"The Cavalera Conspiracy is about a|
sense of being unleashed," says vocalist/guitarist Max Cavalera. "You
bottle a monster for 10 years and then let it out. It's explosive, and we waited a long time for this beast to be
It's true. The wait is over. And the time is now. Many said it would never happen,
that Max and Iggor Cavalera, the Brazilian brothers and visionaries that
formed the groundbreaking metal band Sepultura in 1983 would reunite to make
electrifying music together again. Despite having spent 12 years apart, the
inescapable fact remains: Max and Iggor share blood and are musical soulmates.
Their time away from each other fostered musical growth leading to the newly
inspired metallic magic. Hence, the Cavalera Conspiracy was born. While the
Cavalera Conspiracy and their Roadrunner Records debut Inflikted may seem like the closest we'll get to a Sepultura reunion, make no
mistake. The Cavalera Conspiracy is its own maniacal, untamable beast with its
own set of rules.
Iggor sums up their musical connection,
simply stating, "We don't need to speak. We look at each other and we know.
With one look, we know if we're going in the right direction." That's how
clearly they understand one another.
Max continues, "There was over 10 years of
not seeing or talking to each other at all, which is a long ass time. That's
what made it more special when it did finally happen. While we were working
together, I was thinking about how the last time I saw him, I was on a tour
bus, after my last show with Sepultura at the Brixton Academy. Fast forward and
I'm picking him up at the airport in Phoenix. It was heavy and emotional.
Obviously, all those feelings, along with years of musical history, came
flooding back, and once the personal relationship was restored, the musical one
began to take shape.
The first seeds of the Max/Iggor reunion
were planted when the duo played together at the Dana Tribute show, an annual
benefit played for Max's slain stepson. "I was playing with Iggor at a show
that was so meaningful," Max admits. "We got to play ‘Roots' and ‘Attitude,'
which is a song I wrote with Dana. From
that point on, I couldn't help myself. I knew I wanted to record with him
again. I had not done a ‘project' since Nailbomb, which was a long time ago.
Iggor loved the idea. With no name, I just wrote songs all day long. We had to
find musicians, and set the mood so we could just write a kick ass record."
Iggor has similar fond memories of that show and that feeling, "Once we hit the
first note, it felt like a bomb had dropped on stage. From that moment on, I
knew we needed to do something together musically."
"We reunited as a family first. Naturally, music came next. At first, we had no
idea we would do music again. I have my own new project, and that takes so much
of my time. I had no plans at all of going back and doing a metal project. But
at the same time, it was natural to play again with Max." Max compares the
situation to The Godfather Part III, exclaiming, "Just when Al Pacino
thought he was out, his family pulled him right back into the shit again!
That's what I did: I pulled him right back."
recruited Gojira guitarist Joe Duplantier to play bass. Guitarist Marc Rizzo, who plays
guitar in Max's main band Soulfly, was enlisted to play guitar. The duo
purposely chose more up and coming musicians, because they didn't want to
detract from the music. "We didn't want big names," Max says. "It was about me
and Iggor finding ourselves. This is about the music. We found cool musicians
without pretension, who wanted to go into the studio and just kick ass."
Once recording commenced, Max brought a
bunch of songs he had written. Album opener "Inflikted" is an urgent, thrashy
anthem designed for the most riotous moshpits, while "Sanctuary" has a classic Beneath
The Remains-era Sepultura vibe. Max says, "I brought the tracks to the
studio without the fury. Iggor put his ‘thunder drums' on top of it and it
became something else!" Although Iggor exited Sepultura and is working on his
electronic music project, that familiar feeling coursed through his veins when
he sat down to track drums. "We had no pressure on our backs. The most
important thing is that we were happy in the studio; we worked a lot and it was
a blast. That translates into the music," Iggor says.
When describing the sonic assault that is "Black Ark," Max states,
"I think "Black Ark" is the most different song on Inflikted.
My son Richie, was the first vocalist to sing on it and he set the pace for a
different vocal pattern that Joe and I picked up on. It made the track
more unique than the other songs."
About half way into the album, the brothers
Cavalera hit you over the head with the brutal "Ultra-Violent" which features Rex
Brown of Down and Pantera on bass.
"I think I gave him a very exciting, different song to work on, more of
a death metal vibe. We had a great time talking about our old metal
adventures," says Max.
By the time the record was finished, Max
knew that they had recaptured the magic. "My brother makes the drums sound like
thunder like no one else. Not many musicians can grab a kit and change the sound
and personality of the drums, but he can.
It's fucking scary." While the Soulfly and Sepultura comparisons will
undoubtedly - natch - arise, both brothers contend that the Cavalera Conspiracy
is different because their tastes and influences have grown over the years.
There's less of a world vibe on Inflikted, but its every bit as
dangerous, thanks to its "fuck the world" attitude. "Why do I get goosebumps when listening to this? I don't want to
know," says Max.
According to Iggor, Inflikted's balance of the old and the new is what he loves about it and he thinks
metalheads across the globe will share the same notion. "When I listen to the
album, it sounds old school, but new in its own way," he says. "It's a mix of
both worlds. We both listened to so much different music during the time apart.
Here, we each had our own input, so it came out different than back in the
Summing up their personal chemistry, which
is palpable on the booming "Bloodbrawl" and the uber thrash attack "Terrorize,"
Max says, "I'm crazy. I used to drink. I talk. He is quiet. He has never drank
before. It's this weird combo that becomes lethal together. You either like it
or hate it, but you can't ignore it. We're like a bomb."