Max Cavalera Talks SEPULTURA – “I Don’t Really See Or Need A Reunion”
November 14, 2017, a year ago
Seemingly ever since the metal world was shocked/disappointed over the news that singer/guitarist Max Cavalera and Sepultura were parting ways back in 1997, rumors would pop up every so often about a possible reunion. However, it appears as though the closest metalheads may ever get to a Seps reunion is Cavalera Conspiracy - which sees Max joining forces once again with his brother/former Sepultura drummer, Igor Cavalera. And on November 17th, Cavalera Conspiracy will be issuing their fourth full-length overall, Psychosis, via Napalm Records. Max spoke with BraveWords correspondent Greg Prato about the new CC disc, as well as the current state of metal and the dreaded “r word” concerning his former band.
BraveWords: Let’s discuss the new Cavalera Conspiracy album, Psychosis.
Max Cavalera: “I’m really excited - we hit a really cool nerve on this one. I was always really into the idea of the mixing of death metal and thrash metal. It’s a really cool blend that not a lot of people do. We did it back in the day with records like Schizophrenia, Underneath The Remains, and Arise. Even Nailbomb is a little bit like that. But I like when bands did that - like Pestilence did some of that, and I think a little bit like Exhumed and even Entombed a little bit. But it’s a really cool idea that we went full-on, on this album. Almost all the songs have this crazy, cool, retro vibe. The sounds kind of remind us of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, but with the sound of right now - like noise and stuff like Full of Hell and Nails. I’m really excited. We were produced by Arthur Rizk, who is a friend of ours and is an upcoming producer. He did a great job on the record. It was fun working with him. I loved what he did with Power Trip, Inquisition, and Code Orange. Those are three fantastic records that he just produced. And he went on and did a great job for Psychosis. He worked his butt off and it sounds great. I’m very happy that we worked with Arthur on this one.”
BraveWords: Audio for the tracks “Insane” and “Spectral War” were premiered ahead of the album’s release, via YouTube.
Max Cavalera: “‘Insane’ is the first track on the album. It’s like a full-on thrash attack - it starts with the guitar, and I like the vocals a lot. The vocal arrangement reminds me a lot of old school stuff like Sodom and Kreator. The song lyrically touches upon the state of the world right now - it’s insane. Everything is upside down. So, the song is just a reflection of the world. And ‘Spectral War’ is really cool - it’s got a lot of double bass. The original demo that I made - because I write all the riffs and make demos out of it first - was full of double bass. And when Igor heard it, he almost had a heart attack! He was like, ‘Oh my God…I have to play all that double bass?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah. It would be cool if you could do it. Kind of like how you did it on ‘Desperate Cry’.’ He went for it, and it sounds killer. Lyrically, it’s about war in general, through the ages. All the way to the Roman Empire to now. The evolution of war. Spectral is like the ghostly aspect of the war, that always is around mankind, and is always around us. Always forcing countries to go to war, and forcing nation against nation, brother against brother, people against people. I love the ending. We have this really kind of…like a silent drum ending, and we needed a part, and Rizzo did a beautiful solo that reminds of like, later Death. Real melodic, just a killer, different ending. Very ambient. Different from the whole track. I think the chorus is really cool. I like the tempo change in the middle. It reminds me of ‘Desperate Cry,’ so it’s cool. It’s good to have these kinds of songs on the album. I’m glad that was the second song they picked, because it was a bit different from ‘Insane.’ ‘Insane’ is full-on thrash, and ‘Spectral War’ is a bit mid-tempo.”
BraveWords: Touring plans?
Max Cavalera: “I don’t know yet. We’re scheduling that right now. Right now, we have Return to Roots in December with Overkill in Europe. We’ve got 17 days of that. And then I’m working on a new Soulfly album - hopefully I will go to the studio in January and record it. And then I’m going to tour after that. So, it’s going to be next year, but we don’t have anything official yet.”
BraveWords: What do you think of the current state of metal, and who are some of your favorite bands?
Max Cavalera: “I think it’s great. I’m really excited. I think there’s a lot of cool stuff going on from the underground. Stuff like Necrot is great. I like a lot of the new releases that came out, like the new Leng Tch'e is great, and the new Origin, the new Cannibal Corpse is great. And I’m excited for next year - I think there will be a lot of cool releases, also. Metal is in a good place. We toured with some great bands - Cannabis Corpse just put out a killer new album. Noisem put out a really cool album. Lody Kong - my son’s band - are going to have new stuff for next year. All in all, I think metal is in good shape, good form. And next year will be even stronger with more stuff coming out and more tours. I’m excited.”
BraveWords: Has there ever been a point over the years that a Sepultura reunion idea was presented to you?
Max Cavalera: “Not really presented. There was a time we tried to get it going, but it fell on deaf ears, and we just kind of gave up on it. And then we realized we don’t even really need it. We did Return To Roots on our own and it was very successful, like we don’t even need it. At this point, I don’t even care if there will ever be a reunion. I gave up on the idea. I think it’s better to leave it like that and do stuff like the way we’ve been doing - either the Return To Roots, or the new stuff, like the new Cavalera Conspiracy and the new Soulfly, and the new Killer Be Killed. Kind of going to the future more than looking back. But I’m excited for all the new stuff that is coming up. With that in front of me, I don’t really see or need a reunion. So, it’s kind of a topic that doesn’t really enter my mind much. It’s pretty much a done deal that I’m good about. I’m good without it. I don’t need that to fulfill what I like to do with my life. So, I have a lot of stuff on my plate and I look forward to the future.”
BraveWords: Any contact with Andreas or Paulo Jr.?
Max Cavalera: “No. A long time ago. But not really. I don’t even listen to their records or nothing. It’s something that doesn’t interest me. They do their thing, I’ll do my thing. We go totally separate ways. It’s been going like that for years, and it’s how it is. It’s just how things turned out.”