MAX CAVALERA: Playing With IGOR Is Something That Never Lost Its Magic

Brandon Marshall of Sonic Excess recently conducted an interview with Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Sonic Excess: Do SOULFLY and CAVALERA CONSPIRACY each have a different meaning to you?

Max Cavalera: Quite different. SOULFLY, for me, is jamming with different people from time to time and bringing in different elements of metal. With SOULFLY, I like to go around the world, get different music, and put it together with metal. It’s what I do in SOULFLY, and I love it. CAVALERA is my own love of metal and playing with Igor [Max‘s brother and former SEPULTURA bandmate]. I wanted to play with Igor, and I missed playing with Igor for 10 years. It was the hardest 10 years of my life. When we got back together, I said to him, “Let’s play the old shit, but let’s create something new too.” I wrote [the song] “Inflikted”, and he was like, “Oh, fuck yeah, man!”

Sonic Excess: When you got back together with Igor, was it like it was in the old days? Did you have the magic back right away?

Max Cavalera: Very much. Playing with Igor, to me, is like something that never lost its magic. It’s there all the time. We can spend 10 years without doing it. When we get back to it, it’s right back; it never goes away. It was really easy on the writing side of it, too. I was pretty inspired when I was writing [the debut CAVALERA CONSPIRACY album] “Inflikted” and really inspired to write with him again. It was like, “I’m writing with my brother again!” and that’s badass. We heard from all kind of people, from James Hetfield [METALLICA] to Dave Grohl [FOO FIGHTERS], saying how cool it was that the brothers were back again. When you hear people from other bands commenting on it, it’s great. That gave me a boost, too. When it was time to go back into the studio and write [the sophomore CAVALERA CONSPIRACY album] “Blunt Force Trauma”, I was even more excited. It was like I turned myself into a Red Bull, full of energy, and said, “Let’s do this!” “Blunt Force Trauma” was written in this super-hype condition, a lot of fast songs, super-thrash-influenced. It also has a groove that we had inside of us from the early SEPULTURA days, with songs like “Desperate Cry”, “Dead Embryonic Cells”, and “Murder”. There is a Max and Igor groove that is really contagious, and I wanted to have that back in CAVALERA CONSPIRACY with the fast stuff.

Sonic Excess: Have you given any serious thought to bringing in Igor for SOULFLY?

Max Cavalera: I don’t really think it would work. He would be great and destroy those songs. I like CAVALERA; it’s our own personal thing. We created it together from the beginning. We split everything together, from artwork to t-shirt designs, Igor and me. It’s cool like that, you know?

Sonic Excess: Looking back on “Blunt Force Trauma”, how did that album compare, in your view, with your back catalog?

Max Cavalera: I think it goes toe-to-toe with everything I have done in the past. I think that time will speak for itself, when the songs from “Blunt Force Trauma” will eventually become classics like “Warlord”, “Genghis Khan”, and “Thrasher”. When this album slows down, and the new one comes in, that’s when you can really measure how good this album was.

Sonic Excess: What is something that people may not know about you, or a misconceived notion about you?

Max Cavalera: (Long pause) People have the idea that I am hard to find, and I’m hard to reach. That is half-true, because I do spend a lot of time on the bus. I get off the bus for sound check. So if someone wants to meet me, they can. I’m not like the president; I’m reachable. But I do like the kind of mysteriousness that I keep.

Read the entire interview at Sonic Excess.

Quality fan-filmed video footage of CAVALERA CONSPIRACY‘s May 2, 2011 concert at Gothic Theatre in Denver, Colorado can be viewed below.