From his time as guitarist in Ill Nino to joining up with Max Cavalera in Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy, Marc Rizzo has proved himself as a formidable six stringer. He has also released four solo albums, with his fifth, Rotation, coming out soon. We caught up with Marc to hear all about the album and his solo work as well as life in Soulfly, hooking up with both Cavalera brothers in Cavalera Conspiracy, touring, his time in the Misfits and the influences on his career.
Your new album Rotation is out soon. How did the recording and creation of the album go?
Rotation was an amazing record to make! I worked with my favorite producer Zeuss who did a amazing job. It is by far one of my favorite records i have ever written. It really is a record that fans of all styles of music will enjoy!
Is there any significance to the albums title?
Yes, Rotation is a metaphor for so many things in life.
How would you describe the music on the album, is it in a similar vibe to your last album Legionnaire?
Rotation is a record that was written with my live show in mind. After touring many tours with my solo project my songs really developed as songs that go over best in a live environment . I always get a kick out of seeing fans moshing at my gigs even too my instrumental songs. Rotation was written with that in mind!
As with your previous work, there is a big Latin influence on Rotation, is this something that you always want to incorporate into your music?
Yes, I love all types of Latin music and have spent a lot of time in South America especially Colombia. The Latin rythyms I have always been a big fan of!
Which Latin music do you most admire and why?
I specifically love flamenco, but I love all the Latin styles of music. The rythyms are so addictive.
You worked with the legendary producer Chris “Zeuss” Harris on the album, how was that experience?
Zeuss is my favorite producer to work with. He has made some of my favorite records and also my favorite Soulfly record Enslaved. He really gets the best performances out of me!
What did the bring to your sound?
Zeuss gave my record a very modern and polished sound. It is sonically my best work ever. He really pushed for perfection.
Zeuss has produced brilliant albums from Agnostic Front, Municipal Waste, Hatebreed Madball and Crowbar as well as the album you mentioned, Soulflys Enslaved amongst many others in the past, were you a fan of his production style before you worked together?
Yes, I have been a huge fan of all of zeuss’s work. I love all his records and bands he has produced!
Who plays with you on the record or is it a solo album in the truest sense of the word?
My drummer Anthony Devizio played all the drums on this record. He is amazing drummer and also has worked on my last record Legionnaire and now plays also with 40 Below Summer. There was also a few other special guest apperances, but I played all the bass and guitars.
This is your fourth solo album and your first for eight years. You have been busy with Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy in that time, why did you decide that now is the time to unleash Rotation?
Rotation actually was finished recorded in 2013. It has been extremely difficult and dissapointing to find a label to release this record. Thankfully Dave Ellefson and Thom Hazaert at Combat Records have done a wonderful job in releasing my record and have supported me so much with press and promotion. I am really excited because i feel this record will be loved especially by metalheads and fans of my other bands that i am in! Soulfly fans will love this record!
As you mentioned, the album is released on the relaunched Combat Records, how did that come about?
My good friends Dave Ellefson and Thom Hazaert at Combat, I have known for years now and gave me a great opportunity with the release of my record. I am very grateful!
You were originally a member of Ill Nino, do you have fond memories of your time with the group and what were the undisputed highlights of your time with the band?
Ill Nino was the first band I was in that was signed and a touring national act. I am grateful for the years I had with them. It helped lead me to where i am today.
You joined Soulfly in 2004 and gave been with the band ever since. How did you end up joining the band?
After I quit Ill Nino in 2002, Roadrunner Records asked me if I was interested in joining Soulfly the very next day. I was super honouref and excited! I have been in the band ever since. It has been a dream come true especially since when i started with Ill Nino we were huge Soulfly fans!!
What have been the highlights of your time with Soulfly?
There has been so many highlights! I think all the huge festivals we played and being direct support to Black Sabbath with all original members in 2005 was huge for me!
Were you a big Soulfly and Sepultura fan before you joined the band?
Yes, a huge fan! It all still feels so unreal!
You are also a member of Cavalera Conspiracy. How did it
feel when Max and Iggor got back together to make music?
When the brothers reunited it was another amazing highlight for me to be part of! I love playing in Cavalera Conspriacy!
How have the Soulfly dates where you have been playing the Nailbomb album Point Blank been going?
The Nailbomb tour was a lot of fun! I really was able to put my vibe on those songs by adding extra leads. It was really cool because that record does not have any solos so I tried to make some leads that would fit well with the vibe of that record.
There seems to be a big family vibe when it comes to the Cavaleras with Lody Kong and Incite too, would you say that is the case?
Yes, absolutely it is a touring family for sure.
Will there be a new Soulfly album in the near future?
Yes, I am in the studio right now working on the new Soulfly!
What are your favourite songs to okay live and which ones get the crowd going the most?
I love to play my song Downside Up! It is the first song on rotation and has a great groove that gets everybody headbanging!!!
What are your touring plans for the rest of the year?
I plan on touring all year with all my projects and also tour in support of Rotation.
Have you assembled a solo live band yet?
Yes, I will be playing with my drummer Anthony Devizio and other bass players. Live, I like just being a trio for my solo band.
Which band have you enjoyed touring with most in the past
and why was it so memorable?
I enjoy touring with all my bands. To be able to tour the world is a incredible experience.
Who would you live to tour with in the future?
I would love to maybe one day be on G3 tour. I am a huge Satriani fan!
If you could assemble your dream five band festival lineup, who would you choose?
Slayer, Joe Satriani, Pantera, Megadeth, Overkill
Will there be any further material from Dead By Wednesday?
I would love to work with Dead By Wednesday again. They are a great band. Weve just got to figure out scheduling because I am always on tour right now.
How was your time playing guitar in the Misfits?
I loved playing with the Misfits! They are my favorite punk band of all time! And from where I grew up in New Jersey They treated me so good and I hope we can work together again soon.
How did that collaboration come about and did you wear the Misfits Horror makeup?
I have known Jerry Only from friends back home in New Jersey and when the oppurtunity came I was super excited to do! Yes, I wore the skull makeup it was fun haha!
What is your favourite Misfits song and how do you feel about the bands recent reunion with Doyle and Danzig?
My favourite Misfits song is 20 Eyes! Yes, I am super stoked about the reunion its so awesome!
Are you a big fan of horror movies and if so what are your favourite ever movies?
I’m more into movies like Conan The Barbarian! Epic stuff!
In the past, you have guested on albums by Strife and Divine Heresy. Which bands album would you live to play guitar on in the future?
I love working with all my friends bands. I would love to do more guest appearances! I especially love Strife! They always been one of my favourite hardcore bands!
What were your favourite albums of last year and what music are you listening to at the moment?
Nowadays I listen to a lot of just old stuff I grew up on. But I really love the new Overkill record. Those guys rule!
Who are your main influences as a guitarist and a musician in general?
I love all the greats. Satriani, Dimebag, Zakk, George Lynch, Hendrix, Van Halen.
What has been your favourite guitar to play from throughout your career?
I really love my Washburn guitars! My new 7 string signature rips!
Which albums have had the biggest effect on your life?
Slayers Reign In Blood and Metallicas And Justice For All. It’s my favourite guitar playing style.