Soulfly's Max Cavalera

Max Cavalera On His Love Of Deftones: “When We Recorded ‘Roots’, I Listened To ‘Adrenaline’ Morning And Night”


Soulfly, etc. vocalist/guitarist Max Cavalera has been a fan of Deftones since first hearing their song “Bored” back in the mid-90s. His introduction to the band came via his late stepson Dana Wells, who himself became close friends with the group. In a recently published feature over at Metal Hammer, Cavalera compiled a list of songs he was involved in that shaped his life. Among them was his guest appearance on the Deftones‘ “Headup” from their platinum-certified sophomore album, “Around The Fur“.

Cavalera spoke of that below:

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Dana [Wells, Max’s stepson] came home with a Deftones cassette with the song ‘Bored‘ on it one time, and he played it to me and I loved it from the first time I heard it: ‘Man, this is fucking great!’ So when we recorded [Sepultura‘s] Roots, I listened to [Deftones’ debut album ‘Adrenaline‘] morning and night – I was obsessed with that record. They came to play in Phoenix, and I ended up learning ‘Engine No. 9‘ and jamming onstage with them – there was only 30 people there, nobody knew who they were.

Dana was one of their best friends, and when he died, Chino [Moreno, Deftones singer] came to the funeral – he was one of the pallbearers. So when I got a phone call from them saying they were going in the studio and they wanted to do a song with me about Dana, I loved the idea.

It was the first thing I recorded after the break-up with Sepultura, before even Soulfly, so I went deep into the riff box and get one of the best riffs I could find – it was a real fucking jammer. I went to Seattle, where they were recording, and played it for them, and they were, like, ‘Fucking love the riff, man, this is killer.’

I remember recording it, and I was singing with Chino, and he hit his knee on his nose, he got a bloody nose right in the middle of the studio. There was blood everywhere – it was fantastic, like a live show. [Producer] Terry Date was going, ‘Keep rolling!’ and taking pictures of it.

I love the fact that they put a picture of Dana in the record [‘Around The Fur‘], and Zyon too. And I love the fact that they still include ‘Headup‘ in their set. I always jam with them if I’m around. I even saw a video of Muse playing it. That blew my mind: that’s how far that riff has gone.”

Cavalera himself was seen sporting a Deftones shirt in Sepultura‘s music video for what became their signature track, “Roots Bloody Roots“. from the above-mentioned gold-certified album “Roots“. You can find Cavalera‘s other picks from throughout his career over at Metal Hammer.

Cavalera‘s current focus is his new band Go Ahead And Die, which finds him teamed up with his son Igor and Khemmis, etc. drummer Zach Coleman. Their self-titled debut album will be out on June 11th.

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