(Joe Nunez)
Matteo Mainardi


After a two hour sound-check, the drummer Joe Nunez gives 20 precious minutes of his time, for an interview that had taken place in the back-stage of the Rolling Stone in Milan...

M.M. - Let’s start with a question about the new album, Dark Ages. What does the title mean?

Joe - Dark Ages… if I put a look at war where we are like right now in the world, it’s pretty simple. I think right now, we’re starting begin a dark age and I think at the same time to, you know, after Prophecy came the Dark Ages that’s kind of like a Prophecy that was a real deep record and now it’s going heavier further, you know, with Dark Ages.

M.M. - We can say that it reflects the conditions the world is living today…

Joe - Yeah, yeah! Pretty much!

M.M. - About this album, we can see that is both darker and heavier than the previous releases. Is this the direction that you ended up pursuing?

Joe - I distinct that was just something that the band did naturally with the sound heavier and darker. It’s possible, yeah it’s possible. Anything is possible now. In this line-up everything like that is possible, max is just who crashes the ideas and we add our sensations and ideas so we can create the songs and put together different sounds influences.

M.M. - Your lyrics often contains denunciations of the social conditions. What do you think about the period the world is living after 9-11-01?

Joe - As far as the lyrics in the Dark Ages record I think you’re right, you know, there are a lot of words about the social conditions in everything like that. At the same time, after 9-11 maybe, I think everybody realized that the things are really changed and say “What’s going on?”. I think some people were shocked, some people were entertained by, some people didn’t know what think about it , some people were confused by, but in all reality, what you felt departed, seams like a year and the years have gone by stay in an untaken place where we seen a big big change.

M.M. - Always about 9-11-01, in the 3 record there is a song called 9-11-01 which is completely mute. How do you interpret it?

Joe - I wasn’t there, I wasn’t on that record but I would have to say it’s definitely just pure silence.

M.M. - But what is your interpretation when you listen it, what do you think about it? Because I can interpret the silence like the expression to say there isn’t words to describe it…

Joe - Yeah, probably it’s what i feel but it’s a pretty difficult because i have really give in it much thoughts. Honestly I tried to think what a listener can think when hear that song but what he thinks and what it’s going on in his head, you can’t describe it.

M.M. - There’s no words to describe it…

Joe - Yeah! There’s no words to describe it…

M.M. - Or too many thoughts…

Joe - Yeah, whatever you’re thinking at the time is probably not pretty accurate to what an other person is thinking.

M.M. - Have you ever thought to give your work up to live a normal life?

Joe - I don’t have, I don’t have before, you know, I was on Primitive, gone for 3, back for Prophecy and Dark Ages. It’s two completely different life-styles, you know, two completely different life. I don’t think to anything longest staying in more place everyday because I’m not there! But at the same time I look for, I look what I’m doing, because I love what I’m doing. This is my life, my life-style. It’s difficult, you know, because I miss home, I miss my family but it’s part of it. If I’d do a “normal” life I think that I survive but I prefer to do this.

M.M. - Where do you find the inspiration for making songs?

Joe - It’s just the excitement in the band, the excitement in the record that we will conclude, the excitement with the fans, the excitement in the members, you know, like me, Max, Marc, Bobby. When we’re in a room together, we’re creating something that excite us, you know. There’s many things that come in to that and we communicate it together musically.

M.M. - The album is characterized by the presence of very violent tracks but, at the end, there is a track Soulfly V which is very calm and seems a new-age song. What does it mean?

Joe - Soulfly V is always been Max’s cap. Soulfly’s song and in all the records are instrumental. It can be anything. Soulfly the song seams to be a melodic title song in a whole record characterized by tracks very violent. I think it come in cool, because it changes the style and shows an other side of the Soulfly’s sound.

M.M. - I think that a musician begins to play for passion but he also needs money for living. In your opinion, what is the border between a musician who plays only for passion and a musician who plays only for making money?

Joe - That’s very difficult answer because right now music is not what it use to be. It easy to get the record waits before even comes out and that happen to Soulfly and millions of others bands. You know, now there are bands and people that want to make money of course; everybody who does what they love to do want to make it living on it, obviously and musicians, I think, want to make money on what they do, you know, but at the same time if you get to consumed by making the money I think you’re forget about the passion. So, the first thing that you must have is the passion and working harder to make your music cool and it happens, you know, but then as success call and you maybe make billions of dollars you can lost the sense of reality and it’s ok! Some people who makes that, that’s great! That’s the business and it seams like now it is just kind of life.

M.M. - In every Soulfly’s album there’s always a massive presence of tribal rhythms. Why?

Joe - It was a Max’s intention when he began it. I think it’s a part of him, you know, even back when he started and did it with Sepultura, an heavy sound surrounded by tribal rhythms that remind to the nature’s sound and the power of the earth.

M.M. - Critics say that Soulfly is a “Nu Metal” band. Do you agree with them?

Joe - A Nu-metal band!? What is that mean!? Nu-metal!? It’s such a very trendy word to use for a group or a sound that they can’t describe as been heavy metal. They can’t say it’s heavy metal because it seams heavy metal but it isn’t heavy metal and “why don’t we call it Nu-metal?” and people in heavy-metal won’t call Nu-metal, heavy metal! See what I’m saying? So I think Nu-metal is just, you know, a word used to describe something they really don’t know what the hell it is.

M.M. - Like a brand…

Joe - Yeah I’m sure that many bands called Nu-metal band are good but I think really needs go back and think about what Max is and what Soulfly is because there are some sounds in Max’s experiment, for example on Primitive where you have sounds that you can call Nu-metal because there was rap, there was Folk… but to say that Soulfly is a Nu-metal band after Dark Ages came out, they don’t know what they’re talking about because they need listen Dark Ages to say Soulfly is involving to more. So I disagree with them because Soulfly is a heavy world music band and we are heavy metal.

M.M. - My last question is: Soulfly has seen the presence of different members in the lineup and you are an example of it. So, do you think the departure of different band members that have been in Soulfly, has affected the overall sound of the band?

Joe - I think that is a question that a fan can answer from himself, because obviously definitely there have been a change. I think in the Primitive record the band was completely different and here, with Dark Ages definitely is the change. Musically we can do more even if what we did back was really really cool but now, with this line-up, with Marc Rizo and Bobby Burnes, their influences, their experience in the musicianship contributed in something I think will go on.

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