Incite – Join the ResistanceThursday, 14th February 2019
With a blue-collar work ethic and the will to succeed, groove metallers Incite have been slowly working their way up the ladder since 2004. A destructive live show certainly didn’t hurt things, and the band has just released their fifth full-length effort – merging the groove stronghold that the band has been built on with some stronger emphasis on guitar leads and a sharpened focus. Vocalist Richie Cavalera checked in with us just prior to jumping aboard the current Soulfly/Kataklysm US tour to talk Built to Destroy, lyrical inspiration, work ethic, and carrying on the Cavalera name in heavy metal.
Dead Rhetoric: What makes Built to Destroy stand out from your other releases?
Richie Cavalera: I think it’s us coming into our own. I love everything that we have done, and I feel that it has been a build-up to the record. I think that’s probably why it’s called Built to Destroy. Being able to do what we wanted to with it – the guitarwork and the tightness of it, with [Derek] Lennon and [Christopher] EL and with my vocal stuff stepping up too. I think it was a 100% Incite record and what we have looked to do since we have started with this band.
Dead Rhetoric: So to this point, you’d say it is the definitive piece for what Incite represents?
Cavalera: Without question. If you listen to our catalog, it shows that growth. Especially when you get into Up in Hell, which is where these members have had that continuity. It has created a vibe and tightness that the band had missed. I think it makes a huge difference when you can keep the solidarity in the line-up there. It’s been huge for us as far as the writing goes?
Dead Rhetoric: Do you think it allows you to challenge yourselves more by having a familiarity in the line-up?
Cavalera: Definitely. When you make records with the same guys, you put more emphasis on what you already did, and exceed on with a new record. That’s been a big thing for us. We wanted to push it, and do what we have always done well and add more to it, like the leads. That’s the number one thing people are going to notice with the writing this time. We got to do the solos and shit that I have always wanted to do. In our style of music, it kind of sets us apart. A lot of bands don’t do that with this type of music. But it has to be the right kind of soloing to work, and I think we able to pull it off and make it fit the way that it should.
Dead Rhetoric: With the solos, I think it helps show a different side of the band as well. It veers away from the groove base.
Cavalera: I think the growth of EL on bass too – on some of our other albums you didn’t really hear bass. This one you can really notice it as well as being a big part of the production. With having one guitar player, it really makes that part even more important now.
Dead Rhetoric: How’d the guest appearances of Kirk Windstein and Chris Barnes on Built to Destroy come to be?
Cavalera: With us, we have always tried to have people that we have toured with and people that we have grown a good bond with instead of just a big name or a cool dude. We toured with Crowbar twice in the last few years, and Kirk became the tour dad. He’s a legend, and you see what he’s doing. He’s carrying in his own gear, doing these things that I think everyone needs to learn – everyone should tour with Crowbar. Things like tour life is and how you should treat it. It’s always an enjoyment for him and it’s something I had to learn to love.
When the time came, we had this killer song and we wanted him to be a part of it. It has this doomy feeling and it’s super Crowbar-esque meets Incite. It came out really cool and it’s about the destruction of the planet with relates a lot to what’s going on right now. It’s a brutal track. The same thing with Chris – he took us out on tour and we really hit it off, smoking joints and talking about the world and life. So we had a killer song that he fit on too. Both the tracks came out fucking rocking.
Dead Rhetoric: Speaking of the world around us, could you talk about the new video for “Resistance” and the message behind it?
Cavalera: I think people at first got the wrong perception of it. It’s not about success per say. There’s nothing wrong with being successful, but it’s these 38 people that have as much as 4 billion, and these sorts of issues have become a bigger problem. I know it’s been there, but I think people are beginning to understand that governments don’t run shit. They can’t do anything without money, and that’s what these people have and control. It’s come to a point where things just have to change, and our generation being at the forefront of how you have to live and the craziness around it all – you have been thrown in a whole new direction. For us, it’s about finding new answers and solutions. Most of the things in the past aren’t working now. They may have worked in the past but they aren’t working today.
That’s what this [song] is about – people opening their eyes and seeing the propaganda that these people spin and the money they are spending to get you to defend them/be on their side, when they don’t give a shit about you and are out busting every union and doing things that ultimately hurt us in the end. It’s unfortunate. I think one thing that music has always been about is bringing attention to issues, and that’s what Incite has always done. We aren’t politically charged, but we try to have people see the issues and try to relate to them. I have grown up in the era of the last 15 years and it’s been a shitshow from top to bottom. It’s something we have always enjoyed diving into, and we wanted to get people talking about it with this video in a common sense type of way, instead of just hating on rich people.
Dead Rhetoric: So when you are looking for lyrical inspiration do you take a look around at what is happening in the world at that moment?
Cavalera: I think that’s definitely how it has been, especially with touring. We have always been in a van, so to see firsthand what is going on – we have toured South America a few times and to see what is going on down there is just unfortunate. There’s enough on this planet for people to live good and have a decent life and prosper. I want someone to be able to relate and say, “hey man, there’s someone standing up for us” and is using this platform for something other than just nonsense.
Dead Rhetoric: Being around for over a decade now, what are some of the changes you’ve seen in the industry?
Cavalera: The culture itself – everything is way more microscopic. But that’s a result of getting more attention, which is good and bad at the same time. A lot of younger bands are getting more attention than they were 10 years ago. There’s a lot more of them. Metal is more all around the world than it ever has been before. I think most of the changes have been good. We are getting a hold on the digital stuff with music, and record labels are catching up. Most of what I have felt and been a part of has been mostly positive changes from where we were 10 years ago.
Dead Rhetoric: How do you challenge yourself as a vocalist?
Cavalera: That’s easy – I have always felt like I can be better. A big thing that I have started doing, now that I’m getting a little older, is exercising. I do a shit ton of cardio – I can feel the changes when I am performing. It’s incredible! The little things you can do – I thought it was more about how I sang or what I sang but the health of your body makes a huge improvement. Having the right muscles working out to be able to do the things you want to do vocally. Laying off the cigarettes too – I feel like I am more energized and fired up than I have ever been. It’s a good time right now.
Dead Rhetoric: I would imagine that’s kind of important due to having a more energetic live show as well.
Cavalera: Yeah, I always had this energy from hell and that was the way to burn it off. Once I hit 30, it was like, “Oh shit!” You have to find other methods to keep up that intensity, but there’s no shortage of things to get pissed about during your day so I think I can always have that angry energy that rolls into everything else.
Dead Rhetoric: One thing that I notice with Incite is the groove. What’s important when putting it into a track?
Cavalera: It just kind of happens for us. Something about the riffing and the vibe/tempo we feel in our heads, it brings that perfect groove into it. It’s not something we tried to have or focused on, it was about being heavy. That particular groove feel is what came out of that inspiration of wanting to be heavy. It’s cool that people feel that. Something that I have always loved about heavy music is that it doesn’t have to be the fastest or most technical, all it has to be is solid and let everyone get into it.
Everyone can feel the groove of a heavy song, more than a blast beat. It fires people up halfway, but there are people that I think get turned off from that sort of thing. For us, it’s about keeping something that we want to listen to, and a feel we have always liked, and I think it translated into a cool production of that kind of groove.
Dead Rhetoric: What do you enjoy about the ‘family’ tours that you’ve done? You will be touring with Soulfly and I know you’ve toured with them in the past.
Cavalera: I think it’s a cool, interesting thing in metal especially. I think we haven’t toured with them for about six years so it will be cool to get back into it. But at that time, no one was really thinking about that. There were no kids involved with their parents’ thing, and it was us doing our thing as a family. We just happened to have three killer bands at the right time. People demanded it and hit us up, which is more how it came out with people hitting us up.
For us in the early days, it was just cool to do it on our own. We were on a tour like that but we were on our own and had to make it work. It instilled a hardcore work ethic in us. Our reputation is killer – people know that we bust our fucking ass. We rock hard, we party, we hang out. That’s how we have always been. So to do these, there’s a special vibe. You want to kick each other’s ass every night. It adds a little more to it. We don’t look at it as anything other than another tour – we trying to take over the world.
Dead Rhetoric: Do you feel that the work ethic and pushing yourselves has led to a stronger success for Incite?
Cavalera: Yes – I think that’s the case for any band. That’s how you separate yourself in this world of saturation. There’s a million bands but there are only a handful that are going out and sleeping in a van with 100 degee heat with no A/C and playing 150 shows a year no matter how or what the situation is. That has been us. That’s how you make it. That’s how you put your mark in this business. That’s how it has worked for us and it has gotten us to where we are now. A lot of people are talking about the band and giving us love – it’s cool.
It’s very fulfilling to work that hard – coming off some tours and questioning if it’s worth it and all of this coming out makes it worth it. You’ve been through all the bullshit. If it wasn’t worth all the bullshit, I don’t think we would have made it past album one, like other bands and kids would do. We have lasted and risen above everything that has been put there. We’ve never tried to be better than others – it’s been about us creating cool music and having a killer vibe and having an atmosphere that people are enjoying themselves. That’s what we love.
Dead Rhetoric: Do you feel pressure, internally, to live up to your last name when you are putting something out there?
Cavalera: Yeah, I think you do to a certain extent. I don’t want to fail. I want to continue the legacy for Cavalera in metal. That’s an honor to have that thrown on my shoulders. I get that honor and I fucking love it. I love overcoming things in my life and pushing things. I love doubters that fires me up. That’s what I wake up for. People don’t know where I came from. I’ve been the poorest of poor that you can ever be. I’ve been fortunate enough to know folks who kicked ass and made life better. I’ve seen both spectrums – I’ve had a deadbeat dad. People don’t know and never will. But where I am now and to be able to be a part of this legacy is a fucking honor.
I hope that everybody’s cool and that it is what it is. I’m not some fuckhead just trying to get rich because it was the easy thing to do. This is the hardest choice of what I could have done. I could have been a doctor or lawyer and not had problems. No one would have given a shit. I would have had a chill life, but I wanted to grind it out. To sleep in cars and be poor – just grinding. It’s cool and it makes success that much better if it happens.
Dead Rhetoric: Nobody gets into this kind of music to become an international superstar or anything.
Cavalera: Yeah, I would have been singing pop hits with short hair with a cute little face and shit! But that didn’t appeal to me. This is what I have loved since I was born.
Dead Rhetoric: What’s coming up other than the Soulfly tour?
Cavalera: After that we head to Europe with Septicflesh and Krisiun. Another killer tour, and one that is outside our block – we love to tour with any kind of music. That’s going to rip. After that we are back to the US in June/July. Then for the first time ever we landed on a massive European festival – Bloodstock. This year, it’s really coming together. We are really excited in how it is coming together and I’m sure we’ll have a fuckton of announcements as the record comes out and everyone sees whats going on with it.