BY larry may
Often times, seasoned musicians offer new music when their careers are on the wane, or worse yet, dead in the water. Bills have to be paid, alimony is piling up, and fast money takes precedence over artistic integrity. Max Cavalera is not that man. After a storied run with metal stalwarts Sepultura and Soulfly, Cavalera has come roaring back with his new band, Cavalera Conspiracy. Reunited with his brother, Iggor, Max has reemerged with another brutal round of metal majesty. I spoke with him not long ago, and he answered questions about his band’s new record, “Inflikted”.
What is the title track about?
Iggor and I were in Indonesia in 1992 and got to see this ritual that involved self inflicted pain. I wrote the song then, and forgot about it. Then I was looking at pictures about the ritual, and played the song for Iggor, and he wanted to put it on the record. We both loved this song as the opener for the new record. It makes a statement that we’re back, and represents what this record is all about.
It seems as if Blood Brawl, Never Trust and Hearts of Darkness are a trilogy in the middle of this record. Is that intentional?
That’s open to interpretation. If that is what you hear, then that is what it means to you. I wrote this album very open ended, so that everyone can walk away with their own meaning. This is a different way of writing for us, because it is so opposite from our earlier stuff (Nailbomb) that had more of a punk influence. It was a very lazy way of creating music.
What was the inspiration for “Blood Brawl”?
It refers to a fight that I had with my brother, Iggor. We definitely had a blood brawl. But it also is about the world, and the conflict in the world right now. It could be about the way people being born right now will look at the world and the way we’ve left it. But I could be wrong. I don’t know what I’m writing about half the time. I’m the wrong person to ask about that kind of thing.
Does this record have a political tone? It seems very timely, considering the climate we live in?
We’re not a political band, and I’m not a political writer. To borrow a phrase from Black Ark, “If you’re for it, I’m against it”. It’s a strong statement, very metal. We look at things like “We didn’t start this, but we will retaliate the only way we know how. YOU made us like this.
After decades in the music business, Max Cavalera has earned the right to rest on his laurels, and metal fans wouldn’t expect any new music. But he intends to keep producing new metal for fans for years to come. Look for Max and Cavalera Conspiracy on tour this summer in support of their new album, “Inflikted”/.