A&GS recently talked to Richie Cavalera, vocalist from INCITE, in an e-mail interview. Bassist Christopher “EL” showed up briefly to answer a tattoo question, and in general the band was pumped for new album Built to Destroy, which is out now on Minus HEAD Records. So come check it out:
Amps: First things first, you’re going out on the road with SOULFLY and KATAKLYSM, and Built to Destroy is dropping the same day as the tour starts. What’s going through your heads right now and how is everyone feeling?
Richie: Hell ya, it’s a very exciting time in the camp right now. This tour’s going to rule, and this album is definitely a strong piece of heavy metal.
We’re ready to kick some ass on all fronts in the coming weeks and months. Also to have an album drop on the same day as a tour starts is just a perfect storm for what we want to accomplish.
Amps: After this first run of shows ends, where are you off to next?
Richie: We have a busy schedule building right now, so come April we head over to Europe with SEPTICFLESH and KRISIUN which is going to be brutal. After that, back to the States and then back to Europe for festivals. It’s getting crazy but it’s what we’ve always wanted so it’s cool.
I enjoyed the fact that Dru is really going to town solo-wise on this record, while keeping the same pummeling intensity. Is that by design, or did it just happen and you decided to go with it?
Richie: No that was something we’ve wanted for a long time. I think it just came out perfect to where we could do what we wanted. Each of the previous albums only had like 1 solo on the whole record and that always kinda bummed me out. So once Dru kinda came into his own it was time to let him rip it up and he killed it in my opinion. It just gives us that complete sound we’ve always wanted to have.
Amps: How long did this album take, from initial ideas to writing and recording?
Richie: About a year and a half. It’s the most time we’ve ever had to write and record and I think that made the biggest difference. In music, the more time you have, the better the chances you have of really making a killer record.
We got lucky that tours just kept us on the road so we were given those extra months together to really hammer out jams and be more prepared than ever before. We also went into the studio. It was the longest we ever spent recording which was a huge relief – to not feel rushed or like you forgot stuff, we all finished and were pumped on everything.
Amps: My question for EL regarding tattoos is this: What is the coolest piece you’ve been asked to do? And on the other side, what is the STRANGEST tattoo you’ve ever done?
EL: The coolest piece changes often, but probably the KING DIAMOND tattoo that I did on a co-worker. Anytime someone asks for their BF/GF’s name tattooed on them, I cringe. I try to talk them out of it. In the biz we call it the “two year curse”, because they’re usually wanting iT covered up by then.
Amps: One of the things about INCITE is that no two albums sound the same, yet we know it’s you guys instantly. How do you manage to keep it so fresh after all this time? Are there just endless song ideas floating through your heads constantly?
Richie: I think the big thing that attributed to that was the changing of members from album one to album three. We had the same lineup for the first two albums. Then just Kevin helped write on Up In Hell and same with Oppression. So I think me staying and him kept a solid continuation of what INCITE has been since day one. Lennon and EL helped to form a new feel that was more groovy but way heavier. My vocals have grown a lot which has kept the vibe fresh or different. Now that Dru is writing and not Kevin it’s helped to evolve without losing that INCITE feel and sound. We’ve been lucky to kind of time things right, have the guys play the songs for a while, and then write, which I think puts influence into what they try to do.
Amps: I know Richie is a big sports guy, like me. Are you the only one, or does everyone share that love? And if so, who is everyone’s NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL teams they root for?
Richie: EL and I are huge sports fans for sure. We always make the other dudes go to sports bars and shit to watch the games while on the road. He’s a big Raiders and Oklahoma Sooners guy. I’m into the Arizona Cardinals and the Phoenix Suns
Amps: What are you guys listening to at home, or in the car running errands? Old stuff, new stuff, rock, metal, folk, polka??
Richie: A lot of our new album haha. I always jam our tunes until it comes out, just something I’ve always done. I’ve been jamming a lot of GATECREEPER, BOB MARLEY, DOKKEN, and tons of JOURNEY. I’m all over the place with my music. Think it keeps my ideas fresh and evolving.
Amps: What are some of your favorite records that came out in 2017 and/or 2018?
Richie: I really dug the POWER TRIP record (Nightmare Logic), and the new BODY COUNT (Bloodlust) was ripping for sure. Absolutely loved JUDAS PRIEST’S Firepower – that was a killer surprise.
Amps: Away from music, what do you like to do to relax and unwind?
Richie: I’ve been trying to do some exercises now that I’m getting older, haha. I just like chilling with my wife and puppy, smoke tons of weed and take hikes. I’m hella chill now that I’m on the road so much now.
Amps: What would you like John or Jane Q. Listener to take away from this record when the last notes of the last song have rung out?
Richie: I want people to feel like they got an album that the band really cared about making and put everything they had into making it. I hope they feel positive, angry, excited and hella fired up that metal is still kicking ass and won’t stop any time soon.
Amps: Lastly, what would you like to say to all the INCITE fans out there in the world?
Richie: Keep it heavy, smoke tons of weed, support the music, and enjoy your goddamn selves.
INCITE is one of those Thrash Metal bands that will always give you great music, while at the same time fucking your shit up. Built to Destroy is the kind of record that makes you want to break things and people, and those of you who haven’t checked it out, you need to go ahead and do ‘dat. The tour they’re on right now is pretty sick, and you can find your tickets HERE.
LIVE IMAGE: MAX SEQUEIRA PHOTOGRAPHY