Cavalera Conspiracy hold a very special place in a lot of metalheads’ hearts, the band being the result of the end of a ten-year-long feud between the founding members of Sepultura, brothers Max and Iggor Cavalera. Having not spoken to each other for ten years after Sepultura broke up in 1996 after Iggor and fellow bandmates guitarist Andreas Kisser and bassist Paulo Jr approached Max about terminating their management contract with Max’s wife Gloria who had worked with Sepultura since their formation, Iggor and the others claiming she had paid more attention to Max than the band. Max then left the band to form Soulfly, while Iggor continued to tour and record with Sepultura up until 2006 when he left the band to spend more time with family and pursue his DJ project Mixhell.
Cavalera Conspiracy formed after Max received an unexpected call from Iggor in 2006, which would result in Max asking Iggor to join Soulfly on stage to perform some Sepultura classics. The two then formed the basis of Cavalera Conspiracy, Max bringing Soulfly guitarist Mark Rizzo on board and Gloria suggesting Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier to play bass guitar, to later be replaced by Johny Chow of Fireball Ministry after Duplantier was unable to tour with the band due to commitments to Gojira.
Announced as part of next year’s Big Day Out, we spoke to Max about the band’s latest album Blunt Force Trauma, reuniting with his brother, as well as how excited he is to be back in Australia with Iggor to relive some of the early touring days of Sepultura.
Music Feeds: Tell me about working on the new album?
Max Cavalera: Yeah, we decided we were going to make the second record, the first one got such great reviews and was so well received by the fans who kept asking for a second one so I thought it would be cool to give them another album and to make it even more aggressive, more brutal and more heavy. That was really the main aim with Blunt Force Trauma, to be as brutal and heavy as possible and even heavier than the first one, and we went in that direction and I think it’s definitely come out well. I’m really happy that the fans like it as well; all the feedback we’ve gotten has been positive. We’ve done some touring in Europe and America and gotten really great receptions over there and now I’m just looking forward to coming over to Australia and to playimg the songs for you guys at Big Day Out as well as our own headline shows. So yeah, that’s what’s going on for us as a band; we’ve got two albums, a kick ass live show, and we’re just really loving playing together.
MF: Cool, so with the live show then, and the new stuff being heavier, did you guys have to prepare for that or did it just come naturally with the music?
MC: It comes naturally because the songs are just naturally heavy, and Iggor tends to play them all faster live because he has more adrenalin pumping, so if anything it’s even more aggressive, even more brutal than the record. The Cavelera show for me is just huge; it’s all about the energy and the whole show is about getting on stage and kicking ass, just song after song, I don’t even talk to the audience that much because I don’t want to take away from the energy. I mean, we also play some Sepultura classics, from our days with the band a long time ago, and it’s just great to get to do that as well as play the new stuff.
MF: So have you had any chances to play in Brazil since the album came out?
MC: Yeah, we played in Brazil twice, once playing a festival with Rage Against The Machine for 100,000 people, which was amazing, right when Blunt Force Trauma came out and then we got invited to open for Iron Maiden in Sao Paulo. It was Maiden’s only show in Brazil, and so we played with them in a stadium with 60,000 people and it was amazing. I mean, it was such an honour for us to open for Maiden, to be handpicked by the band because they’d heard of us and knew we were from Brazil, and it was great. So yeah, we got to play twice in Brazil and now I’m just really looking forward to playing in Australia and it’s going to be awesome to be back there with Iggor again after all of those years.
MF: Yeah, well we love you over here, I mean Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy and Soulfly all have pretty strong fanbases over here and we Australians do love our heavy music.
MC: I know, I’m just so excited to come back, I’ve been there many times. Some of my best memories of playing live are playing with Soulfly at Big Day Out, which were just such great shows and with such great energy and such a good crowd. I came back recently with Soulfly touring with Hatebreed and again opening for Megadeth, so I’m really looking forward to coming back with Cavalera, you guys are just such a great crowd to play to.
MF: Well thank you, it’s a great honour for us as Australians to hear you say that considering how insane Brazilian crowds are, especially your fans.
MC: Well, I have to say that Australians are way up there with them too man, there is always so much energy coming from the crowd. It’s been that way for a long time too, all the way back to the Sepultura days when we used to tour there, we’d always come over because the shows were always so exciting. I mean it was great when we were starting out to come to somewhere so far away from Brazil and to play to such great crowds who know and care about our music. We always used to say that it’s so cool that we get to play Australia and that our fans here are going crazy, so it’s really exciting to be coming back, especially to be coming back with Iggor.
MF: It must be great with Cavalera Conspiracy to get to spend time with your brother Iggor. Also with Mark (Rizzo, Soulfly) also playing in the band and who you’re quite close to, it must almost be like a family on the road?
MC: Yeah, we’re really close and we’ve got a great band. The sound that comes out of the four of us is huge; it’s a real powerhouse of a band and we all get along really well. We’ve got Mark on guitar and Johnny on bass who are great, but what’s really great about the band is that I get to spend time with my brother, who I didn’t speak to for ten years after Sepultura broke up, which was really hard. Now we’re back and we’re bothers again and we get to hang out and I can speak Portuguese with him again, which is our native language, and it’s great. I always look forward to going on tour with him, you know; I don’t see him for a couple of months and then we go on tour and that’s just great.