Being as this is my first ever interview, I’m hoping you’ll be forgiving if a couple of the question seem a little out of place. I just didn’t want to seem like I was “talking shop” the whole time. Anyway, enough disclaimers from me. Now I’d like to tell you about the Skype chat I had with the very cool Richie Cavalera, vocalist for Incite who are a 5 piece groove metal band from Phoenix, Arizona. Richie was taking it easy at his house on the west coast of America, getting in some much needed rest before a huge tour of the states with Devildriver. We spoke about Incite’s upcoming album release (due 22/04/16, reviewed here), how his wife had fun “killing him” and how we both feel the pain of long haul flights!
Pit Troll – Are you chilling at home just now or out on the road somewhere?
Richie – Am in California relaxing at home. I got maybe ten days or so before we head out on the road with Devildriver. Just trying to take it easy before the madness starts again.
Pit Troll – Which part of California are you in?
Richie – I live in Huntingdon Beach
Pit Troll – Cool. Have you done a lot of surfing there?
Richie – Not really, haven’t quite got into that yet because I’ve been gone so much. When Summer hits I’m gonna explore some water activities that’s for sure.
Pit Troll – I know the Hed (P.E.) guys are from Huntingdon Beach. Do you hang out with them much?
Richie – I haven’t yet, but I definitely will. I knew them from years back. There’s a lot of bands that live out here. Jose from Sirius XM lives out here and Greig from Dillinger Escape Plan. it’s definitely a cool area to be living right now.
Pit Troll – With all the miles you’ve done recently do you have plans to get back on the road once Oppression comes out?
Richie – Oh yeah, literally like I was saying about 10 days from now we start a U.S. tour with Devildriver, so we got a little bit of a break but it wasn’t long. This tours gonna be incredible as far as you know, the bigness of it. It’s a huge tour for us. We’re all super excited. Then we’re hoping to get back to Europe in the summertime, if not then, during the fall. Everything’s looking good right now and especially when the album comes out the tour demands gonna spike up quite a bit as well.
Pit Troll – I, for one can’t wait till you guys get back to Europe.
Richie – Oh man, I love it over there. We had such a great time. So many packed shows. It was really killer, man.
Pit Troll – You worked with Steve Evetts on this album and Logan Mader a couple of albums ago (All Out War) How do these two guys differ in their approaches? How do you decide who to go for when you’re ready to record a new album?
Richie – It just always comes together randomly, how you pick a producer you know. Maybe you heard an album you liked a lot, that you wanted to jam out or whatever it could of been. I heard the new Suicide Silence record and loved the sound on it, Steve is just amazing. The biggest difference is budget, we’re now four records in, we have little bit more money to spend and a little bit more time to make the record. When you have a producer you wanna really explore everything you can do, rather than just be rushed. I think with Logan we killed it with the time and stuff we had to make the records, but now it’s a lot chiller and not so strenuously rushed. Everybody has a little bit more time to soak the music in and that’s one thing that definitely makes this record stand out from the previous work we’ve done. I love both of them, they both work great. Logan is in the band now and Steve’s a genius. He’s so smart, the things he picks out that you never would’ve thought of, you’re so blown away by the things he does. He was totally like a fifth member of the band. Everything was just more organic. There was no copy/paste, nothing like that, it was all live recordings. It was a really great experience for us. We really needed it.
Pit Troll – I didn’t want our chat to be completely music related, hope that’s OK? Before the interview, I was watching Gotham. Are you a fan of the show?
Richie – I’ve been pretty slacking on my TV with the schedule I’ve been keeping but I at least got to watch The People VS OJ, which was really cool.
Pit Troll – Are you fan of comics at all? Do you have any favourite characters?
Richie – Awww man, I loved DC comics growing up. That was like everything to me. I collected all the cards and all that kind of stuff. I’d probably go with Wolverine as one of my favourites.
Pit Troll – If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?
Richie – To fly man! I think that would be the coolest thing ever with my job. I hate having to fly on aeroplanes because you have no control over anything. I would choose flying man for sure. It would be the shit.
Pit Troll – I feel your pain with long haul flights, with my height they can be a real drag.
Richie – Oh yeah, you’re definitely hating that for sure. We flew from Moscow to Los Angeles, that was like 26 plus hours of travelling. It just sucked.
Pit Troll – There was a pretty disturbing video out for “No Remorse” recently. What was the inspiration for that?
Richie – A little collaboration between the director and the band. We wanted something to fit with the dark imagery we’d produced with the first couple of albums. To us, videos are really important to the band. We grew up in an era of MTV where the video was everything about the songs that you listened to. When we make them, we want to make them crazy, we want to make you think about them and make you trip. We brought back Robert Sexon who did “What The F**k” with us and “Fallen” off the last record. We pushed it. We brought in four really killer ladies, my wife being one of them. She enjoyed cause she got to kill me, which I’m sure every wife wants to do to their husband at some point or another. It was just really cool, showing women strong, killing men. I thought that was cool to portray. It was something different than your everyday women degrading that goes on so much. It was a lot of fun to make.
Pit Troll – What’s your plans for another video off the Oppression album?
Richie – Awww dude, we made two at the same time so we have another one coming out over here in the next couple of weeks. It’s all done with three hundred and sixty degree cameras, one of the first times that’s ever been done. It’s going to really blow peoples minds. The song is “Life Disease” which was with Connor Garrity from All Hail The Yeti. That video really turned out wicked.
Pit Troll – My favourite song on the album is “I Want It All” I just love the “Heavy Fucking Metal!” intro.
Richie – We wanted that song to be the definition of metal. When I think of metal, it’s fast, it’s heavy, it’s ripping, it’s non stop in your face with the powerful breakdowns and killer guitars. When it came time to say how do you want to to do this, we were like lets bring Jose in. He’s got one of the most famous metal screams that there is right now on radio. He was just perfect. That’s definitely one of my favourites too.
Pit Troll – Going back to being on the road, what’s the craziest, silliest or funniest thing you’ve seen on tour? Either back stage or in the crowd?
Richie – Jesus, there’s been a lot of craziness. No doubt about that. Coming back to my old school touring days, I had a lot of crazy crew that was around me. Some of the stories from them I definitely still remember. They used to have this thing called “The Bucket” where if it was your birthday, they used to fill this bucket with everything from piss to puke to food and the band would dump it on the crew guy or another band member. Just so many memories. Tours were insane everyday.
Pit Troll – Were you ever unfortunate enough to endure the bucket?
Richie – No man. I was lucky enough to never have a birthday on tour. Mines were always during the downtime.
Pit Troll – To turn the tables a bit, is there anything you’d like to ask me?
Richie – What was the first concert you ever saw and what did that do for you as far as inspiring you to want to interview bands and become a big person in the metal scene?
Pit Troll – First gig I ever went to was Fear Factory when I was still at high school. I only lasted about a minute in the mosh pit, got my ass kicked pretty bad. After that gig though, I knew I’d found my place musically.
Richie – That’s what it’s all about, man. Going to a show and having one good memory that changes everything for you.
Oppression is out this Friday, April 22nd.