When Soulfly frontman Max Cavalera was a teenager, he was recording his first albums with Sepultura, the Brazilian-based band co-founded by Cavalera and his brother Igor that eventually became one of the biggest metal bands of the 90s.
Today, Cavalera, 43, is giving sons Igor, 17, and Zyon, 19, a crash course in life as a touring band. Along with their 25-year-old stepbrother Richies band Incite, Zyon and Igors band Lody Kong will open for Soulfly on the Maximum Cavalera Tour at Tremont Music Hall Sunday.
The teenagers arent new to the road. On her blog, their mother (Max Cavaleras longtime manager and wife) Gloria Cavalera writes about how the toddlers (with Igor barely a year old) joined Sepultura on stage in the UK for what ended up being their fathers final show with the band.
They were exposed to it from the beginning, says Max Cavalera. When they got into music, they got into metal. Its exciting to have them in the house. We go to CD stores together, do our iPods together with our favorite songs, discover new bands together. They practice in the house. Its a real metal house.
Cavalera says stepson Richie has been singing with him since Cavaleras 1995 cult side project Nailbomb. Both younger kids started out as drummers until Igor switched to guitar and vocals.
From the beginning of the Soulfly tours, Zyon would sit behind (drummers) Roy (Mayorga) or Joe (Nunez). Theyd give him tips, he adds. More recently, the young drummer has tapped Uncle Igor (Septultura/Cavalera Conspiracy) for advice and is playing his uncles drums on tour. Cavalera says Zyons uncle told him: Theyre just sitting in the jam pad collecting dust. Put some mileage on them.
Im glad he has his uncle, (because) Im not a drummer at all, says Cavalera, who showed his other son how to write riffs. People talk to me after the show and say, Your kids bands rock. Some people put me on the spot and say, Arent you worried that theyre going to challenge you?
Cavalera adds that his rock n roll lifestyle has made it nearly impossible for the two boys to rebel.
Most kids rebel cause their parents are too straight and dont let them do anything, he says. Were the opposite. They cant rebel against us cause were crazier than them. Theyll lose.
Cavalera is currently straight edge (I did anything and grew tired of it), but the prolific band leader hasnt slowed down elsewhere.
Hes already working on a follow-up to Soulflys 2012 album Enslaved an album produced by Terry Date (Soundgarden, Pantera) that he predicts will be out late this year. Hes toying with a Hunger Games-like futuristic concept for the record.
In September, hell record with an as-yet unnamed metal supergroup featuring Mastodons Troy Sanders, Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Greg Puciato, and drummer Dave Elitch (formerly of the Mars Volta). Cavalera is also completing his biography, A Boy From Brazil, with British biographer Joel McIver.
He predicts it will be an inspirational story.
It shows you can be from a place like Brazil or most any place in the world and make it in the music business, he says. It gives people hope.