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Friday, December 26, 2014

SOS...HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY

1990 - It was the day after Thanksgiving.  I had structured a tour for Sepultura, Obituary and Sadus....the SOS TOUR. It took some persuasion to get the tour booked.  Sepultura's previous tour with Faith or Fear had a miserable turnout, and many of the US clubs did not want them back.  I had just done a very successful Sacred Reich tour, so I got on the phone and called the clubs and assured them I would book a proper tour for the Seps and it would pack the venues, that's how I was able to book the dates.  

Sepultura was recording Arise.  They finished in the wee hours of early morning of the first show.  We were jammin for time, and headed to the first gig.

At the venue, I met Obituary and Sadus.  Roadrunner had hired me to tour manage them, since both bands had no one to look after them.  It was a killer tour, and the venues were packed, like I promised.  By the time we got to Phoenix, it was a couple days before Christmas, when the bands arrived at my house, Christina had surprised us and put over 30 stockings on our living room wall!!  One for each band member, each roadie, and our family.  We laughed our butts off when we saw them because it covered the entire wall.  

December 23rd we played in Oakland.  It was the last show of the tour.  It was also Sadus' home town.  Back in the day, we all raged daily and this was going to be the ultimate bash!

I can truly say it was the craziest Sepultura show in all the 7 years I was with them.  Sadus set up scores of mudslide shots in the dressing room.  When we got to the stage, all the amps were covered in shots.  

Chaos broke out during the show, a fight brewed on the side of the stage and it ended up with Max's stack (speaker and amp) getting knocked over, and a visiting member of another band getting thrown down a ramp to the stage. When Max played Black Sabbath twice, it was too much for Andreas and he walked off the stage.  I coaxed him back on just as Max fell over.

We made it to the end, and I was speaking to the promoter arranging to collect the fee.  Max came over and saw me, grabbed Iggor and said "Come on, this dude is fucking with Gloria."  They approached us, but Max suddenly pulled an Exorcist.  He puked on the floor and then belly flopped in it!  I used this as an opportunity to steer Mr. Cash into another corner.  

It wasn't over yet.  The bus driver dropped us all at the Oakland airport, but our tickets were from San Francisco!  By the time we got on the plane to Phoenix, we were dead tired and collapsed in our seats.

On Christmas Day, in Phoenix, Iggor answered a phone call while I was cooking.  We were both in the kitchen.  It was another manager, you all know, calling my house to steal the band!! Iggor laughed and said "no" shaking his head.  We all had a good laugh.  

Merry Christmas!  Class dismissed.......







Class Dismissed...

Friday, December 19, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS......WELCOME TO OUR HOME!!!

You all know we love our holidays around this house...our big family, luscious meal, lots of laughs and hugging! Oh yeah, don't forget the music! That's a must with our headbanging fam!! This year we were home all December, so I made Christmas cookies with the grandkids while the radio belted out carols.

This year we have 17 stockings hanging. This is Max, me, Christina, Dana, Roxanne, Richie, Jason, Zyon, Igor, Roki, Marlie, Daina, Jadore, Nadja, Aggy, Shonda and Sian. The only year I had more was in 1990 when the SOS (Sepultura, Obituary and Sadus) Tour was raging across the US! I had 30+ stockings covering an entire wall of the living room! The bands were super surprised when they arrived and saw the huge stocking collection, all for them!



We usually have a giant tree but this year we let the wee ones decorate for us, so we decided on a shorter model. We always place the tree in our living room, and we don't get it too early. In Arizona, the dry air gets to them quickly and they fry up. One year, I swear our tree turned grey because it was up a couple weeks. I learned my lesson that year!



Above the TV in the living room, near the tree, we have 3 glass cabinets full of awards but the top cabinet is full of unusual artwork. A voodoo doll from Papau New Guinea, a masked dancer from the Brazilian candomble religion, a skull cup from Bulgaria, a crazy statue of Max and me raising hell (from a famous Brazilian artist), dolls from China, and Jamaica, and even a statue from Easter Island made from the stone the statues there are made of. It's a very interesting cabinet!



We also receive a good amount of fan art...art objects made by Max's fans. We have many, many items depicting Dana...wooden wall carvings, pencil and charcoal sketches and this giant painting of him, painted on a t-shirt. We save them all and they are displayed in our home and the homes of our children.



On another wall of our living room, we have a painting of our family that Christina commissioned from Christopher Scarvell. She gave it to us for Christmas one year. It is tucked behind a grandfather clock and an Indonesian mask that Uncle Iggor put on top of his drums, one year on a Sepultura tour. To the left is a mask the Xavantes Tribe presented us when we went there to record. To the right, a framed newspaper with Max and the tribe and a photo of Max and me that has my green hair hand painted on it.




Our kitchen is where Old Saint Nick resides. He has spent over 40 Christmases with me and has never run off or wilted! He stands in front of my Holy Corner. I am Russian Orthodox and the Holy Corner is where we all pray and light candles for specific people and blessings or simply to give thanks. This is also the corner where Max wrote many songs during the Sepultura daze. I can still see him and Dana at the table, excited about their lyrics for Attitude.



This wraps up our Christmas tour of our first home we ever bought. We love its coziness and the many memories that can never be distorted or stolen. Come visit anytime and I will show you some of the secrets...there are zillions!! And please, from our home to yours...Have a very Metal Christmas!!!!

Class dismissed....

Thursday, December 11, 2014

COMPOSING MUSIC 101.....HOW MAX WRITES A SONG...

Having participated in at least 15 albums with Max and countless others, I can pretty much predict when it's time to write and record. I make the schedules for releases and touring, so I just let Max know a couple weeks ahead, to start thinking about his topic, his riffs that will represent his vision, and who he will work with as the architect of his art. A couple times he gave me a blank stare...shock?....but usually he just goes with the flow.

The first steps are preparatory...he buys a simple notebook and then looks for a spot in the house to set his gear up at. It was the kitchen table for Sepultura's Chaos AD and Roots and also for the early Soulfly records. Starting around Soulfly 3, Max began tearing up the bedroom, and wrote several records there. He relocated to our Arizona room that overlooks the pool for the next couple Soulflys, and wrote the first 2 Cavalera Conspiracy records in his man-cave trailer out front, in our driveway. Killer Be Killed was birthed at our home in Unincorporated Phoenix. This ranch was also the location he co-wrote Son Song with Sean Lennon. This upcoming Soulfly release, like the previous Soulfly, is being labored in our living room.




Max first gets his small, 12 track Korg Digital Recording Studio, connects his drum machine and makes his beats, which are his spine. He then uses a Digitek Distortion Guitar Pedal and layers the guitars and bass. For speakers, he uses a Bose home stereo system. To add vocals, Max sings into a pair of Beats headphones.








When all the layers are completed, usually without vocals, Max burns a cd and we send this cd to the band members, to get familiar and start thinking about their parts. Max and Zyon spend time rehearsing and structuring the tracks and before we know it, we are in the studio...and the Tribe gets new music!! It's all for YOU!!!!

Class dismissed.......

Thursday, December 4, 2014

PIG IN THA HOUSE!! PAUL GRAY.....MR.2..... VISITS THE CAVALERA'S

April 6, 2005...our friend, Joey Nugent called and said he was picking up Paul Gray from Slipknot. They had been friends for a while and Joey knew our son, Igor, was a big fan. Joey said he and Paul were going to hang until the show, which was at the Glendale Arena, in Glendale, Arizona. He asked if it was cool to stop by later.

Joey, Paul, Igor, and Max

We were all excited, since we had not met Paul before. Slipknot was on tour with Lamb of God, in North America and there was a big buzz on the package.

They ate at La Fonda Grande, a killer Mexican restaurant in Phoenix, on Shea Rd and 32nd Street, cruised around in Joey's slick Buick Regal and eventually worked their way to our house. Paul was super chill and toured our home, checking out all the memorabilia. He hung for a couple hours and then headed to the Arena, with Joey.

Paul, Igor and Max

Igor and Paul

While it's true you meet many people on tour, it's a different vibe chilling in your home with them. No stress, no peeping toms, no demands, just talking about gossip, music and people...petting dogs and meeting kids...laughing, asking the questions you always wanted to know the answers to....it's real.

Back to practice...



Class dismissed....

Thursday, November 27, 2014

HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND A BLACK METAL FRIDAY!!!

As you know, we take our holidays seriously around this house. Thanksgiving is a 3 day event..not counting the leftover days....of shopping, preparing and baking. This year, the All Stars' Tour got postponed and we were blessed to be home on Thanksgiving. It's been a few years since we were here eating turkey with the family.


I know I have some chefs out there who ask about our menu, so I thought I would open our home to you! This year, I planned mushroom soup, coleslaw, a Waldorf Salad, mashed russet potatoes, sweetened jams, corn on the cob, green beans within bacon, old fashioned stuffing, a garlic leg of lamb, a honey soaked ham and a giant 23 pound turkey. I make everything from scratch. Some sweet Hawaiian rolls soaked up the turkey gravy, which saturated our plates. In the evening I made Paula Dean's mac and cheese. Damn it's the best mac and cheese recipe around...none of those dry bread crumbs!!






I would like to say thanks to all my Students!! Thank you for moshing on in each week and enjoying the tales. Also, a big thanks to the Tribe which seeped into every country...even the boundary around the Middle East couldn't stop us! The Forbidden Fire is everywhere now! Thank you for having my back, for loving Max, for accepting the Maximum Cavalera package, for being one...Stay True, Stay Metal!!!








Class dismissed......

Friday, November 21, 2014

WAIT!!!! HOLD THAT ORGASMATRON!!!

The end of 1988, I was managing Sacred Reich, who was signed on Metal Blade Records. A call came in one day.......yes, on a landline......no fax machines, cell phones or internet connections back then...that changed our lives. Motorhead had a Christmas Metal Meeting planned, and a band had to pull off. Death Angel had to cancel and the spot on the bill was being offered to Sacred. I was frikken happy, but of course, one flaw; we had to fly on Christmas Eve!!

Motorhead....respect
This was shortly after the PanAm bombing over the UK and we had to fly to LA to catch the flight to Germany. As we boarded the plane...with the other 20 people..we were submerged by TV cameras and reporters asking how we felt about being on the first flight cleared to fly the same route as the doomed airplane that was bombed. We were apprehensive, yes, but the excitement of our first ever trip to Europe was stronger than fear. The only thing that was a bummer to me was telling the kids that Santa was coming on a different day and chose our home to stop at early....it was a sketchy story, but they believed it somewhat.

I really don't know how we managed to complete the tour! I had gotten some tour support from the label but hadn't made any arrangements for travel or anything else. I didn't even know they had various kinds of currency! I got off the plane feeling a bit hungover from all the champagne given to us, and went to sort our transport. Don't ask me how I did it, but we left the airport in a Mercedes station wagon! I had no credit card but swindled a Mercedes! We thought we were flying high!


We had to drive to Bremen which is in the north of Germany. The airline lost all my clothes and I decided I would wear Wiley Arnett's clothes because he was similar to my thin frame. Another problem solved. Next up was how to eat. It was Christmas Day and I thought we could walk in anywhere and spend the $100 bills I had stuffed in my backpack. Wrong! First off there were no restaurants open on Christmas Day and even if they were open, they certainly wouldn't take my Dollars. I learned fast! We stopped in every small town and looked for food but struck out.

Arriving at the Mercure Hotel in Bremen, I was relieved to find a money exchange and restaurant. The rooms were fantastic to us, with German beer glasses and little doilies everywhere! I am quite sure we ripped off anything that looked like it was German! I, however, looked ridiculous, wearing Wiley's sweatpants tucked into knee high stiletto boots and huge shirts!

When we arrived at the venue, we met our German tour manager, Torsten. He lasted approximately one day! Thats how long it took me to realize I knew as much as he did about shows and the production. The trouble arose when Motorhead said they were tired and asked Sacred to go on after them. I wasn't consulted, but of course I would have agreed with anything asked of us...almost. As we suspected, the crowd flooded out after Motorhead and we were left with about 300 diehards compared to the 1000's of fans stuffed in earlier. Torsten walked up and said, "thats rock and roll" and it was the last arrangement he made for us!

Jason Rainey
We soon snuggled our way into the tour; partying daily with Motorhead and Destruction, who was also on the bill. Candlemass and their Messiah also became great friends with us. Phil Campbell struck up a friendship and we hung out often. He would bring me on the side of the stage to hang out and at the last day, he gave me a cool Motorhead wall clock that still hangs in our kitchen! We are still friends and get happy when we reconnect on tours, through the years.

Messiah from Candlemass

Destruction

Filthy Animal
Wrzel, Lemmy & Phil

We played the 4 German shows and then drove to Holland, for a headline show in the tiny Dynamo club. We were so excited to play and visit Holland. We were prepared to Cheech and Chong our day away. The first thing we asked was 'Where is the weed?' We were sent to a green door in a little tucked in road. It had a number 9 or something on it. We knocked on the door and went up the stairs and came down happy, a bit later.



The club only held about 90 people and it was stuffed!! The funniest part I recall is when Jason Rainey's pedal got flipped upside down and he did hand motions and neck jerks trying to tell me to flip the pedal over. Haha! Yes I was the crew too! To get off the stage, you had to stage dive in the crowd and they carried you to the entrance. Even I jumped!

Greg and Me

We flew home triumphant! Many offers followed and Sacred exploded into the early Metal scene......and I did too!


Class dismissed......

Thursday, November 13, 2014

THIS IS THE PROPHECY........THE VIDEO SHOOT.......PART 5 OF A 5-PART CLASS

After the final masters go to the record label (in The Prophecy's case it was Roadrunner Records) the next step is the label, the band and the band's manager, decide on a single. That's what the first song to be released to the fans is called. There is usually a video that is made to release in conjunction with the first single. The track chosen was the title track, The Prophecy.




Max wanted to keep everything connected to the project artistically parallel to the photo shoot at Monument Valley he had done earlier with Nick Steever. He wanted to shoot the video deep in the heart of the most famous landscape on earth. Monument Valley is so visually rich and the history of the area goes beyond written time. The desert would absorb the song and the song would absorb the desert.




Soulfly had done some shows in Tuba City, Arizona in the past. Each time they were promoted by local Good Samaritan, police officer and community server, Fred Davis. We had developed a friendship because of these shows. Fred has even invited Max and I to the Navajo Reservation to participate for Toys For Tots for Christmas. Naturally, it was Fred who was contacted to arrange this dream of Max's.





We rented a bus in Phoenix and piled our family and friends in to make the 6 hour drive to the location near Four Corners. The colors deepened as we drove nearer and the desert cast its purple, red and golden hues everywhere you looked. Signs to view dinosaur tracks, booths on the highway selling silver and turquoise jewelry and small cafes dotted the side of the highway.



Thanks to Fred and the video team's hard work, the day went off perfectly and the landscape was bared open to us. Max walked deep into the heart of the swirling red rocks, the sand crisp under his feet. He walked far; the band all raged near. The drums perched on the energy of eons of time that had passed. Indigenous local people, cowboys, and settlers crossing in the wilderness had wandered here; cavemen and dinosaurs before them. Spirituality flowed from the land into your very veins.


A restful drive back to Phoenix; a job well done. The circle completed. This is The Prophecy!!!


Class dismissed.....

Thursday, November 6, 2014

THIS IS THE PROPHECY.....RECORDING....PART 4 OF A 5 PART CLASS

Layer after layer, the music became songs...tracks. With much of the music recorded, Max began bringing in the guests. Dave Ellefson was one of them. Dave lives in Scottsdale so it was really easy to not have to rush for time like some of the recordings. When Corey Taylor collaborated on Jumpdafuckup, he was on tour and only had a couple hours to spare....a couple of the sickest, bomb blasting hours ever, I will say!


Corey Taylor and Max

Max had chosen specific songs for Dave to lay the bass tracks down to. He is featured on Mars, The Prophecy and the instrumental piece, Soulfly 4. Dave is really professional to work with and one of the nicest musicians around!
Max, Marc, and Dave

Dave 




Danny Marianino also popped by and belted out Defeat You with Max. He was in the band Northside Kings at the time. We have known Danny forever.

Danny Marianino
Max wanted Asha Rabouin, the female singer on previously recorded songs, Tree of Pain and Fly High, to close the album with the track Wings. Asha's brother passed away a short time after Dana and she was in sync with us emotionally. Her voice is creamy and haunting. Beautiful, flowing so gracefully. We brought her to NYC once when Soulfly was on the Slayer tour. She walked on stage at Roseland Ballroom to a sold out show of rowdy Slayer maniacs and they loved her powerful Tree of Pain! The entire place lit lighters and the hush was like a fog, holding every in a hypnotic spell. We didn't know what to expect, but we ended up with one memorable night!

Max and Asha listening to music...

Asha recording


Max, Asha, and John Grey

The squares on the board filled in, one by one, day by day. Bobby, Marc and Joe, all joining Max, adding the pieces like an erector set growing steadily. Mei Noite added the percussion, springing it like a spice throughout the record.

Bobby and Max recording

Marc and Max in the control room

Bobby, Joe, and Max in the kitchen


And when it was done, the Lion slept.......


Class dismissed.......