10 Questions with Max Cavalera

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by Ryan Meehan

If you’re a metal fan, three must-own albums would have to be Sepultura’s “Beneath The Remains”, “Chaos A.D.”, and “Roots”.  The man behind the powerful thrash metal guitar and gruff vocals that songwriters and metal fans all over the world came to know and love through those three records (among many others) is Max Cavalera.  Max continued to write music after his departure from the band and started Soulfly before finally reuniting with his brother after a decade to form his current project Cavalera Conspiracy.  Their new record is called “Pandemonium” and it’s out today in Europe, with the UK release date set for November 3rd and the fourth here in the states.  I am honored to have the legendary Max Cavalera as my guest today in 10 Questions.

RM: You founded Sepultura with Igor back in ’84, so you have been playing music for over three decades. Other than the technological advancements that have allowed artists to make better sounding records in addition to fans being able to get music so easily, what do you think is the biggest difference within the music industry itself between when you started out and now?

MC:  Yeah the internet changed everything, but it’s also kind of cool how you can find new bands online.  We just wish we could sell CDs, because we survive for music.  Thank God people still want to see live shows.

RM: In one of your press photos I see that you are wearing a Possessed shirt from the “Seven Churches” era…What other metal bands from that period do you consider to be the most influential when it came to shaping you into the guitar player and vocalist that you became?

MC: Celtic Frost, Dark Angel, Death, Morbid Angel, Carcass, Entombed, Kreator, Destruction.

RM: After almost a decade of being at odds with your brother Iggor, you finally joined forces with him to form the project that would later become Cavalera Conspiracy. Who initiated the communication between the two of you, and how did that whole exchange cause you to change the way you viewed the relationship that the two of you have with each other?

MC: Iggor called me when I was on tour with Soulfly.  Then he came to Phoenix, and we jammed together at a Soulfly show.  The crowd went nuts, so we decided to form Cavalera Conspiracy.

RM: Let’s talk about the new album for a minute…The term “Pandemonium” is defined as “wild and noisy disorder or confusion; uproar”. According to Blabbermouth the original title to the disc was “Fuck That Groove”…Did the desire to name the record that have anything to do with wanting to distance yourself from the groove metal sound that so many people associate you with?

MC:  It started in the studio.  Every time Iggor went into a groove I would tell him to stop and say “Fuck the Groove, go back to the fast part!!!”  That’s where the nickname of the album comes from.

RM: The recording process can be stressful, but I get the feeling that there were probably some tracks on this record that were a blast to record…Which song or songs on the record were the most fun to lay down; and which will be the most fun to perform live?

MC:  For sure.  “Babylonian Pandemonium” is one of my favorite songs I have written in the last ten years.  Also “Apex Predator”, “Insurrection”, “Not Losing the Edge”, and “I Barbarian”.  It’s all really fast shit.

RM: What is the most significant adjustment that you have made to your guitar tone since the inception of Cavalera Conspiracy? Was it a matter of changing guitars and/or amplification, or a floor or rack setup that you modified as your preferences in tone changed?

MC:  The album is tuned to A#, which is really low.  Lower than Roots even – I think it’s heavier and better for fast stuff.  Everything sounds lower, and it’s heavier than normal.

RM: Speaking of equipment, you have a signature series guitar made by ESP that closely resembles a BC Rich Warlock with a few minor tweaks in the body design…How much control did you have when it came to the final product?

MC: ESP is a great guitar company.  Whatever I ask them for they will do it.  I’m working on actually designing my own guitar for the future.

RM: Now that you are in a completely different band consisting of a different internal structure, do you consider yourself to be in competition with Sepultura since they are still making records?

MC:  Not competition, but I think we have the spirit of the classic old Sepultura with us in Cavalera Conspiracy.  After all, me and Iggor started Sepultura from nothing.

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RM: Your stepson Richie plays in a band called Incite and is quite the vocalist himself…What was the most valuable piece of advice that were you able to give him regarding the business end of the music industry?

MC:  Follow your heart, and your dreams. Nothing is impossible. Work hard and good things will come to you.

Incite on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/INCITEband

RM: What’s up next for you and the rest of Cavalera Conspiracy in the remainder of 2014 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?

MC:   A US tour in January and a European tour after that.  We look forward to playing a lot of shows to promote “Pandemonium” around the world.

Official Website: http://www.cavaleraconspiracy.com/

Cavalera Conspiracy on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cavaleraconspiracy

Cavalera Conspiracy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cavconspiracy

Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.

Meehan

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