I arrived a little early at the venue so I had time to take care of some important things, send out a few mindless tweets, update facebook, head bang to some tunes, you know the important things in life. I headed over the to venue (after circling it three times to look for parking) and called the Roadrunner representative and she told me Mark was walking right by me, I guess labels do know everything. Anyway, I caught up to Mark and we went into the venue to have a chat about things, I was most excited because I heard that he was a big soccer fan…
Lets Get the Most important question out of the way, what soccer team do you support and which league do you follow.
HaHa, I really don’t support any soccer team at all, in all honesty I really don’t follow soccer at all. Don’t believe everything that you read out there. This whole thing got started when Max was wearing soccer jerseys on stage because he is a big supporter so I thought those looked cool so I wore a couple of jerseys on stage and it just kind of blew up from there.
Well, what sports do you follow and how do you keep on shape during the tours
I follow boxing style of training. My uncle was a professional boxer and I just kind of naturally gravitated toward that. So its really a boxing style of workout and trying to eat right, that sort of thing. When we were in Winnipeg I got to train with the Gracie’s and that was loads of fun.
According to the same sources as the soccer thing, they claim that you did some “golden gloves” fighting as well.
Yeah, I have a had a couple of bouts but nothing really to speak of but who knows in the future.
Do you follow the sport as fanatically as say, Phil Anselmo.
Phil is really more of a fan and really knows his facts and figures, I really like just participating in the sport, the training and fitness part. I really don’t follow it all that closely I just like it for the training.
How is your label Phalmenore doing?
Its going great, I originally created it for my solo work and I have put a few things out that I really enjoyed but now its really just for my solo work.
So how has the tour been going?
Its been going great so far, we started off in direct support of Five Finger Death Punch and on this current leg we are headlining with Wykked Wytch. I have really enjoyed Wykked Wytch, it’s nostalgic for me. One of my very club shows was seeing Wykked Wytch so its been really fun for me to tour with them.
What’s been your favorite stop and are the European Festivals as good as people make them out to be.
I think so far Canada has been my favorite. We have traveled all over and gone to some places where I was thinking there can’t be a metal fan for miles and we have great crowds even in those places. So that has been really lots of fun. Yes I would say the European festival season is as good as its press. Huge fun crowds and its just a great place to play.
The new album from Allegaeon incorporates some great classical elements on their latest release and it really fits right in there. You seem to incorporate some interesting flamenco style elements in your work even Mark from Lamb of God has some great influences on their last two releases, why don’t you think more guitarists incorporate this material into their work.
Adding in classical or flamenco guitar parts into your songs is a tricky business, if you don’t do it right it can sound really bad. Even to much acoustic stuff can be a tough sell to audiences. So I think that given this its hard for some people to get it to fit in and sound good.
All the members really listen to different stuff so that’s really where we get some of these interesting sounds. Myself I listened to a lot of Al Di Meola and Paco de Lucia right along with Slayer and Megadeath so it was natural for me to incorporate some of Al and Paco’s style of play into Soulfly. One thing people may notice is that I tend toward harmonic minor scales which is just part of the influences of what I listened to early on.
So how is it playing with these guys?
I thinks its incredible to play with these guys. Take Tony, he is the most demanded man on the bass in metal, everyone wants Tony, and David is an incredible metal drummer and of course there is Max. I was a big fan of Sepultura so when I first met and started playing on Soulfly I was a little intimidated but we have all settled into a great groove.
One last question that I always like asking because its a big issue and has been for awhile and getting the musicians point of view is always interesting to me. What are your views on downloading of music.
On one hand its cool and a compliment that people want your music, when it first started it could have ruined the business and maybe in some aspects it did. Hopefully this forces bands to be better, back in the day you kind of took what was in the stores but now bands have to be even better to get noticed and hopefully this will be one, if there is one, benefit of music downloading.
My own personal beliefs is that there is nothing wrong with buying CDs. I remember when I was younger and I got my paycheck the first things I did was head to record store and buy my allotment if music. I guess I still like have the physical copy of things, I don’t know much about how to even download electronic music, all of mine is physical, I can barely even turn on a computer much less figure out where to get music.
After the interview we stood around and chatted, I may have exchanged pleasantries with David Kinkaid about his KISS t-shirt and nearly ran over Tony Campos on my way out of the venue and didn’t even know it till my ride home. I guess at the end of the day I am not great at recognizing people, since Marc walked right by me and I was clueless as first, who knows maybe I could have gotten a few words from Tony and David as well, probably not, as they were all headed for Italian food.