Friday, February 23, 2018


Many of you already know that Soulfly has been in the studio recording with Josh Wilbur. Early February, the studio was rebooked by another artist, so we all travelled home. Max still had two more tracks to record vocals on, so we made a plan for Josh to fly in and record in our home. We would check him into the Toyroom and transform the super heroes into fans, and blankets into a vocal booth!

Josh no doubt got mega searched at the airport security, with all the gear he had in his carry on! It isn't the kind of equipment that can go safely under a plane, so the overhead was the chosen nest. In no time at all, the room was a tangled mass of cords, computers and noise!

For 2 days and nights, the two of them were holed up, screaming and jamming. They only came out to eat and then back in the cave. When they were first setting up, I heard some hammering coming from the room. When I went to see what it was, Max was trying to act casual, standing in the doorway with his arm on the door frame, blocking me from entering. I could smell a rat and managed to cross the border. Josh was hammering a heavy blanket into the ceiling and the doorframe of the closet and making a vocal booth!! I let it slide as I knew it was pure genius!!

As the hours crept past, I snuck down the hallway to grab you all a bite....It's small, but extremely filling!! Soulfly 11, the birth.....Enjoy!!

Friday, February 16, 2018


In September of 2001, Max was at the grand finale of his path to immigration in America. His children were American. His wife was American. He resided full time in America. We had both decided that the best thing to do was opt for dual citizenship. He is Brazilian, of course, and having a US passport would be a realistic goal, given his lifestyle. Nothing would ever replace his Brazilian roots and nothing would replace his love for both countries.

Some people are of the belief that it is an easy process, but it isn't. Number one, it is costly. It isn't a small matter. I honestly don't know how many people could ever support their family and pay the legal fees to immigrate, at the same time. We had a fantastic lawyer, Joanne Stark-Trujillo, who walked us through the process. Keep in mind that we married in 1993 and this citizenship journey was completed in 2001, 8 years later. There is a tangled web of appointments, investigation and fees that everyone must complete. It was much different than when my Mother was naturalized in the 1950's. She had to study for a massive test, which she passed easily. Max did not have to do that. I am not sure when the law changed.

To make a long story short, Max was super happy when he received his certificate and eventually his US passport. Our whole family went to the ceremony and celebrated with him. A week later, 9-11 happened and he wrote Downstroy, Call to Arms and the other tracks on Soulfly 3. Celebrations were forgotten and destruction took charge. Music was the answer.

Class dismissed......

Friday, February 9, 2018


Last summer, Max and I had some rare time off. It was at that time I suggested he start writing and getting ready with some new riffs. We had spent a great deal of time on the road and promoters and record labels were asking about new music. He loaded up the living room with gear, transforming it into a musician's retreat. After a month, he handed me several cds to stash. One would evolve into Cavalera Conspiracy, one was riffs for a future Killer Be Killed, and one would be for his creation, Soulfly. I stashed them safely in my underwear drawer (!), and we jumped back on the bus!

This January, we joined Zyon, Marc Rizzo and Mike Leon at the AIRB&B in Orange, California and made our way to Hybrid Studio, in Santa Ana, California. Kendog wound his way through hoards of LA traffic, to assist with the technical ops. Josh Wilbur was the chosen Captain. I really wanted Max to work with Josh, because I loved what he did with KBK. I know Josh is quite well known and very good at what he does, but I only related my desire to the way he kicked the KBK songs up a notch! Max was ready to give it all he had, to give the Tribe an outstanding Soulfly for the 20 year anniversary record. He agreed that Josh was a perfect choice.

Drums were first, as the guys worked on arrangements. Zyon was really a force on this record. As parents, we were impressed. As part of the Metal community of business, we were solid. We both know Z was born to be a drummer and every record he is on just gets better! He is fully confidant now. Maybe you don't know, but Zyon never plays a song the same way twice. His artistic nature compels him to drum how he feels and that usually includes different patterns. It keeps Max upbeat and I must say, Zyon's youthful energy brings passion to the stage!

Mike Leon was adopted from Havok. I guess I can spill the beans now... Remember when we did the Soulfly/ Havok tour? When it was over, I told Max that I had a feeling one of the Havok members would play with Soulfly one day. Call it a bit of premonition or what ever you like. I could just feel it! When Tony Campos went to pay with Fear Factory and Soulfly needed a full time bassist, I hit up Mike. He had just left Havok and was super excited to join the Tribe! Perfect timing! He laid those bass tracks down in no time, like a machine gun riveting out bullets!

What can I say about Marc Rizzo that I haven't said already? Besides being one of the top shredders in the Metal world, he is super funny, loyal, adventurous and precise! He is one of the greatest Metal riffers of all time, and I will fight anyone who disagrees with me!

We had long hours and short sleep time, but we also had a bit of fun occasionally. Josh, Max, Zyon and I had lunch one Sunday with the legend and long time friend, Andy Wallace. Not to diss anyone, as I have worked with, and adored most all of the greatest producers in the Rock/Metal world, but in my opinion, Andy Wallace wears the Producer's Crown. Besides having magic ears and hands, he is humble. He is very intelligent, and conversing about topics that don't relate to music is spontaneous when you are with him. He is a total car collector and recently even restored an old school, turning it into a museum!

Another legend, photographer Glen LaFerman was chosen to take the photos for the cd booklet. We have known him for years and have had the pleasure to work with him many times. Maybe you have seen the b/w portraits in Hollywood's Rainbow Bar and Grill? Those are all Glen's work. Interestingly enough, the photo of Max that Glen took, was stolen from the bar! And who can forget the Bob Marley Collection? Emotional...

Josh gave the band a day off for NAMM. The guys did a meet and greet signing and Marc and Mike performed in the Peavey area. Peavey is one of the gear companies that has shown mucho love for Max and any band he brings with him. They provide the guys with the best and newest equipment on the market and even cover the band outside the country. Max is one of the artists with a relationship with Peavey the longest, 25 years, and still heading to the future! I was there when Mary Peavey thanked him for his loyalty.

For personal family time, Max and I hung with long time friends whose names I will spare, for their privacy. What a blessing to be with true friends!! We Super Bowled it up, coffeed in the morning and relaxed together late at night. On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Max and I went to the Holocaust Museum in LA. I wanted to honor my Mother's struggles in a concentration camp during WW2. Along with her Mother and brothers and sisters, they had miraculously survived Mauthausen, in Austria. My Mother often spoke about the tragedy of what war accomplishes and I always was a good student. Max and I share the love of history, so this was a solemn but meaningful experience. We brightened things up with lunch with my daughter-in-law-Shonda, who lives with Richie near the museum. It was Max and my virgin meal at a vegan restaurant. I am pretty sure it may be healthy but we both decided our food tastes were better lol!!

Mad respect for Josh Wilbur and his assistant, Nick Rowe, for keeping it real!! There is a lot of humor and serious biswak going on behind those Hybrid heavy ass doors!!

Class dismissed......

Friday, February 2, 2018


I am sitting in Cali, at the Hybrid Studio, watching the parts be assembled for the next Soufly record, and realizing this is the 8th record I have worked on with Marc Rizzo. The lead guitar crafter, one half of my Metal Lennon and McCartney...Max and Marc, my sold team! I am very grateful to have walked through the gates of Metal History with Marc Rizzo at our side.

I called Marc Rizzo on the suggestion of Monte Conner. I seriously did not know, at the time, what a killer guitarist and person he was. I didn't know a darn thing about him except that he had just finished his gig with Ill Nino. Soulfly was evolving momentarily and the crystals just fell together. We had two shows booked and I was slamming to find someone. At the time, Marc was wearing his signature backpack...the mysterious backpack. What the hell was in it, anyway? Mojo? Karma sauce? Magic tokens? Whatever it was, he sure kicked rigorously and damn, could he shred!!!

The Prophecy album was the first LP with Marc's participation and it's been cranking nonstop since the!! Marc has been a vital persona in nearly everything Max has been involved in. From Soulfly, to Cavalera Conspiracy, to Return to Roots and now, Soulfly's Point Blank tour, Marc is howling and riffing and reaching space, with his magic! I often say that his guitar is an extension of his soul!

I admit I have pushed the limits with Marc occasionally, sending him to far off places that no man will step into! It's all for the Tribe! He isn't a huge fan of flying and I have followed him in on more prop planes and sketchy airlines than most people imagine in their lifetime. He also isn't having a love affair with insects and I admit I sent him deep into South Africa, amidst warthogs in his cabin's front door and monster bugs trying to snuggle, and to the bowels of the Amazon, eating poisonous fish...very carefully! He never complains or gives me stress and would take a bullet for any one of us!!

Marc has a astounding humor. Being gullible, I believe him when he is spoofing, since he has this honest expression! If you spend time with Marc, it's for certain you will be laughing most of the time. That laughter will be WITH him and not AT him. I guess I can't go deep into a plane flight we all enjoyed with him, but I am pretty sure no one aboard the flight that night will ever forget it. I still remember Tony Campos sitting on the jet, next to Marc, holding his head in his hands and saying "They are going to kill us!" The good old days just never stop, do they?

The Return to Roots tour was spot on!! Marc knew the songs anyway! The minute I asked if he could play them, I knew his brain was looking for the lobe that stores the music! I never once quivered in worry or shame. He is 100% pro!!

And now as this yet unnamed artwork is finely chiseled, the 11th Soulfly will come out in the summer. All the fingerprints and follicles will be there...crunchy riffing and arm-hair-raising guitar work, slathered on with extra sauce! More cowbell, please!

Soon, you can catch Marc Rizzo with Soulfly on the next tours. First, we will be bringing the Soulfly playing Nailbomb's Point Blank record to Canada! It is the first time we will enter Canada in Vancouver and perform across the country, exiting on the east coast! I have wanted to do this often and now, I can cross it off my Wish List!

The Legend of Marc Rizzo continues........See you in the pit, Students!!