Max Cavalera talks Pandemonium, Cavalera Conspiracy tour, new Soulfly album and more

It was just last fall when Cavalera Conspiracy released their third album, Pandemonium. With many people saying this is the band\’s heaviest album yet, brothers Max and Iggor Cavalera are firing on all cylinders. With a new label home in Napalm, the band are at their best with Pandemonium and frontman Max Cavalera took some time to sit down with us recently to talk about their upcoming tour with Corrosion of Conformity, Death Angel and Lody Kong. FRR: So you are about to head out on the road in a couple of weeks with Cavalera Conspiracy supporting Pandemonium. You’re gonna be out with Death Angel, of course I bet you just can’t wait to get this tour started, how are you feeling going in to this? Max Cavalera: Yea man, it’s been good. I can’t wait, I’m itching. I don’t like to stay home for too long. I’ve been home working on the new Soulfly. I’m driving tomorrow back to LA to put some more vocals on it. I’ve been doing that for the last weekends because the producer Matt Highs who’s producing the Soulfly album is also doing the Deftones right now and he has the weekends off so we are tackling the weekends for the vocals and it’s going great. I am excited to go on tour, it’s a great tour, it’s a great package. I love C.O.C., Death Angel’s an epic thrash metal and Lody Kong- my kid\’s band and Cavalera- we haven’t really toured for Pandemonium since the album came out yet. We did a quick Brazilian tour and that was about it, so I’m very excited to get back on the road. FRR: Nice! With the album having come out last fall and then having spent a lot of this year writing for the new Soulfly, you’ve got to feel like a caged animal almost, ready to just get back on the road, get back on the live stage and just let loose, and what better album to do it with, Pandemonium, probably the heaviest of the three the Cavalera Conspiracy albums. Max Cavalera: We’re gonna try to play a lot of stuff from that record just because it’s gonna be great. We already play a couple of the songs, we play “Babylonian Pandemonium,” “Not Losing the Edge”- we played that in Brazil and the reaction was great but I want to play more there’s a lot of great songs like “Scum,” “Kamikaze,” “Father of Hate” there’s a lot of real heavy powerful great mosh pit songs, so I want to hit them hard with that. And then of course we’re gonna play all the classic Cavalera stuff from the other records and of course old Sepultura stuff that everybody wants to hear from the brothers playing the original stuff. FRR: I was gonna ask about that. With you and Igor being in Sepultura way back in the day, is there any chance that we’d hear some of those live but you just answered that. Max Cavalera: I like playing them with Iggor because it’s like the real thing. We were in the beginning. I started the band with Igor, we started Sepultura. So we’re gonna play old stuff like “Troops of Doom” and “Necromancer.” It’s really killer, I love doing that and we did it in Brazil and the reaction was great. And then you’ve got a huge catalog with “Desperate Cry,” Beneath the Remains, Arise…then the Roots stuff. I think we’re going to probably play for close to 2 hours, so I’m excited for that. I think that’s gonna be great. FRR: This is the first album on Napalm for you, obviously you left Roadrunner before this album and Soulfly did the same. Both bands, the last albums you’ve released have been on new label homes. Do you feel that contributed to the overall product of each new album with Savages and Pandemonium or did it help at all? Max Cavalera: Yea, I think Napalm’s doing a great job. They’re a great label, I love working with them. They’ve got great bands. They’re a really very cool metal label and they supported the hell out of the record and made some really special items like box sets, Brazilian flags- I’ve got one hanging up on the wall, the Cavalera Brazil flag, and vinyl, they did a bunch of vinyl. The vinyl looked great for Pandemonium. I love the colors of the cover, it’s a really cool cover, so we’re very happy to be on Napalm and I’m happy to be on Nuclear Blast too, that’s a perfect place for Soulfly. I think they’re gonna pump the shit out of the new record because it’s our tenth. It’s not every day that you release your tenth record, it’s kind of an accomplishment. I feel it’s a milestone, it’s a great achievement to get 10 albums out. Sometimes it’s kind of crazy to think about that, that it’s actually 10 records, but it happened! But I’m excited, there’s a lot of really cool stuff on the record. I’ve got to finish that first, go on tour, turn back to Cavalera, after the Cavalera tour I will mix Soulfly and I think eventually in the middle of the year we’ll turn all the engines back to Soulfly and then go back on the road with Soulfly for the next year, year and a half. FRR: You just mentioned it, Soulfly, the next album is going to be 10 albums. Like you said, it’s an accomplishment. Not many bands can get to 10 albums anymore. Is there anything special planned for this tenth record or are you just gonna go in and do what Soulfly does best and rock the holy hell out of all of us? Max Cavalera: Hopefully we get together with Nuclear Blast and plan a couple of special things for the record and maybe there’s some special packages they want to do for it. I love doing stuff like that and I know they like to do that kind of stuff too. Like I said, it’s not every day that you release your tenth record, it’s a cool achievement and we’re in a really cool place with Soulfly. Zyon played drums second time around he did much better on this album, he’s really on fire on the new album. Marc did some excellent guitar work, I’m really proud of him, and then Tony also did great, so it looks really good man. I think it’s going to be a very strong full-on album for us. The material’s kind of mixed, some of the stuff is really fast, the first couple of songs on the album are all fast and then eventually it slows down and there’s some really heavy stuff. I think it’s a really strong album and I’m really proud of it. I think a lot of people are gonna like it. FRR: You do so much. You’re in two or three bands, two of them full time with Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy, obviously Killer Be Killed, you guys played your first show not too long ago. Is it hard to separate the three bands and make them their own beast and keep them from sounding similar to each other? Max Cavalera: I think for me it’s actually fun. It’s what’s made me stay active and helped me and shape me into a better musician and make me a better songwriter and lyrics because of this project because I have so much. It never kind of gets boring because we jump from one thing to another. Australia was insane with Killer Be Killed, I had so much fun with that. All of us, we were all talking- me, Troy, and Greg are stoked that it came out so good, because we loved the record, we thought the Killer Be Killed record was really good, but it was ten times better playing live. The energy was there. There’s a magic on that project that’s really cool. I can’t really describe in words, but there’s definitely some kind of magic involved on that, when we go on stage people just lose their shit. In Australia, they went crazy. I can’t wait for a US tour, I think we’re gonna try to one in November and maybe a little bit of Europe. But hopefully in November we can do that so the US fans can see some live Killer Be Killed. FRR: That’s gonna be so awesome man. Family is a really important part of your music in every aspect. Obviously Gloria with managing, Zyon with Soulfly, Richie’s with Zyon’s heartbeat on the intro of the album. Even How has it been for you watching all of this stuff coming together, especially now with Zyon being in Soulfly, Richie doing his own thing, it’s a metal family, you’re like the First Family of metal now! Max Cavalera: It’s really cool, man. What’s cool is that it just happened like that. I didn’t plan, I hoped for them to be into metal but I didn’t really know if that was going to happen, but eventually most of them became musicians, Richie, Zyon and Igor. And Jason is a drum roadie for Zyon and everybody helps and Gloria of course goes on tour with me, so we work together really good. It is a metal family and I’m proud of it, man. I think it’s so cool. My kids keep me modern because they show me a lot of stuff. Iggor shows me all these bands that I never even knew exist, and he’s like “You’ve got to check this out, this is the future! The future of metal is right now, you’ve got to listen to this!” He keeps me on track with music so it’s great having that. FRR: I assume if you didn’t have him to show you this stuff, you don’t have time to check out. You released the book last year, you do so much. So it’s gotta be good to have that extra right there to show you all this new metal, because like you said there’s so much coming out in metal that’s so good! Max Cavalera: Yea I’m a big fan. I love promoting bands, I get them to send me shirts, get in contact with them, I think it’s really cool. I love a lot of the new stuff. I listen to a lot of heavy stuff all the time, so I do find time for that which is cool. Even being busy with everything, I still have a little time set aside that I check out and go search for new bands and get in touch with them. I think it’s part of a cool feeling to still being part of the underground somehow. That part of me never left me, which is great. I think it’s cool to be still connected to that. We went to see King Peril with Weedeater, just talking to fans, they were totally stoked that I went to the show, and they were like “Man, I can’t believe you’re here!” after the show and I was like “yea, it’s cool!” I like the band, I met them in Australia, and they’re good friends of ours. So it’s cool, I love being a metal head. It’s one of my favorite things, being a metal head. I’m proud actually, to have my black shirts and my camouflage pants- it’s like my uniform! FRR: Can you tell me a little bit about the experience of writing “My Bloody Roots,” your memoir that came out last year? I think it only took me like a week to read the whole thing because you get started and it captures you and you just don’t want to put it down! Max Cavalera: I’ve heard that from a lot of people and that made me happy that was the effect the book had on people because I was worried that some people would find it boring or slow or something, but that wasn’t the case at all, people really liked it! It was a different process, different from music because you have to talk about your life and remember a lot of stuff, and I was happy that a lot of people helped like Dino and Mike Patton, even Dave Grohl wrote the intro to the book, which was so killer. He’s so big right now and when I asked him about that I didn’t know what to expect, I thought he would say he would be too busy for that and that he couldn’t do it, but his reply was right away “It’d be my honor, I’d be honored to do that to Max.” So that was really cool. I told my guy we did a really good job, he’s a professional, he knows his stuff. His books are really good, it was fun. It was kind of like a therapy session going back in time and remembering all of that shit. It was all good. I think there’s a lot of cool stories, a lot of personal things that people didn’t know like being baptized in the Vatican, pissing off Lemmy, puking on Eddie Vedder. It’s all been part of this crazy metal journey that I’ve been on. It’s a really honest book, I think, and I tried to tell the stuff as truthful as I could in the book, so I think it came out like that, so I’m really happy with it. I think I can put that on the side now and maybe write another one in 20 years with 20 more years of adventures, but it was great! I had a lot of fun doing it and I love the pictures that go, because I tried to pick really different pictures, not the ones you see on the internet but very, very personal pictures so there’s like pictures of my mom, my dad, my grandmother, like really rare stuff like that and then of course band pictures and stuff, I think it came out really good, I’m really proud of it. FRR: The new tour starts off April 10 in El Paso, a great place to start a tour! You’ve got a bunch of shows back to back in Texas and the tour wraps up May 5th, Cinco De Mayo in Tempe, Arizona, it’s gonna be an awesome tour. Great tour package, that’s a metal tour package if there ever was one right there. Max Cavalera: Yea, I’m really excited, man. I think it’s a great combination, you’ve got C.O.C. which is legendary, and Death Angel is legendary thrash and then you’ve got the Cavalera brothers, and then the new blood, Lody Kong starting the whole thing so I think it’s a really cool package. It reminds me of the days of the cool packages like the Sepultura/Napalm Death-type days…those were really fun tours, so I’m really glad we’re back doing these package tours because for quite a while we didn’t do too many, we did tours with one band. We did one with Havoc but I like more this kind of tour because there’s more to see. So people come to see tons of music to check out all night. You don’t get tired of it, you’re going to have a lot of fucking music thrown at you. And they’re all cool guys too, C.O.C. guys are great, the Death Angel guys are great so we’re gonna have a blast on this tour, it’s gonna be a hell of a cool tour!