today where it’s just us and one band opening. So it’s kinda like “Yeah, fuckin’ boring, I’m gonna go walk around all day”. That’s the other good thing, you can’t go and walk around all day at a festival, but here in London I can just hit the streets and do whatever. So they both have perks, man. I like our own shows because they can go on as long as they have to as long as it’s cool and there’s so many time constraints at a festival that you don’t really get to do that kind of shit.
Your new album features guest appearances from Tommy Victor (Prong) and Greg Puciato (Dillinger Escape Plan). How has it been to work with those guys?
I LOVE Prong, I’ve always said it. I think Prong is a great band. Tommy Victor is a guy after my own self; he plays with everybody and just makes records. He’s toured with Ministry, Prong and fuckin’ Danzig. I do the same fuckin’ thing, so me and Tommy just totally hit it off and clicked and we got him to do 2 consecutive tours in the states with Soulfly; which has never happened before. I don’t push for much, but I was like “fuck, I love watching Prong every fuckin’ night”.
Are they people you’ve always known as friends or just something that happened from you getting in contact?
I’ve known Tommy, not on a personal level but in a kind of passing musician way, for years. When I wasn’t doing anything one time and he wasn’t either he was like “What’s going on? Maybe we could do something sometime…” and I was like “Well, I’ve got a call. I’m gonna go play in Soulfly”. Greg was the same way. Max met him at a benefit for Chi (ex-Deftones) in Los Angeles when we were making the record. The Deftones did a show there to raise money for his hospital bills and Max met Greg there. He saw Greg do his thing and he was in the studio the next day.
Max recruited a new line-up including you at the end of 2003. Do you all get on as a band?
Soulfly is its own monster. We actually did our very first interview with the 4 of us in the same room in New York City on the last tour; we didn’t even realise this. The radio DJ was like “You know, I asked for all 4 of you and I got all 4 of you. But I wanna tell you something: this is the first time that the 4 band members of Soulfly, the longest band of Soulfly, have been in the same room at the same time”. I mean, I don’t know if that’s a bad thing, it’s just the way we’ve always been. I do my thing all day long, and then I see the guys on stage. I take it that they do the same thing.
Do you have much creative input in the writing process yourself, or is it something that’s mainly left to Max?
Yes. We’ll always meet up at the studio with Max. We never practice or jam or anything; we fly out to Europe or America or wherever and start to tour. We make a record the same way. We meet up at the studio, Max will come in with about 4-5 CDs of jams and rough demos of songs and we’ll go through them and be like “Yeah, that one’s cool, this one’s cool, we’ll do that there” and we all just start jamming in a room. We all have the freedom to do our own thing; Mark gets to play his guitar parts, I get to play my bass parts.