From Academic Kids

Soulfly is the metal band started by Max Cavalera in 1997 after his decision to leave Sepultura. The band has released four albums, Soulfly, Primitive, 3 and Prophecy.


Soulfly to 3 - earlier lineups

Brazilian heavy metal singer Max Cavelera formed Soulfly after leaving Sepultura in 1997. He recruited a lineup of Roy Mayorga on drums (formerly of Thorn), Jackson Bandeira on guitar (formerly of Chico Science) and former Sepultura roadie Marcello D. Rapp on bass with Cavelera on guitar and vocals.

On the band's website, Max Cavelera said that he founded the band "with the idea of combined sounds and spiritual beliefs." As well as leaving one of the world's most popular heavy metal bands, he had to deal with the unsolved murder of his stepson and best friend Dana Wells. The first self-titled album was released in 1998 and reached number 82 on the Billboard 200.

Max Cavalera featured on the Deftones album Around The Fur in 1996 on a song called "Headup" about Wells death. The influence of nu-metal appeared on the Primitive album of 2000 which did not please all of the bands fans. However, Primitive was the most successful album by the band in the US reaching number 32 on the Billboard 200 and number 11 on the US independent charts. Joe Nunez replaced Roy Mayorga on drums for the Primitive album. Max Cavelera produced the third album 3 released in 2002 which reached number 46 on the Billboard 200 in that year. Mayorga was back behind the drumkit for the 3 album.

Prophecy - new lineup

Cavalera recruited a whole new lineup for the Prophecy album. Joe Nunez was back behind the drumkit with Marc Rizzo formerly of Ill Niņo on guitar. There are two bassists playing as members of Soulfly on Prophecy - David Ellefson formerly of Megadeth and Bobby Burns of Primer 55. Cavalera took this decision to have a mixture of old school metal and nu-metal on the album.

Max Cavalera explains on the bands website that he wants to use different musicians as part of the group for each album. "This is an approach that I've wanted to do for a while. I never wanted Soulfly to be a band like Metallica, with the same four guys. On every Soulfly album, we've changed the line up and it will probably continue that way. In order to do that, I had to start from the inside out and bring in people who caught my attention, that I had never played with before, and create this."

In Sepultura, Cavalera had shown an interest in world music as shown in the Roots (album) featuring elements of the music of Brazil's indigenous peoples. This approach continues on the Prophecy album with Cavalera travelling to Serbia to record with traditional musicians. On the track "Moses", an explicit statement of his religious beliefs he works with Serbian band Eyesburn featuring reggae influences from one of his heroes Bob Marley. Other tracks on the album feature instruments from the Middle Ages, sheepskin bagpipes and Serbian gypsies.

Prophecy was released on March 30, 2004 and as at April of that year had reached a peak of number 82 on the Billboard 200 although it has reached the top 50 of the Australian album charts.

Band members

As of 2004, the current lineup of Soulfly is

  • Max Cavalera (guitar and vocals)
  • Marc Rizzo (guitar)
  • Joe Nunez (drums - also on Primitive)
  • Dave Ellefson (bass)
  • Bobby Burns (bass)

Former members of the group include:

  • Roy Mayorga (drums - Soulfly and III)
  • Jackson Bandeira (guitar - first three albums)
  • Marcello D. Rapp (bass - first three albums)
  • Mikey Doling (guitar - Primitive and 3)





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