Igor Cavalera: A Rock And Roll Fables Conversation

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Pandemonium, the third offering from Cavalera Conspiracy is easily their heaviest yet. From the onslaught of “Babylonian Pandemonium” and “Bonzai Kamikazee” it’s easy to see that CC has found  a place in the musical echelon that suits them well and that happy place happens to be heavy as hell. Max Cavalera sounds like a veritable monster on the opening track with a throaty growl that’s unlike any vocal performance he’s given while brother Igor pounds away at ludicrous speeds one moment, settling into a tribal groove the next.

“It’s really weird because we didn’t do much different than the first two records as far as plan ahead.” Says Igor Cavalera via phone recently. “Me and Max, we had a few demos and things like that but then I think the major difference was when we tracked the first two songs and they were fast songs, that’s when “Click!”, and Max turned to me and said ‘Man, let’s do some more fast stuff!’ We were like ‘Man, this sounds really fresh for us’ so we kept on that vibe and it was just a little detail.”

“It’s really fun to play that energetic especially on the drums. I think the approach that I used to have back in the day on Beneath The Remains, on Arise….maybe I was trying too hard to do certain things where my approach nowadays is a lot more chill where I have a lot more fun with it rather than stressing about it. It’s a lot more relaxed in the sense that I push my limits but at the same time I’m not losing sleep over it. Back in the day I was totally freaking out that I had to play certain double bass patterns and things like that whereas today I’m, like, ‘No, this is good’. If we’re really  having fun playing then that’s it, I don’t need more than that.”

Besides the speed of the playing on Pandemonium, the latest Cavalera Conspiracy follows the pattern of having a new bassist on each release. This time, CC turned to local favorite Nate Newton (Converge, Doomriders, Old Man Gloom):

“On every Cavalera record we have a different guest do bass on it. We had Joe (Duplantier) from Gojira on the first one and Johnny Chow (Of Fireball Ministry, on Blunt Force Trauma). On this one, Me and Max had a couple names and of course names like Nate came up and I thought this would be really good because this is one of our favorite bands for a long time (Converge). In a way, they represent a newer generation of what we did back in the day so it was quite cool but it comes from a fan point of view rather than professional. It was more me and Max being fans of Converge that we got in touch with Nate to do this. Of course it was a lot of fun looking at now what he brought to the table, what kind of bass playing, and his voice and things like that.”

CC have toured sporadically over the years because of the members various other band obligations but with a new release means time to get back on the road. As for the revolving door of bass players? Well, Igor is hoping to play some shows with Newton:

“I’ve been Talking to Nate about having him join if he’s available for at least a few shows or doing something special. There’s a bit of a talk of doing a Converge/Cavalera thing next year. Those things could be a lot of fun, for us of course and again, as fans to see such a cool line up.”

Away from Cavalera Conspiracy, Igor continually creates with his Mixhell project:

“There’s a lot of releases I’m doing with Mixhell. It’s very different in the sense that we keep putting music out constantly rather than focus on a record like we did with Cavalera (Do a record and then you tour). With Mixhell it’s almost like we split our whole record between a bunch of releases during the year and generate energy to do the shows and things like that. It’s also very cool to have different projects that have a different approach not only musically but how you put that music out and how you have them delivered to your fans. I have to say it’s quite a positive thing for a musician to have more than one band and different stuff going on and really push yourself in different ways.”

If you’re a fan of the Cavalera clan then you might have noticed that brother Max released his autobiography recently (My Bloody Roots: From Sepultura To Soulfly And Beyond) and while the concept is cool to Igor, don’t expect one from him anytime soon:

“There’s a lot of stories in Max’s book that I was there for and I saw something completely different and that’s very natural. Sometimes one of your best friends tells a story and you’re like ‘That’s not what happened!’ And at the end it’s just their view of how things were and it’s really cool. Maybe some day, like Max, I’ll do the biography thing or write and a lot of those stories are gonna come up completely different and I think that’s the beauty of it also but at this point, it’s not part of my plans.”

Part of the plan now is definitely more from Mixhell and more from Cavalera Conspiracy (And hopefully a Converge/Cavalera Conspiracy tour in 2015). Pandemonium is available now from all fine digital and non-digital retailers and be sure to head on over here for the latest on Mixhell.



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