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Friday, October 13, 2017

SEARCHING FOR THE PROPHECY....

In the fall of 2003, Max was in the studio recording The Prophecy, Soulfly's 4th studio album. We recorded the basic record in Mesa, Arizona, at the Saltmine Studio. For the spices, Max and I travelled to Belgrade, Serbia. Spirituality is steeping like a cup of black tea, in Serbia. Holistic medicines, religious beliefs adorning every home and business.... life is simple and sometimes testing. It reminds me of America in the '60's...when it was normal, and everyone wasn't a judge.




Max chose to record in the home studio of Bare (sorry, his last name escapes me), a friend he had made acquaintance with. Bare helped to find the gypsies, and he knew the band Eyesburn, whose singer, Coyote, Max selected to work with on a couple tracks. Coyote brought his uncle, Ljubomir Dimitrijevic. who was a professor at the university. He specialized in instruments from the Middle Ages.




In this studio, Max and Coyote crafted the bouncy track "Moses." My daughter, Christina, was pregnant with a son, who would be named Moses. Little Moses' upcoming arrival gave birth to the track. This song ended up being the most requested Prophecy track on college radio.
Coyote's uncle brought in various instruments made of animal skins and ancient woods. He was a solid commander of these percussion tools. It was fascinating to listen to him demonstrate how the instruments were made and played.



The Grand Finale was the band of gypsies, collected on the street. The drummer got in some sort of trouble, so they arrived without a drum. They had a unique language, big smiles and humble attitude. They were very interested in the recording process and also in giving the best musical performance possible. They chose an old war song, The March on the River Drina. I had to do an artist agreement with them stating they could be on the record. They had the leader sign and he produced a big "X." It was cool!



Class dismissed.........

Friday, October 6, 2017

1997....SOULFLY PRESENTS EYE FOR AN EYE

1997 was a year of awakening. It didn't happen overnight. It took everything we could dig up, every last puff of faith, to motivate. I was in the middle of an intense investigation and Max was brooding; we had our share of shocks. The family needed attending to..Igor developed juvenile diabetes and the ship was filling with water. It was the dawn before the rebirth.





One day, Max came out of the bedroom and began carting gear in. It definitely caught my attention! Speakers and drum machine, mics, cords, and before long, a big stack of guitars in the hallway. He went in and soon enough, he was calling me to hear his songs. Eye For An Eye was first, with the classic lyrics....not the ones on Soulfly 1. Primitive and Tribe soon filled the hollow air in our home. Judas, Loser, No, on and on, track after track, it all came together!



Once again, we flew to NYC, to meet with Cees Wessels and Monte Conner, songs safe with Max. It didn't take much convincing. The music spoke for itself! Max returned home refreshed and I returned home with a badass deal for 5 LPS! No band, band members, band name or gear...but a solid deal. It worked! They could see the vision that was laid out. That was 20 years ago. Next year will be the 20th Anniversary of the release of Soulfly 1 and Max intends to Bring Da Shit to his Tribe!



The boys were so young then., Richie was stepping into Dana's shoes as my my Number One Son...the one who helps, consoles and takes charge. The rest of us were all just trying to get back to normal. It wasn't easy. But that music!!! That music carried away the pain to its permanent location in our hearts. It gave us strength to carry on. No Hope No Fear! Pain with Chino and Grady...both friends of Dana's. Everything was linked. There was no turning back!



Many of you have been with us since these days and you helped us more than you will each ever know. The Tribe that Max once told me we would have is a solid reality and it's the biggest in the world! It spans continents, oceans and forests. It grows every single day! And all we can do is bring the music to you! Our Tribe is Your Tribe!


Class dismissed!!

Friday, September 29, 2017

PREJUDICE! SHAME OF ALL NATIONS!!!!

We first met Benji in 1995, when Nailbomb played the Dynamo Festival with his band, Dubwar. Dana first told us about them and insisted we watch their set. How fortunate we were!! Little did we realize, that in 2 short years, in 1997, Benji would bring his troupe to perform at the first D-LOW Show. Looking back, after 20 tears of Memorial Shows for Dana, that first one was the show that struck me and stayed with me forever. Maybe it was the first year and our wounds were all fresh? Maybe it was the fact we played outdoors in the club, Boston's, and our friends at that painful time were all there? I am not sure but I remember when Dubwar hit the stage, Benji's voice surely wound its way to the gates of Heaven.


When it was time to record Soufly 1, it was natural that Max would invite Benji to perform. He wrote the immaculate, now relevant track, Prejudice. Benji is a manipulator of vocal patterns, with a range to the horizon and back. His voice is a beacon, drawing you in to him like a lighthouse! And who can forget Benji's lyrical blast on Bumba, Max's anthem for the raw, forgotten people of Brazil?


When it was time to Record Soulfly 1, it was natural that Max would invite Benji to perform. Max and he wrote the immaculate, now relevant track, Prejudice. Benji is a manipulator of vocal patterns, with a range to the horizon and back. His voice is a beacon, drawing you in like a lighthouse! And who can forget Benji's lyrical blast on Quilombo, Max's anthem to the resistor, Zumbi, who lead the slaves away from the clutches of the save plantations to the idyllic north?


We recently had the opportunity ...and honor!...to share the stage in Australia, with Beni and his band of warriors, Skindred. What a show they gave us, bouncing rhythms and THAT VOICE!! THAT PRESENCE!!! Time has passed for us all, and life's events have given us all more knowledge, but some things never change. Things that matter, like friendship and thankfulness and memories...they last through distance, through time and through the ages. "Our roots you can never erase!"


Class dismissed....

Friday, September 22, 2017

FINNISH CLASSICAL METAL BAND....APOCALYPTICA!!!!

I can't recall when I first met Apocalyptica, but I do know I had acts on many Metal shows with them, through the years! In case you aren't familiar with them, they are a Finnish cello band that plays classical music and Metal! They formed in 1993 and all hail from Helsinki, Finland. Some of them graduated from the acclaimed Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and soon after began performing as a Metallica cover cello band! I was quite amazed when I first saw them perform. They are so unique!



Besides being unique musically, they are super cool and fun to hang with! They can party like madmen and still keep their ultra cool aura! It is always rad to get to know rockers who waived the snobby attitude and kept their mojo level with their fans!
In 2006, Max was invited to guest on their LP titled Amplified. He collaborated with them on their track titled Repressed. The recording was done in Berlin, Germany. Check it out sometime!!


Recently Return to Roots shared the stage at Lokerse Festival in Belgium, with Apocalyptica. I was lucky to not have press to handle, so I caught their entire set. I admit, I have a personal fondness for them because they are just too damn cool; they don't fit the Metal mold and hell, let's admit it...they are gentleman. And yes, Girls, they are eye candy for you......did I really say that?



Back in the day when they played Metallica tunes exclusively, they also slid some Sepultura covers in their set. The crowd goes wild singing along and somehow it all just works! I advise all Metalheads to check them out if you hear they are heading your way!







Class dismissed......

Friday, September 15, 2017

SCAVANGER HUNT FOR PRINCESS DI!!!

In 1997, Max had written all year and put it all on a cd. I made a trip to W=Europe...more meetings and after, some leisure time. Princess Diana had been killed two weeks earlier and we were following it on the news. We decided to go to Paris and stay at the same Ritz Carlton she was at, that fateful night.


When we arrived, the hotel reception had a heart attack! Green hair and a dreaded man!!! WTF!! We apparently weren't the usual clientele, but our reservation was there and they honored. The hotel was crawling with investigators and press and us!
Damn, what a swank room they gave us!!! It was amazing to be honest. All golden and peachy and elaborate! We dabbed the high society!



Next, we went to London to see the memorial in Harrods and even got to sign the sympathy book. I must say, this Princess was a G!! Besides being a tremendously charitable and beautiful person, she went after arms' dealers of landmines!! For God's sake! What courage and insight to do this! Going after them had to be as dangerous as trying to avoid stepping on a landmine in a field! If you think about it, what douche invented such carnivorous devices?



I wanted to check out the flower memorial at Kensington Castle. Max always is interested in everything worldly. He humored me and accompanied me on my quest. I was absorbed by the emotion and tributes that were displayed everywhere! It was a fitting bouquet for The People's Princess! I actually rescued a few flowers from the demise of certain death by wilting, and brought them home to some girls I love!





Inspiration is all around us. Sometimes it takes bravery to help others and do the right thing. If people like Princess Di weren't on this Earth, it would turn into a shizzlehole overnight. Stand up! You only have one life and it goes quickly! Make it count.


Class dismissed.......