Incite - Richie Cavalera

Incite - Richie Cavalera

No, Richie does not get a free-pass just because of his last name. On the contrary, he is being under the magnifying glass whenever his band INCITE puts a record. In this case, Richie and his bandmates get an A+ because "Built To Destroy" does tick all the boxes when it comes to Thrash, with strong grooves and awesome guitar leads. By the way, the latter were kind of a rarity in the previous LPs but here shine in abundance. To learn more about the making of the upcoming LP and how INCITE are getting ready for the upcoming North US tour along SOULFLY and KATAKLYSM, METAL KAOZ submitted a series of questions and Richie was kind enough to write back. Check his answers below.

Incite - Richie Cavalera

Happy New Year, Richie! So, what are your new year’s resolutions? Are you excited to see “Built To Destroy” seeing the light of the day? I am sure the band had the album ready to go long before the release date.
Thanks for talking, Dimitris. Yeah, I’m working on quitting cigarettes, getting in some kind of shape, and rocking as many shows as possible (laughs). I’m definitely getting excited, we’ve been done with it for over 7 months now so ready for all the metalheads to hear what we’ve done.

Three years separate the release of “Built To Destroy” from the release of “Oppression”; so, how long had you been working on the song-writing?
It was nice to have some space to get inspired and work on things more in depth. We worked on it for over a year with all the touring. We had to find patches of time to put it together and come up with all the tracks that made this album. Was nice to finally have some time - felt like we were always rushing the previous albums and it made a huge difference.

Was the album a collaborative effort? I mean, did all the band members contribute to the song-writing?
This time was different. In the past, we would kind of pile a ton of riffs then sit down and build em. Just made everything feel uneven or not as smooth as the songs could have been. So this time, we had Dru get all the songs in demo form, so we had complete pieces of music to work with. So, fixing and adding was so much easier this time around. We felt more prepared when it came time for pre-production. Also, Lennon wrote one of the songs called "Leech" and it’s a banger.

Did you put all the songs you wrote in the album? Are there any songs on the side that you plan to release later on?
No, we usually do one or two songs as B-sides, so for this one we only went with one song to save for later. It’s always a tough choice to pull a song but for us it made the album more impactful, rather than just putting a song that, to us, didn’t fit the rest. Hopefully it will see the light of day.

Just by listening the two songs you released (I don’t have the digi promo yet), I suspect there are more guitar solos in this album, something I believe makes the overall sound more Thrash; although genres only matter when describing music, I would like to ask if this was a conscious move (to add more solos) or was it a natural progression?
It has definitely been conscious. I’ve always wanted solos to be a big part of the INCITE sound. As each album has progressed, we’ve added more and more. I believe the first and second album only had 1 solo and from there we went to two songs and by oppression we had three, but now we did eight out of the eleven tracks with solos - something I’m very happy about. I felt the guitar work was always lacking and that’s a lot with having time in the studio to add that kind of stuff. I think it fills out our sound perfectly and puts us more into the heavy metal feel of what we want as a band.

How much do you think the band’s songwriting has changed after four albums before “Built To Destroy”?
Definitely a lot; we used to not know what we were doing and now we’ve done it and are more grown up, so for us it’s about not fucking things up too much, but always moving forward and trying new things with each record. I think we look to make each song better and more what we want to do rather than what others might be doing. Also, Dru becoming a big part of the writing makes things more interesting.

What about your vocals; how are you challenging / improving yourself?
I’m always pushing myself. I think with each album, you hear progression on my end. I’ve been trying to work more on pitch so it doesn’t feel so monotone, which used to be a problem, as well as pronunciation so it’s easier to understand without losing the toughness. It’s been fun to hear it evolve over the years.

In “Built To Destroy”, there are two guest appearances from CROWBAR’s Kirk Windstein to SIX FEET UNDER’s Chris Barnes; how did these collaborations happen and for what songs? Were you looking for something specific before asking the two gentlemen to join in?
We did a few tours with each of their bands and just really clicked and became good friends. Not to mention Kirk and Chris are legends and some of the coolest down to earth people you’ll meet in this business. We’ve always tried to feature guests that we’ve toured with and have become close friends with so it’s not just an out of the blue collaboration. We had songs that fit them both perfectly by chance, so when the time came, it was smooth and really fell into place nicely. Kirk’s on “Human Cancer”, which is about human’s destruction of the earth, and Chris’s song is about powerful people that fuck us regular people over daily. They’re two of the heavier tracks on the record for sure.

For the production, you worked again with Steve Evetts but for the mastering you worked with Zeuss; why did you choose to work with Zeuss for the mastering? Did you have a specific style or sound in mind for “Built To Destroy”?
Yes. Steve is a bad ass and a good friend of ours. We love working with him and what he does is amazing. On "Oppression", we had an outside studio do it and we just weren’t happy with how it turned out. So, this time around we went with Zeuss, who we’ve always wanted to work with in one way or another. His mastering is some of the best there is in heavy music. So for us, we were fired up to have him put the final touches on it and it made a huge difference. We wanted raw and huge and heavy, and he delivered.

What is the connection between the album’s cover artwork and the lyrics? Did the band have anything to do with the theme of the cover artwork?
I always want the cover to give a story of what to expect. For this one, it was about being built for this moment. So, that’s sort of what it depicts. This band being built. We had EL conceptualize the cover this time around. He’s old school and has a tattoo background, so we wanted to see what he could do. We used Andrei Bouzikov to do it and after EL sent him his ideas, he had a rough for us in no time.

How many songs from the new album do you plan to use on the upcoming North US tour?
We’re going to be playing five new songs and four old ones for the upcoming tour. We want to push this album in everyone’s face real hard, and these songs were written for live shows, so we’re coming hard with new stuff this year.

You released a video for the album’s title track; any plans to release another video?
Yes, we have one done for the song "Resistance". We hope to have it out in the next few weeks. It took place in Skid Row in LA. It’s about the inequalities in our country and so many rich getting richer while poor are getting poorer.

Are there any plans to release “Built To Destroy”on vinyl?
Oh definitely. I even think we’re doing a special print of a splatter vinyl. We’re big on vinyl so definitely doing it for this album.

Thank you, Richie, for taking the time to answer to METAL KAOZ’s questions! See you in Joliet, IL this February!
Thanks so much for spreading the word and keeping it heavy.