‘We record in 2021 but the spirit is 1987.’ Max Cavalera gushes about the feel to his new project Go Ahead And Die’s debut album.
‘I just wanted to get back to the underground feeling I had when I started my career. You’re just playing metal because you love metal with no other agenda. You’re not hoping the record is a big success on the radio. It’s not going to be the big album of the year but there’s something really cool about making something that’s unique, underground extreme metal. I started my career with extreme metal with ‘Bestial Devastation’ and ‘Morbid Visions’ when I was really young, like 13 years old. So to go all around the world and go back to where I started with my son is really cool.’
The DIY garage band element of raw extreme metal that is Go Ahead And Die is displayed all throughout the album, this is no frills brutal music harking back to the days of the 80’s.
‘There are all kinda influences on the album. There’s Discharge, there’s hardcore, Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, Entombed. Bit of black metal like Mayhem. Definitely a real pure nostalgic feeling that this thing could’ve come out in 1987. With the lyrics it’s about how the world is a mess with Covid, police brutality, paedophiles, kids in cages and shit. It’s the closest thing I’ve done since Nailbomb in terms of that type of metal goes. Musically it’s really fun to be playing extreme underground metal again, especially with my son.’
Go Ahead and Die also features Max’s Son Igor, a talented musician and writer himself.
‘Igor was involved in the live Nailbomb shows we did, which was basically Soulfly plays ‘Point Blank’. We did a US/Canadian tour and it was fantastic. Igor was doing all Alex’s vocals and playing samplers. I think he took to the rage of the Nailbomb record really well. He kinda filtered into what Alex and I were saying, that primal rage that Nailbomb had and it stayed with him. Then when we decided to do this new project we just kinda went for it. We went to all the areas, we borrowed that energy, that rage of Nailbomb.’
‘As you said, It could’ve come out the same time as ‘Schizophrenia’ and we recorded it exactly the same with no click tracks, no pro tools. None of this digital bullshit that bands do these days. Everything sounds modern and square without any human feeling. We wanted to keep all the mistakes, tempo changes and human elements. They are all there in the Go Ahead And Die record which makes it sound fun. In some of the songs the drum kinda goes a little bit off tempo. That’s what makes it fun cause that how records were recorded in 87. There’s something cool and pure when you do it like that, when you capture that because the spirit is the same just the year is different.’
The album is full of heavy lyrical content too as seen by the tracks released so far such as Truckload Of Bodies and Roadkill.
‘It’s not a political album, it’s about human rights. It’s about humanity. It’s trying to restore the faith in the human spirit. Right the wrongs we see society doing by putting kids in cages, school shootings, being obsessed with cults, homelessness, paedophiles. This record is about treating people how you want to be treated. It kinda feels like protest songs but they all have a common thread which is looking out for others as humans. We all deserve human rights and to believe in a better world than we live in right now.’
‘Metal has always been a great place for this kinda material. All the way from when punk mixed with metal with Motörhead and Discharge. You started getting more politically motivated lyrics. You get to hear people talking and arguing about the subject. I love you can do that with metal. I did that with Sepultura with songs like ‘Territory’ ‘Refuse/Resist’ and ‘Inner Self’. People talk about those songs even today and about the impact on the world around us. Through the years these songs are still relevant. I think Go Ahead And Die will be the same because in 20 years from now we will still have the same problems. It’s just human nature to be fucked up. That rage gets to be put out into music otherwise where does that rage come out? It comes out in violence, going out there and killing people which is not the right way. The music is great place to let that rage out. Especially for this album it’s perfect cause we have this underground, extreme feeling so it felt perfect to make these kinda songs. I look at it now and there are some really cool issues being tackled on this record.’
Max has conquered the metal world with Sepultura, Nailbomb, Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy and Killer Be Killed. Go Ahead And Die though are not the band you get to play at the neighbourhood kids birthday party.
‘The cool thing about Go Ahead And Die is that it doesn’t need to be a big record in a stadium. Quite the opposite. This record is perfect for playing in front of 100 people. The smaller the better. It’s made for a specific crowd. If you really love extreme metal you’re gonna like this record. You kinda filter the bullshit and hype and get the right people into it.’
‘That kinda mentality is how I made my early records. There is no pressure to do something commercial so there was none of that involved, so we didn’t really have to do anything we didn’t want to. So there’s not any of that bullshit, so we wrote we wanted. It’s nasty, it’s raw and as caveman as possible. It’s really fun making a record like that with no rules that you can go for the throat. When you play metal with those riffs, words and those drumbeats behind, it’s a great feeling, it’s killer.’
While Go Ahead And Die tackle intense subjects in their lyrics, arguably the hardest working man in metal is laidback about his own future plans.
‘Just waiting to see what’s gonna happen with the world first. We’ve got a Soulfly tour in America at the end of August and hopefully that will kickstart going back to touring. Hopefully Go Ahead And Die or even Killer Be Killed can do some shows. I still have the band with my brother still doing the ‘Arise/Beneath The Remains’ tour. We were supposed to tour that in America and never did so that’s still hanging in the balance. I don’t really plan that much in advance man, I don’t really know what’s going on! I really love my projects and records and I hope I get a chance to play some of them live. Playing with my brother, KBK , GAAD Soulfly – they are all exciting man. In their own way they are very different from each other but I don’t know which one comes first but eventually I’ll get to tackle all of them at a certain point. Just keep an eye out for what comes next.’
Interview By Iain McCallum
Pre-order Go Ahead And Die’s album HERE