While the world was figuring out how to get readjusted to a new reality during the thick of the pandemic, people found themselves with plenty of time on their hands. It was during those long hours in stare that a kind of collective refocus seemed to take place - as the pace of life slowed, the priorities that most everyone had prior to the world turning upside down, almost all seemed to shift.
During a time when people were being told to keep their distance and sequester themselves, the need to connect, especially with family, seemed more prevalent, more necessary then ever before. The social nature of humanity was in dire need of nourishment and in that regard, during the loneliest days of the pandemic, people sought refuge in who and what they could.
For father and son Max and Igor Amadeus, the pandemic only served to reaffirm what has always been their priorities - the Cavalera family and the music that has been so integral to their legacy. Faced with the reality of sidelined projects and the inability to tour for months on end, the tandem sought comfort in what has always brought them together - music. Spending those long days and endless nights spinning records, eventually resulted in picking up their guitars.
While the music was initially a respite from the chaos of the world, the social upheaval and the daily events of such a turbulent climate made it so that distraction is rendered impossible. Normal, was anything but and almost daily, the social climate grew with the kind of tension that was almost palpable.
The combination of time, energy, and the kind pent up anger that only marinated as the pandemic progressed ultimately resulted in the Cavaleras doing what they do best - weaponizing their creativity. What started as an occasional jam to pass the time, became a focused effort of music that channeled the collective frustrations and funneled that volatility into incendiary metallic bursts - the infancy of Go Ahead and Die.
The final product of the father and sin passion project is an emphatic 11-track introduction that takes aim at the societal ills and systematic injustice that were underscored during the last year and half of the pandemic. Combining their reverence for timeless heaviness spanning from crust punk to thrash metal, the generational bridge is not only a powerful continuation of the Cavalera legacy - but an important timepiece that captures the angst of the era. And it all started from a few jam sessions between father and son.
Igor Amadeus Cavalera details how Go Head and Die evolved from an idea that had always been kicked around, to an important voice for a world that was locked away with nothing to do except become angry.
Did the band really just originate from a quarantine jam session?
Cavalera - Yeah, it was the result of two madmen being locked in quarantine for months on end. You could say we had the idea as far back as 2017, but it was during the 2020 pandemic that we sat down and actually created songs as a duo.
Stylistically, there is punk, almost D-Beat direction. Was that just what resulted from jamming or was this always the kind of route you wanted to go?
Cavalera - The original idea was to listen to our favorite death-metal and crust-punk bands and make an album to show our gratitude and appreciation. Sort of a tribute to those bands. It was part of the idea but the actual writing was changing on a day-to-day basis. If we were digging on crust that day, we’d write a song that came out crusty.
What was the turning point that made you and Max decide to put these songs out as a record and a full band?
Cavalera - Once we had a full demo made with an outdated drum machine it was obvious; we needed a full band. They’re awesome demos, really raw though, so we definitely wanted to take it to the next step with a live drummer.
There is very much a Cavalera family legacy when it comes to heavy music. Does that add any pressure to you in getting a new project off the ground?
Cavalera - It’s weird to have attention just because of a last name. I do my best to just make music that is fun to play and that I enjoy listening to. People are going to make their minds up about me one way or the other, so why bother putting too much interest in it? I’m going to keep doing what I like and having fun.
Given the kind of punk attitude in the lyrical content of this record, who did most of the songwriting lyrically and was everyone onboard with taking that kind of a stance?
Cavalera - I wrote the majority of lyrics but my dad did supply two dozen or so lines on the album. We do share similar views personally. The album is more about human rights, equality, suffering, and mental health than politics in my opinion spun with the attitude of late ’70s and 80’s punk.
If the pandemic hadn’t happened, do you think that G.A.A.D. would have come together?
Cavalera - Yeah, I think we still would have done this album but certain songs like “Truckload Full Of Bodies” and “Isolated/Desolated” would not exist. They took their inspiration directly from the COVID-19 virus.
Was the intention to put these songs out and move on or do you feel like G.A.A.D. has the kind of legs to continue on and release more music?
Cavalera - We’re just going to see how things play out. All of us have other projects as well which keeps us busy but I think if we find the time and place to do another album that it would be fun to try. Also, there’s never a shortage of things to be pissed off about in this day and age so we will have fuel for the fire.
The self-titled debut from Go Ahead and Die is currently available via Nuclear Blast Records - HERE