“Last summer, Max and I had some rare time off. It was at that time I suggested he start writing and getting ready with some new riffs. We had spent a great deal of time on the road and promoters and record labels were asking about new music. He loaded up the living room with gear, transforming it into a musician’s retreat. After a month, he handed me several cds to stash. One would evolve into Cavalera Conspiracy, one was riffs for a future Killer Be Killed, and one would be for his creation, Soulfly. I stashed them safely in my underwear drawer (!), and we jumped back on the bus!
This January, we joined Zyon, Marc Rizzo and Mike Leon at the AIRB&B in Orange, California and made our way to Hybrid Studio, in Santa Ana, California. Kendog wound his way through hoards of LA traffic, to assist with the technical ops. Josh Wilbur was the chosen Captain. I really wanted Max to work with Josh, because I loved what he did with KBK. I know Josh is quite well known and very good at what he does, but I only related my desire to the way he kicked the KBK songs up a notch! Max was ready to give it all he had, to give the Tribe an outstanding Soulfly for the 20 year anniversary record. He agreed that Josh was a perfect choice.
Drums were first, as the guys worked on arrangements. Zyon was really a force on this record. As parents, we were impressed. As part of the Metal community of business, we were solid. We both know Z was born to be a drummer and every record he is on just gets better! He is fully confidant now. Maybe you don’t know, but Zyon never plays a song the same way twice. His artistic nature compels him to drum how he feels and that usually includes different patterns. It keeps Max upbeat and I must say, Zyon’s youthful energy brings passion to the stage!
Mike Leon was adopted from Havok. I guess I can spill the beans now… Remember when we did the Soulfly/ Havok tour? When it was over, I told Max that I had a feeling one of the Havok members would play with Soulfly one day. Call it a bit of premonition or what ever you like. I could just feel it! When Tony Campos went to pay with Fear Factory and Soulfly needed a full time bassist, I hit up Mike. He had just left Havok and was super excited to join the Tribe! Perfect timing! He laid those bass tracks down in no time, like a machine gun riveting out bullets!
What can I say about Marc Rizzo that I haven’t said already? Besides being one of the top shredders in the Metal world, he is super funny, loyal, adventurous and precise! He is one of the greatest Metal riffers of all time, and I will fight anyone who disagrees with me!
We had long hours and short sleep time, but we also had a bit of fun occasionally. Josh, Max, Zyon and I had lunch one Sunday with the legend and long time friend, Andy Wallace. Not to diss anyone, as I have worked with, and adored most all of the greatest producers in the Rock/Metal world, but in my opinion, Andy Wallace wears the Producer’s Crown. Besides having magic ears and hands, he is humble. He is very intelligent, and conversing about topics that don’t relate to music is spontaneous when you are with him. He is a total car collector and recently even restored an old school, turning it into a museum!
Another legend, photographer Glen LaFerman was chosen to take the photos for the cd booklet. We have known him for years and have had the pleasure to work with him many times. Maybe you have seen the b/w portraits in Hollywood’s Rainbow Bar and Grill? Those are all Glen’s work. Interestingly enough, the photo of Max that Glen took, was stolen from the bar! And who can forget the Bob Marley Collection? Emotional…
Josh gave the band a day off for NAMM. The guys did a meet and greet signing and Marc and Mike performed in the Peavey area. Peavey is one of the gear companies that has shown mucho love for Max and any band he brings with him. They provide the guys with the best and newest equipment on the market and even cover the band outside the country. Max is one of the artists with a relationship with Peavey the longest, 25 years, and still heading to the future! I was there when Mary Peavey thanked him for his loyalty.
For personal family time, Max and I hung with long time friends whose names I will spare, for their privacy. What a blessing to be with true friends!! We Super Bowled it up, coffeed in the morning and relaxed together late at night. On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Max and I went to the Holocaust Museum in LA. I wanted to honor my Mother’s struggles in a concentration camp during WW2. Along with her Mother and brothers and sisters, they had miraculously survived Mauthausen, in Austria. My Mother often spoke about the tragedy of what war accomplishes and I always was a good student. Max and I share the love of history, so this was a solemn but meaningful experience. We brightened things up with lunch with my daughter-in-law-Shonda, who lives with Richie near the museum. It was Max and my virgin meal at a vegan restaurant. I am pretty sure it may be healthy but we both decided our food tastes were better lol!!
Mad respect for Josh Wilbur and his assistant, Nick Rowe, for keeping it real!! There is a lot of humor and serious biswak going on behind those Hybrid heavy ass doors!!