During Incite‘s recent tour in support of new album ‘Up In Hell’, ThisIsNotAScene managed to catch with vocalist Richie Cavalera for a few words before their Manchester show.
“Up In Hell” features a new line and also a new producer. Now the album has been out for a while, how has this new chapter in Incite settled?
Oh man, everything has been just a dream come true, you know. As far as the two previous records go, this new records feels like the first proper release. The first two were just warming up to this. The line up we have now keeps the core of me and the guitarist that writes most of the songs, keeping the sound and the style and the old school thrash vibes. Having Matt Hyde as the producer too elevated everything as far as what he got out of us. The first two records were just us going and recording and that was it. With this album it was him pushing us from when we started writing through recording the drums, the vocals, the bass, everything. In every aspect he was truly involved in all of the decisions. To have someone there pushing you so you aren’t just satisfied with the first take, was an amazing experience, and to see everyone else liking it has been great for us too.
Your career has been rising steadily with each of the albums, from high profile support slots to your own headline shows. What changes have you every time you come over?
It’s definitely not the same size of crowds you get with Soulfly, but what we’ve learned is that to build a fan base that’s loyal, you have to start like this. We did this in the USA for years doing our own headline shows, just getting out to more and more people every time we went out. Now we are doing the same in Europe because it’s the main place to be for metal bands. Metal is a lot bigger in Europe than the rest o the world, so it’s the next level of what you have to do. To be playing an hour and a half every night and giving the fans a true feel of what Incite is about is great. Also we get a dressing room and a shower and all those things that come with being a headliner. It’s been the plan of the band to grow steadily with each thing we do. We don’t want to be an overnight sensation that disappears just as quick and we don’t want to be the band that played for 20 years and did nothing. We just want to get bigger and better with each album and tour. We have some dead shows; sure, but that’s what happens. We had a great show in Southampton and some of the German shows have been awesome. We are really just getting the ball rolling for Incite in Europe.
What the next goal for the band?
We really want to come over and hit the festival scene, that’s the one thing we are still missing. You know doing the Bloodstocks, the Wackens and the Hellfests. One day maybe even Download, whatever stage that may be. We don’t want to ever be satisfied, we always want to push ourselves to do more, because we hope that this band has got something that people want. A fresh sound and approach. A lot of bands seem to copy each other of go through the motions, where we trying to evolve thrash with our own ideas without taking anything away from the core ideals of thrash. We just want our fans to have the same experience we had when we listen to music
When starting out, the connection you had (mum is Gloria Cavalera and step dad is Max Cavalera) must have been helpful. Did you find that once you got to a certain level, that those could also be a hindrance?
Definitely. We have always been the realest band. People may put a lot together with our connection Max, but he isn’t here now holding our hand showing us how to play shows, that all comes form us. Obviously he’s a huge influence because he is who he, and because we play and love metal. I think that when people come to the show, they see us live and then they see s at the merch stand doing everything on our own, they build more appreciation towards the band. As well as liking the music, there is all of this background stuff going on. It can help and it can hurt, and that’s where our attitudes come across. We are not just walking round saying “Fuck you, I deserve this”, we are a real band doing real things. If I was Joe, the fisherman’s son, I would still be playing in a metal band.
Growing up with so many family and extended family members involved in music, was there anything else you would ever do?
I was maybe 5 when Max came into my life, but even before then, when my mom owned a rock club in Arizona. I was 2 or 3 and Poison or Rob Halford would turn up frequently. Music was always there. When max came along, it just exploded that love of music that was already there into something much bigger. He would take me and let me play guitar onstage when I was 7 or 8. The love of playing and beingin front of a crowd full of metalheads. The beauty of metal is that t is one of the last true forms of art that is totally expressive. Its all about your life, your shitty day at work, you fucked up girlfriend, rough day with the family, bills. I think all of that combines perfectly with metal. I have gone through all of that shit too, I have really learned to appreciate everything much more.
You mentioned appearing on stage at an early age. Do you think you will ever do anything as insane as your Dynamo appearance with Nailbomb (aged just 9)?
I hope so. They got a lot of big festivals now, but that was unbelievable. You had a line up that didn’t have any super huge bands, but it was about the environment and the scene at that time, and Dynamo put that together perfectly and drew 120,000 people. It was a special time for metal, and being around bands like Nailbomb, Biohazard, Machine Head and all of the other bands that played that show. To go out and play on that song in front of that crowd was crazy.
After the UK tour, whats next?
We got an 8 week headline US tour with a band called Blades and Spades and Better Left Unsaid, some new bands from the Los Angeles underground scene that are really cool and bridge a couple of different styles. It should be a great package. We are doing 48 cities and it should be a real blast. Then the plan is to come back to Europe and hopefully do some festivals. We can’t announce anything just yet, but hopefully in the next month everything will be out there. Looks like we could be going to places like Slovakia and Italy. We want to end up touring Europe three times a year just like we do America.
And after that, where do you see the band in 12 months time?
Another US tour probably, then hopefully out to Australia and Japan. The albums have done really well out there and there have been a lot of requests for us to play live down there. We went there in 2012 supporting Burton C Bell’s other band City Of Fire and that was really cool to see a place that far away that still loves metal. Its everywhere you go, whether its India, Iran, Australia, its just seems to be everywhere.
Finally it must seem strange that people have known about you for so long, through your regular appearances with Soulfly. How does it feel growing up in front of everyone?
It’s cool that people have seen me from aged 7, to now when I’m nearly 30. I think I have progressed every time people have seen me and I always try to be the same person and reach out to people. Always down to earth, having a good time and just really being blown away by the environment I have been lucky to find myself in. To be able to see all the great bands such as Ozzy, Pantera, Slayer and everyone. It would have been a bummer to have become a dentist and wonder what could have been. Either it ill work out or it won’t, but at least I know that I will have given everything and busted my fucking ass trying. That’s what I learned from Max and everyone, and they are still there to this day doing better than they ever have. Younger bands need to learn a lot from them and not just expect things to be handed to them, that just how music is.