Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, May 26, 2014

Interview with Igor Cavalera of Lody Kong!

Saturday night I got the chance to interview Igor Cavalera  of Lody Kong (Max's son, not brother) We got a great chat in and got to talk about his band, what it's like to be a Cavalera, and some of the evolution set to come. Lody Kong is one of my favorite up and coming bands, and if you dig crazy punk rock I'm sure you'll love them too!

If you haven't already, check them out on Facebook:

Hows it been going with Lody Kong?
Everything's going really good actually. We're in New River, Arizona at the moment working on new material for our first LP that we will be recording on Monday. It's the first full length that we've done, we've only had an EP before and we're all really stoked about this upcoming recording. All of our new songs are good, heavy and strong, so we're pretty excited.

When you say you're recording Monday, will you only be in the studio for a day or what?
We'll be recording for I believe 5 days to do about 10-11 songs.

What will the run time be?
It will be 30-40 minutes, a couple of the songs are a little longer. Some of them are a little less punk rock and a little more straight up metal, those songs are about 5 minutes. It's going to be a nice album. It's not going to be too short it's not going to be like the old Slayer records that were 20 minutes long, it's going to be good and heavy, I hope it's enough for everyone, we've got a lot of fans who have been waiting. I hope that what we put out is going to be what everybody wants.

After recording what are your plans? When will it be out? 
Hopefully September or October, we're still talking to labels. We haven't actually signed to anyone yet. We're talking to a couple we're not sure who we're going to go with. Expected release date should be this fall, around then. We're going to go on tour again too.

Can you tell, us are the labels you looking at bigger, or independent ones?
A couple of them are independent, one or two of them are major labels that are looking at us which we're super stoked for. Either way we go whether it is with the major or the independent people are going to find the music either way. We're just excited to do the music really. (Laughs)

Are you going to be touring to support this record?
We're scheduling a tour in early August to September with Soulfly in the States. We're hoping to get some Europe dates either after that American tour or early next year. We're just keeping our fingers crossed hoping that once this albums out things start to pick up. It's been kind of slow for us, we haven't toured for a few months, we've just been dedicating all of our time to writing and preproduction. We're hoping that all of the work we put into this album will put us on tours later on.

This tour with Soulfly, will that be a Maximum Cavalera tour or what?
It will be somewhat like the Maximum Cavalera tour, the only difference will be that Ritchie's band Incite won't be on that tour. Soulfly is looking for some other bands to go on after us in that main support slot. It won't exactly be a Maximum Cavalera tour, but it will be close to the same thing.

Do you have other tours set up with non Cavalera bands?
We're trying to. I've been getting in touch with some younger bands that are more age appropriate to what Lody Kong is. We've been talking to some more underground bands. We're just trying to put as much work as we can into the album and broadening our views on who we're going to tour with and things like that.

I've interviewed Richie too, and he was saying that other bands don't want to tour with him because they're like, why don't you just tour with Soulfly. Do you get that problem with Lody Kong?
Definitely, a lot of people probably don't expect us to really do much without Soulfly there's a lot of criticism on the internet about how the sons of a famous musician in a band get unfair benefits. We love to tour with Soulfly, it's family, it's fun, it's a little easier than touring with another band. We really want to get out with more bands to broaden our fan base. Touring with Soulfly is great but Lody Kong is a little bit more experimental. We're trying to find some more bands that are a little more experimental. One of the reasons that we are a little more experimental because we don't want to be like Sepultura or Soulfly. Just because Max is me and my brothers dad, we're not trying to take advantage of the name but just want to make it. We definitely face trouble and we're always going to tour with Soulfly once in a while but we definitely want to branch out and do some other stuff. Hopping in the van and just hitting the road.

Do you ever feel like you're in your father shadow in a way?
Definitely. People expect that we're going to put out an album and it's going to sound exactly like Chaos AD or something or that we'll put out something as good as Roots. In reality we want to do something totally different from all of that. We all love that music but we don't want to rip it off, I want my own sound, Zyon does too. We just want to have our own sound asides from being Max's kids. I don't mind the criticism that much. Some of it can get under your skin sometimes, but it keeps the fire going inside of me. I want to prove these people wrong. All of this criticism, instead of getting bummed about it, I'm going to write something that will make people go "Wow!". That's basically where we are, the shadow of Max falls onto us once in a while, but I don't really mind it. I was born and bred into this. There are people that criticize Max and he doesn't let it get to him. It's just how we were raised. My parents always told me that if I wanted to be in a band I would have to deal with criticism and comparisons. I've learned to deal with it, it's always fun though to be in a band!

To what extent has Gloria been able to help you?
She's a great help. She is one of the most solid metal managers on the planet. People sometimes put her down, just for being a woman and a metal manager. They'll think she isn't as powerful or can't stand up for herself. She does tons man. She works harder than anyone I know from morning till night, with about five different bands, pretty much all the time. She never lets anything stop her or get her down, she does a lot for us. She invented the Maximum Cavalera tour out of thin air so we could have a chance to get some exposure. People will sometimes say things like "Lody Kong wouldn't go anywhere if it wasn't for them setting that tour" That's not true, we wouldn't go anywhere if we didn't have a good manager. All I can say about my mom is that she's a hard worker and she dedicates every single moment of her life to these bands.

When you're not with Lody Kong in the studio, what are you doing? Are you in college, do you have a job?
Some of our guys work when we have time off from tours. I don't go to school, I dropped out of high school when I was 16 to pursue my career in music. Since I left school I've done nothing but play guitar and try and work on my voice and write good songs.

How long ago was that?
I've played almost my whole life. I've played drums for about three years and guitar my whole life. I'm not into the whole shredding lead guitars or anything but I like to work on my riff writing, I think that's a lot more important than being able to shred, being able to write a good song.

Is that a driving factor behind the Lody Kong sound?
Absolutely. A lot of the Lody KLong stuff doesn't really have any lead guitar playing, it just has a lot of raw riffing and heavy drum beats. This new album is going to be interesting because we're starting to mess with leads and more complicated riffs and bass lines. I'm really excited to see how this turns out. We've been a band for almost three years now and this is our first full length so we're all kind of giddy with excitement.

What should the fans be ready to expect off the new record then? What evolution will we see?
A lot of people called us a kind of grungy metal band. If you listen to No Rules you'll hear a lot of Nirvana Bleach influence and Melvins and shit like that. If you listen to the new er stuff tath we're working on right now you'll hear more stuff like Nailbomb and old thrash metal like Nuclear Assault. There's more mosh parts. We've still got kind of our trippy grunge parts in it but for the most part it's really just simple straight to the point raw metal. We dropped down to B. All of our old stuff was recorded in E. B is really really low, I think people aregoing to notice we've kind of taken a step into a heavier direction as opposed to the trippy kind of grunge approach.

What motivated this evolution?
For a while I would only listen to 90s grunge and late 80s punk rock, so a lot of the new stuff came from that. But over the last year since we last recorded I've gotten into a lot more stuff that I listened to before I was in a band. Iv'e been listening to more death metal, grindcore and powerviolence. I've always been a a fan of death metal and stuff. Obviously with Max as a father he would show me stuff like Morbid Angel, Obituary and Napalm Death. But when I started writing music I wanted to do more of this trippy grunge stuff. Over the last year I've kind of fallen back into that heavier stuff. It all depends on what you listen too. You listen to one type of music that you really like and you're going to see that the influence impacts your own music. There's newer bands I've gotten into as well bands like Nails, Wormrot, Noisem and stuff, who are all really young guys doing death metal and grindcore. It's kind of pushed me to see how heavy we could go with Lody Kong without losing our style. It still has the style of Lody Kong but a lot heavier.

Finish this sentence for me "I've never told this story before and probably shouldn't but..."
That's a tough one right there! (Laughs) I probably really shouldn't be telling this because my moms going to hear this. There's this one time we were all fried out on acid when my parents were out of town and we threw this huge fucking party and everything got thrashed and the house was destroyed. The next morning we were all laughing because my parents had security cameras built around our house because we had a stalker once. So we were all at our house that one night, and everything we had done the entire night was captured on video that my parents can go back and look at whenever they want too. That was about a week before Lody Kongs very first tour, this is about 2 years ago, we wanted a party before we left. We threw this huge rager and found out everything we did was caught on camera.

What is it that you love so much about music?
The energy. There's so many different kinds of energy that you can produce with music. Like I said earlier, I listen to grunge and punk rock, but I also listen to completely different spectrums of music like death metal and stuff. I love the vibe that you can create through music. Stuff like Blind Melon which is really chill and has nice melodies, before a good metal show I 'll put on Napalm Death or Carcass to get me excited. The fact that one person can listen to fifteen different kinds of music that's really what I love about it. The fact that I can wake up in this mood and listen to this band, or wake up angry and listen to another band to deal with that.

That's the big thing with Lody Kong, we want to have almost every single song have a new vibe behind it. It's where a lot of the Lody Kong stuff comes from. Like Zyon, our drummer and my brother, he makes hip hop beats for sale, just for fun on the side because he likes old hip hop. Our guitar player John listens to the Pixies and Minor Threat and there's me into death metal and other types of grunge. You take 20 different kinds of energizing music to produce what you want and you get something totally new. The energy in music is just astounding.

Any last words of wisdom?
If you're in a small  band, keep going, keep writing, keep doing what you can, that's what Lody Kong will always do. Be on the lookout for us on tour later this year, keep your eyes peeled for the album coming out hopefully in September or October.

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