Max Cavalera is a man on a mission. He turned 40 in 2009 and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, when it comes to the metal legend, it's quite the opposite: the man is a veritable frenzy of musical activity and output. Since the release of the very first Soulfly album back in 1998 (and this of course doesn't even count his illustrious history with the mighty, seminal Brazilian metal band Sepultura), he has released no less than ten, count them, ten , albums between Soulfly and the recent project with his formerly estranged brother Igor, The Cavalera Conspiracy.
And it's not like the quality suffers with the quantity, everything he puts out has the 'Max stamp' of heavy goodness and quality on it. He must be a bottomless pit of riffs, grooves and vocal lines.
Max reunited with Igor in 2007, after an approximately decade long falling out, and formed Cavalera Conspiracy, which released the blistering Inflikted album the following year. 2011 brings the second CC album, the aptly titled Blunt Force Trauma, and Max himself is justifiably happy and proud of the finished product.
"I'm really pleased with it man," he begins, "it took a while to get this one done. We spent more time with Blunt Force Trauma than we did with Inflikted, and I think it shows in the music.
"You can tell that it's a band that's been playing together for a while, it's more connected. And I really like the fact that we took everything one step further than Inflikted. The album is more brutal, more aggressive, bigger sounding. There's more groove songs and more fast songs, so I'm really proud of this one, I can't wait for people to hear it!" he enthuses.
"Right now it'd be Warlord, the opening track," he states, regarding his favourite tune on the album. "I love the way album comes on, and kicks in. Killing Inside is also one of my favourite tracks; it's kind of a Killing Joke kind of song, with a groove that's different for us. And I think Torture, being one of the fast ones, it's kind of like a Raining Blood kind of song. Which is one of the ideas we had when we first started making the album, we wanted to make a bunch of fast songs.
"So we wrote Target, Torture, Thrasher, Blunt Force Trauma, Burn Waco, a bunch of fast shit. We just came out flying, going a thousand miles an hours, and it felt really good, really explosive.
"But then, the album needs something," he goes on, "that's why we started writing Killing Inside and I Speak Hate and Genghis Khan - more mid tempo, a Max and Iggor groove that people like, that we had in Sepultura.
"So I think," he considers, "in the end, you've got the best of both worlds. You've got the fast stuff, the trash stuff, and you've got the groove. And that's what Cavalera Conspiracy is; a combination of both."
After somewhat of an experimental phase in Max career during the early to mid 2000s, where he played around with different musical forms in the context of his heavy style, both Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy have returned to more all out brutal terrain in the last few years, a progression which Max finds a little hard to explain.
"Yeah man," he agrees, "that's something that just happened: I don't know an explanation for that. I get older, I get more psycho!" he laughs.
"I have no idea what's causing that, I think it's gotta be the music itself!"
And while Soufly have deliberately retained a touch of their Latin/Brazilian orientated experimentation amid their sheer brutality, the philosophy and intention of Cavalera Conspiracy has remained different to that. It helps ensure separation between the two major streams of Max's career.
"Yeah, with Cavalera Conspiracy the idea was to bring the brothers back to playing metal again," he explains. "Especially the metal that was created in, probably the '80s and '90s in Sepultura with stuff like Arise, Chaos AD and (Max's short lived '90s industrial side project) Nailbomb, the stuff that me and Igor did that really captured people's hearts.
"I think the metal community was surprised when they first heard me and Igor playing together, two Brazilian brothers throwing down riffs and drumming, and with Igor being one of the great drummers in this kind of music.
"So," he continues, "the idea when I made Cavalera Conspiracy was to have this spirit of the thrash feeling coming back," he expands further, "and the groove also made us popular in Sepultura, so to have both… and Igor really loved that idea, so we had Cavalera be a 'racist' kind of band, be racist against other kinds of music" he laughs. "It's not allowed in Cavalera Conspiracy. You know, reggae, DJ, hip hop: none of this shit is allowed in the Cavalera world, it's definitely all metal and hardcore," he chuckles. "It's pretty straight up, in your face metal!
"It's what I want to play with Igor, it's the energy of the brothers playing metal is what people want to hear from us."
Now, after a 10-year feud between Max and Igor, the brothers are together again, hanging out, enjoying each other's company and doing what they do best again. "Yeah man, doing really good," he says, the positive emotion evident, "we're really enjoying our friendship now, and our families, and being brothers again is really fun.
"And," he adds, "we're looking forward to the tours now, to spend some time together in the back of the bus, hanging out, talking Portuguese together, like we did as kids, and just being brothers again it's great. Then just sharing the stage with him every night is amazing; it's a really great feeling."
Being that Max is an extremely regular visitor to our shores, we can no doubt expect The Cavalera brothers to bring their thrashing, grooving brutality down under at some stage in the next twelve months. In the meantime, check out Blunt Force Trauma.
CAVALERA CONSPIRACY's brutal new album Blunt Force Trauma is out now through Roadrunner.