Latest release: Blunt Force Trauma (Roadrunner)
When brothers Iggor and Max Cavalera reunited five years ago, the metal world was almost as stunned as they were at the news of Max’s acrimonious split from their band Sepultura a decade before. The resultant album Inflikted was the first time they had colloborated in twelve years and was praised by many critics at the time as the best and most consistent recording either of them had made since Sepultura’s classic Arise in 1991. Almost three years on and Cavalera Conspiracy is offering up Blunt Force Trauma as the continuation of that renewed journey together. Having had the time to reacquaint themselves with each other, Iggor says that recording was even more fun this time around.
“Compared to the first one, this one was a lot more fun,” he says. “Last time we were still rediscovering each other and this time we were a little more used to each other so we really did enjoy it.”
Hitting the studio with producer and former Soulfly guitarist Logan Mader in April last year, Blunt Force Trauma was completed in May, a blistering turn around time considering the guys didn’t even have completed songs before they went in to record them. Iggor explains that spontaneity is the key to Cavalera Conspiracy’s albums. There is little planning involved, only “me and Max just jamming together”.
“We enjoy each other’s company, and out of that fun we have and the joy we have, we try to capture that and use that in our music,” he says. “We try to put that into some records. We did that on the first one, and we did that on the second one. We recorded two albums as fast as possible which is completely different to anything we did in the past. Out of that raw energy we get from each other, that’s something we don’t get from other people. With Cavalera Conspiracy we never really practised anything. We just go into a studio and jam a bunch of stuff, then we pretty much just edit what we come up with into what is now Blunt Force Trauma. Each album we did in a month. No practising, no writing for months and months.”
While there may not have been any real planning when it came to the recording process, Iggor had a definite idea about how he would approach his role in the band this time.
“For me, I just wanted to keep it as simple as possible. Drumwise, I wanted it to be very minimal. That was my thing, to have less fills and just straight beats and that was fun, to have that challenge in the back of my mind… less is more. That was a very, very cool challenge. Now we need to learn how to play those songs live. That’s another process.”
Inflikted was supported by only five months of touring and it’s not likely that the brothers will tour this new album much either. Max has stressed in the past that Cavalera Conspiracy is not a band that will tour heavily. Iggor agrees.
“I don’t think we’ll do more [shows than before]. We did some on the last album, but not as extensive as some other bands. We’ll do some shows, but no heavy touring. That’s one thing we do with Cavalera. We do some shows but not too much. We try to keep it special.”
The Infliktour was scheduled to descend on Australian shores in September 2008, but due to circumstances that have never exactly been made clear, the shows fell through.
“One thing we wanted to do that didn’t end up happening was we wanted to go at least once to everywhere,” the drummer says. “Somehow… we were supposed to go with Judas Priest to Australia, but it didn’t happen. I hope that is something we can do this time. Play not only the two albums but a big set with some Nailbomb and some other crazy shit in there.”
‘Crazy shit’ is a phrase that Iggor and Max seem to use a lot, and it could almost be the perfect way to describe the mix-and-mash approach both of them have taken with their music over the years as their raw and urgent metal began to incorporate tribal beats, world music, hip-hop and other disparate influences. It didn’t always engender enthusiasm from fans, but it didn’t stop them exploring.
“There’s always new ideas,” the younger Cavalera says. “We’ve always wanted to experiment more and more with music. As musicians we always wanted to try new stuff. But there’s no crazy plans, no masterplan behind it. We just play the music we love in the end.”
As the former drummer for one of the world’s best known metal bands, Iggor Cavalera has been an inspiration to a generation. Well into his third decade as a career musician, Cavalera himself finds his inspiration in what he does every day.
“I think it’s very important to be inspired,” he says. “And to inspire other people, but I think the most important thing is to enjoy what you do. That’s something that me and Max do 100% with Cavalera. We enjoy every second when we go out. To do an album or go on tour, that’s the most inspiration for me.”
Max has often expressed fondness for a reunion with Sepultura, and mentions the possibility regularly.In his interview with Loud back when Omen was released, he claimed Andreas Kisser just made things too hard when they spoke about it recently. Iggor apparently doesn’t see any need for it. To his way of thinking, the reunion has already happened.
“Me and Max playing together, that’s the reunion,” he says. “Out of all the other people who passed through Sepultura, that’s what I consider to be the reunion. I don’t see why there needs to be other people in on it. I’m more than happy to have what I have right now. I don’t need any other kind of reunion.”