Cavalera Conspiracy: No Hip Hop, No Shit, Just Metal

We want Cavalera Conspiracy to be ‘Metal As Fuck’ like you guys.

Max Cavalera’s career as a heavy metal musician has spanned nearly three decades; from the beginnings in Belo Horizonte, Brazil with Sepultura, to (my personal favourite) Soulfly, the tribal assault inspired by war, violence, hatred and aggression and to the icon’s latest thrash project, Cavalera Conspiracy with formerly divided brother Iggor Cavalera. Cavalera Conspiracy is the culmination of the Cavalera brothers. Estranged for ten years, the brothers embarked on a highly anticipated project millions thought would never be seen. Thirty years….. How does one even begin?

Max, thank you for taking the time out to chat this morning. So what has the remainder of the year have in store for you? "I'm currently home in Phoenix, Arizona for the holidays, Just finished up a US tour two weeks ago and I'm finalising the mixing for the next Soulfly release, Enslaved, due out around March 2012".

Cavalera Conspiracy, the reuniting of two much loved and respected musicians. Did you ever think you would have the opportunity to work with Iggor again? "I always hoped so, even in the ten year break. I loved playing music with Iggor and I wanted to make music with him again. Growing up as teenagers in Brazil, playing together got us out of Brazil and into music, it was a great feeling. We took a chance, new band, new music – we specifically picked the members, like Marc Rizzo [Soulfly] was a definite, he knows my style of music. We didn’t want any outside influences, we had an idea, we wanted to make good heavy metal you know, not hip hop, no shit, just metal".

Did playing with Iggor the first few times bring back any moments of nostalgia? "Yeah it was weird – the first time we jammed in over ten years was before a Soulfly show in Phoenix a few years back, Iggor played two songs including Roots, once we took to the stage it’s like time had stopped and the last ten years hadn’t existed, he is such a natural, we connected on stage it was really great. This show inspired me to write material for Inflikted and develop the sound of Cavalera Conspiracy".   

What were your original thoughts releasing Cavalera Conspiracy on the world? What was your outlook? "In the beginning everyone was sort of amazed we were back together, a lot of musicians were so happy - “so cool to see you guys back together” they’d say - the main thing for me though is to be all about the music, focus on the quality of the material for the release – the reason why Inflikted was such a powerful album was because of all the positive energy behind it. The last ten years ultimately made the debut album, because of all that pent up anger, I was pissed off for ten years not being able to play or talk to my brother you know, it was all released on Inflikted".

Do you feel from the experiences you both have shared as musicians both together and individually that you are reinventing the wheel with Cavalera Conspiracy or picking up where you left off in 1996? "I like what we do, it’s what people expect from the Cavalera brothers you know, the music is natural with honest riffs, we create a sound which is not false, and it’s coming from a good place. Songs like Sanctuary are fucking great live, together with the new stuff. Cavalera Conspiracy is more brutal, fast and aggressive and Iggor can still drum like an animal. This is the Cavalera brothers".

It's inevitably going to happen – music journalists/reviewers making reference to Inflikted as revisiting the post sounds of Chaos AD and that Inflikted should have succeeded Roots with Sepultura, how do view your music being weighed against Sepultura, still to this day? "Naturally my music will always be compared to Sepultura, its fine, I’m really proud of the albums I made with the band, Arise & Beneath the Remains are fucking brutal albums, yet Cavalera Conspiracy can stand up against Sepultura, just as powerful, both bands are neck and neck in my opinion. Both bands are in two different worlds, Sepultura in one and Cavalera Conspiracy in the other, I love both worlds and I love all the records I’ve made as a musician".

Big Day Out 2012! - discuss. "I always get excited for a tour, Big Day Out next year will be great, we will be closing off the latest album [Blunt Force Trauma] and it’s going to be a brutal farewell to Cavalera Conspiracy for the year. Then it’s back to Soulfly for pretty much the remainder of 2012. Cavalera Conspiracy…. We’ll keep making records".

My time with Max drew to a close, an abrupt cutoff actually, I still had hundreds of questions for this iconic prodigy but as I said, a thirty year career spanning from major forces of death and thrash metal of Sepultura in the eighties, who’s influence on the world of heavy metal melding hardcore, punk and industrial and tribal fusion to the biggest reuniting I will ever witness; Cavalera Conspiracy …. where does one begin…..