Chad Bowar of About Heavy Metal recently conducted an interview with SOULFLY/CAVALERA CONSPIRACY frontman Max Cavalera. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
About Heavy Metal: How did the reunion with your brother Igor come about?
Max Cavalera: "Igor called me out of the blue. I hadn't talked to him in more than ten years. He called when I was on tour in Europe with SOULFLY. He talked to Gloria (Max's wife and manager) first because they needed to patch things up. It involved all of us. They had a really good talk about all that happened and how much he wanted to fix our friendship and brotherhood. That was great. When I talked to him I invited him to come to Arizona because it was the tenth anniversary of the Dana (Max's late stepson) show here in Phoenix. I thought it would be cool to hang out. He came over and we jammed the day of the show. That was sick. That was the birth of CAVALERA CONSPIRACY. Right after the show I told him I wanted to do a whole record with him. I lied and said I had all the songs ready, and I only had one. It was one of those good lies. Everything rolled from there. What I like about the CONSPIRACY is that nothing is really planned. One thing leads to another. There's no pressure and it feels like a different project than anything I've done."
About Heavy Metal: How did you decide on guitarist Marc Rizzo and bassist Joe Duplantier to complete the band?
Max Cavalera: "Marc was my choice from the beginning, because we play together in SOULFLY and musically we're like twin brothers. We really connect. I was talked to Marc about going back to the roots of the mid-'80s thrash I did with SEPULTURA. That was one of the most exciting periods in metal music. We wanted to bring some of that back with our own style. Marc was completely into it and he did great. He surpassed what I asked him to do. Joe was Gloria's idea. I did not know him at all. He became the dangerous part of CAVALERA CONSPIRACY. We had no idea who the guy is, he's from a different continent and we don't speak French. I did know the GOJIRA CD. But I like the element of surprise and danger Joe brought. We went right to the studio. We didn't know what to expect. Everything went well. He's a great guy and helped the record a lot. In the end it was a really killer chemistry between four people."
About Heavy Metal: On "Inflikted" it sounds like you blended SEPULTURA, SOULFLY and some new stuff.
Max Cavalera: "We used everything, really. We used things we picked up over the past ten years, and some new things. Logan (Mader) the engineer made the album sound super heavy, yet crystal clear. That's quite difficult in heavy music. But I really like the result. I was a bit of a dictator when it came to the music. Igor does DJing, and I had to be a dictator and tell him he couldn't bring any of that stuff onto the record. I'm a huge dub and reggae fan, and I dictated to myself as well. The old Max came back. When I was with SEPULTURA in the early days I was pretty radical like that. It was only heavy stuff no matter what. It was the opposite of what I normally do. It was fun to become a radical again for one record."
About Heavy Metal: Wasn't the band name originally going to be "INFLIKTED"?
Max Cavalera: "Yes. 'Inflikted' was the first song I wrote. It was supposed to go to the new SOULFLY album, but I couldn't resist doing the song with Igor. I suggested the name. It was inspired by the visit in 1992 to Indonesia with SEPULTURA where we saw a crazy ritual. There was self-inflicted pain, knives, blood, fire. It was insane. It stuck in my head. My wife Gloria was pregnant at the time and drank snake's blood. So every time our son acts crazy I tell her it's from the snake blood. The name came from that. I wrote the song before I was talking to Igor, but it was related to that trip to Indonesia. It was a crazy coincidence. But unfortunately we couldn't use 'INFLIKTED' as the band name. A lot of people had used it before, so I had to come up with something else. I just blurted out CAVALERA CONSPIRACY when trying to find a name, and Igor really liked it. I think I like it better than 'INFLIKTED'. It has a ring to it that connects me and Igor as two brothers back together."
About Heavy Metal: What are your expectations for "Inflikted"?
Max Cavalera: "Let it do what it does. I'm happy with the record. I hope that fans dig it. I'm going to get on the road and play a lot. Igor is ready to tour and we want to play this thing live."
About Heavy Metal: Will you keep doing SOULFLY along with CAVALERA CONSPIRACY?
Max Cavalera: "Yes. I recorded a lot of stuff for the next SOULFLY album. I did something that I knew I'd regret at the time, but like it later. I made two records at once. It was the way I did 'Chaos A.D.' and 'Nailbomb' in 1994. It's good for the music, because everything is flowing. One influenced the other. It's really stressful as a musician to come up with enough song ideas, lyric ideas, sound ideas for two records. It was painful, but it was cool. Both things are pretty much done. SOULFLY is being mixed now in England. It was a crazy year for me."
Read the entire interview at About Heavy Metal.