The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world






The last time we spoke to Max Cavalera wasn't too long ago when his other band Killer Be Killed had just brought out their debut album. Here we chat with Max again, this time with his other band Cavalera Conspiracy which he shares with his brother Igor. Their 3rd album "Pandemonium" is exactly as the title suggests - a chaotic, fast album that is a little different to the first 2 albums. We find out the story behind the album and working with Igor again.

Andrew: OK so the first thing I want to talk about is the brand new Cavalera Conspiracy album " Pandemonium". I've listened to this album and what a thrasher this one is! Can you tell me a little bit about how this album came together?


Max: Yeah I started working on it November-December last year compiling the riffs. I do that at home by myself and I wrote the riffs at home. Then we went in the studio in January with Igor (Cavalera, drums) and Marc (Rizzo, guitar) and brought the riffs to the studio and turned all the riffs into songs. But I was obsessed with the idea of making a really fast record with Igor and a record that is all the way fast from beginning to the end and it has kind of a sound of newer influence that we listen to right now. Some of the newer bands we listen to like Noisem and Full Of Hell, Aborted so it's really quite brutal in that area and it's also cool to play fast with Igor again. We started this thing pretty fast 30 years ago so it's good to come back and do that again now that we're older but we're still playing together so it feels good to make a record like this. For me it was a blast, I had a blast creating "Pandemonium" and I think it's going to be just as much fun to play live.

Andrew: Yeah I mean this album is quite fast, it's pretty relentless from start to beginnng. Obviously making the album fast was something that you guys had talked about but what else did you want to do with this album that was different to the first 2 albums?


Max: The general idea we needed to make a different record was "Inflikted" and "Blunt Force Trauma" are very similar to each other so we needed something that was quite different from those. And I think "Inflikted" and "Blunt Force Trauma" are more thrash metal kind of records and "Pandemonium" is kind of more death metal, even grindcore in some parts and that's the big difference between both of them. And there's some really cool stuff that Marc is doing, some songs start with a solo right away, just soloing right from the beginning of the song. Like "Insurrection", one of my favorite songs on the record and "Babylonian Pandemonium" he does some cool guitar stuff. Overall it was great, I really enjoyed the process. The nickname of the record was Fuck The Groove because Igor kept going in a groove and I kept pulling him out of the groove and putting him back on the fast pace because I had a vision for the album to be fast. It's a direct influence from the Noisem record, I loved "Agony Defined", it's my favorite record. I listened to the record non-stop and every song is fast and I was like Oh my god it would be so cool to make a record like what these kids just did. So I proposed that to Igor and I had this idea in the studio, let's make everything fast and let's stick to the plan and let's not deviate from the plan, let's make everything fast. So right now the 10 songs that are on the album from "Babylonian Pandemonium" to "The Crucible", it's all fast and I'm proud of it man. I think it's killer to have this record out right now, it makes a statement in music. In the rock world it makes a statement like we're back with fury, we're back with power, with electricity...there's nothing holding us back. It's awesome you know!


Andrew: It's always good to see you and Igor playing together, there's obviously some awesome chemistry going on between you guys. How has the writing process and the recording process changed over the years? Is it still the same or has there been differencs?


Max: It's pretty much the same. It's similar to what we did when I was in Sepultura, I write a lot of stuff on my own, the riffs because I need the riffs to be part of the record so I do that on my own without any distractions. And I take that to the studio and in the studio we turn those riffs into songs and that's the best part of it. Like a rough version or demo version of a song that was written at home with just me, seeing that song come to life with Igor playing and Marc playing and then later Nate (Newton, bass) putting bass on top of it, that is awesome! I love the process and me that's my favorite, is watching the song grow from very humble beginnings to something that's quite powerful that I know is going to affect a lot of people when it comes out. We have fans all over the world and I think when "Pandemonium" drops out, a lot of people are going to be happy with this record.

Andrew: Oh yeah definitely and I think for anyone who likes the idea of you and your brother playing, they will absolutely love this album. And for the thrash fans because it is quite a thrashy album I think they will love it too. The one thing that I do want to ask you is the album cover. Quite different to the first 2 albums, it's pretty different and pretty trippy. What can you tell me about the cover?


Max: It was designed by Igor's friend Stephan Doitschinoff, a artist from Brazil. A graffiti artist who started in the graffiti world and now he does galleries and exhibitions around the world and he's a very unique artist. The kind of skulls that he creates that are on the record, they are very unique and his own creation. I think he captured the essence of the record because it's very beautiful, very colorful but it's very desperate. The skull tank with the hands in his face almost like in a desperation act, it has the sound of the record right on the front cover. And I think that's hard sometimes for an artist to put the sound of the music into pictures, into paintings. That's quite rare and I was very shocked when I first saw the deisgn that he made for the record that he made just for us, I was completely blown away. And I like the details, the little factory with the crosses and the little globes and the flags, it's all full of little details. I think it's going to look great on vinyl, it's going to look killer. But I really like it, we needed something different. The first 2 albums was the Cavalera Conspiracy symbol and it was very simple, very punk rock. So now we needed somethng different and Steffan definitely is a great artist that we're going to keep him around for a while now too. I hope he makes the next album cover for us too because I think his art is really great.


Andrew: Yeah as you mentioned, there's a lot of detail in there. All the little things and you need to look at it a few times to pick up on everything. It's amazing!


Max: Yeah he's a really good artist for stuff like that. His art is insane! He has a lot of religious stuff in it and he does a lot of stuff with Russian churches and towers of Babylon and that's where we got the idea to use him when we saw his book. Igor had a book of him in the studio and I was looking through the pages and just completely blown away. I was like we have to use this guy, this guy is awesome! This guy is so killer and I was so glad that he was a good friend of Igor. Back in Brazil, they know each other for a long time so he accepted right away, he felt it was an honour that he gets to do the album cover for us. And right now he's creating a mic stand for me to put in front of the microphone with that skull. So I think that's going to look really cool too.

Andrew: Oh wow that would be an awesome thing to see!


Max: Yeah he's working on it right now for me.


Andrew: Cool. One thing that I had just recently heard was that the original guitarist from Sepultura had performed with you guys recently, is that true?


Max: Yeah we did a show in Belo Horizonte where we're from in Brazil and Jairo (Guedz) came on and played "Necromancer" with us which is from our first EP "Bestial Devastation" from 1985. It was great, the crowd really loved it, a lot of people were freaking out. It was really cool, he's a good friend, we never lost the friendship. He's a great guy and it was fun when he was in the band but we kept the friendship after he left the band. He was an older guy than us so he always acted like an older uncle of ours kinda, so having him play at the Belo show was awesome man, for me it was a great moment in my career and I'm sure Igor felt the same way.


Andrew: A bit of nostalgia there, basically 3 quarters of the original Sepultura lineup. What do you think it would take to get that last member just for one song maybe?


Max: I dunno, Sepultura had a lot of formations before we recorded "Bestial Devastation". We had 5 or 6 different guitar players and we had different vocalists, we had different bass players. Everybody is doing something different, some of them don't even play music anymore but I was glad to do that with Jairo, that was really cool.


Andrew: Yeah definitely! Well I think we'll leave it here. As I said, the new album sounds fantastic and I think anyone who loved the first 2 albums is going to love this one. It's definitely more thrash and faster, it's an awesome album. So thanks again for taking the time to chat with us again.


Max: Thanks a lot man! I'll see you on tour in Australia I hope!



Max spoke to Andrew Schizodeluxe October 2014





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