Cavalera Conspiracy - Iggor Cavalera

Cavalera Conspiracy - Iggor Cavalera

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Today, the new CAVALERA CONSPIRACY album “Psychosis” hit the stores and it is a solid piece of Thrash with the two brothers working their magic in the studio. A couple of hours before dawn, METAL KAOZ had the following Skype session with Iggor Cavalera to get a hearty scoop of how the record was made and find out more about the brothers’ future plans. Read on.


Cavalera Conspiracy - Iggor Cavalera

Hi Iggor and welcome back to METAL KAOZ. How are you?
I am good, man - how is it going?

I am great, thank you. Are you excited seeing “Psychosis” been released today?
Yeah, I am very excited seeing the album out, finally!

Before started talking about the new album, I’d like to comment on how I saw you and Max performing during the ‘Roots’ tour; you looked like you had a great time onstage.
It was a fun record to do and nowadays I am trying to have as much fun as I can with my brother. And I think with this CAVALERA record, it will be even more fun, since these are songs we wrote together, so it is going to be cool. I am really looking forward to this.

While watching the show, I was thinking that these guys should make a new record soon, and now, here we are with “Psychosis”; how the energy from this tour playing the entire “Roots” album affected your songwriting?
Well, it didn’t really affect that much. Of course, when me and Max are playing together, we try to have as you said, fun. However, “Psychosis” is very different from what we were doing at the ‘Roots’ tour, musically speaking. I don’t think there is a lot from the “Roots” album in “Psychosis; maybe in one song where I brought back some of the tribal elements, but that’s about it. Like through the whole record, I think the ‘Roots’ tours influenced us only from the energy aspect, but not our songwriting in a way to try to recreate that album again.

Oh no, I was not going there…
I know, I am just saying it could have been that after rediscovering “Roots” we could try to do it again in the CAVALERA record but it just did not happen.

In fact, listening to the album opener “Insane”, it was impossible for me not to think of the “Arise” record.
Yeah, it does go back to the era before “Roots” and has a little bit of the old-school vibe from “Arise” or even from “Beneath The Remains”.

Speaking of having fun while doing the record, the dark atmosphere, the anger coming from the music and the lyrics do not do really well with fun, right? (laughs)
Well, I have to say that this is how I and Max grew up; it was releasing our energy and anger through the music and by doing that, is almost like a therapy for us. We did not need to be violent persons in real life because we had the music to do that. And I think even before start making music on our own, we would release this energy from the music we were listening to. Music is very important in that sense and I and Max learned how to do this through the music at a really young age.

What you’ve just described is how we started listening to music; because it was an outlet and something that not many people were doing, so you kind of felt special and part of a family.
Exactly, man!

How long did you work on “Psychosis”?
Well, I and Max had been exchanging ideas for a long time, like writing riffs and drum beats. The challenge is when you enter the studio and try to pick which parts you are going to use. Usually we don’t write anything on the road, like sitting and rehearsing. It is more like collecting ideas and then turning them into songs once we are in the studio. This is how it really goes, so it is hard to put the aspect of time to it.

Got it. Does this mean that you have a lot of material that you did not use for this record?
Yes, we have a lot of stuff that did not make it in the album. We may use some in the future or not, and write new stuff on top of it.

However, there are no complete songs that you have not included in “Psychosis” but plan to do so, right?
I don’t think so. This is another thing we do; instead of keep recording songs, we just make sure that whatever we have chosen, it is exactly the way we want it, so stay focused and keep working.

Who did the production of “Psychosis”?
Arthur Rizk did the production. He is an American producer and he is also playing in different bands like ETERNAL CHAMPION and he is a really good friend of mine. I’ve known him for years and I really enjoy the albums he has produced.

We saw ETERNAL CHAMPION live in Germany’s ‘Keep It True’ festival.
Cool! He is a great guy and he has done different projects through the years.

In the album promo notes, Arthur is also listed for doing the synths and the keyboards.
No, it was a different guy - it was Dominick Fernow who goes by the name Prurient. Arthur played the bass for this record.

Got it, and speaking about all the electronic sounds you used in “Psychosis”, I’d like to ask if your work with MIXHELL had anything to do with those and the way you have expanded your musical boundaries.
Yes, for this record I talked to Max about adding some ambience or atmospheres in between songs and this is coming from my influences with MIXHELL. If I hadn’t work with MIXHELL, I would not know how to approach this kind of things, so it is really cool to have this as an experience and be able to use it once we entered the studio with CAVALERA but without interfering with the music.

What I like with “Psychosis” is that although it does sound old-school, it has a kind of a modern aspect bringing something new. It does not feel like a ‘copy/paste’ from the old days.
Well, I don’t think we could really do this and recreate the past. Everything we play is very different than the way we used to back in the ‘80s. So, even if we’d tried’ I don’t think it would work. Everything is different; from the way we record, the equipment we use so matter what we do it will have a new sound to it.

Even though I am not a musician, I also think that your drumming has become a little bit more complicated for this record.
I have to say that for the previous CAVALERA records I used a more of a minimalistic approach and in this instance with the riffs that Max was writing I felt I needed to change this. I used more drum rolls, time changes and things like that so it is the way I felt it would work best with the guitars.

Speaking of old-school and the “Arise” album we mentioned in the beginning, there is a spoken part at the end of “Excruciating” talking about a two-headed Brazilian Godzilla… Hmm, it is not that hard to understand to whom it is referring to and then it adds “under pale grey skies”
Yeah, it is funny. It was an idea Max had to something like a movie thing talking about this creature that is me and Max, you know. It was funny to have it on the record.

And there is an almost hint in the end that there is a sequel coming soon…
I hope so that there will be a second movie... (laughs)

On top of the dark atmosphere and especially with the use of the electronic sounds, I believe there is a post-apocalyptic atmosphere in “Psychosis” that goes hand-in-hand with the situation all around the world.
I agree, it really reflects the world we live in. It is so dark right now and at the end of the day music is our escape. In between those dark sounds, there is the music where the energy comes in and then you can let yourself go. I mean, we know that the everyday life is pretty fucked up, right now.

Being in the UK, you are also in a close proximity with what is going on with Brexit…
Yes, although all around the world things are messy; Brazil is a mess, Barcelona is insane, so I think everywhere in the world right now it is not ok. There are just different levels of craziness. For example, where Max is living in America, it is insanity with that f****g president.

You also have Justin Broadrick doing some guest singing in “Hellfire”, right? How did this collaboration come up?
Yeah man, I am so excited about this. Me and Max are huge GODFLESH fans. I wrote to Justin about electronic music because I also enjoy the stuff he is doing as JK FLESH and on all the different projects he is working on that are different than GODFLESH. When Max found out that I was talking with Justin he asked me to ask Justin if he would agree to do something for us. So I did, and Justin said that he would be honored to be part of it. Again, this is something really cool and it comes from a different world other than Metal.

And that’s one of the good things when doing guest appearances; having something completely different from what you’re doing.
Yes, but still it has to be something that you feel honored being part of. In the past we had Roger [Miret] from AGNOSTIC FRONT doing some vocals with Max and now Justin from GODFLESH, so it is almost like I and Max are paying respect to the band by inviting to be part of what we’re doing.

Of course. And what is the status on touring with CAVALERA CONSPIRACY? Are you currently working on something on that aspect?
We need to finish first the ‘Roots’ tour that we had committed before knowing the release date of this record. The last show for the ‘Roots’ tour is this December, so the next year will be touring for CAVALERA CONSPIRACY.

Does this mean that you will visits all the continents and both sides of the Atlantic?
I hope so, man. We hope we can play as much as we can but sometimes this is not only depending on us; there are the promoters, all the politics in music that we hate. If it was up to me, I would play pretty much all the year, everywhere.

The ‘Roots’ tour will be soon done; do you see doing something similar with Max and maybe play another SEPULTURA album in its entirety live?
Not for now. It would have been totally strange to do this, while a new record has been just released. So, maybe once we are done with the whole touring cycle for this record, we may do this again. There are no plans as we speak, but we don’t think it is over because it was a lot of fun doing it. As a fan of music, it was cool to bring back music to those people who had never had the chance to see “Roots” live, so in that sense, it is a thing we might do in the future with different records.

Nice! As we are wrapping this nice interview up, I’d like to ask you this; you know the fans would love to see the Cavalera bothers under the SEPULTURA name, so from your point of view, does it really matter how the band is called?
The idea of putting together CAVALERA CONSPIRACY was because of what you have just described. At the end of the day it does not matter what the name of the band is. In fact, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY as a name does not mean something; it was just a funny name that we came up with. So, my answer is that as a musician I don’t care about the name of the band. It is all about me and Max getting onstage and getting into the studio to record. However, I do know that for some fans the name is super important and the same goes for the Press or whatever.

Yeah, there are those saying that you should go back to SEPULTURA but they forget that musicians are human beings too…
Yeah, it is like someone telling you to go back to an old girlfriend and your response is that you don’t want to do that; you are over with it.

Well, as long as I see the Cavalera brothers together onstage, then the name does not matter.
Thank you, man.

The first time I saw SEPULTURA onstage was in Greece during the “Arise” tour - man, it was crazy.
Yes, and I have to add that those times will never come back. Everything was different; the crowds and the way people reacted was insane. I mean, even if we had this reunion some people are talking about, it would not have been the same because the crowd would be different.

Another thing that was different back then was that going to a concert was your only chance to see the band playing live; nowadays we have YouTube and all the media outlets. Back then in Greece, we did not even have satellite TV…
Same thing in Brazil, man!

Having SEPULTURA playing live was a huge event.
I know, man - we could feel all the excitement.

Well, that’s it Iggor. Thank you very much for your time and hope to see you live next year.
Thanks a lot, brother! See you soon.