Armed with an ESP RPR, Wash­burn and Peavey 6505+ amp, ‘travel light and play hard’ is the ethos for Soulfly’s power duo Max Cavalera and Marc Rizzo

Total Guitar - - CONTENTS - Words Jonathan Hors­ley Pho­tog­ra­phy James Shar­rock

Soulfly’s rif­fer-in-chief Max Cavalera and lead gui­tarist Marc Rizzo are prag­ma­tists. They need gain, and lots of it. Their sonic de­ter­rent of choice is the Peavey 6505+ am­pli­fier – a nu­clear op­tion through which they run their sig­na­ture electrics. Cavalera’s ESP RPR is a BC Rich War­lock-cum-ex­plorer, fin­ished in camo. Rizzo’s Wash­burn is a seven-string sin­gle-cut with ac­tive EMG pick­ups. Pedals must be eas­ily re­place­able and the Dig­itech Drop al­lows them to change tun­ings on­stage – no gui­tars in al­ter­na­tive tun­ings here!

Marc’s rig WASH­BURN Par­al­laxe PXL-MR27B-D

1 “I’ve al­ways loved Wash­burn gui­tars. I was a big Nuno Bet­ten­court fan and he’s got those N4 sig­na­ture gui­tars. He is a big in­flu­ence on me; that’s what I go for, to try and play melodic and do some rip­ping leads when I have the op­por­tu­nity. I met a cou­ple of guys who were at Wash­burn and they of­fered to de­sign me a sig­na­ture model. I ba­si­cally told them to make some­thing sim­i­lar to a Les Paul, but a seven string with EMG pick­ups, and this is it. This is my sig­na­ture model and I love it. It’s a su­perqual­ity gui­tar and it plays great. I think the body is a lit­tle bit thin­ner than a Les Paul. The neck and fret­board feels more Les Paul. It’s a neck-through body. But, yeah, it’s a lit­tle bit lighter in weight. I am not 100 per cent sure of [the wood]. I’m not that picky about tonewoods. The elec­tron­ics are more im­por­tant. If I’ve got EMG pick­ups, a com­fort­able gui­tar and a Peavey 6505+ [am­pli­fier], I’m pretty happy. These are EMG 707s. There’s a tog­gle switch like a Les Paul, a three-way and, that’s it, man. 24 frets!

“About 10 years ago I started play­ing seven-strings. I was play­ing a lot more lower tun­ings, but I was also do­ing a lot of so­los, so it just made sense to start us­ing sev­en­strings. When you try to tune a six-string down, your in­to­na­tion just goes all over the place. I en­joy play­ing a seven-string and hav­ing the gui­tar in stan­dard tun­ing and when I want to go lower I’ve got my fifth string (lower B). It keeps the feel right. When I am do­ing so­los I like to feel my gui­tar in stan­dard tun­ing.”

PEAVEY 6505+

2 “I’m not in­ter­ested in us­ing any­thing else. It’s the best metal tone out there. I just keep it on the lead chan­nel. It’s loud. I don’t re­ally go any louder than four, or five. I use a straight cab. I like the straight cab­i­nets more than the slanted cabs just be­cause it’s a lit­tle warmer to my ear. I don’t even use the top cab­i­net. I don’t like hear­ing it at head height. I like hear­ing it from down be­low – it’s a lit­tle warmer. You can hear it res­onate off the ground. When I go into so­los my tech will crank my gain all the way up to 10 and when I go back to rhythm he’ll back me down to about seven. So usu­ally my tech will hit my de­lay pedal, turn my gain up for so­los and when I fin­ish the solo he’ll turn the de­lay off and back my gain back down to six, seven. These Peavey heads are in­cred­i­ble. I wouldn’t change a thing. I don’t think any­one will ever top the Peavey. They’re work­horses. They never go on us . . . Knock on wood. We go all over the world with these and we never have prob­lems... never blow tubes.”


3 “This pedal is ac­tu­ally very im­por­tant for Soulfly. We use a lot of dif­fer­ent tun­ings. We use A, B, D and stan­dard E. There have been dif­fer­ent ver­sions of this that other com­pa­nies have made but they never work. They al­ways glitched. This pedal is in­cred­i­ble. I’ve even recorded with it on the new Soulfly record where, in­stead of chang­ing gui­tars, we dropped the tun­ing with that pedal. It sounded au­then­tic. It sounded like a gui­tar in tune. They fi­nally got it. Af­ter 15 years of ex­per­i­ment­ing, Dig­itech got it right.”


4 “I don’t re­ally rely on a lot of ef­fects. I like to make weird sounds with my gui­tar do­ing weird things. As far as ef­fects, as you can see I’ve got a Cry Baby wah in front of me. It’s just a stock, reg­u­lar one. It’s my favourite.”

ROC KTRO N HUSH the peda l

5 “This [noise re­ducer] is an­other pedal I use a lot with Soulfly. Right now we are us­ing a Rock­tron Hush. We don’t nor­mally need to but we use it once in a while when we are go­ing on a noisy stage; it de­pends, I guess with all the lights, we must be get­ting noise, so we cranked it up a bit.”


6 “For my so­los I like weird, non-rhythm things, my tech just turns it on and off at the right spot. I like to con­cen­trate on my tech­nique and what I am do­ing with my hands more than ef­fects or gear. All the gear I use, you could go any­where in the world and you can find a Cry Baby wah and Boss ef­fects pedals.”


7 “It has ny­lon strings, the piezo pickup, and all we do when we go into the acous­tic jam like you’ll see tonight, my tech will hit me on standby, flip my chan­nel to clean, turn the de­lay pedal on, and then I’ll just plug right into that and go. This gui­tar has been with me since my old band, go­ing back to like 2001, when I was in El Niño. I’m wait­ing for Wash­burn to build me one even­tu­ally, but for now I’m just us­ing this. I hadn’t used this gui­tar in prob­a­bly 15 years, but we’re us­ing it on this tour and it sounds good.”


8 “It has a lit­tle bit of a War­lock de­sign, and this is kind of like an Ex­plorer... My two favourite gui­tars. It has a neck-through body, rose­wood fret­board. The four strings started as a joke back in Brazil. A string broke and I didn’t want to re­place it, the other one broke and my roadie was like, ‘We

“if you hit the boss aw -2 with the drum par t, it’s just, ‘Raaar gh!’”

could go to the store and buy more strings or we cansave the money and get drunk.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s get wasted.’ Through the years I re­alised it ac­tu­ally helps me when I don’t have the six strings be­cause I’ve got to be cre­ative with only four. And I am a more per­cus­sive per­son. All my rhythms are per­cus­sive. My vo­cal ideas are per­cus­sive. A lot of the riffs come from the per­cus­sion, when I do them with the drum ma­chine. It’s funny be­cause there have been some kids who have bought the gui­tar with four strings and their dad phoned ESP, ‘You sold my son a bro­ken gui­tar!’

“The pickup is from a com­pany called Lace; they make my own pickup called Down­stroy­ers, named af­ter one of my songs from the early Soulfly days – and they’ve got a gas mask on them. It’s a cool com­pany. They do guys like Mastodon and High On Fire.”

PEAVEY 6505+

9 “Peavey is where it’s at. It’s the best sound you can get, the best dis­tor­tion. Now they come with the lit­tle one you can put in your back­pack, the Pi­ran­has. I love Peavey. I’ve been with them for­ever. They are plan­ning to do some­thing re­ally cool with me next year, so we’re hop­ing to get a big cam­paign and I get to be in­volved in some kind of spe­cial am­pli­fier. I just want to make it more bru­tal! More dis­tor­tion, man! Have an au­towah in the Peavey, in a but­ton you press – and boom!

“We use them all the time in the stu­dio and we use them on tour, and they’re just the best. The sound that you hear on the record is from the Peavey. You plug them in and au­to­mat­i­cally you get that nice warm tone. You don’t have to do any­thing spe­cial to it. We use a lit­tle over­drive just to bump it up a lit­tle bit. Some­times, there’s not enough dis­tor­tion for me. I’m a dis­tor­tion freak, so I look at my roadie and I’m like, ‘Turn the over­drive on!’”

BOSS PH-2 supe r phase r

10 “We use the clean tone on a song called Mars, and I use [this]. We’ll have the com­pres­sor with the clean. I don’t re­ally get in­volved much. I set it at the be­gin­ning of the tour. ‘Don’t touch it. Let’s not fuck about!’ Some­times, in the mid­dle of a show I change it when I get bored.”


11“That is the beast! They don’t make them any­more. You step on it and it’s the loud­est thing in the world. Our sound man used to hate that pedal. It was the cra­zi­est pedal in the world. Most peo­ple hate it. I love it be­cause it’s as ob­nox­ious as fuck. You step on it and it’s louder than ev­ery­thing. I over­come the whole band!

“At the be­gin­ning of the song No hope, no fear there’s a riff that’s just me, I’ll use that. Some­times, just out of the blue. If you hit it with the drum part it’s killer. It’s just, ‘Raaaargh!’”

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