CAVALERA CONSPIRACY's MAX On 'Inflikted': 'I Think This Album Is A Real Departure For Us'

Justin Donnelly of Mediasearch recently conducted an interview with SOULFLY/CAVALERA CONSPIRACY frontman Max Cavalera. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

On how long it took to put CAVALERA CONSPIRACY's "Inflikted" album together:

"I think that to a lot of people, this album seemed to come together very quickly. But to me, that's not the case. For me, it's been a very long process. Every day for the last two years, I have been submerged in this thing non-stop. So having said that, as you can imagine, I'm glad it's finally finished. It's been a very consuming album, and even a little stressful given the high expectations people have. But I really liked the way it turned out, and I think it stays true to the concept I had when I first started talking to Igor [Cavalera, Max's brother and CAVALERA CONSPIRACY drummer] about the project. I really think this is a strong album, and I believe it has a lot of potential. Actually, it's around this time that I consider the worst time. That's because the album has been finished for a while, but it still isn't released. I want people out there to hear it, but here I am still waiting! (laughs) I'm that excited about this release! If there's one thing about my job that I still haven't learned, its patience. I really don't have patience. I want this album out right now, and I want to be on tour. But I guess I'll just have to wait a little longer."

On crafting an album that is clearly modern sounding without betraying the achievements of the past:

"You know, I think this album is a real departure for us. 'Inflikted' wasn't really put together in any way that a lot of people expected of us. We didn't sit around with a couple of our own records going, 'Let's reproduce this!' For me, that's not the way I do things. No matter what, whether it was with SEPULTURA, NAILBOMB or SOULFLY, I always wanted to be at the front of change. I always wanted to go against the grain and introduce people to something new direction wise on every album rather than simply do the same thing time and time again. So when it came to making this album, it was no different to me. Maybe when people hear this for the first time, they might miss some of those changes. But if you listen to this album a few times, I believe it's something that will catch your ear because it's something that you probably haven't heard before. You'll find 'Inflikted' follows the same tradition of Igor and I in regards to doing something completely new sounding. It's got that sound that says we were simply going by our gut feeling the whole time. The albums we have made together in the past always had that same fire, but they took different directions sound wise."

On how he prepared for the writing sessions for CAVALERA CONSPIRACY's debut:

"Although I have made a lot of albums, there has only ever been two where I had a premeditated idea of what I wanted to do. The first album was 'Roots' (1996), which I recorded when I was in SEPULTURA. That was a conceptual album that actually had a name before anything was written for it. The only other album like that is SOULFLY's 'Primitive' (2000), and only because I had already planned to have so many guest appearances on there. Apart from those two, every album I have made has been completely unplanned. I have the first scratches of songs in my mind, along with some vocals and some song titles. But it's always through that studio process that we end up shaping the album. It's really the only way I do all of my albums. A lot of my albums really turned out different to how I initially thought they were going to be. Take for instance SEPULTURA's 'Chaos A.D.' (1993). That was originally going to be called 'Propaganda', and it was thematically going to be all about politics. That changed a lot in the recording process to eventually become what it did, which was talking about the chaos in the world as a whole. Things will always change in the studio, and even more so with Igor with me. We really didn't have any big plans behind the album. We just played what we thought was right. And as long as with thought the music was okay, it was on the album. It's the way we have always recorded our albums, and once again it was the same as this album."

On "Inflikted"'s high level of energy, speed and aggression:

I've been telling people that I think that there's definitely a fire and a level of aggression that can be attributed to me playing with Igor again. It's a gift man. There's a definite chemistry that works there, and this kind of music that lends itself to that sort of passion. I question why that has to change? I wasn't really interested in playing something that was something that we didn't want to do. We could have definitely made a Brazilian jazz album, but that's not what we're about. So in a very weird way, the two things I was staying away from was doing something too experimental, and staying away from anything that copied what we had already achieved in the past. I tried to find a balance between those two guidelines. I was constantly questioning how it could be done? I wanted something that has the fire of the past, but without borrowing too much from the past. But I also wanted something that showed that we still have a fire that's there for the future in the sound sense, without getting too experimental. So I think it was a fine line to work along. But I think we achieved that man. I think we achieved that. The album has a real sense of purpose and the fire I was looking for, and I think that comes from the pair of us together. I'm very happy with working once again with Igor, and we're both proud of 'Inflikted'.

On taking CAVALERA CONSPIRACY out on the road:

We'll definitely be touring with this thing and showing people out there that these songs have come out of this line-up. We also want to satisfy that group of people out there that want to see Igor and me playing together again. I know that Igor's looking forward to that too. He's excited about touring with this album as much as I am. He wants to go everywhere. So many people want to see that. There's a lot that missed the opportunity because they were too young to see us when we were playing in SEPULTURA, and then there's those that have been waiting ten years to see that again. So for all those reasons we'll tour, and make this band continue. It should be interesting. I don't see CAVALERA CONSPIRACY clashing with SOULFLY in terms of schedules. It's just something that has to be planned a little more carefully. But really, it's no big deal. I love music, and to me, the worst-case scenario is not being able to make music at all! (laughs) I have too much to do, and that's okay by me. Having nothing to do is bad! I've been busy. I wrote two albums (CAVALERA CONSPIRACY and the yet-to-be-released new SOULFLY album) in the last year. It wasn't easy, and it was time-consuming, but it was good. That's what I'm here to do. At this point in my career, I'm really hungry for music, and I want to do more. When you're feeling like that, you should work and create. And the same can be said for playing live. I think there's a very real possibility that both bands could possibly play live together at some larger events. It should be pretty cool. I'm looking forward to that."

Read the entire interview at


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