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Two Brothers Stand Re-United

Interview and all photos by: Brandon Marshall 


Back in late 1996 or early 1997, when I first heard that Max Cavalera left Sepultura, pissed off was an understatement between my friends and me. ďWhat will become of Sepultura?Ē, ďWhat is Max going to do?Ē was the topic for weeks. I became more shocked when I found out it had been several years since the brothers even spoke to one another, but others and I knew that the question was not if, but when. Blood is the strongest human tie on this earth, and we counted down the days for nearly 10 years. Back in 2006, rumors starting flying around that Max and Igor were back on speaking terms, and a project slowly stated to surface. In 2007, it was confirmed. The name was Cavalera Conspiracy, and the metal community was ecstatic that we would hear the Cavalera brotherís signature sound once again. Once the first album was released in 2008, it was evident that the brothers had the same musical passion, ability, and love for one another once again. In May of 2011, Cavalera Conspiracy released their second studio album, entitled Blunt Force Trauma, and is currently touring the world. This is the first half of the interview we conducted with Max Cavalera. To read the second half, youíll have to check out Rock Brigade Magazine.

"Playing With Igor To Me Is Something That Never Lost It's Magic, Itís There All the Time."


SONIC EXCESS: Do Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy each have a different meaning to you?

MAX CAVALERA: Quit 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. Itís what I do in Soulfly, and I love it. Cavalera is my own love of metal and playing with Igor. 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, ďLetís play the old shit, but letís create something new too.Ē I wrote Inflicted, and he was like ďOhh fuck yeah man!Ē

SE: 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. Itís there all the time. We can spend 10 years without doing it. When we get back to it, itís 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 Inflicted and really inspired to write with him again. It was like ďIím writing with my brother again!Ē, and thatís badass. We heard from all kind of people, from James Hetfield (Metallica) to Dave Grohl (The Foo Fighters), saying how cool it was that the brothers were back again. When you hear people from other bands commenting on it, itís great. That gave me a boost too. When it was time to go back into the studio and write Blunt Force Trauma, I was even more excited. It was like I turned myself into a Red Bull, full of energy, and said, ďLetís do this!Ē 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.

"I Think That Time Will Speak For Itself, When The Songs From Blunt Force Trauma Will Eventually Become Classics."


SE: To this day people are still in astonishment that you and Igor have reunited, even three years after the reunion. Are you still overwhelmed by the positive reaction?

MAX CAVALERA: Itís really good. I think that the band grew up a lot. It started as a Max and Igor project, and now itís really like a band with Mac (Rizzo/guitar) and Johnny (Chow/bass). Itís turning into a real band, and thatís what we wanted anyway. I wanted two bands. I wanted to have Soulfly and Cavalera, that I could switch my time between, and thatís what exactly what Iím doing.


SE: Have you given any serious thought to bringing in Igor for Soulfly?

MAX CAVALERA: I donít really think it would work. He would be great and destroy those songs. I like Cavalera; itís our own personal thing. We created it together from the beginning. We split everything together, from artwork to t-shirt designs, Igor and me. Itís cool like that, you know?

SE: There are so many metal elements in Blunt Force Trauma, from early death metal to groove metal. Did this unfold in the studio, or did you walk in with a template and say, ďI want the album to sound like thisĒ?

MAX CAVALERA: I wrote the first half by myself, and felt I was going into one direction, which was the fast sort of thrash influence. A lot of stuff happened in the studio with everybody together; thatís when the magic happens. When you are in a room and everyone starts jamming, and a song gets built piece by piece until you have a full song, everyone is excited, like Warlord. Thatís was one of those songs that just came out, and it blew me away. Every morning we would go into the studio and start off the day with Warlord to get us excited. Thatís how it became the first song on the record, because we played it every day.

SE: 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, thatís when you can really measure how good this album was.

SE: Speaking of Genghis Khan, you took a different lyrical approach with that track.

MAX CAVALERA: Yeah, I was trying to tell the history of the man. It was a movie, I think called Mongol. It was really violent and cool. It told the whole story. I made the lyrics based on the movie, and it was really like a biography on Genghis Khan. It was fun to do. I never really did history things like that before. It was cool to go into history.

SE: For lyrical themes, is that something you would do again?

MAX CAVALERA: I probably would do it again, because I had fun doing it. There is a little bit of research involved, but itís fun.

"I Threw Water In Their Faces And Was Like ďFu*k You, Mother Fu*ker!.Ē


SE: 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 Iím 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. Iím not like the president; Iím reachable. But, I do like the kind of mysteriousness that I keep.

SE: Do you have any last words?


MAX CAVALERA: Thank you to all the fans. This tour is going great. It has been amazing, even the California shows.

SE: Even without Igor? (Igor missed his flight due to visa issues for the first dates on the tour.)

MAX CAVALERA: (Laughs) Yeah, the ones we had to do with Greg Hall of Sacred Reich, and my kids played drums. They saved the night. It was funny. I forced them to play, and they were scared. Iím glad they did those shows; it was real good for them. They did L.A. and San Francisco. San Francisco didnít like them as much as L.A., but I told them there were going to be days like that. I told them of my story when I opened for Black Sabbath in Finland. The crowd was all old, fat bikers, and they were like ďFuck you, we want Ozzy!Ē I threw water in their faces and was like ďFuck you, mother fucker!Ē (laughs).








































































































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