It’s always a rather controversial subject in the Metal scene when bands start to re-record some of their old material. The originals may not have sounded great, and they still might have been executed in a rather amateurish way, but over the years, they became classics anyway and therefore are always very close to the hearts of the fans. So, most attempts to re-record old material have therefore failed miserably (no names mentioned here). But then there are also exceptions to the rule. One of them comes from Max and Iggor Cavalera, who decided to re-record the first three SEPULTURA releases: “Bestial Devastation” (1985), “Morbid Visions” (1986), and “Schizophrenia” (1987) as CAVALERA, and the results are very impressive, to say the least. Even though the sound is, of course, a lot better now and the musicianship has improved over the years, the results still breathe that raw old charm of the originals, that it’s definitely a lot of fun to listen to the new versions. The following interview with Max and Iggor was done via email during the band’s current tour in support of the re-releases of their “Third World Trilogy”…

Max, you are currently on tour in support of the re-recordings of first three SEPULTURA releases. How does it feel to play these songs live again after so many years, especially considering that your son Igor Amadeus is playing bass with you each night?
Max: “It’s been surreal. Just to play these classic songs that I wrote when I was a teenager, and see them accepted by a whole new generation of fans is amazing. Igor brings the youth and energy rebirth to this new rebirth of the Third World Trilogy.”

When the original idea came up to re-record those albums, were you ever worried that you wouldn’t be able to do them full justice, since the originals are alltime classics among SEPULTURA fans?
Max: “Life is about taking risks. We went into this experience and played them from the heart, just like we did with the originals. This is a chance for the fans to hear them the way we always wanted them to sound.”
Iggor: “We always had a strong instinct that we would do justice to those classics.”

Were you both into the idea right from the start or did you have to convince each other first?
Max: “We both got excited from the beginning. We knew that it was going to be a lot of work, but it was also an opportunity to revisit the songs.”
Iggor: “We always loved this idea.”

How did you approach the whole project, I mean did you have some sort of masterplan how you wanted the new versions to sound like? Was it mainly the sound / production of the originals that you wanted to improve or are there also certain elements of the songs that you didn’t like anymore and therefore wanted to re-write?
Max: “We pretty much felt that the songs were great. They just needed to be recorded properly. It was like finding a diamond in the rough, in the mud, and polishing it and bringing it to life.”
Iggor: “The plan was to respect the original songs, but also do justice to their poor recordings from back in the days.”

Before you decided to work on this project, when was the last time that you listened to “Bestial Devastation”, “Morbid Visions” and “Schizophrenia” from start to finish? What were your impressions on both releases then?
Max: “I don’t listen to my old music that much. I do have to say this was fun to go back in time and rediscover the magic of the songs.”
Iggor: “I never listen to my old records.”

You have still performed tracks like ‘Troops Of Doom’ or ‘Morbid Visions’ on stage in the later SEPULTURA days, so I suppose those weren’t a big problem for you to play again… But how about the lesser popular songs from those albums? Did you have any problems to figure out what you really played back then?
Max: “When you write a song, it’s like riding a bicycle, you never forget how to do it.”
Iggor: “That was a bit more tricky, I had to dig deep into my hard drive brain and find those inspirations.”

How much influence did THE TROOPS OF DOOM (the new band of your old guitar player Jairo “Tormentor” Guedz) have on the idea to go back in time musically? Did Jairo add a bit of fuel to the fire as well maybe, since his band already re-recorded a couple of the early SEPULTURA songs and the result sounds very impressive…
Max: “It didn’t influence us at all. We came up with the idea when we started playing “Return To Roots”, which came out before THE TROOPS OF DOOM.”
Iggor: “No.”

Have you ever asked him, if he would be interested to join you on these re-recordings? It would have been great to see the complete original SEPULTURA line-up together again…
Max: “Jairo is a great guy, but no, we never considered him. We have known Travis Stone (from PIG DESTROYER – Frank) for a long time and we knew that he would be a perfect fit for this music. His passion for this Death Thrash style is contagious and he looks great with Igor, me and my brother.”
Iggor: “The fact that he is doing his own project, makes us feel like he is doing his own thing, and that’s ok with me.”

Have you ever considered doing a CAVALERA / THE TROOPS OF DOOM tour together?
Max: “We jam with Jairo all the time when we go to Brazil, but when we make a tour, we try to give new bands opportunities.”
Iggor: “We played together in Brazil, it was killer.”

You are usually very busy, so was it difficult in any way to find a certain time frame for this project? How much time had you originally planned to invest in the whole process and did that work out in the end?
Max: “That’s not my department. I write the songs and I play the songs. This is my wife’s planning, as she’s been doing this for a long time. We’ve done amazing tours, like “New titans on the bloc”, “Maximum Cavalera”, “The return of NAILBOMB”, countless SOULFLY tours, all of the early SEPULTURA tours and the recent “Revisiting the Max and Iggor SEPULTURA era” tours. I, with my various bands, performed in over 85 countries.”
Iggor: “We always find time to do things we love with people with love.”

I was very impressed by the artwork of the re-recordings… even though they look more professional, they still capture the old feeling and fit the albums extremely well. How did you get together with the artist, Eliran Kantor, who already created artwork for TESTAMENT, KREATOR, SODOM, INCANTATION and countless others, and how much influence did you both have on the final results?
Max: “I had worked with Eliran twice on SOULFLY records, “Archangel” and “Ritual”. I love his classic, museum style of painting and just like the songs, it stays true to the original.”
Iggor: “We loved what Eliran did on the trilogy… I think the only feedback me and Max had to adjust, it was for him to destroy the church on “Bestial Devastation” even more.”

Another cool idea is the logo design, which is based on the old SEPULTURA logo… was that also created by Eliran?
Max: “I made the original font back in 1983. Through the years it’s developed into what it is now. To me, it’s iconic and super Metal.”
Iggor: “No, that original logo was designed by me and Max in our bedroom… so it completely made sense to re-do it.”

At which point of time did you decide to work as CAVALERA instead of CAVALERA CONSPIRACY or is it exclusively for this project only?
Max: “We didn’t want people to confuse it with the previous band. It was just easier to use the word CAVALERA and it fit the logo design.”
Iggor: “CAVALERA CONSPIRACY has original songs, CAVALERA is for the re-recordings.”

I was very surprised to see one additional new song on each release, so when did you write ‘Sexta Feira 13’, ‘Burn The Dead’ and ‘Nightmares Of Delirium’ and what can you tell us about the origin of these songs? Are they completely new or did you use old unused ideas for them?
Max: “Since the EP was short, we needed more songs. Gloria suggested adding a new track on each record and asked me if there were any songs from our youth that we had never recorded. In my notebook that is in the Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame ‘Sexta Feira 13’ is included. ‘Burn The Dead’ was inspired by BATHORY and HELLHAMMER. I wrote it during the recording of “Morbid Visions”. ‘Nightmares Of Delirium’ was written at home in my bedroom, after I spent one week listening only to “Schizophrenia”. I thought it would be awesome to have a new perspective on lyrics and so I asked my son Igor to write the lyrics. He also writes horror novels (“Killing My Insomnia” and “Negative Legend”) and lyrics for the bands he’s in (LODY KONG, HEALING MAGIC and GO AHEAD AND DIE).”
Iggor: “‘Sexta Feira 13’ was in one of our first demos, before “Bestial Devastation”, ‘Nightmares Of Delirium’ is a new track based on the Thrash / Black / Death vibes of “Schizophrenia”.”

Musically and visually those three albums turned out absolutely fantastic and you can really be proud of them, but when it comes to the manufacturing something unfortunetely must have gone wrong. On the CD editions of “Bestial Devastation” and “Morbid Visions” there’s short spaces between the songs, which obviously weren’t supposed to be there, since the songs flow into each other and on “Schizophrenia” the labeling on the side of the CD was printed the wrong way round. Does stuff like that upset you or don’t you care? Are there plans to fix that for later editions?
Max: “Those are mistakes in mastering, and with the label processing which happens sometimes in the music industry. It gives it a bit of charm because those become collectible. I would imagine they’re going to be fixed for the later editions.”
Iggor: “That’s out of our hands. Hopefully the label will fix it.”

Is the chapter of re-recordings closed for both of you now or would you also consider to re-record later SEPULTURA stuff as well sometime in the future?
Max: “For now we are satisfied a lot. We’re planning on touring a lot and introducing our music to the new generation.”
Iggor: “That’s it.”

Ok guys, thanks for taking the time, good luck for the albums and all the best. If you would like to add something to this interview, you’re welcome to do so now…
Max: “Thank you for the interview and the longtime support. Let’s spread the word of Metal throughout the world!”
Iggor: “Thank you!”,

Live pics: Jenny Lund
Interview: Frank Stöver

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