INCITE recently revealed they will be releasing “Up In Hell” on September 2nd via Minus HEAD Records. What can we expect? Front man, Richie Cavalera, previously said that “Up In Hell is the result of four artists’ view on what real metal should sound like now and in the future.” This will be the band’s third full length album, and trust me when I say this, it is a raw and absolutely heavy attack of metal from start to finish! With the new lineup, they decimated stages for the past few years, and now the energy has been caught in the studio!
Last week I got to speak with Richie on the upcoming record, the latest lineup, future plans and much more! Enjoy the chat below, and do yourself a favor and pre-order “Up In Hell” right now! You won’t be disappointed!
Metal Mark: “Up In Hell” is coming next month, and after listening to it for the past week, it really feels like you guys went all out for this record, sort of like you were on a mission. Do you agree with that?
Richie Cavalera: Totally man. We were all more fired up than ever before. Having the two new members really lit a fire under our ass, and we really wanted to attack this thing like we never have in our history. Working with Matt Hyde was also spectacular, so everything came together really well and the end result speaks for itself. It came out heavy, with a ton of grooves, and a big statement, so we couldn’t be happier with how it came out. I’m really excited for the fans to hear it, because it’s definitely our best record so far man.
MM: Matt Hyde has worked with bands like Slayer, Hatebreed, Deftones and many others. How much did he impact the whole process?
RC: Matt is the man, dude. We all know who he’s worked with before, so to have him with us this time around was a true honor. I think more than anything, he brought us to a new level of professionalism and he consistently pushed us to get the absolute best out of each member. For myself he helped me out with structures of lyrics a lot on this album. If I’d get stuck, he would point me into one direction, and once it was completed man, it was exactly what was needed. So whether it was song structures, recording secrets, or anything, we would listen to whatever he said, and he was right damn near every time (laughs). The dude is a legend, what more can you say? He definitely brought the best out of Incite with this album.
MM: You mentioned it earlier, but you’ve added new members to the band, and it seems like you finally have the lineup you’ve been looking to have for a while. Do you think this is the final makeup of the band for a while?
RC: I hope so (laughs). Obviously, you can never predict the future or how people’s mindset may change, but I’m really enjoying playing with these guys for sure. I think the constant lineup changes is a reflection of the music industry right now though. The biggest bands to the smallest bands seem to all go through it, and it just comes down to keeping every member happy. So whether it is just for right now or for the future, you just have to embrace it and move forward. I know as long as I have Kevin “Dis” McAllister with me, the Incite sound will always be alive, and now that we have other members backing it up with such force, the future looks really exciting for us.
MM: You guys released the title track as the first taste of the new material, and just as it does on the album, it sets the tone for the record perfectly. Was that the thinking behind releasing that song before any of the others?
RC: Yea I would say so. I remember hearing the demo of that song, and hearing the explosion of music at the beginning, and I knew that we were onto something huge with this new music. We just really wanted to release a punchy, in your face track first, and it just so happens that it’s the first song on the album as well. It definitely sets the mood for the record, but there is a lot to the album as you know. I think once we drop “WTF” people are really going to freak out. It’s got tons of vulgar lyrics, with aggressive and fast music behind it, so I’m excited to hear what people have to say about that. The title track was definitely the “safe” way to go I guess, but it’s a good representation of what people can expect, and so far people seem to be loving it.
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MM: One thing that sounds out on this record to me are the lyrics. You’re always releasing very personal and emotional lyrics about everything around you, and this album features your best performance yet. Did you approach them any differently than you previously had before?
RC: Thanks man. Yea I have really been working on my lyrics a lot, so it’s good that someone is hearing that too. “All Out War” was when I really started to focus more on my lyrics, but with “Up In Hell” I really took it to a new level. I’m a freak when it comes to writing songs (laughs). I write all the time man. I’m not happy until everything is perfect, and everything fits with the vision in my head, so it takes a lot of time, but it’s definitely for the best. You always want to tell a story, and have something for people to relate to in their lives ya know. Whether you’ve had a bad day at work, been fucked over by the cops, or even have a war going on inside or outside of your house, I try to write something that people can relate with. I go through the same shit as everyone, and I’m just lucky enough to have music to put my words on top of ya know. It’s a positive release, and the best kind.
MM: One thing that has always impressed me about you vocally is that, as funny as it sounds, you can understand everything you say, and I think that’s really important these days.
RC: Yea I don’t know if that’s the old school kid in me that grew up on the classics, but words should be heard. I mean, obviously I don’t sing, I’m not a singer, but I really try and make every word count in each song. Honestly I’m sick of hearing amazing songs that just drop to a chorus with clean vocals, and the bands that consistently do it over and over and over. It always bums me out when I’m really into a song, and then here comes that catchy chorus man. It’s such a trend right now, and I’m over it. I don’t know, it’s just not for me. The definition of Incite is fuck that, fuck the norm, we are hear to play heavy metal the way we think it should be played. I know I can have the same power with screaming, and still get my point across, and that’s just what I do.
MM: Speaking of vocals, you have a guest spot from Liam Cormier of Cancer Bats on the album as well, who is one of the best out there right now. How did that come together?
RC: Oh man I love that dude so much. I’ve known him for about a decade now, and I’m a huge supporter of Cancer Bats, so that song was something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. He’s just such a good dude, and a big supporter of Incite, so it was great to finally do something together. It just so happened that they were in the studio at the same time, so it was kind of meant to be I guess. We both have a number of haters, so we decided to write a song about that, and that’s where “Rightful Spot” came from basically. We’ve both busted our asses to get where we are, and we deserve to be here, and that’s the main message behind that song. Hate us if you will, but we sure as hell aren’t going way anytime soon. Honestly I can’t wait to play that together live one day, because I think all hell is going to break out when that happens. That song is just insane man. I fucking love it.
MM: Speaking of playing live, most people know you from the Maximum Cavalera tours, but you already have dates coming up with Chimaira and others. Do you see yourself touring with more diverse bands on this album cycle?
RC: That’s definitely the plan. With the way the industry is, you have to play live as much as possible, so we are going to try and jump on as many tours as possible. We’ve been very fortunate to tour with Soulfly as many times as we have, and we are forever grateful for that, but now it seems like other bands are starting to take notice and want us on the road with them, and that’s just awesome. We learned a lot from Soulfly, and basically grew up as a band on the road with them, so now it’s time to takes the knowledge on other tours, and bring that energy to those shows as well.
MM: This Friday marks the 18th Annual D-Low Memorial Show in Arizona, and you’ve obviously watched it grow into this massive show now. How much does it mean for you, not only to play, but to see what it’s become in 2014?
RC: It means a lot to all of us in the family. It’s really become one massive event every year like you said, and a lot of historic performances have happened at them. Obviously Max and Igor reuniting was huge, seeing Sacred Reich reunite on stage, I mean you never know what to expect. It’s really just a fun event, and each year it gets better and better. People all around the country come up to me about wanting to see the “D-Low” show, so it’s definitely become more than just a show for all of our fans. It’s a huge event now, and a very important one. It still keeps awareness on Dana, and the fact that his murderers are still free and living their lives somewhere. Hopefully it gets to to them and reminds them of what they did, and maybe they’ll feel some remorse for taking a life, but that’s up to someone bigger than myself to take care of later on in life. This event really puts the spotlight back on Dana, and the music brings everyone together, so it’s an emotional but extremely positive night for all of us involved.
MM: Very cool. Well you will definitely have a ton of Incite fans in attendance I’m sure. As the fans know, you’ve been at this for a decade now with this band, and now that other bands are starting to ask you on tours, and the reviews have become more positive, do you feel like you’re finally getting the respect of the scene?
RC: Yea I do man. For the first two albums I think people were really skeptical of what I was doing. Being Max Cavalera‘s stepson, I’m sure a lot of people thought I was getting these tours and stuff handed to us, but it’s never been like that. If you know me as a person, I like to do everything on my own, and gain that respect the right way. Whether that’s touring the States in a two door car, or staying up countless nights writing songs, I’ve done it all, and I’ll continue to do it. I think people are finally starting to see that I’m for real, and I’m dedicated to it just like other bands are too. I’ve put the time and hard work into it, and it’s definitely starting to pay off. Just looking at the press releases, it’s no longer Richie, stepson of Max Cavalera, it’s just Richie Cavalera. Don’t get me wrong, I love Max with all my heart and wouldn’t be where I am today with him, but he and I know that this is my thing, and I think it’s pretty cool to see that change recently. The struggle is real in music, but you have to embrace these little moments of growth and positivity, and use that to move forward. That’s exactly what we plan on doing once “Up In Hell” is released next month.
MM: “Up In Hell” is a record that will definitely make people take notice for sure, because it’s absolutely awesome man. Once again, congrats on the new music, and if you have anything left to say to the fans, it’s open to you.
RC: Well thank you for the interview and continuos support of Incite through the years. It means a lot to us. We know we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for fans like you and others around the world. We know that, you know that, so it means the world to us that you are behind what we are doing. We are just trying to help keep metal alive in the hearts and minds of as many people as possible. Pick up “Up In Hell” next month, because we put everything into it, and bring the chaos in the pits when we come into your town!