“I think this album will please a lot of fans with me and Igor playing thrash. They’re going to get to hear aggressive music – they’ll be very happy.”
Pandemonium, the third studio album from the Cavalera Conspiracy, sees the band venturing into old school do-it-yourself territory. Max Cavalera tells JESSICA WILLOUGHBY why it was important for the band to get back to their roots.
Max Cavalera is a man that definitely knows a thing or two about his roots.
Making reference to the track that made Sepultura, the frontman’s former defining outfit, a household name amongst the metal community, the concept of staying true to yourself and the core beliefs that bind you has been a solid guide for his successful career. Whether it’s his obviously punk and thrash ties, his love for family or his Brazilian heritage – the passion he holds for these elements has always been present in his music.
But on Cavalera Conspiracy’s third album, he decided to take the band back to the days when it was just him and his brother, drummer Igor, jamming in their garage. He wanted the album raw, fast and more old school than ever before. The result is Pandemonium.
“We wanted to keep it very underground – no big studio,” Cavalera tells X-Press. “We just recorded it at a guy’s house in Phoenix, Arizona. No big producer, I did a lot of it myself. Punk rock mentality – very cool. I love making records like this – sometimes it’s the best. I also like the other way too, working with big producers in big studios. But with this album I thought we didn’t need to go down that path – we could do it ourselves.
“I gave it a listen the other day and I’m very pleased. I think I achieved what I wanted with the record. I wanted to make a fast record with Igor – a brutal record from beginning to end. It’s very different from Blunt Force Trauma (2011) and Inflikted (2008). It’s good to have a progression on your third album. Everything we wanted is on there. I think this album will please a lot of fans with me and Igor playing thrash. They’re going to get to hear aggressive music – they’ll be very happy.”
Although Cavalera produced most of the album on his own, he also enlisted the help of longtime friend and producer John Gray – who has worked on several Soulfly releases. “He’s very easy going and I think we needed somebody like that for Igor to be comfortable with,” Cavalera says. “I know how my brother works. I wouldn’t like to put him in a position of pressure. We did the last record with Logan (Mader) and he did a great job. But I knew John could do a perfect, amazing job also. He worked with me on the Soulfly albums Prophecy (2004) and Dark Ages (2005) and I get along well with him – he’s an awesome guy.
“Showing stuff to John – some of the records I wanted our album to sound like. A bit like Nasum, Pig Destroyer, Trap Them, Full Of Hell – some of those bands that I listen to. They all have really raw sounding records and not really polished production. I think by showing John those sounds and having them as a direct influence, we achieved something quite similar with our sound – but obviously we have our own elements that make us whole. It was very, very fun working with him. We did a lot of stuff together for the record; a lot of the effects. Like dogs barking and sirens and all this weird shit.”
The Cavalera brothers also got to work directly with a member of one of their favourite bands, Converge bassist Nate Newton, throughout this offering. “He’s not an official member of the band,” he explains. “He’s still in Converge. He was a guest musician, similar to what we had of the first record Joe (Duplantier) from Gojira playing bass. For some reason, this band always has a problem with bassists; we can never get a bass player to stay with us. Converge is one of Igor and I’s favourite bands. Even though I didn’t know Nate personally, he was a very cool guy and he did an amazing job. I even had him singing on The Crucible because I know he sings in a sideband he has called Doomriders. He’s got these great Sick Of It All kind of vocals and I loved making that song with him. “We are going to try an have Nate tour with us a bit next year, if he can hopefully come.”