By Ryan Meehan
Drummer Iggor Cavalera has been a staple of the metal community since he founded legendary metal band Sepultura with his brother Max back in 1984. He’s one of the most intense percussionists in the world, and has remained true to his roots while the world of heavy metal has seen its share of radical changes during that time period. Now he’s an integral part of Cavalera Conspiracy, a band that will be releasing their new album “Pandemonium” on November 3rd. We are very excited to have Iggor Cavalera as our guest today in 10 questions.
RM: How much of your summer was spent putting together the new Cavalera Conspiracy record “Pandemonium”?
IC: The process of recording and making the album was very quick, and very different from how we approach any other projects. It was about capturing the raw energy of our first ideas.
RM: If anything, what did you try to do differently from a percussive standpoint on this disc as opposed to the songs on “Blunt Force Trauma” and “Inflikted”?
IC: My approach on this record was to play as minimal as possible and by doing all the mad experiments with drums and percussion on Mixhell, that gives me a lot of confidence to go totally simple on Cavalera Conspiracy.
RM: I know last year around this time you had stated that this record was going to be predominantly grindcore…Did that intention change as you and Max worked on the new material; and does the entire program still reflect the focal extremities of that subgenre?
IC: I think that Max was trying to describe the raw power of this record, by meaning grind… It is a very fast record but no blast beats.
RM: In an interview with Loudwire, your brother Max stated that he was putting you to the test during the writing process of “Pandemonium” and said that he was trying to make you “play fast like he’s 15-years-old”…Did you take that as more of a friendly challenge; or was there any time while you were working on the new songs where you felt like the two of you were actually butting heads with regards to the speed of the tracks?
IC: I love those challenges… It keeps my spirit alive and Max really knows how to get the best out of me. But it was always in a fun way…we are too old for drama and we enjoy every moment of our time together.
RM: Blabbermouth described the new offering as “the closest thing we’re likely to hear in the way of a new Nailbomb album”. Do you think people say things like that because although they enjoy the music you make now, they still want to hear acts that they associate you or Max with; or is that a pretty accurate comparison and does the material on the disc reflect the music your brother created in that project?
IC: I don’t really see it that way, but I love how different people have very opposite reactions to the record, as it is very refreshing for us.
RM: What is your current live setup as far as drums and cymbals? What’s the biggest adjustment you’ve had to make to that setup over the last ten to fifteen years?
IC: On this record I decided to go for a drumset as simple as possible with a single bass drum, 2 toms, 1 floor, 2 crashes, 1 ride, 1 china and my Roland SPDX for all the intros and drum loops/samples.
RM: You obviously explored a lot of different tribal rhythms during the time period where Sepultura was compiling material for the album “Roots”…Do you still find yourself listening to a lot of world music; and do you believe that you will eventually work on a project that exists completely outside of the genres associated with rock n’ roll?
IC: What I was trying on “Roots” was very natural for me. Before we started Sepultura, I was already deep into Brazilian and African beats for a few years. I was just trying to bring new flavour to a very militant way of most rock drummers were playing.
RM: How did you end up playing on the 2012 Strife album “Witness a Rebirth”? Did you feel like there was less pressure to really nail everything down because it wasn’t your main musical project; or more pressure to perform flawlessly because they are such a well-respected band within the hardcore community?
IC: Andrew Kline is one of my best friends, and when he invited me to play on the record I was very proud of it. Strife is one of my all-time favourites, and we had a blast in the studio!!!
RM: Do you still live in London? What was so special about the United Kingdom that was so congruent with regards to your current lifestyle that you wanted to experience living there?
IC: London is a very diverse city, full of energy and people making art 24/7… I really feel it was the best move we made, especially for Mixhell.
RM: You just turned 44 this year (even though it’s hard to tell because you haven’t lost a step) and you play an instrument that requires a lot of cardiovascular energy at that speed. Have you employed any exercises or rituals that you practice before a session or a live performance that allow you to match the intensity you had when you were in your twenties?
IC: I think the secret of playing drums with a lot of energy is to simply love drums and feed off that energy….I hope I can still play my drums in that way for many years to come. I do try to run every day to maintain my stamina when I go on tour.
RM: What’s up next for Cavalera Conspiracy in the remainder of 2014 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
IC: The Cavalera Conspiracy album is about to drop, and I hope we can tour as much as possible…Also lots of releases with Mixhell, I can’t wait to play all those new songs live! 2015 is gonna be a BRUTAL YEAR!!!
Official Website: http://www.cavaleraconspiracy.com/
Cavalera Conspiracy on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cavaleraconspiracy
Cavalera Conspiracy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cavconspiracy
Mixhell on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/therealmixhell
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