Richie Cavalera of Incite talks with Adam Kennedy of National Rock Review about the band’s latest album Up In Hell and their current touring plans.
NRR: You’ve just arrived in Europe for the start of your world tour. Are you guys looking forward to hitting the road?
Cavalera: Aww man, this is going to be amazing. This is our first world tour as a headlining band, and we are so excited to be here playing, and doing the longest setlist live that we’ve ever done, it’s like twenty songs. It’s a dream come true right now man. We are really excited for this one.
NRR: If you could play anywhere in the world, any show at all, any venue, where would be your dream gig?
Cavalera: Oh Wacken for sure. That is the dream of every metal band to get on that stage, or at least a side stage there (laughing). That would be a dream come true man. I would be down with that.
NRR: Your latest album Up in Hell, can you tell us a little bit about it and your influences behind it?
Cavalera: Yeah, it was a dark time I think for me personally, having my whole band kinda walk out on me after All Out War was completed and done. So it was just kind of what was going to happen with the future of the band, and it just put me in a dark place where I was just thinking negative and life was just not going good. Then I finally got the people that are with me jamming and you know everything just turned around fast man. It was really a cool experience. I think this record is the best description of Incite. It is the record we have been dying to put out and make, and I just think it came together so good and having Matt Hyde really stepped up our level of musicianship throughout the whole record from beginning to end. It has so many great songs and just great parts about it. The lyrics are a lot more intense than ever before. It just really pushed new boundaries for us in every direction I think musically and set us on the path to being one of the better metal bands in the world today.
NRR: You just mentioned there about Matt Hyde. On your last album All Out War you were working with Logan Mader. This time you brought in Matt Hyde to produce Up in Hell. What was it like working with Matt?
Cavalera: Aww man, he’s an amazing producer, songwriter and everything. We really wanted him involved in every way possible to totally put his hands on the whole record and he did. He was so much fun and you know really kicked our asses when we weren’t doing shit good. That was really cool because Logan, he’s more laid back and you know he’s not really in your face and push you too crazy. I think with Matt we needed that at this point to kind of take that next step, to be one of the better bands out there. Matt just totally brought everything out of us you know, and really pushed us. The whole experience was just so much fun man.
NRR: On your latest album Up In Hell you’ve got a track called Rightful Spot which sees you collaborate with Liam from Cancer Bats. How did that come about and did you have Liam in mind when you wrote that track?
Cavalera: Oh definitely. Liam I’ve wanted to do a song with for a while. He’s always been a friend of mine. You know we bump into each other in like Australia or Switzerland or just such random places man. He’s just always cool, down to earth and I’ve always loved what the Cancer Bats have done. So when it came time to think if we were going to have a guest for the first time on a record he was the first choice without question. I love how similar our vocals sound too. I thought that made it really cool to kind of trick people a little bit and make them investigate the song and see what’s going on. I think him coming from Canada and being a Canadian band and you know us being an Arizona band, there’s not a lot of bands that come from those places and I think we don’t get the credit that we should and he felt the same way and it just totally came together just perfect man. We were both on the same page for the song, I let him write his own lyrics because I wanted him to let his aggression out and not be my aggression. I think we both just fed off each verses and it just turned out great. I really can’t wait to do that one live.
NRR: If you could collaborate with any artist in particular who would be your dream collaboration?
Cavalera: Oh I would like to work with Phil Anselmo for sure, I love everything about him. You know he is one of my biggest inspirations as far as being a frontman. He could always take a whole crowd and just put them in his hand man, they were just eating out of it. I’ve just never seen anybody have that kind of power over people. His lyrics and vocal sound, you just know it’s Phil. So that would just be a dream come true to have him on there rapping some shit.
NRR: Last year you put out a video for the track Fallen. Can you tell us a little bit about that track and the inspiration behind the video?
Cavalera: Yeah, I think it coincides with the darkness of where we were during the making of that record and everybody’s kind of vibe that was going on. I think it shows you know having a devil trying to seduce you being a woman, all those parts that went into it. It’s like us playing in limbo when we are in the garage, where you wait to find out where you are going heaven or hell and that was kinda how we wanted the setting to be. Robert Sexton just brought it out perfectly man. It spoke exactly what we wanted to portray with the song and the video. It’s about losing someone and I think a lot of the time when you lose a loved one you start turning to bad things because you don’t think God’s there to help you. That was kind of our portrayal of what it was, to let people see that not everything has to turn into a bad thing and I think we did a great job of it and he made it really cool.
NRR: Like you said this is pretty much a new band with this record. Can you tell us about the band and how you all met?
Cavalera: Yeah, it’s still the same lead guitar player and writer. So that was the big thing keeping the consistency at least with the same song writer and the vocalist. Then we just added a second guitar player his name is Drew, he is out of Arizona. I kind of knew him from a couple of local bands and once he tried out there was no doubt about it. He’s just an amazing player and constantly growing and he’s a total tech wizard which is great for gear and all that fun stuff. Then we’ve got Lennon Lopez on drums. He’s from a band in Texas called Rotting Corpse. He was also in a band with Billy Milano, S.O.D or something like that, C.O.D or something like that. He did some great stuff and I toured with his band with Incite five or six years ago. He’s just a phenomenal drummer and just has such power and never lets the power up during a live show. He’s just a great person man. To top it off on bass we’ve got Mr El. He’s been around the Phoenix scene for quite some time and you know just a real humble guy, a killer bass player, just fits the mold perfectly. I think the lineup we have is the one we’ve been looking for to really get the band going, and staying solid and kicking ass.
NRR: Which bands would you say have influenced your sound over the years?
Cavalera: You know, it comes from a lot of weird places. We all have different likes. I listen to a lot of oldies like Led Zeppelin, or you know Pink Floyd and Journey, Metallica, Slayer, Pantera, Obituary and it just kinda comes from everything we listen to. We are all really open we don’t just sit there and listen to death metal all day. That’s kind of what gives us a different vibe and a sound than most bands have. Most bands listen to the stuff that’s out now and that’s what they want to sound like. We don’t want to, we want to have an original feel but with the old school thrash vibe to it and I think we come off good because when I hear it you know there aren’t many bands that I can think of that we sound like. We may have music that sounds the same, but then the vocals will be different or you know vice versa so I think it gives us a good feeling of originality.
NRR: So the last question I have for you is what are your plans for 2015, it’s the start of the year. What’s on the cards for Incite?
Cavalera: Yup, we’re going to do three weeks in Europe right now, and then we are going to follow that up with a two month U.S headline tour with Better Left Unsaid and Spades and Blades who are some really upcoming bands out of California. We’re gonna go and hit every city in America and then I believe we come back to Europe for the Summer festivals, which is going to be insane as it’s our first time being part of that. It’s something we’ve dreamed of forever, to be a part of the festival season is gonna be just a dream come true.
NRR: Perfect, that’s great. Thank you for taking the time to speak to us at National Rock Review Richie, and good luck with the tour.
Cavalera: Hey thanks for everything Adam, thank you so much for the support man, we couldn’t do it without you guys.
Photo credit: Glen LaFerman