Soulfly leader Max Cavalera maintained an open-door policy during the recording of the group's newly released sophomore album, Primitive. And because of that, the guest list swelled to include the likes of Slipknot's Corey Taylor, the Deftones' Chino Moreno, Slayer's Tom Araya, and Arizona rap group Cutthroat Logic.
"It's really cool how the whole thing happens," Cavalera says. "It's not really a plan; you don't have this whole thing done in a total order. It's kind of like organized chaos. Some people I have in mind; like, I called Chino from Deftones. And some people happened [by] while we were in the studio, and you say, 'Wow, this is awesome, different stuff.'"
One guest who was planned, however, was Sean Lennon, son of late Beatle John Lennon, who duets with Cavalera on "Son Song." Cavalera and Lennon met at the Big Day Out festival in Australia during 1999 and discovered an immediate rapport — partly based on the fact that both had lost their fathers at a young age. While he was making plans for Primitive, Cavalera says his wife and manager, Gloria, suggested a collaboration with Lennon.
"She thought it would be cool if we sang together; [that] both voices would be amazing," Cavalera says. "I called Sean, and he was into it. We spent four days on that song; he came to my house, we scribbled around a little bit with the acoustic guitar, then we wrote the lyrics. We took more time on that song, and took it to the studio, and saw the whole thing really come to life, from scratch."
Cavalera knows that working with Lennon is not necessarily the kind of thing his head-banging fans might expect, but given his track record for sonic experimentation, he doesn't think it's out of character. "It's just me trying to be as weird as I can in wanting to make different stuff," he explains.