Max Cavalera – Vocals, Guitar
Iggor Cavalera – Drums, Percussion
Marc Rizzo – Lead Guitar
Johny Chow – Bass
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 set free."
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
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
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."
Iggor continues, "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."
The brothers 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
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 day."
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."
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