The self-titled debut album from KILLER BE KILLED, the new band comprised of Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, ex-SEPULTURA),Greg Puciato (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN),Troy Sanders (MASTODON) and Dave Elitch (ex-THE MARS VOLTA),sold around 5,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 58 on The Billboard 200 chart.
"Killer Be Killed" was released on May 13 (one day earlier internationally) via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. The CD was produced and mixed by Josh Wilbur, whose credits include work with GOJIRA, LAMB OF GOD, HATEBREED, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ESCAPE THE FATE, P!NK and STEVE EARLE. Cover art and packaging was executed by Ryan Clark of Invisible Creature Design, the Grammy-nominated design firm whose clients include ALICE IN CHAINS, FOO FIGHTERS, CHRIS CORNELL, DEVILDRIVER, MONSTER MAGNET, WOLFMOTHER and DEMON HUNTER.
"He's a Polish worker in the back of a dark truck, but he looked like a criminal to me," explains Clark about his choice for the cover's image. "Multiplying his face seemed to give him a sort of split personality/schizophrenic vibe, which feels like a good mesh. Not just for the band name but the idea of a (for the lack of a better term) supergroup."
"Killer Be Killed" track listing:
01. Wings Of Feather And Wax
02. Face Down
03. Melting Of My Marrow
04. Snakes of Jehova
05. Curb Crusher
06. Save The Robots
07. Fire To Your Flag
09. Dust Into Darkness
10. Twelve Labors
11. Forbidden Fire
12. Ghosts Of Chernobyl (vinyl-only bonus track)
MetalSucks placed Puciato at #1 on their list of the Top 25 Modern Metal Frontmen, but he also expresses himself through the dark electro-pop of THE BLACK QUEEN, together with NINE INCH NAILS touring guitarist Josh Eustis of TELEFON TEL AVIV and Maynard James Keenan's PUSCIFER. Puciato made a guest appearance in 2012 with MIXHELL, the DJ project of Max's brother, SEPULTURA co-founder Igor Cavalera.
Cavalera is no stranger to collaborations, of course, having invited multiple guests onto SEPULTURA's genre-defining "Roots" and SOULFLY's gold-selling debut album in 1998. One such SOULFLY guest, Chino Moreno, has often joined Puciato onstage with both THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN and DEFTONES. Max was one-half of the incendiary NAILBOMB, together with English record producer and FUDGE TUNNEL mastermind Alex Newport. The pair released one studio album in 1993 and performed a blistering set at the Dynamo festival in 1995.
"We did the song on SOULFLY's 'Omen' and then we started talking about doing an entire album together, the way he had with Alex Newport," Puciato explains. "We eventually got together with some riffs we both had and wrote a bunch more material in a 72-hour blast out in the desert. We left with about 15 demos we made using the same drum machine and four track Max used working on 'Chaos A.D.'"
Cognizant of the reputation both of them have cultivated after working with some of the world's best drummers, Puciato called upon David Elitch, who had toured internationally with the mind-bendingly psychedelic group THE MARS VOLTA. His expertise in everything from jazz to metal has led to live and studio collaborations with a diverse range of major artists including Justin Timberlake, French electronic wizards M83 and Norwegian singer-songwriter Susanne Sundfør.
KILLER BE KILLED has come together even as their main projects hit a collective stride: Max released his ninth studio album with SOULFLY, "Savages", to many of the strongest reviews of his legendary career. THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN's "One Of Us Is The Killer" debuted at #1 on Billboard's Hard Rock Album chart last year. MASTODON's most recent album, "The Hunter", was Album Of The Year in Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Rock Sound, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Total Guitar in 2011.
MASTODON and THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN have toured together many times. During one such tour in the U.S., in late 2011, Puciato was telling Sanders about the new project. Before too long, Sanders and Cavalera were meeting at a festival in South America for the first time: "Hey, I'm Troy. And I think we're in a band together."
The electric chemistry was apparent the first time they all assembled. "Having met, created and recorded an album together, this experience has easily exceeded my initial expectations," says Sanders. "The collective energy and mutual respect for one another eased the entire process and has been very therapeutic for me."
KILLER BE KILLED is:
Greg Puciato - vocals, guitar
Max Cavalera - vocals, guitar
Troy Sanders - vocals, bass
Dave Elitch - drums
Photo credit: Glen La Ferman