After their recent trip to the UK and with the release of debut album Images and Dreams at the fore, we managed to get a few questions to singer/guitarist Igor. The album is out now and it’s well worth a listen.
Let’s get the elephant out of the way first – has it been a struggle being part of the Cavalera dynasty? Do you feel a lot of pressure/expectation just by being related to Max and Igor Sr?
It’s always been somewhat difficult. People will always try to compare us to our predecessors and to be honest they are pretty big shoes to fill. It’s why we’ve always made a point of making music in a different vein. Of pushing the boundaries and being weird at points and just trying to be different. We want to make our own image aside from what our father did, and I think Lody Kong has done us justice in that aspect.
A minor complaint – on the recent Soulfly tour you played quite a few of the dates but not Glasgow. Why did we miss out?
Whenever Zyon is playing with Soulfly on top of already playing our set, it wears him out to do double duty every night of a tour. It began to actually affect his shoulder on previous tours. On this tour we had to take a number of days off to let him recover, unfortunately Glasgow ended up being one of those. All of us would’ve loved to play, even Zyon if it meant hurting his arms, but we have to be safe.
In your own words, what sets Lody Kong apart from anything else coming out at the moment?
I think what people notice most about us is the fact that we are young but are heavily influenced by old-school metal in playing and listening personally. Most kids our age fell into making nu-metal or deathcore but we kept it to the basics. When you see kids that are blending old school sludge metal like Neurosis and Fudge Tunnel with hardcore and punk roots, it stands out to people in the metal community. It shows them that the scene isn’t drastically changing but evolving into something new and exciting.
Did you really have to work at pushing boundaries or is the music on “Dreams and Visions” something that’s come naturally?
Dreams and Visions is compiled of music from different parts of our career. Some songs on the album were very old songs that we wrote at the beginning and re-recorded for this album. Other tracks like “Chillin’ Killin'” and “Kreative Center” were newer material. It was written over different periods of the band’s history and you can see it and hear it. I have to say though the writing of it was quite natural. It starts with riffs and then we add drumbeats and bass lines and eventually lyrics. When we plugged in our amps and beat up our drums this is the sound that came out. We didn’t try to force it to be different or weird, it just happened.
Is there a particular lyrical theme on the album or does each track stand alone?
Each track sort of has it’s own theme, but there is a tone to the album. It’s one of personal thoughts, fears; excitements; dreams that are lucid and inviting; visions that can be frightening or enlightening. Each song tells just one part of the story. “Chillin’ Killin'” is focused on the idea of living a life that you hate, or burning it to the ground and lying down in the flames. “Kreative Center” focuses on the sterility of age and the death of childhood imagination. The title track “Dreams and Visions” is based upon fulfilling your dreams. Living that awe-inspiring dream that you see in your future, making it yours every day. It’s all personal thoughts collected into ten killer songs, I’d like to see what fans make of the concepts.
How have the live shows been going, given that you’re playing to new audiences who may only have heard one or two songs before?
The live shows have been killer. High energy, crunching tone and aggression. We’re pulling people in who have never heard of us and making them fans overnight. It can be difficult, every show is not great or spectacular, but every night that we can we make noise, we jump around and we try to get people into the music whether they already know our grooves or not.
With only a couple of days to go until the album is released (at the time of writing) what do you have planned to celebrate the launch?
Not much. (Haha) Maybe meet with a few friends and crank it loud. I don’t party much any more so nothing crazy. Just anticipating this next tour in April where we can play the songs and sell the record most of all.
What are you guys up to at the moment? On the road or having some downtime?
We’re home for a little over a month now. Time to recover from seven weeks of travel through Europe and to get back in shape for this tour in April with Soulfly and Suffocation. Most of us work jobs and we all have a lot of hobbies so we don’t mind being home. Two of our members have other projects in music and I focus on writing literature and reading whenever I can. We’re all enjoying being home for now.
Do you have any plans after album release – tour dates and so on?
We have a U.S. tour in late April – May with Soulfly, Suffocation, Battlecross and Abnormality. Should fix to be an awesome line-up and a great chance to promote and sell our record. Not to mention have some great times across the country.
If you guys somehow hadn’t got involved in music, what do you think you’d be doing?
I’ve always been a huge reader. Some of my idols are horror icons Stephen King, Clive Barker and Peter Straub. As a kid I was much more into literature than music, and would write short ghost stories and fantasy tales for fun. When I was seventeen I wanted to do something a little bigger with a story. I started a horror novel that I actually just finished recently after almost three years. The title is ‘Killing My Insomnia” and I plan to self-publish it later this year. If I wasn’t doing music, I would devote 100% of my time to working on my novels and writing some great stories.
Can you name two other bands we probably haven’t heard of who we should be checking out?
Full of Hell definitely. Good buds of mine from Maryland that make some sick music. Definitely worth a listen. And if you haven’t already heard of YOB from Portland, OR give them a check. Both bands are terrific and big influences of mine.
Best of luck with the album release!
Header image by Nick Steever.