By Sebastian Mackay
Max Cavalera is a God. His disciples swarm to him like a cult and hang off his every word. Whether Cavalera Conspiracy, the Sepultura days, Soulfly, Nailbomb or the new project Killer Be Killed, The Children Of Cavalera* are obsessive but Max remains grounded. The once strung out drug and alcohol abuser takes it with a nod and keeps doing what he's doing.
"I try not to let it get to my head," his Brazilian accent as prevalent as ever, even after decades in America. "I'm more of fan, a fan of metal. I love metal and I'm more into new bands than I have ever been."
But just because he doesn't see himself as a God, and he doesn't think he's that legendary either, it doesn't mean other people don't lose their shit over him.
"I'm getting in touch with them [the new bands] and trying to get their shirts so I can wear them. And a lot of these bands are so excited that I'm a fan of theirs or that I've made the effort to reach out to them, they're all big fans of mine and that blows my mind."
If ever there was a modest rock God, it's Max (which almost runs counter to everything we know about him but hey, it's straight from his scripture...err...mouth) and as my mum says, "he still shits in the morning." Which is, well, charming...
Max's impact on metal is unavoidable. What the Beatles did for whatever it is that they played, Max has done for the heaviest of metal and thankfully, he's an infinite number of steps away from being Chad Krogeregocentric.
"I'm not too interested in my own life. I live life a certain way and I'd bore people if I wrote about my life. They'd think ‘is that it?'." There is an exception to this rule but, "it depends on the mood of the song. Not Losing My Edge is about growing old and loving metal. It's against growing old and growing soft I think the older you get there should be more aggression and dirt and that's how I try to live my life, making it more aggressive and dirty."
He's been sober about seven years and while he openly admits that the drugs should have killed him, he looks at this new life as an opening forsomething much greater.
"It changed a lot when I stopped drinking and doing drugs... this year I'm releasing two records and a book and there was a Soulfly record last year. I'm busier than I've ever been. I've made music my number one and in my spare time my love for music has grown."
Despite the increased output, he's still searching for one the thing that he'll be remembered for when he dies.
"I'm still trying to write my master piece. I know a lot of people have said that I've already done that but the best is yet to come. I've been working on my songwriting and making better riffs and that takes practise and you have to spend time with your guitar."
Over thirty years of dominating the metal world and he's not about to let himself fall behind the new wave of metal but it's not easy and it doesn't get easier.
"You spend a lot of time banging your head against a wall until you get through it...It takes a lot of energy and determination and I won't let anything out until it's completely done but I do it all for he fans. They know they can rely on me and I think the connection that I have with them is pretty incredible, they can feel my passion."
Max Cavalera is locked and loaded and his cult is as hungry as ever.
*Not the official name, just one I made up!