Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, April 11, 2014

Richie Cavalera Interview

So, I recently had the huge honor of getting to call up my new friend Richie Cavalera and ask him some questions about his band Incite. In the interview we talk about his life in music, the new album, his family, and more. I hope you guys enjoy reading the interview as much as I liked doing it!

Be sure to check out Incite on Facebook!

How has life been lately?
Everything's been good. We're just working on the new record, jsut trying to wrap up all the writing and everything before we hit the studio.

So things are moving forward with Incite?
Yeah, we just locked up Matt Hyde to do the new record and he's done a lot of great albums. The material we have is going to make for a pretty kick ass record.

How did you end up working with Matt Hyde?
We did a little bit of research and got a top five list of guys we wanted to pursue and he was on that list from doing Slayer, Deaftones, Skeletonwitch and the other things he's done. We got a hold of him and everything worked out. He knew who the band was and was really excited about working with us. It was the perfect match, it's going to be a filthy record!

How's that new material sounding overall?
Oh man, it's really really brutal, it's got a lot more of a vibe like the first record, The Slaughter really short songs that are punchy and groovy with big choruses. At the same time you hear the growth that we've gone through having a new bass player and a new drummer. I think the drummer is more of a thrash player so it's just raging.

So it's really different from 2012s All Out War?
I think so, listening to the new stuff you can tell we're the same band that did All Out War but I think that this one takes The Slaughter and All Out War and makes them one. It's a good blend of all of them. We have a distinct sound now. I think you'll hear and be like "Oh that's Incite"

Developing your own sound, was that a goal you had going into this?
I think it's something that just happened you know? You go in making your first album and you don't really know how you're going to sound and how things are going to turn out. You lay it down and get it done. You go into the second record thinking of all the things you want to do differently from the first one. I think you just kind of build up to it. Our guitar tone has always got that same powerful sound to it. It always comes through with these riffs that... You're going to hear them and you'll know they're Incite riffs for sure. That builds over time with a band.

What would you say are the core elements that define Incite's sound?
A lot of it comes from the guitar riffs. We are a one guitar player band. We have distinct riffs that are really powerful and really get into your brain. They are followed up by heavier lyrics and no clean singing or anything like that. It's always forceful and driven, with a solid backbone from the drum and bass. Incite has got a sound that is very unique. You can never say Incite sounds like X. We've built our sound out of the different elements that each guy brings. I think a lot of people like the fact that we have no clean singing. It pushes the metal level up as opposed to where they'll have heavy bits and then the clean chorus. That never made sense to me. You can express it in different ways rather than just making your voice go soft. You can enunciate better so people understand your words a little more. Little tricks like that. I think it's going to have that same kickass heavy live vibe. That's the thing with our songs, most of them were written live while we were on tour and stuff, so we get to test them live and it's really fun.

When do you write on tour? A lot of bands don't have the chance to sit down and practice?
I think with this record we pushed the envelope and did something no other band has ever done before in the writing process. Recently we lost our touring guitar player who was supposed to be the writer. Instead we went back and got the guy who helped write the last two records. It was a real process because he lives in New Jersey, my drummer lives in Texas and the bass player and I live in Arizona. Everything was done through the internet and with Skype. We would send a guitar riff to the drummer. He'd put drums on it. Then He'd send it to me and we'd restructure it and I'd put vocals on it and the bass player would do the bass. That was almost without being together one time. It was difficult at times but it was really cool having that be the process. Normally you sit in a jam room or like us for the first two records we were always on tour and we'd write during the soundcheck. This is a whole difference experience to not be able to talk to each other and jam and just do it all through the internet.

Incite's been around for ten years basically...
Well the first couple of years were just local shows, still figuring out what we really wanted to do. Then in 2007 we kind of really started clicking and getting into our groove. It's been great! The one thing I've seen with band since it started is a constant growth with the fans and the music. It's taken that many years t convince people I'm not just here as a name, they're realizing that "Hey this band is really good, it doesn't matter who is in it". They realize we're a good metal band and I think people need good metal bands right now because a lot of them are just sounding the same or doing the same thing over and over and over and it's just not really progressing very much.

Do you feel like the Cavalera name affects what you do?
You know I think it hurts more than it helps. It helps in the fact that you're going to get press attention and stuff like that, but as far as fans and stuff like that, they don't care. They just think you're another famous persons kid trying to act famous because you got connections. It's actually a lot more than that, it's been really difficult. The hardest thing is to get tours, bands don't want to take you on tour because they think "Oh you're Max's kid so why doesn't he just take you out?" We just keep pushing on and if they're not going to take us on tour we'll just do our own tours and they'll have to beg us to take them out. It's gotten to the point in the industry where if you don't buy on a tour or if you're not under the same management it doesn't work out. It's been a crazy ride. I think people are starting to pay more attention to the band rather than the gimmicks of it.

Your mother is Gloria Cavalera, and she's incredible, so how do you feel your work affects what you do?
What's great about Gloria is she is the one that comes up with all the ideas like the Maximum Cavalera tours and the right direction to go, and not getting screwed over by record labels, or venues or promoters. This is just huge for us. It's the best support in the world for all that. She believes in her bands and does everything she can to get them out there and keep them going. She's had a long time in the business and people know and respect her. I think it helps for us to have her associated with the band. She's worked with all these promoters and everybody for the last 25 years has loved and respected her and that shows on your band you know?

I found in a couple places that the Cavalera's have been called the ultimate metal family, how do you feel about that kind of statement?
I think that's cool. That's something that Gloria has tried to brand over the last couple of years, making these Maximum Cavalera tours and Igors band, Lody Kong and having the whole family package. I don't think that's ever been done before in music. Especially not with three cool bands, not just whatever type of music put up there. I think what she's done has just made an empire out of the name and that's just what her job is as a manager, you want to make a legend rather than a one hit wonder, things that will last. I think that's one great talent that she has. It's just setting you above the rest and making it more special.

This desire for a one hit wonder, is that a major problem in the music industry for you? How do you feel about the state of the industry as a whole?
I think one hit wonders are always going to be there, that's just the way it is. Music goes with the trends of the time and I think right now, the trend is like Five Finger Death Punch, rock and roll, the Volbeat type of stuff. It's cool because it's heavier than some of the stuff we've been forced with in the past. It's just another trend and that's the way it goes. Real good music always survives that stuff. I think now that the recession is kind of ending and people have more money to go to shows and buy merchandise its starting to come back around.
I have to look at it with an eye towards the future. There is that chance. I've seen a lot of local bands that are great and have a good chance of starting up. Bands like Havok out of Denver who are unbelievable and bands like Sylosis and stuff. I think these older bands who are coming to an end like Metallica and Slayer should at least lend them a hand and take those bands on tour and secure the future of music just like bands did for them. That's the thing that scares me. You see Metallica go on your and they only take platinum selling bands. You see Mayhem every year and its the same five bands, Korn, Avenged Sevenfold, Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie. It's got to open up to where you can give these new bands a chance and keep the music thriving.

You talked about the Maximum Cavalera tours, will there be another one this year?
We're having a lot of requests for it. I wasn't too into it, because I always thought Incite should tour with other bands, not just Soulfly. But, if scheduling and everything comes out right, it will definitely happen. I know Gloria is trying to work on one for the fall in America. I never say never, I just want to be on tour, playing in front of crowds and anyway I can do that I'll do it.

You're going to be spending most of this month recording the album, after that what are the plans with Incite? Are you going to tour over the summer or what?
Usually they don't want you to tour until about the month before your record drops. For the month after the records done I'm busy with mixing, artwork, and that kind of stuff. Then there's another month of press and all that stuff. We're shooting for July/August to get back on the road. I imagine the record will come out in September. We have a relentless touring schedule that will come once our record has a release date. We've already had a lot of bands starting to contact us. I think that buzz from not slowing down is paying off. People are starting to reach out more.

Is Incite your full time job, or do you have something else on the side?
Usually, I'll go on tour with Soulfly and be their merchandiser, so I'm constantly on tour, promoting Incite to fans, and always involved with music and making some money to do it as well as help the family out. It's an all around win.

Finish this sentence for me "I've never told this story before and probably shouldn't but..."
Alright, I got a really good one for you. '98 Ozzfest, and it was crazy bands, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, party bands. In Ohio one day, Fred Durst went out into the crowd and got a bunch of girls to come back into the dressing room. Me and Jack Osbourne were probably fourteen-fifteen at the time. These girls are getting naked and partying with me and him. Next thing you know Paul Booth comes in and starts getting the girls butt-naked. So they're sitting on my lap and on Jack's lap. Then Ozzy's tour manager kicked in the door with Soulfly's tour manager and kicked everybody out. I think three people got fired that day. I don't think I've ever told anyone that story, I hope Jack doesn't get mad about that one. We were young kids raging with all these crazy bands, so we always found ourselves in weird places.

Do you and Jack Osbourne have kind of a bond because of your similar situation?
From '94 to 2001 we were definitely good friends, our whole families were. Ozzy saw himself in Max and what he went through in Sepultura. We had a lot to relate to each other. We could be each other friends and not worry about who our parents were. Especially to be on Ozzfest when we could do whatever we wanted. We got into a lot of trouble together and caused a bunch of damage. One time we were in Mall of America and we accidentally left him there. We came back to the hotel me and Kelly and Ozzy about killed us for leaving Jack. We had a lot of great times.

What do you love so much about music? 
I just love what music can do for you in any situation, if it's a good day, a bad day, whatever. In any situation it can help you out. There's a song for every kind of situation. That's one thing people will always turn too, whether they have to find it through the underground or through the mainstream. It's the sound to the universe and to life, it's amazing. I just love being a part of that. There's nothing like being on a stage and having people relate to the material you're putting out.

Any last words of wisdom?
Get ready for Incite 3.0, it's going to be a great record, spread the word! Just keep metal music alive, tell somebody that you know about a new band that's coming up. Keep it going because that's what we all need. Keep the horns high!

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