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Cavalera Conspiracy

De broertjes Max en Iggor Cavalera zijn al een poosje samen de baan op met hun Return To The Roots tour. Tijd en inspiratie genoeg om hun project Cavalera Conspiracy nog eens boven te halen. ‘Psychosis’ is hun nieuwste album. Zowel Max als Iggor hadden tijd om ons te woord te staan. Iggor vanuit Groot-Brittannië. Door het verschil in tijdszones kwam Max er een achttal uur later aan te pas. Dit rechtstreeks vanuit de tourbus tijdens de Noord-Amerikaanse tour met Nailbomb.

Door: Koen W. | Archiveer onder speed / thrash metal

Hey Iggor, Nice to talk to you. How are you?
Good man, really good.

Psychosis is already the fourth Cavalera Conspiracy album and on every album the band shows a different style. Is that a condition to make an album or do you have so much inspiration?
I think it is a matter of me and Max to find a right time. We are so busy with different projects so sometimes we really had to find a time to do something with Cavalera Conspiracy. So that is how it work. Finding the time to work with each other.

I heard a thrash album with a lot of modern influences. Is this the metal of the twenty first century?
Well, we like to progress as musicians so yes off course. We are very proud of the things that we have done in the past. And we never forget where we came from. But it is always good to do some things in a different way like as we do it right now. So we want to do it like we felt like now and not like we did it in the past. And that is a good combination.

What was your input in the writing process on the album?
Well, writing an album with Cavalera is mostly is Max and me. We come together and put an idea and a structure in the songs. And then I come up with a lot of drum parts and Max comes up with a lot of guitar riffs. So it is a combination of both parts. And off course Max comes up a bit later with a whole part of lyrics and vocal parts. And then Marc Rizzo comes up with the leads. That is pretty much how we wrote the album. And then we invite someone for doing the bass.

And that one was Arthur Rizk?
Yes. He was also the producer and a good friend of me. Usually we have a guest on bass. We already had Joe from Gojira and in the past we had Nate from Converge. This time it was a lot easier because Arthur was also the producer. We like all the bands that he played in so that was very cool.

In the metal scene you have a lot of pure technical drummers who sound great but with no feeling of soul. Your drumming style is very intense and full of feeling and spirit. Is that a hard and difficult way when you play one hour or more?
No, it is not that difficult because it is a natural thing. For me playing drums is like an extension of myself. It is almost like a mirror of myself. So that is the way like I see my drumming. It is powerful and at the same time it has a lot of energy and soul in it. Off course the technical part is important but that comes at the time. And then there is off course the research and looking for new things and trying them out. That is important to me.

You are from Brazil. Lived in the States, in Belgium and now in London. Are you a kind of a world traveler?
I consider myself as a citizen of the world. And all the places that you mention, I just love them. But at the same time, I am a person who likes to move and like to appreciate different places. That's the reason why I move so much.

You toured very intense with the 'Return To Roots Tour'. I saw you this time three times. And at the festivals, there were a lot of fans who weren’t even born when the album came out. How do you stay up to date in the music?
I think it’s cool that a lot of stuff that we did years ago are still relevant to people. For me it is super important to keep touring and playing. And then Max had the idea for the Return To Roots. It was fun to do it. But I want to be honest to you. I want to play the new Cavalera stuff a lot more than the stuff that we already did in the past.

I hear a lot of your style in Zyon Cavalera. Are you proud that the Cavalera heritage is still alive and kicking?
Yes, that is very important to me. That our kids are involved with arts in general. The kids of me and Max are not only in the music but are also performing in another artistic way then music by writing books and taking pictures. They are all very artistic and that makes me proud. And then off course Zyon playing as a drummer with Soulfly. And the reason is that he is working very hard. That is the same thing like I did it. He practices a lot and tries different things. I was the guy with the blisters and he also has them. He earned them.

There will come a day that Max will go on with Soulfly. So what are your plans then?
I actually play with a Belgian band this year: Soulwax. And I did a lot of touring with them. We are planning to do a new record and to do some touring. So Cavalera is important and after it we do other things. Max is doing Soulfly and Killer Be Killed and I still had another project Mixwell. It is just a matter of putting together our schedules. I hope that we do some tours with Cavalara next year. That includes festivals and some club stuff. Even Sout America and Asia.

What questions make you think ‘oh no, not that shit again?’
For me a good interview is like a conversation. It is not like somebody asks you some questions and I answer without any continuity in the talk. The second is that the person knows what he is talking about. You can also put some new in it and then it is like talking to a friend. Like all the talking about Sepultura. That is becoming boring. It is not worth the energy.

You lived in Belgium and worked a lot with the Dewaele Brothers. You even drummed in Soulwax. You even work as a DJ. What kind of music is on your turn table?
I first thought that they were your cousins because I saw the name and thought that you were related. But I listen to a lot of different stuff. And that includes a lot of electronic music. Especially when it comes from the underground. But two of my favorite records right now are Goat from Sweden. They are amazing and they experiment with a lot of percussion. And there is this new hardcore band Fireburn with that old singer from Bad Brains. That is really good stuff like oldschool hardcore.

But what is the music that you play when you are performing as a DJ?
That is a lot of electronics with industrial in it. Some experimental parts. That is the DJ set that I do.

Was that in input for all the fusion and industrial sounds on ‘Psychosis’?
Yes off course. That is something that comes out with the collaboration with Justin from Godflesh. And all the in between songs that we did with Dominic from Vatican Shadow. Even if people don’t like it, it’s still fine.

You lived or had an apartment in Ghent. What is the nicest part of Belgium that you miss the most?
I am keep going to Ghent all the time. I have a common friend, Dwight from Integrety. I love Ghent. Not only Ghent but Belgium in general. It has a good vibe and not like other places in Europe where people are so intrusive. Belgians are a lot like Brazilians and that is more laid-back. We don’t take ourselves to serious and that is just fine. Belgium is very important in the music industry. They are very open minded.

So I thank you a lot for your time. I will speak to your brother in a couple of hours. And maybe when I see you in Ghent, I will buy you a real Belgian Duvel or waffle?
(laughs) Say hey to Max to me when you call him. And some Belgian frites are fine for me.

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Hey Max, how are you? And of course how is the rest of the Cavalera family?
You are calling from Belgium? I am on a tourbus so I hope we can hear each other. Everybody is good. We are on tour with Nailbomb in America. Zyon and Igor are here. Ritchie is going on tour later. And we are doing a birthday party for Gloria.

Here we are about the new Cavalera Conspiracy album ‘Psychosis’. For me it’s already the thrash album of the year. Killer riffs, lyrics, singing, drumming, and a lot of industrial elements. How did you came to this sound?
I think it came out of the roots tour and going to the studio. What we felt on the roots tour were all those crazy high energy shows. We just went to the studio and tried to match all that energy in this record. And I think 'Psychosis' is full of adrenaline, noises and some industrial stuff. It was fun to create. We came out with some good stuff and from all the Cavalera Conspiracy this is one of my favorites.

‘Terror Tactics’ is very up to date and dark. And the worst part is that it became reality in our civilized and democratic world. The last part is filled with a lot of industrial. Who had the idea to involve those industrial elements?
At first we wanted to write an album about terrorism. But when we started to write there were other songs. So let’s say 50 percent songs about terrorism and 50 percent about other stuff. We live in a crazy world right now. And that is hard to understand. This whole terrorism thing is frightening people and fear and tried to scare everybody. Everybody is afraid of everything. So we tried to write some songs about it. So ‘Terror Tactics’ and ‘Insane’ and ‘Impalement Execution’ and ‘Hellfire’ are about war. But the most important is that we are not trying to change our life about this. And our most important is still continue with touring and playing. See what happened to Paris and Belgium. We just want to go back to those places and play. People had to see and hear the music. Even under the threats. We have to continue our lives because otherwhile we are lost.

And then there is 'Judah Pariah'. That is just the fastest and hardest song of you I ever heard.
Betrayal is a hard thing to swallow. No matter how long it takes. This is really a hard song about betrayal and it is really a black metal song with the black metal riffs and Iggor his drumming is just out of control. It is also has an amazing ending and is one of my favorites.

Artur Risk was the guest for the bass and a lot of keyboards, he did the engineering, mastering and he is very busy. Can we see him with the tour or would it be someone else?
It is gonna be somebody else. Artur is really busy. But we don’t worry about it right now. The touring will be for next year. But he did a great job. The bass and the keyboards sounds amazing.

The artwork from Péter Sallai shows an angry African warrior with warpaint and a lot of rage. What is the picture behind this?
It was an original picture from Haïti. It was a voodoo priest on the street. The album was originally called 'Massacre'. We tried to buy the picture but the lady who took it would not sell it. So Napalm Records said that they would look for someone who would paint it. He has a true feeling of a warrior. That is just cool. He is not from any specific tribe but from all the tribes. His mouth screaming and his eyes are just so strong and that is how the album sounds. There were a lot of records calling 'Massacre'. We wanted a more wild definition. Now it sounds really angry, powerful and out of control. So 'Psychosis' was the best thing to call the album.

'Inflicted' was a very groovy thrash album. 'Blunt Force Trauma' went more to the hardcore and agressive sound. 'Pandemonium' was more an old Sepultura album and now you have a lot of industrial in it. Is it a rule that Cavalara Conspiracy evolves and renewes themselves with every album?
Yes Cavalera is a bit like brothers playing metal to the core. But there is a lot of metal in our soul. Like industrial metal and noise metal. It is a classical mix between death metal and thrash metal.

You spend a lot of time with Iggor on the Return To Roots tour. Was that the ideal moment to write and record an album together?
We get a lot of ideas together. So the working with Artur was one of them. We did the working together with Ice-T on his new Body Count album and after that the idea was there to make a new Cavalera Conspiracy album. But touring with roots was good. And coming in the studio when we were still high of the tour but it was such a great tour.

Your lyrics are very up to date and dark. Where did you find the most of the inspiration?
I do both of them. I am not that crazy about writing lyrics. I like more the riff stuff. But it is necessary. I tried to do the best that I have. After the years it is still more difficult to look for new subjects. But now with Donald Trump and others it is like ammunition to write stuff. And then there are still the music. Like ‘Crom’ is from Conan the Barbarbian and ‘Spectral Wars’ is about a spiritual war. And off course 'Hellfire' is about the drone war and how they use them to create war. It is like playing video games but it kills people in reality. Godflesh and Justin from the band took care of that industrial sound. Like Nailbomb and Ministry. War is an addiction that people have in their souls.

And now, when do you start with touring?
Now we are touring with Nailbomb. Next year we start touring with Cavalera Conspiracy. And I have to do some writing for Soulfly next year.

You have a few different bands. Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, Nailbomb and a part in Killer Be Killed. Is it difficult to give each band his own style and genre and to maintain that? How do you put yourself in the zone of all those different bands and projects you write music for?
That is what it makes a little bit fun. I have a difference about them. I am always different on each band. It is good to have some energy for all those projects. And I have already some new projects for next year. So keep looking.

How would you compare the drumming of Zyon and Iggor?
I like playing with the two of them. My brother and my son. They are two different drummers but they also had a lot in common. And that is drumming and hitting very hard. They put their heart in the drumming. Zyon has a big feature in him. He recorded the new Soulfy album and he is becoming much better. Now Lody Kong is working very hard. Igor is making writing books. He wrote a book called ’Killing My Insommnia'. And that is already to buy on amazon. He has a different outlet in the artistic way.

So thank you a lot for your time. I hope to see you on tour with Cavalera Conspiracy next year.
Allright my brother, take care.

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