Currently rising through the metal ranks at the speed of light, is the groove metal band Incite. The 2014 release ‘Up in Hell’ marks the bands third album, and thought by many to be the best to date. ‘Up in Hell’ and Incite has been nominated for 3 independent music awards this year, Metal/Hardcore album, Metal/Hardcore song and Album Art Photography – nominated where???). When we met up with Incite they were just completing their first leg of the tour, finishing up 62 shows in 75 days, landing them in their home state of Arizona, where they will take a short few weeks off, and then embark on the next leg of the tour.
We got to sit down and chat with Richie Cavalera just before sound check.
HA: How was it out on the road completing 62 shows in 75 days?
RC: It was a life experience that we have all dreamt about forever. We had a goal set coming into this year, with the album being released we want to hit 200 shows, and we are off to great start. We have met so many cool people, cool bands from these places, got to do Europe, UK, France, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland, just surreal. We went to Stonehenge, Redwood Forest, it was just really great.
HA: So what’s next for Incite this year?
RC: We get about 2 ½ or 3 weeks off and then we are back at it. We are starting a U.S. tour supporting Anaal Nathrakh from the UK, they are absolutely incredible! Also on the tour Secrets of the Sky will be opening up, they are one of the hottest new bands around right now. I think with those 3 on one package, people are going to have one hell of a show. That starts May 11th, 2015 in Sacramento California and then rolls across the whole country. I think it’s US until the end of June or July then we go back to Europe.
HA: How do you think Incite has evolved since ‘The Slaughter’?
RC: Oh, a lot. The members have changed obviously, I think keeping the core of me and Kevin from those first 2 records really brought it out in ‘Up in Hell.’ Then we added Dru Tang, EL and Lennon Lopez on drums. I think that combination of people were all looking for a band like this to show people what they are about and their music skills. They had all been trying so hard in other bands, they needed a cool band to rock with and I needed great people to come in and make this band take the next level.
HA: What is the most important thing you want Incite to achieve?
RC: Just keep growing and getting better and doing it our own way. Everybody out there has a vision of what they wants us to be and given that I’m a Cavalera there is this thing that kind of looms there. We have always just gone out and done it our way and I think if we continue to do that it will create an evolution for us, that we are happy with and that we made happen. This has all been us, doing the hard work, our blood, and sweat, us putting our families on hold for this band. I think if we just keep with it, the songs will get better, the music will get even better. I’m excited to see what that will be like.
HA: What is the most important thing you have learned about the music industry from your mom (Gloria Cavalera)?
RC: Oh God ….everything! From getting to a club on time, dealing with the promoter, dealing with catering, the start of a show, show times… it is endless what I was able to learn from watching her do it. I am so lucky because now I feel it is an obligation for me to come out on tour and just to not be a dick to bands, but to always try to help, rather than be that asshole guy that people think or wants me to be. Instead I’m that cool guy that comes out and help these guys that are new into the touring world understand why these things happen. To help them learn, so when they get a big tour they’ll show up the first day and know what they are doing. I believe they’ll thank us because we took the time to help them, I think a lot of big bands don’t do that. She (Gloria) is a true inspiration for what I do and to remember to work hard.
HA: What is the most valuable thing you have learned from Max?
RC: To never give up playing your style. I think with them coming from Brazil he always felt they had this thing on their shoulder that they had to prove they were a good metal band. I think that is what we have had, it comes from Max actually being my dad, that we have to go out and show everybody that this is not Max’s band, this is not something that he has his hands on or put money in or made calls to any musician to help us in any way. It’s been us hitting the pavement from day one and going hard, giving great shows every night and hanging with the fans. I am so big on that! I make all my guys, I don’t care how tired, dead or even hurting they are you go from stage to that merch booth and you hang out with your fans. Then you go party and take care of your shit. That is how it is always going to be with us. Max has always given me the courage to keep going and always let me know what I am doing is right. He is a great father.
HA: When can we expect the next Incite video to come out?
RC: We just put out the final video for this album the “Up in Hell” lyric video and that makes three for this album. We only had one video ever for “Hopeless” so to have three out for this album was a dream come true, thanks to Brad Hardy and Minus Head for making that possible. Robert Sexton who did “WTF” and “Fallen” and Joey Nugent from Arizona did the lyric video for “Up in Hell.”
HA: I’m looking forward to tonight’s show.
RC: Tonight’s show is going to be a combination of a lot of hard work from this tour so to be in the home town, have great tickets sales, all the friends and family coming out is a great way to end the tour. We’re going to let everything we have out on that stage tonight it going to be cool a great show about an hour and 5 minutes of blistering craziness.
If you like listening to the ‘Up in Hell’ album in your car, take note that it in no way compares to the thrashing your metal soul will experience seeing them live. Drummer Lennon Lopez takes thrash to an undiscovered new level, he is extraordinary, and that alone is an understatement. Christopher El or just EL to most is an absolute bass pounding genius … and a complete maniac on stage, the intensity of his performance is nothing short of exhilarating. The foundation of this band is so solid a 7.0 earthquake couldn’t crack it. That leads us to the guitar team of Kevin “Dis” and Dru Tang Rome – together the guitar work is brutal, precise, and crisp. Dru is playing a bad ass 7 string that will literally blow your mind! Richie Cavalera’s thunderous vocals will captivate you from the moment his belts out the first note. The fierce energy level coming from the stage immediately intoxicates you. When Richie leans out over the audience, you will know he has you completely under his spell. Together they play like a well orchestrated metal symphony.
While there is no disputing that Richie Cavalera is one of the Princes of Metal Royalty, other than bearing the last name Cavalera, you would never know he is one of the sons of music legend Max Cavalera and Artist Manger extraordinaire Gloria Cavalera. He has no airs about him, carries no sense of entitlement. He and all the members of the band, are their own roadies, tour manager, and merchandise managers. It is important to Richie, Kevin, El, Dru and Lennon that they carve their own path make their own success based on their merit and hard work. They do this by going immediately from the stage, out into the crowd, shaking every hand, signing every autograph, posing for all pictures, with each and every single fan. No fan is ever denied. This dedication to their fan base is equally as important as their commitment to the music itself. It is this genuine, down to earth quality and razor sharp musicianship that is the true key to their rising success, not who they are related to.
Max and Gloria Cavalera are not the only noteworthy parents in this story, towards the end of the show I scanned the crowd, only to find sitting in a big red booth, an older couple with eyes glued to the stage, watching intently. As I looked closer at them I noted they were wearing shirts that said El’s Mom and El’s Pop, I believe for a second I even saw El’s Pop subtly headbang. It occurred to me, it is perhaps that one moment that truly defines success, when a parent looks at their child and is beaming with pride over their accomplishments.
– Phoenix Romero