“I was in complete shock,” laughs Cavalera when recalling his first conversation with Igor in ten years. “I seriously felt my heart going crazy in my chest! I was on tour with Soulfly at the time and [my wife] Gloria just handed me the phone, I didn’t know who it was. Afterwards I was like, ‘Next time prepare me for something like this, I could have had a heart attack and it would have been your fault!’ She should have given me at least a sign. I remember out of the blue she was like, ‘It’s your brother, he wants to talk to you.’ The first thing that Igor said to me was, ‘It’s been ten years, we’ve got to stop this thing, I want us to be brothers again’. He told me he was out of Sepultura and that he wanted to get together again. I loved it, I’d never heard better news in my life! In some ways, I always kind of knew that it would happen one day, I just didn’t know that the silence would last ten years.”
It was a hard pill to swallow, no doubt. When Cavalera was asked to leave the very band he founded with his brother in 1984, betrayal was the one word he never thought he’d come to associate with Igor. Accusing Sepultura manager and Cavalera’s wife Gloria of playing favourites among the band members, Igor had played a part in making the ultimate decision to get rid of the frontman who also happened to be his flesh and blood. It stung like hell and took ten years to get over, but when the dust settled and the betrayal was forgiven, the two Cavalera brothers met up and did what they’ve always done best – “fuck shit up,” musically speaking.
“Igor flew over to Phoenix, Arizona where I live with my family,” Cavalera recalls. “He met my family for the first time too, it was very sad but it was a happy time as well. He stayed with us for a couple of days and we ended up playing two Sepultura songs at one of my Soulfly shows. The crowd went crazy, it was insane, and at that moment we knew that we would have to do something together again. We started writing news and it just felt like it was meant to be. [The debut album] Inflikted did really well, we had the best feedback for that. A lot of people were calling it violent, which is pretty correct. The music is definitely violent sounding and the aggression of the record was what inspired the lyrics. It’s the same with Blunt Force Trauma – I’m singing about topics like warlords and conflict because it matches the powerful and aggressive sound. On this album, though, the songs are pretty short and simple and it’s very Cavalera, it’s very in-your-face!”
Something of a rebellion against the current trend of over-produced metal bands, Cavalera says on Blunt Force Trauma the brothers rewind the clock circa 1984 when metal was once thrashy and raw as fuck.
“There is a massive punk influence on this album,” he states. “I’m really fed up with hearing metal bands doing over-produced, long songs. It all sounds so digital and full of electronic stuff, and we just wanted to keep it simple like back in the thrash days. They songs were just brutal and aggressive and they just said what needed to be said, they got it done with no distractions! With this band Igor and I wanted to keep that fire and aggression alive and just go against the grain of what most people are doing. When we play live, the shows get really fucking crazy, the moshpits and circlepits get really violent. It reminds me of the old Sepultura days, it’s a very nostalgic feeling and it comes from just being on the stage with Igor, I think. It’s so awesome to be reunited with him after everything we’ve been through and the crowd are just as excited about it as we are.”
And while the brothers’ Cavalera Conspiracy project will see a third album in the next year or so, the singer claims that even though this band may be a high priority for both himself and Igor, it’s his other band Soulfly that is his main concern right now.
“It’s a special side project, it’s a high priority for me because it’s about me and Igor,” says Cavalera. “But Soulfly is my main band and I tour and record much more with them. Igor knows this and it’s not a problem because he knows how much Cavalera Conspiracy means to me. It takes us both to being kids back in Brazil and that is something that is priceless and no money can buy that. With our third record, it’s going to be pretty amazing. The third album is always special because all the amazing records from my favourite bands were the third ones. Metallica’s Master Of Puppets – that was such an important record, we wouldn’t be here right now without it! Also, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin’s third one – there’s something powerful about the number three. It’s like the saying, third time is a lucky charm.”