Part 3: Iggor Cavelera (Cavalera Conspiracy, Mixhell, ex-Sepultura)
Iggor Cavalera made a brief appearance to a tough, metal hungry audience who had just witnessed a ferocious fifteen minute set by Norway’s "Enslaved". Iggor remained undaunted by chants of "Yeeeaaahhhhh booooyyyyyy" and "Word to yo’ mutha!" as he and his wife presented his latest project "Mixhell", essentially a brief electronica DJ set sandwiched in between "Enslaved" and "Napalm Death"
Following Iggor’s "Mixhell" set I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking all things Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy and metal in general with this longtime metal veteran. I will be looking forward to seeing if his new project "Cavelera Conspiracy" with brother Max, makes it’s way through the States on a headlining tour, as it would be very exciting to hear some classic Sepultura performed live once more by the Cavelera brothers.
Iggor is the dude in the brightly colored shirt at the turntable…..
Good afternoon Iggor, what brings you to SXSW?
Actually, I’m doing some DJ gigs, this is one of them (showcases) a lot more (of the gigs) are more electronic oriented, this is the only one that is metal, all the other stuff is more electronic which is my other project called Mixhell. So that’s why we’re here. (By we Iggor means him and his wife who is a part of Mixhell)
Tell me about your MIXHELL project, I suppose being a drummer doing the drum and bass thing must come natural for you….
Yeah, I mean, I always liked different beats from all over the world, like try out new things and new ideas, but for me it’s just another step of learning in music.
For me today in music electronic music has a lot of experimenting going on and I like it a lot. Where I think in rock music and even in metal I think it’s a little slower today. People are more…how can I say….not really experimenting with different sounds, and I like to have people who try new things, so I think in electronic music there’s a lot of that going on.
Back in 2006 when you made the decision to stop touring with Sepultura, eventually deciding to leave the group altogether, you cited needing more time to spend with your family. Was that the main reason you left Sepultura, or was it just not challenging you musically anymore?
Both I must say, especially touring, I was really sick of touring, even though right now I’m back into it, which is kinda like crazy, but I’m doing something with my brother and I’m doing something with my wife so it’s a completely different atmosphere.
With Sepultura for me was very hard touring, cause the only person I really got along like really good was Derrick (Derrick Green – current Sepultura vocalist), and it really didn’t feel much like family anymore.
So, I like to be around my family and friends, so, that’s what I’m doing right now, touring Mixhell with my wife and then doing Cavalera (Conspiracy) with Max.
After leaving Sepultura it wasn’t long before you and your brother Max started jamming again. How is that working out?
Really good, I mean, it’s like a project so we don’t put a lot of pressure into it. We just do things that, they happen, it doesn’t have the pressure of being in a band and waiting at home for things to happen…it’s just…I have a lot of fun doing it.
I get together with Max and we do albums, now we’re gonna do shows together and it doesn’t mean that we need to be doing things like we did with Sepultura. All the business and all, it’s more of a loose kind of thing.
I understand that Inflikted, the debut album for Cavalera Conspiracy will be released on March 23rd. When can we expect to see a Cavalera Conspiracy tour?
Well in America right now I don’t think there is a tour, cause we’re gonna start in Europe doing a lot of festivals, and then after we’re done with the European festivals we should have some kind of American tour planned.
Right now there’s some talk about different bands like Dillenger Escape Plan and some other bands to make like a package…I don’t know, it’s not been confirmed yet so….
I’m looking forward to doing some shows for the album.
Is Inflikted just a one off for you guys or will Cavalera Conspiracy continue on from this point as a band?
That’s the crazy thing about it, when I spoke to Max first we were like “Let’s do this album and see what happens” last time I was with Max we were already talking about a next album so it’s like if we continue the same vibe that we had on this one, we’re gonna do more so… It was very simple, we never practiced, we just showed up in the studio, me and Max wrote all the stuff recorded. So for me if it’s like that I’m cool with doing more and more stuff. So it’s not….definitely not (just) one album.
So does that mean the end of Soulfly?
No, no actually that’s the cool thing about it. Max is still doing Soulfly, I’m still doing Mixhell and we stop at some point and do Cavelera and once we get sick of it we can come back to our normal thing.
After playing so long in Sepultura I imagine a change of scenery is refreshing. How do you enjoy working with Marc Rizzo and Joe Duplantier?
They’re fun I mean for me I was really, really excited to work with Max again and to have them be part of it, it was cool. No drama. Actually they had to learn how me and Max work, once they got the rhythm it was perfect, they were just there helping out structuring all the stuff.
I expect that the two of you will be playing some older Sepultura songs live as well…
Yeah, yeah….that’s how we started jamming, we jammed some Nailbomb, Sepultura with Marc and with Joe, and Max has already been talking about doing some obscure Sepultura, maybe even like, not just the typical, you know like more successful songs like Territory or Roots, but going back and doing like Necromancer and old, old Sepultura.
Are you on good terms with your former band mates in Sepultura?
Yeah, yeah it’s fine. You know it’s like, no drama, I just wanted to continue to do different stuff I wish them all the best.
So they have your blessing to continue to use the name Sepultura without you or Max?
Yeah, I mean, it’s not my choice I left Sepultura same way as Max. I don’t think it’s my choice to stop them from doing it. I think people have to decide whether they want to see Sepultura without me and Max. It’s not up to us really.
How would you feel about one day doing a full on Sepultura reunion?
Not really man. Max wanted to have that, especially for his kids, he wanted his kids to see a Sepultura gig once, with the original lineup, but…I don’t know, I like doing Cavalera better.
It’s new music, for me it’s great, I don’t have a problem with anything we’ve done in the past, I’m really proud, I just don’t wanna live from the past. So the reunion I think for me, it would be kinda like going back and living off what we did before. Cavalera, for me, is more exciting.
I read that in the early days of Sepultura, you specially hand painted a Sepultura t-shirt for Mille Petrozza from Kreator, you’ve come a long way since then…
We handpainted some Sepultura shirts, we sent one to Mille, we sent one to Chuck and we sent one to Trey from Morbid Angel…and we saw the three of them wearing it in different fanzines, and at the time me and Max were like “Ok. That’s it….we don’t need to do anything else. We made it.”
We have these people that we fucking idolize wearing our shirts, that’s ok we don’t need anything else. I remember being so happy about it….having the response from Chuck, from all these people and I was like cool, it’s like having somebody like Lemmy wearing your shirt.
Do you remember anything about Sepultura’s first time playing in Austin with Obituary way back when?
Yeah, I mean actually I was like thinking about it because there was a funny story behind (that show) Me and Max showed up to soundcheck and one of the sound guys came up and he was like “You guys should watch out with this microphone.”
It (the microphone) was on the floor tom, and we was like “I wouldn’t touch that microphone.” And I was like “What’s going on?” and he was like “GG Allin was here a few weeks ago and he stuck the microphone up his ass. So I wouldn’t touch it” and I was like “ I don’t need a floor tom tonight! I’ll play without a floor tom man! ”
I’d like to thank you for taking the time to chat with me today. Is there anything you’d like to tell your loyal fans before we wrap this up?
I’m happy that I’m with my brother Max again, I’m happy that I’m doing Mixhell. All different stuff, so it’s like… Life is good.
Read on for Part 4 featuring Sabaton