‘It’s very politically driven and frustrated at the world, especially the way 2020 was. It was a hellhole to be honest, every day something new in the news. It lent to the aggression of the music, the lyrical themes, to me it all bled together with that old school harsh approach’
Igor Amadeus Cavalera is forthright about his new bands, the appropriately titled Go Ahead And Die, message to the world.
‘The album dives into dark subjects. ‘The Punisher’ which is centred around how public shooting in America has become normalised. They’re teaching kids in school what to do if there is a shooting, arming teachers, so to us it’s about the reality that it’s becoming normalised. People then don’t see it as an issue or something that needs to be fixed. So it’s a protest song. It’s stark content but the underlying message is about trying to bring awareness to this and the mental illness that accompanies these violent acts’
Tracks such as Truckload Of Bodies, driven by the governments handling of Covid and Toxic Freedom rooted in police brutality, emphasise this point.
‘The whole thing is the album has some dark subject matter but the intention is to surface it, bring it to the light so people know about it and these issues. If not it’s gets covered up and onto the next one.’
The Cavalera name is one the most revered in the metal world and if you think the name Igor Amadeus Cavalera is familiar it’s because he is the son of Soulfly, Sepultura, Killer Be Killed’s – and host of other projects – Max Cavalera. You can add Go Ahead And Die to Max’s roster.
‘We kicked around the idea for a couple of years – we’re both fans of extreme old school music – but my dad is so busy with his many bands we just never had time to do it. So when the pandemic hit last year, that actually gave us the freedom to do this – despite the horror of the situation – that it actually lent itself to us being able to do that.’
‘He brings a lot to everything that he does. If you look at his other projects – Killer Be Killed, Nailbomb stuff like that – you can see his influence so it’s really cool we got to teach each other. He would show me his style of writing and some riffs and I would show him my formula for doing stuff, both pushing each other out of our comfort zone. It was really cool, a blend of both of us’.
The music has its birth is in 80’s death metal with that grainy sound of listening to Sepultura’s Schizophrenia on vinyl if it was played by Discharge. The spirit is undeniably Fuck-You-Punk.
‘Definitely, Max and I agreed on that easily, we didn’t have to bicker about or convince one another. He was part of the movement, the wave of music in the 80’s that brought heavy/thrash/death metal to light, so he has his sound figured out where as I’m younger and from a different generation but still appreciate the heavier stuff. I took my own twist at it. It sounds fresh and original because we didn’t set any limitations to ourselves, we kinda worked on it song by song how we wanted each one to be done until we were done. We didn’t stress about going for anything or trying to sound like anything in particular. It’s literally our influences and what we were listening to in the moment affected the record. Like Napalm Death, Doom and Discharge, aggressive old school music. A lot of that stuff is rooted in social issues like inequality, intolerance and things like that 30 years ago. We are tackling current issues but approaching it in the same way.‘
There is a vibrancy, a anarchy and a danger when listening to Go Ahead And Die seldom heard on today’s over polished and produced records, that is refreshing and confronting all at once.
‘It comes down to that performance you’re hearing. A lot of people forget a record is a live performance of a song you’re hearing. I think some people get lost in trying to make it sound perfect. To pull authentic old school record you need to take the approach and steps correctly. It’s really easy to get caught up in minor things like maybe the drums wobbly with the tempo or there is a finger slide on a guitar part, an out of pitch scream whatever. There are a number of imperfections on a record which I feel nowadays with digital recording it’s easy to get hung up on. But with this record it was always my intention that if we seemed to get hung up on something, fix it and move on. Cause that particular part will start to lose its lustre and feel. It’s comes down to those unique parts where there is a finger slide , a snare hit that isn’t perfect that it lends to the personality and essence of the record.’
With such an esteemed metal musical family background – the aforementioned father Max, mother and band manager Gloria, brothers Zyon with Soulfy and Richie with Incite as well as uncle Iggor whose career speaks for itself- the most important question asked today is ‘who is the most talented Cavalera?
‘I don’t like tooting my horn too much however there are things I can do that my siblings and even my own father struggle with which is being a multi instrumentalist and a story teller. A lot of people don’t know that my side hobby is writing fiction. I’m a big fan of horror and murder mystery, so I like to think I got blessed with the music and literary side of things. I don’t like to put myself above anyone because we are all interesting and have our own personalities but those are my strengths. I can play just about anything and write just about anything.’
It’s ok Igor, having listened to, and survived, the intense brutality of Go Ahead And Die, I’ll toot that horn on your behalf.
Interview By Iain McCallum
Pre-order Go Ahead And Die’s album HERE