Several Sepultura records have surfaced since Max Cavalera quit the band in 1996, and he's yet to listen to a single one. He hasn't heard one note from 1998's Against or one riff from 2001's Nation, and he has shunned both 2003's Roorback and 2006's Dante XXI. And, no, the man who helped form the band doesn't plan on giving them a spin anytime soon.
"I compare it to — although I've never been divorced — going out with your ex-wife and her new husband," Cavalera said during a chat with Metal File on Wednesday, the same day Inflikted, the debut LP from his new band, Cavalera Conspiracy, opened at #72 on the Billboard albums chart, selling more than 9,000 copies during its first week in stores. "I don't think anyone would want to do that. It's unpleasant, it's weird. I've stayed away from them. People have been blown away that I haven't heard those records. But I went my own way, and I don't even know what they sound like anymore."
But perhaps Cavalera will reconsider, since he's mended fences with his brother Igor, his former Sepultura/ current Cavalera Conspiracy bandmate, after a 12-year rift, during which the brothers spoke not a word to each other. Max's decision to leave Sepultura created unbelievable tension between the siblings until about a year ago, when they banded together once again for the Conspiracy, perhaps the closest thing fans will get to a Sepultura reunion.
"Maybe now that I'm more at peace, I'll give them a listen," Cavalera said. "But probably not."
For metalheads far and wide, it's nice knowing the Cavaleras are tight again and sounding perhaps better than ever on Inflikted. For Max, it's even more rewarding to know that he's resolved the issues he'd had with Igor.
"It's been really cool, man," he said of working with his brother again. "Just to play with Igor and talk to him again, that was my own personal victory, because those 12 years without talking to him were tough. Anybody who has a family crisis like that knows it's not a good situation at all. So to just be back with him was great, but on top of it, to make a record and now have so many people into it, it's very exciting, man."
What are the chances Sepultura might be revived? Cavalera makes no promises, but he said that if the band were to get back together, it would be for a good cause — and wouldn't necessarily feature the Roots lineup.
"I like to say that I'm waiting for the Armageddon, so we can be the band that plays right before the end of the world," Cavalera joked. "I would like to see [a reunion happen], more so for our fans, because my sons, they're 12, and they're getting into metal big-time. And they want to see a Sepultura with me and Igor. So I definitely would like to do that, but it has to be the right time. The time is not right now. I can say it won't be happening this year, but I think it would be cool.
"People always ask me about the Roots lineup, but I'd rather get back with the guys who were there in the beginning, like Jairo Guedes," he continued. "That was a very essential time for the band, so if a reunion ever comes, I would push to invite the older guys or maybe even just get a cool kind of jam session together with other musicians."
For Inflikted, Cavalera said the band (which also features Gojira's Joe Duplantier) just wanted the tracks to evolve in an organic manner, so they didn't hit the studio with any preconceived notions — just some riffs, a couple of songs and lyrics.
"I came into this project with doubt and had no idea what was going to happen, so I just let it happen," Cavalera said. "The only thing we did on purpose was we didn't allow interference from other [genres] to bleed into our sound. It was a return, for me, to when I was 14, wore black shirts and listened to metal and hardcore and nothing else. I had that kind of vibe on this record, and when Igor would start doing beats that were a bit tribal, I'd come in and say, 'Nah, man — not that sh--, not right now. You need to play angry, play mad and beat the sh-- out of those drums.' I was kind of motivating them to maybe do a more violent, brutal record. To me, to be back with Igor, I wanted to recapture that fire of what we had with Sepultura.
"I wanted to create a really chaotic, heavy album — it just felt right," he said. "It's 2008, and the world is going to sh--, and I felt this would be a good time to write a really heavy record."
But the new band isn't the only thing keeping Max busy. He also just finished recording the next Soulfly record, which he said could be out in August.
"In terms of the world-music sh--, I went to Egypt for a while and wanted to capture some really crazy Egyptian instruments," he said. "I recorded stuff down by the Nile River and used different instruments I'd found over there. And we have two collaborations on the album. One is the heaviest Soulfly song ever, with David Vincent from Morbid Angel — it's very intense and may even scare Soulfly fans. The other is with Dave [Peters] from Throwdown. We came up with this really old-school, hardcore, Pantera/Sepultura track called 'Unleash.' The album is pretty brutal — probably more brutal than anything else Soulfly has done."
For now, though, Cavalera's just amped to get back out on the road and tour with his brother Igor again. But much like Van Halen and Guns N' Roses tours of yore, he's not so sure it will all be smooth sailing.
"I'm sure there will be a lot of chaos coming our way on tour," he said. "Maybe we'll need to take out insurance."
The rest of the week's metal news:
We've heard virtually nothing — at least nothing official — about this year's Ozzfest, including whether there will even be one this year. But it seems Ozzfest's organizers are close to making an announcement, and within the next couple of weeks, all will be revealed. Metal File can tell you what rumors we've come across, besides the one that has Ozzfest morphing into a two-day fest in Dallas: We've heard this year's edition could feature Korn, Alice in Chains, Filter, System of a Down's Serj Tankian, Bullet for My Valentine, Killswitch Engage, Dimmu Borgir and even the Cavalera Conspiracy (Max says he hasn't heard anything about Ozzfest). But we've heard all sorts of crazy rumors, so who knows? ...
After five years with the band, bassist Todd Evans (a.k.a. Beefcake the Mighty) this week announced his departure from Gwar. Evans plans to focus full-time on his new band, Mobile Deathcamp, who rumor has it will be touring this summer with the reunited Green Jelly. ... Unfortunately, we won't be seeing Nevermore at this year's New England Metal and Hardcore Fest. According to guitarist Jeff Loomis, the boys weren't able to replace Chris Broderick, who recently left to join Megadeth; the band claims it can't play as a four-piece. "We have tried ... but were unable to reach the real Nevermore sound, especially in a live setting, which is what our fans could expect from us," Loomis said in a statement. "We really feel sorry about this, as we know that our fans were waiting to see us at the New England Metal Fest. We hope to see you all soon." ...
It looks like some dates for that rumored Heaven and Hell/ Judas Priest North American run have leaked. Pollstar listed the dates on its Web site and subsequently pulled them down. The tour would also feature Motörhead and Testament, but so far there's been no official confirmation that the tour is happening. If those Pollstar dates are to be believed, the trek will get underway August 7 in Bristow, Virginia, and hit Holmdel, New Jersey; Long Island, New York; Toronto; Uncasville, Connecticut; Burgettstown, Pennsylvania; and Clarkston, Michigan. The final date listed was August 19 in Tinley Park, Illinois. ...
Ozzfest '06 veterans Norma Jean have revealed that they plan to enter the studio this week to begin recording their LP, which they've titled The Anti Mother. Producer Ross Robinson will once again helm the effort, which could be in stores late this summer. ... For Swedish progressive metal outfit Burst, 2007 was spent writing material for a new record. Now, in 2008, it's time to put those tunes to tape. Burst entered the studio last week, and according to the band, the effort will most likely be released early next year. ...
Another week, another supergroup. Looks like Fear Factory members Christian Olde Wolbers and Raymond Herrera have teamed up with Threat Signal's Jon Howard to form a new band, the hard-to-pronounce Arkaea. The band will hit the studio soon to begin tracking, and Olde Wolbers said in a statement that the material they've been working on was "designed like the Fear Factory songs that Raymond and I always wrote. However, we've been able to push the boundaries and go out of that context, while remaining heavy." The band's debut is being eyed for a fall release.