SOULFLY’s MAX CAVALERA Says MARC RIZZO’s ‘Soap Opera’ Added ‘Anger’ and ‘Fire’ to ‘Totem’ Album

SOULFLY will release their twelfth album, “Totem”August 5 through Nuclear explosion. The sequel to 2018 “Ritual” was recorded at Platinum Underground in Mesa, Arizona by John Aquiline and Arthur Rize with the help of John Powers. Produced by the leader Max Cavalera next to Arthur Rize (CREATOR, MUNICIPAL WASTE, CODE AMBER), the LP boasts guest appearances from John Powers (ETERNAL CHAMPION),chris ulsh (POWER TRIGGER) and Jean Tardi (OBITUARY). Rizk was also responsible for playing lead guitar on the record. The album cover was created by James Bousema.

Talk to Joshua Toomey of the “Speak Toomey” podcast about what it was like to make a SOULFLY album without guitarist Marc Rizowho was part of the group for 17 years before leaving the group in August 2021 due to personal disputes, Max said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Any time [anything] as it happens, it’s an opportunity to do something different, to bring in new blood. Above all [with] SOULFLYthere’s always been this kind of motto of changing people from time to time.

“I love that the record had a bit of a struggle attached [to it]. These are some of my best records – ones that aren’t easy to navigate; they have drama in there,” he continued. ” And ‘Totem’ is full of drama. The totality Rizzo thing was its own soap opera. It’s like, come on, man.

“So I saw it as an opportunity to do a few things. And we took the opportunity, as much as we could, having dinosaur [Cazares, FEAR FACTORY guitarist] play live [with SOULFLY]“, he explained. “It was amazing. We’re still jamming with him right now. And then on the record itself, I had the opportunity to work with the ETERNAL CHAMPION guys, which I’m a big fan of. And they kind of bring that old-school heavy metal vibe to the solos – arthur [Rizk] and John Powers. And I like it; I totally agreed with that. It sounded different, fresh, new and exciting. The thing with Rizzo was always the same – a lot of things sounded a lot the same – and it’s new, different and exciting. And I felt really good when I was working on the songs and hearing the solos coming in, and it was different and exciting. We just did everything we could for the record.

“So there was a bit of a struggle because of the whole Rizzo thing, and that sort of worked in the record’s favor, I think, ” Max added. “Cause you don’t wanna fuck with me, man. You don’t. You fuck with me, yeah, there’s a comeback of that, musically speaking. So the record has that little bit of anger, a little fire.”

Rizzo discussed his breakup with SOULFLY in a 2021 interview with TV replicas. He said: “I was not happy in SOULFLY for a long time. The fans know what’s going on, man. It’s all over the message boards.

“I have always had a lot of love and respect for Max, but the last two years have been very difficult. It’s no secret that he doesn’t really play guitar on stage, at least at the level he should be. Fans are talking about it. They’ve been talking about this stuff for years. It’s all over the message boards, how people are just not happy. And I wasn’t happy either, as a fan and also playing in the band. So we had to wait a long time. And then this whole COVID situation, the lack of support this year, it really opened my eyes that, ‘You know, man, now is the time.’ It’s not worth my time anymore. I don’t take out what I put in. And, again, everything is documented. You continue Youtube and you post any video, you can see it there with your own eyes.

“No matter Max said in the press, listen, he can say what he wants”, Mark continued. “He’s been doing this stuff for years – against [his former bandmates in] BURIAL and former members [of SOULFLY]. And the fans know who I am. I hang out with all the fans. I’m very, very approachable after all my shows. Not serious. It’s water under the bridge for me.”

When asked if it was going to be financially difficult for him to rely completely on his solo projects to get by, Rizzo said, “I’ve been doing my solo project since 2005 [or] 2006, and that’s what helped me between all the SOULFLY and CAVALERA PLOT tours. I’ve never been on account — SOULFLY never held back, which is sort of an industry standard for large groups. There was never a deposit, so for me it was never an option to get a deposit. So I got out and just started doing my solo gigs, and that’s how I survived all those years where SOULFLY decide to randomly say, “Hey, we’re taking seven months off,” and you wouldn’t get any notice. It would happen everything time. And so I would go out and book my solo stuff. It would be on a smaller level, but I was still able to hold my own and do my thing. What I’m very grateful for – I’m very grateful to the fans for always supporting me and coming to my solo concerts. It’s obviously not as big as the gigs I’ve played with SOULFLY, but I’m okay playing in front of, like, 20 people in a little bar… But I’m not going to sit here and tell you that last year during COVID the band I was in during 18 supported me, because it is not true. These are just facts. There’s a lot of stuff now leaking online that shows this. It is what it is, man. But I just plan to move on and stay positive and try to keep it all positive for me.”

Rizzo joined SOULFLY in 2004, and has since appeared on all of the band’s subsequent records, including “Prophecy” (2004),“Dark Times” (2005),“Conquer” (2008),“Presage” (2010),“Slave” (2012),“Savages” (2013),“Archangel” (2015) and “Ritual” (2018). In 2007, Rizzo became a member of CAVALERA PLOTthe side project of BURIAL co-founders, brothers Max and Igor Cavaleraand played on all CAVALERA PLOT versions, including “Inflicted”, “Blunt Trauma”, “Chaos” and the critically acclaimed 2017 LP “Psychosis”.

Rizzo was originally a member of New Jersey’s Latin Metal Favorites ILL NIÑOappearing on their 2001 classic Roadrunner Release “Revolution Revolution” and 2003 follow-up “Confession”. He has since joined ILL NIÑO.

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