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Selected articles from my journalism career, with topics ranging from heavy metal to cold cases to samurai armor.

Former Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera brings family metal show to Nashua

When a son reaches a certain age, it isn’t unusual for him to follow his father into the family business. It’s a little more unusual, however, if your father is iconic musician Max Cavalera and the family business is heavy metal.

Cavalera, renowned for his work as the former frontman of groundbreaking groove metal band Sepultura and as the current leader of Soulfly, is seeing a whole new chapter of his career open up as his sons make their own forays into the music industry.

Stepson Richie, 25, is the lead singer of Incite, which Cavalera described as a new version of Pantera. Sons Igor, 17, and Zyon, 19, handle vocals and drums respectively for the yet-unsigned Lody Kong – “grunge and metal combined together, which is kind of unique,” Cavalera said.

All three bands are performing together as part of the “Maximum Cavalera” tour, which will make a stop at the Arena Sportsbar and Nightclub, 53 High St. in Nashua on Tuesday, March 12. Doors will open at 5 p.m., with the show starting at 5:30.

The show is for ages 18 and older. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at For more information, visit

The inspiration for the tour came not from the patriarch, but from another family member with close ties to the business.

“It was actually my wife’s idea,” Cavalera said, adding that Gloria is his general manager.

Cavalera seconded her suggestion, and hasn’t regretted it.

“It’s really fun to be on tour with the whole family,” he said. “It’s really cool.”

“I think it’s great when you can be a part of something with your family,” Richie said. “It’s not often that you get to be with your family when you’re in a band.”

Touring with other bands can be challenging, Cavalera said, because everyone doesn’t always get along.

“With the family, none of that happens,” he said. “I think it’s a little bit easier, because we’ve known each other for a long time.”

“You don’t have to deal with anybody’s ego or anything,” Richie said.

And with everyone in the same tour bus – with the exception of Incite, which has its own van – the adult members of the group are careful to look out for the best interests of the teenagers.

“We have to hide the beer from the young ones,” Cavalera said.

“We hide the party and make them go to bed early, and then let the adults enjoy themselves at night,” Richie said.

There’s also a lot of mentoring going back and forth on the tour.

“You always look out for your little ones and try to point them in the right direction,” Richie said.

Since Igor is also a vocalist, Richie explained, he’ll give him tips on how to maintain his voice during a tour. With Zyon, it might be as simple as letting him know “he just rocked it on drums.”

“They’re young, they’re working hard,” Richie said. “Keeping Incite on our toes every night, for sure.”

Zyon is also playing drums for Soulfly on this tour, an arrangement that initially raised some concerns for Cavalera because of how much stamina is required to drum in two bands.

By all accounts, Zyon has risen to the challenge.

“He’s doing great. A lot of people really like him,” Cavalera said. “The band really likes to play with him.”

“I don’t know how he has the energy to do both bands. I couldn’t be more proud and happier to have him playing drums for me.”

Cavalera has had a significant influence on Richie, as well.

Music has always been a part of Richie’s life, as his mother, Gloria, has worked with bands since he was born. Cavalera came into their lives when Richie was 8 or 9, offering him an even deeper connection to the music world.

“Max was big on pushing me out onto the stage,” Richie said, noting that he’s performed with Sepultura and Nailbomb, one of Cavalera’s former side projects.

Richie said he learned a lot from watching Cavalera, from the essentials of stage presence and how to control a crowd to how to deal with musicians joining and leaving the band.

Seeing Cavalera’s success as a professional musician “definitely got me believing that it’s something possible to achieve,” Richie said.

Audiences will have an opportunity to see all four Cavaleras perform together during Soulfly’s “Revengeance.”

“A lot of people want to take pictures of the moment,” Cavalera said, adding that he has noticed a lot of audience members breaking out their cameras for that song.

This show will mark the first time the bands perform in New Hampshire.

“Thirty years of career, and I’m still playing places I’ve never played before,” Cavalera said. “I think it’s pretty exciting.”

Audiences can expect “a bomb going off from beginning to end,” Richie said. “It’s got a little minifestival feeling to it.”

The show will kick off with a few independent or unsigned bands – “I expect some good local talent from New Hampshire,” Richie said – followed by Lody Kong, Incite and Soulfly.

“In the end, you have Max,” Richie said. “You don’t get artists like Max every day of your life.”

And the family connections will only serve to make the show that much more powerful.

“I think we all kind of feed off each other and embrace the bond that we have, and cherish it all,” Richie said.

– Teresa Santoski

Originally published March 7, 2013 in The Telegraph, Nashua, NH.

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