When it comes to my favorite guitar players on the planet, Marc Rizzo‘s name is always near the top of the list. From watching his career with bands like Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy, to his impressive solo catalog, he can simply do it all. Whether you want a face melting solo, a riff to break your neck to, or a Flamenco medley that will completely change your concept of the acoustic guitar, Marc has simply perfected his signature style, and continues to grow into one of the greats of our time. He recently kicked off his new solo U.S. tour (dates here), and we were there front row and center to witness the insanity (view our live photos here)! Before the set I got to speak with Marc on the current solo schedule, the upcoming Cavalera Conspiracy album, 2014 plans and more! Read it all below!

Metal Mark- Welcome back to NYC Marc. You’ve been out on the road it seems like forever, but it’s gotta feel good to be back home?

Marc Rizzo- Totally man. I love touring the world, of course, but being close to home and my family is always awesome.

MM- This is the kick off show for your new solo tour. You’ve done numerous solo tours before, so can we expect the same insanity on these dates?

MR-Yeah I’m doing a lot of my typical instrumental stuff you know. I’m also doing a lot of cover songs and all the acoustic stuff. It’s pretty much the typical show that I usually do, so hopefully I’m getting better at it, man. I’m trying.

MM- I think you’re doing okay man. You definitely don’t suck.

MR- Good. That’s what I try to avoid (laughs).

MM- Since “Legionnaire,” you’ve released around two or three solo songs a year, but we haven’t heard much about a new full solo length album. Is that still in the works or are you going to continue releasing the singles live you have been?

MR-The next solo record is definitely still in the works. I ran out of money (laughs). I’m not begging for money like most bands do though. When I get around to it, I’ll finish the full record. It’s really cool man. I did it with my buddy Zeuss who did the Soulfly, “Enslaved” record, and so many others. He’s incredible and he did an amazing job with it. Honestly, it’s one of the best records I’ve ever made. It’s got some of my favorite riffs and guitar playing on it, so hopefully I can get it out soon because I’m really really proud of that record.

MM- Very cool. Speaking of future releases, you recently completed recording the next Cavalera Conspiracy album. We’ve heard from Max that it’s the heaviest and most brutal album the band’s ever done. Do you agree with that?

MR-It’s Cavalera Conspiracy at our best. It’s the third record for us, so the songwriting has gotten stronger, and we’ve gotten better as players. The last two were heavy as hell and this one if definitely just as heavy if not heavier. It’s got some really cool stuff on it, and I think fans will really love it. I’m excited for it to come out and get out there and start touring for it! These songs will crush live!

MM- Like you said, it’s your third record with the Cavalera brothers. Knowing how much of an influence they had on the metal scene, and you personally, do you ever still sit back and go “Holy shit I’m playing in a band with the brothers,” or are you used to it by now?

MR- It’s still trippy man. I grew up listening to the brothers, like most metal kids did ya know. To be in the studio, working with them for the third time, it’s a trip man. Still to this day, it still hasn’t really registered in my mind. I’m in a band with the brothers. We’re making records together. It’s weird, it’s trippy, but it’s one of my favorite projects I’ve done. But yea, it still blows my mind sometimes.

MM- Very cool. You’ve been with Max since 2003 when you joined Soulfly. In that decade with Max, being his right hand man like you have been, what is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from him in all these years?

MR- Just keep trucking’ away. That’s it. Keep touring, keep putting records out and stay busy. He’s a workhorse. People have an idea about how busy he is with all his side projects, but it’s really unbelievable how much he has going on. The dude is just a legend in every way. I try to do the same thing with Soulfy, Cavalera Conspiracy and my own projects. Just keep moving. That’s definitely the biggest thing I’ve learned from Max.

MM- Keeping on that topic of keeping busy. Obviously you are here for a bit with this solo tour, but what else do you have lineup for 2014 that you can talk about?

MR- I do this tour here around the U.S., and then Soulfly is going to Russia with KoRn for about 3 or 4 weeks, so that should be interesting and fun as hell.

MM- How many times have you been to Russia now, because a lot of people never get the chance to tour there?

MR- I’ve been there about four or five times. It’s always a trip to go there man. Russia’s a crazy place to visit and play. The fans go nuts out there, plus I think right from there we continue with Soulfly in Europe doing a bunch of festivals. We’re doing a couple of festivals out there with Black Sabbath, Faith No More, and more, which is just a dream come true. So yea, as soon as this tour ends, I’ll probably be home for like 3 days or something, then going right over to Russia, be gone from mid May until mid July, and maybe come back after that. It’s crazy man. Keep moving man!

MM- That’s the idea. Thanks for taking out the time before the set tonight. Do you have anything else you’d like to say to the fans out there?

MR- Thanks for all the support throughout the years. Whether it’s in the bands I’ve been a part of or my solo stuff, thank you for the love. The new Cavalera Conspiracy is definitely coming to break some skulls this year, so keep a look out for that, as well as any Soulfly dates in your town. Somehow, some way I’ll be near your town this year hopefully, so come rage!