Interview: Richie Cavalera of Incite

After their recent destruction of Edinburgh, Gary fired a few questions over to Incite frontman Richie Cavalera…

Hi Richie and thanks for this interview with us at The Moshville Times.

Hell yeah – always enjoy talking to our Moshville family!

Last time we spoke properly was 2016 in Glasgow at King Tuts when you were on tour with Soulfly & King Parrot, you said then that you were the best singer in the family – does that still hold true?!

Oh ya, I feel I’ve gotten a lot better since then! (laughs) So yeah, I can still out-rage ’em in the microphone. I feel I’m coming into my prime in my yelling career!

For those music fans who may have never heard of Incite, who is in the current band and how did you all meet?

Incite has had the same drummer (Lennon Lopez) and bass player (EL) for 7 years and we’ve been recently joined by (Eli Santana) as our new guitar player. I expect this to be the lineup this band will end with. Lennon and I had toured like 10 years ago in different bands and just hit it off from the start, probably’ cause we’re both big weed smokers (laughs). El and I had been in local bands in Arizona for a long time and we both just kinda linked up out of destiny! Eli is amazing on guitar and a perfect match for all our vibes. He was in Huntress and Holy Grail, we toured with Holy Grail a few years back and just hit it off with Eli. It always felt like he was the guy we needed and were missing. Now it’s on!!

How would you describe your style of music and do you think you were always destined to come into the music scene given the family background?

We tell people it’s just good old classic heavy metal. No one just plugs in and rocks anymore while bringing a party or have a fun atmosphere like we do. Everyone relies on backing tracks and digital crap and pyro and all sorts of madness. We just rely on our music, our energy, and our vibe with the crowd – it’s all about having a good time. Music has been there since my birth; it only makes sense that I became a rocker. We’re just like generations of coal miners or army service, or a farm that’s been passed down. I’m here to carry our name and metal into the future for years to come.

What or who are your main musical influences – either modern or older – and how do they influence your sound and the way you approach writing music?

My influences were Metallica, Megadeth, Sacred Reich, a lot of the older heavy music is what I was into. I loved the aggression, the passion, and the rawness of it. Today I like a lot of everything! Dokken, Journey, Power Trip, even reggae. I love being inspired from all different vibes now. No one should ever just listen to one kind of music when there’s so much out there to be enjoyed. I don’t ever say I want to copy that person or that style – I just do what makes sense to me and what works for me. I definitely take influence in my stage performances. Phil of Pantera, Randy of LOG, and Mike of Suicidal T were always ones I watched and just tripped on how hard they brought it every night.

You are touring last year’s Built to Destroy album, you have a few guests on it – is this something you deliberately do and write for or is it more a case of just friends dropping in? How has it been received by the press and live by the fans?

We’ve always wanted to have dudes guest that we toured with and/or had an impact on the band in a positive way. We usually have all the music done when deciding which song they will do. We knew early on that we wanted Kirk and Chris. We toured with both of them over the years and they really supported this band and inspired us and they both killed it on their respective songs. It’s been the most successful album we’ve put out yet. The press and the metalheads have all responded incredibly to the new record – ’cause it’s badass! We’ve busted our asses and killed it every night to get to where we are and now to feel strong support behind us is kick ass.

Have you started writing any new songs for a new album yet and will it keep the heavier sound of Built To Destroy?
No, we haven’t hit that point yet – we just changed guitar players so we want to tour a lot and get the new guy influenced by the old songs and get that style built into him so he can build off that vibe going forward. It’s going to be different I feel now that we have our most rounded guitar player yet – I think we have a lot of new territory to hit. It’s definitely going to be heavy ’cause that’s what we do. We’ll probably take it back to a higher tuning as well which we’re excited about.

How has the current tour been going here in the UK and in general?

It’s been our most successful headline tour yet. That’s so killer to see after grinding like we have. Makes you feel like it all hasn’t been a waste and that metalheads are connecting to what we’re doing more and more. It’s very humbling and we’re going to go harder and not take anything for granted.

We spoke about King Parrot at Bannermans as I was buying a new hoodie from your good self, it would be a cool invite, as you said, if the boys took you on tour down under with them. Are there any bands that you would really like to tour with that you have not done yet?

Ya we’re dying to go back to Australia and with King Parrot would be awesome. At the moment we really want to tour with Lamb of God. I think we are the next in line of that heavy metal OG style like them and I think us together would be one insane metal tour. Power Trip would be fun too as we both have incredible energy and ripping songs.

You formed the band back in 2004, how do you think the band has changed in the 15 years since then, and are you surprised that you are still going after all these years? What keeps things fresh?

Yeah, everything on every level has changed; it’s crazy. I’ve just enjoyed the ride and gone with it whatever came the band’s way over the years. I think we’re more mature and music is the focus and rocking; back then it was just about how hard could we party, (laughs). I’m definitely surprised to be 15 years in already ’cause it doesn’t feel that way to me. I think bringing Eli in has made it hella fresh again – I was getting a little burned out from problems and nonsense that we were going through, but change usually will relight a fire. I think the ever-growing success has kept me going and I’m excited to see what’s next. I’m not done by a long shot unless my back stops me first!

What is it like having your mother Gloria as your manager, does it cause any issues on tour?

I don’t look at it like that. We have a business relationship where she is known as Gloria and we have another relationship that is just mom. We don’t ever cross those divides and I think that’s what’s made our relationship work really well. No other issue than me getting too excited and responding to emails before her, that’s probably our only battle, haha! She’s incredible and is in my opinion one of the best managers ever. It’s unfortunate people talk shit and don’t know the truth but that’s how this world is. She is more responsible for bringing our music to the fans all over the world than we are and she keeps us fighting for them and not ourselves.

Lastly, thanks for the interview and we look forward to catching the next album and you on tour again soon!

Hell yes! Much appreciated, as always. We hope to be back and talk again soon, my friend. Be well, keep it metal, and smoke weed every day.

Header photo by Gary Cooper Photography

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