5 Questions With Vocalists Richie Cavalera of Incite and Connor Garritty of All Hail the Yeti
Incite recently dropped their new album, Oppression, while All Hail the Yeti released their new sophomore disc, Screams From a Black Wilderness. The two bands are different from each other musically, but it just so happens that not only are the two frontmen -- Richie Cavalera and Connor Garritty -- label mates but they're also good friends. On a press day, we hung with them around New York and conduct an interview with both of them about their new releases and much more. Check out our interview with Richie Cavalera of Incite and Connor Garritty of All Hail the Yeti below:
Richie, the new album is Oppression. What does the title mean to you personally?
Richie Cavalera: It was kind of a feeling of the world and a mix of personal life. Being in a band you feel more forced down especially being in a metal band, than any other genre out there -- it’s a constant fight. When you see the cover it kind of brings in the perspective of the fire that burns inside of all of us, that’s constantly there. 'Oppression' was just the perfect word, it’s a strong word to describe the whole record and it gave me that feeling of being held down. I always go against that, I’m always fighting to take more and be more.
It features guest vocals provided by Connor right here, so how was that collaborative experience for both of you?
RC: We toured together so we built up that friendship, then to have them be on the same label as us was another plus. So it was like, “Oh dude we got this song that’s perfect for your style.” He was on a break and just came down and nailed it, it was really cool.
Connor Garritty: It was awesome, at first when they asked me I was like, “F--- I don’t know if I can pull off this s---.” It was a little bit faster than the s--- that we play. But when I heard the song it was awesome, it didn’t take very long, we knocked it out in a couple of hours it was great.
RC: The vibe that his vocals bring on it is like an old-school Al Jourgensen, Ministry thing. I love when his part comes in, it adds a perfect blend to the song. The video is going to blow people’s minds, we went full out on that one.
Connor, the new All Hail the Yeti album is a horror story concept record titled Screams From a Black Wilderness. How was the process of writing this for you?
CG: This album, with it being our second record, we had to focus on not losing what we were known for doing. The first album was the first 10 of the first 16 songs we ever wrote and we had six or seven years to write them. It came time to start this one and it was just the four of us, there were no other writers involved. The four of us became really attached to it. For me some parts are very personal and I also like to tell stories and freak people out. I’m a horror fan, I’m more into like the truthful stuff that scares people. Serial killers are intriguing, I don’t condone them but it’s interesting to think about how their mind works. So we visit weird stuff like that and where shootings and old west towns, just because of the history.
Stuff that’s true is more my thing rather than a horror movie, which I love but true stories are always scarier to me. There’s a song on the album called “Let the Night Roar” and it’s based off of Jim Jones and the Jonestown Massacre. It’s a horrible thing that happened and to me it’s just crazy that people become so lost that they let someone influence them to do something like that, moving some place where there was no fertile land and nothing and they were like, “Okay we’ll follow you” and they killed their children and themselves, it’s nuts to me.
How was the overall recording process for each of you on both of your new albums?
RC: This one was a lot different for us, we actually had time. Most of our albums have been really fast – you have three weeks so you just get in there and record it. So it would be like our songs were done and they we’d go in and our producer doesn’t know anything and it would be really stressful but with this one we finally had pre-production. Having Steve Evans on this changed our whole lives as far as recording goes – things were done in the moment, natural, organic rather than the copy and paste of our previous three records. I think you hear it from the drum sound, to the vocals, there’s so much more depth and organic-ness to it than we ever had. This is by far the best studio experience I’ve ever had and I think it went that way for the whole band. It seems like everything gets rushed in our business now so to sit down and have time is great.
CG: Especially at our level, too.
RC: Exactly, you can’t risk putting out crap or throwing something together just to get something out. With this one I just feel so confident from beginning to end, there’s nothing that we missed of f—ed up or weren’t’ happy with.
CG: We had less time than the first one as far as writing it but as far as recording it, it was great. We did it with Matt Hyde, who these guys have worked with, too. Matt had just come off doing the new Deftones record so he was in this high of being super stoked. It was kind of the same as Richie said, it was a super positive experience and everyone was in a good mood the entire time. Matt was able to pull stuff out of me personally that I never thought was possible and ideas where I was like “What? I never would’ve thought of that.” It’s definitely changed us as a band for sure, we’ve grown up a lot since the first record but even since we started this one. It was an overall amazing experience, I don’t have anything bad to say about it at all
Richie, with your dad being Max Cavalera, what is the best advice he’s ever given about either being a musician or getting into this industry that you can pass on to other young musicians? And Connor, you can share a piece of advice, too?
RC: One thing he’s always told me is, “Watch the drinking!” He went through a lot of years with drinking and alcohol and that hampered his career. For 10 years, he didn’t remember anything or understand what happened or where it all went, now he wakes up and he’s this older guy. For me that’s been important, we’ve never been the type of band to come in completely trashed, until after we play, and just stay focused. That’s been a great word of advice because it’s always kept us on top of our game and to just work hard. Thinking about where he came from and coming from Brazil even now would be hard let alone in ’83 – I always have that in the back of my mind. When there’s something to be done I’ll do it, if there’s work to be done or gear to move, it’s instilled a very hard work ethic in me.
CG: I like what Richie said about the drinking, too -- it’s a different time now for music, for this type of music where it’s not about excess and partying which I love but work has to get done first. Advice-wise for me, it’s just to keep your head to the ground and focus on what you’re doing and not worry about what’s popular or the new trend because that’s all it’s going to be is a new trend. If you do what you love and stick to what you love then you can make your own trend, start something new and take what you’ve learned and the music you grew up on and make it your own. You don’t have to copy what someone else is doing in this cookie cutter monotony that’s gone on in heavy music for a lot of years. That’s what we’re trying to do, we’re just trying to do something different in a familiar genre.
Our thanks to vocalists Richie Cavalera of Incite and Connor Garritty of All Hail the Yeti for the interview. Pick up Incite's new album here, and All Hail the Yeti's new disc here. And be sure to check out our photo gallery above!
Check Out Incite's Video for "No Remorse"
Check Out All Hail the Yeti's New Video for "Daughter Of The Morning Star"