Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Soulfly is a metal band formed in 1997 based in Phoenix, Arizona. The original lyrical content revolved around spirituality and religious themes, with later albums encompassing other themes including war, violence, aggression, hatred and anger. Soulfly is led by former Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera, who formed the band after he left the Brazilian group in 1996. The band has released eight studio albums, one tour EP, several singles, and one DVD video. Their eighth album Enslaved was released on March 13, 2012.
Soulfly incorporate many styles of metal with Brazilian tribal and world music. The band has had all six of their studio albums debut on the United States Billboard 200, with a peak position at number 32 for their second album, Primitive. Their debut album, Soulfly, has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. The band has gone through numerous line-up changes, with Cavalera being the only constant member.
Cavalera was troubled during the recording of Soulfly's first album, and on the band's website he 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 renowned thrash metal bands, he had to deal with the death of his stepson and best friend Dana Wells. The self-titled debut album was released in April 1998, and reached number 79 on the Billboard 200.
In addition to the core band, Soulfly featured Mario C., Burton C. Bell, Dino Cazares and Christian Olde Wolbers from Fear Factory, Fred Durst and DJ Lethal from Limp Bizkit, Chino Moreno from Deftones, Benji Webbe formerly of Welsh band Dub War and now a member of Skindred, Eric Bobo from Cypress Hill and Jorge do Peixe and Gilmar Bola Oito from Chico Science & Nação Zumbi. The album was recorded at Indigo Ranch Studios in Malibu, California and was overseen by producer Ross Robinson.
In addition to fronting Soulfly, Cavalera also branched out into other areas not usually associated with heavy metal musicians. He became a speaker at music conventions, appearing at CMJ's New Music Marathon in New York and Holland's Crossing Border Festival, both in late 1997, and sang a TV commercial for Sprite in Brazil.
After recording the first album, Jackson Bandeira returned to Brazil with Nação Zumbi and was replaced by Logan Mader of Machine Head for the live tour that followed. Soulfly played on the 1998 Ozzfest mainstage alongside Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, and Tool, and played small club tours around the world with bands such as System of a Down and Snot. After the world tour in support of Soulfly, Logan Mader was replaced by Mikey Doling who had just been displaced by the breakup of Snot.
A variety of influences, including heavy metal, appeared on 2000's Primitive, and it was the most successful album by the band in the U.S., reaching number 32 on the Billboard 200 and number 11 on the independent charts. Joe Nunez, from Chicago, replaced Roy Mayorga on drums for Primitive. The album featured a number of guest appearances as well, including Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour, Sean Lennon, Chino Moreno of Deftones, Tom Araya of Slayer, Grady Avenell of Will Haven, Cutthroat Logic, Babatunde and Asha Rabouin and was produced by Toby Wright. In addition, artwork was created by longtime Bob Marley artist Neville Garrick. The release of the album was followed by world tours with the likes of Pantera, Morbid Angel and Ozzfest.