MAX CAVALERA Explains The Incredible Power Of The Riff

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There’s only one way to describe Max Cavalera as a guitarist: he’s a beast. From Sepultura‘s “Beneath the Remains” and “Biotech Is Godzilla” to Soulfly‘s “Eye for An Eye,” Cavalera is an unholy riff machine ready to rip at any moment. And in a new interview with Brutal Planet Magazine, Cavalera shares something about himself that allows him to consistently crank out brutal riffs.

“I’ve always been intrigued by riffs, man. I think riffs are amazing; they are magical,” Cavalera said. “There’s something about it. Your personality comes through the riff — anger, desperation, happiness; all those come through riffs. And I love riffs because of that. That’s why I ended up… It’s not the reason why I took the two strings out — that was a long time ago, in Brazil — but when those strings came out of my guitar and I happened to only have four strings, it forced me to be even more creative with only four strings.

“I don’t have the other two to help me out; I’ve gotta do everything with four; I’ve only got four. So I became even more of a full rhythm riff player with four strings than before. I still, to this day, most of my guitars have four strings on them.” You can read the complete interview with Cavalera and Brutal Planet Magazine by clicking here.

His comments definitely track with remarks he made recently about making your own rules in heavy metal music. In an interview with the Historias Rockeras podcast last year, Cavalera said “I love that there’s no rules; you make your own rules. And for me as a creative person, it gives me excitement to say, ‘What can I make next that I have not done before? What can I make new?’ And the new [stuff], really, sometimes is just going back to the past.

“So if I go back and make a very close to black metal album, which I think might be a cool thing to do, so go back to a Morbid Visions kind of style and make something new out of that again, so you can do that too. It’s so cool that it’s so open.

Cavalera continued, saying that “For me, there’s no rules in metal; you make your own rules. And I think that’s how I live my life. For me, there is no rules in metal. You make your own ideas; you make your own what you wanna make with it; it’s up to you. And you change people’s conception; you change people’s vision of something.”

In December, Cavalera jumped up on stage with Deftones for a rendition of another banger, “Headup”—their collaboration together from Deftones Around the Fur LP—while at a festival stop in Brisbane, Australia. You can check out the footage below (courtesy of Jarrad McCarthy of DeftonesLive on YouTube).

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