Max & Iggor Cavalera are making a barnstorming return to Australia to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the infamous Return To Roots album. This album has well and truly stood the test of time getting metal fans young and old around the world a little excited by the return to the live stage of Max & Iggor Cavalera who are joined on this tour by guitarist Marc Rizzo and bassist Tony Campos. Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles spoke to Max Cavalera ahead of the tour starting this week.
Great news that you’re heading down to Australia with your brother for a tour?
Yeah, we’re very excited for that, it’s going to be great you know. We’ve done the Roots tour around the world and everyone is loving it and I can’t wait to play it for the Australian fans. It will be a blast and a great night for metal fans.
How has the world tour gone so far?
We’ve played America a couple of times, Europe a couple of times and South America. Iceland was great and we had never been there but was a fantastic experience. Now we are coming to Australia, it’s great, it’s a really cool tour and a lot of metal fans are really excited for this. It was a record that was really important to a lot of people’s lives and we play every song like the record. We are a great band, have great musicians, we’re just excited and we have Skindred supporting which will be great. I can’t wait to be playing those songs for the fans, we’re going to go nuts.
Was there a lot of pressure from fans to do this album live in its entirety?
There have always been people asking about that not just Roots but some of the other records. We decided to do it and we gave it a go at a festival in Canada, it came out great and the reaction was better than we expected. Then we did a full European tour followed by an American tour with Immolation and Full Of Hell which was fantastic. In San Francisco we had Mike Patton show up and did a guest vocal on Lookaway. Some of the best shows from memory was Download Festival, some of the South America shows were amazing. We’re hoping that Australia will be a part of some of the great shows that we’ll remember for the Roots tour.
Was it an easy decision to make to go back on tour with your brother?
It was my wife’s idea, she was watching Iggor and myself playing at a Soulfly show in London. Iggor was a guest at our show and he played Roots and Refuse/Resist which was crazy. She said that the fans don’t care who is in the band as long as the brothers are there, that’s what they want to hear, the original vocal, the original guitarist and the original drums, the soul, the band. We tried and it was great and worked out. The band we have is great, Marc Rizzo is a great guitar player and Tony Campos is a great bass player. The songs are played extremely well and the feedback from fans has been amazing.
Was it inevitable that playing with your brother again that you would gravitate back towards the Return To Roots album particularly when you announced that you would be touring again?
I don’t why we decided on Roots but last year was twenty years for that album. It was a big album for us and the biggest one we had ever had and possibly the most controversial album we have ever had. All in all it was one of the records, love it or hate it, you acknowledge the album so we thought we would give it a go and see how it works. The reaction was better than we thought, I think it surprised everybody how much they like the show. It was a great idea that worked out really well. We did some new t-shirt designs with the two faces based on the Roots cover which was able to be made in to a really good package.
Do you feel re-energised by how much the fans have got in to this?
The experience of sharing this with the fans is fantastic and the best part of it was how much I realised how important these records are to a lot of people. For a lot of people they were not even born when those records came out. Those young kids are singing every song at the shows then there are people our age that were around when Roots came out but this is different because we didn’t play all the songs from Roots, maybe four or five, this is the whole record. We play a lot of songs that we don’t normally play live and that’s what makes this tour really cool. I was so excited that his influences other projects we are working on such as the new Cavalera Conspiracy album was heavily influenced by Roots tour in terms of energy. We came out with a really good record bringing the experience of the tour was great.
Did it take a bit of relearning of some of those songs that you don’t normally play?
Yeah, it took like a week of rehearsals in Buffalo in preparation for the festival in Canada. It was like dissecting the album again and making sure things fit so we could play everything. There is a bit I play on the beginning of Attitude, there’s the song Ambush that Iggor and I play drums together, there’s the song Itsari which is the voice of Indians with Iggor drumming on top of it, there’s Lookaway which is a jam kind of song similar to Ratamahatta but everything else plays like the album, really close to the record. It was fun relearning those songs and reliving them after twenty years. I was feeling nostalgic going in and relearning the whole record again.
Are you happy with the new Cavalera Conspiracy album?
More than satisfied! This record will surprise everybody and I never thought that was possible because I myself put that record neck to neck with anything else I have done in the past including albums such as Arise and Beneath The Remains… that’s how much faith I have with this record and how powerful I think the record is. It is really well done and a really good mix of thrash and death metal, noise music. We worked with this great producer Arthur Rizk, he was the best guy and got a lot out of Iggor and myself that wouldn’t normally come out like waking the dragon that was asleep. There is one song with a guest, Justin from Godflash, called Hell Fire that came out great. All in all it is my favourite of all the Cavalera albums and one of the best albums I have done in my whole life. I really excited for people to be able to hear this record.
Interview by Rob Lyon
Catch Max & Iggor Cavalera on the following dates