Cavalera Family's Many Metal Bands Come Together for D-Low Memorial Concert

Typically held in August, the D-Low show is a double-edged sword for many of us. It is both celebration and painful reminder wrapped in a tremendous rock 'n' roll show that Dana "D-Low" Wells, son (and stepson) of Gloria and Max Cavalera would have loved.

For the uninitiated, Dana was killed in an extremely questionable traffic accident on August 16, 1996, at the age of 21, which is where the painful reminder kicks in because, to many of us, Dana was a little brother, either by blood or by love for music, or both. His story has been well documented, and the question of what actually happened during those fateful early morning hours remains a mystery to this day. Regardless of the circumstances, though, the fact remains that the "tribe" to which Dana belonged comes together on a yearly basis to celebrate his memory with what is always one of the best metal shows of the year.

See also: That One Time Soulfly's Max Cavalera Pissed on a Star-Struck Fan, and Other Tales

This year's show is the 18th annual show and is always a family affair. Local metal shredders Soulfly, which of course is led by Wells' enigmatic step-father Max Cavalera, but also features his younger brother Zyon on drums this year, is the perpetual headlining act, but the additions of brother Richie's up-and-coming band, Incite, as well as Lody Kong, which features both Zyon and Igor Cavalera, truly makes this D-Low memorial special.

Gloria, Max, and Richie Cavalera took time on their day off from tour to talk about the D-Low show and how the current tour is going.

Up On The Sun: How are things going?

Max Cavalera: We've actually got a day off today, we're heading to Kansas City.

Ah nice, how long has it been since you've had a day off?

Max Cavalera: Oh man, it's been 20 in a row so far. Feels like Soulfly bootcamp.

How have the shows been so far?

Max Cavalera: It's been real cool. The shows are great, man. Really cool places. Some of the shows have been real small, but packed. Kind of like a hardcore energy sort of feel to it. Real sweaty and real loud. No barricade at lots of the clubs so we can get real close to the fans. We call these shows 'punk shows' which I love. For me, the energy of the music I play, I think the clubs are where it's at.

I can't believe this is going to be the 18th D-Low Memorial show.

Max Cavalera: I know. It's crazy, right? Fuckin' time, it flies. We're all getting old. We love the Dana shows. We're going to try and do everything we can to make sure it is a smooth show and everybody has a good time. This year we have Decrepit Birth joining the show, who is a really cool death metal band, and Incite and Lody Kong, of course.

How has Zyon been handling the double duty? (Zyon drums for both Lody Kong and Soulfly)

Max Cavalera: He's been doing great. He's young so it doesn't bother him as much, but it's been really great.

So Richie, Incite has a new record coming up and have been away for a while, how have things been going?

Richie Cavalera: Oh, good man. We are just pulling up to the hotel for the night. It's going to be good to just relax. We only had two days off after the Europe tour before we started this one, so it's nice to have a night off. The new album comes out September 2, and we're really excited for that. We're excited to play some of the songs at the Dana show.

So talk to me about how it feels to play the 18th D-Low show?
Richie Cavalera:

This is great, man. We've been a part of probably like six of them. It's always a great event. It brings awareness back into Dana's case. No one's gotten justice for, you know, basically killing somebody, and I think it is a huge thing that we keep this going, and even if people just think about him for a second or if the people that were involved are still in Arizona, that they are maybe aware that people still want to know what happened.

It is amazing to me. People come up to me at shows all over the place, you know, New York to Oklahoma to Germany. ... They come up and say that they want to come out to just one Dana show. We have had some really cool moments, we bring in our own surprises. It's a great thing for the fans, for us, it's really cool man. It's a special event.

Gloria, I am curious how instrumental Dana was in your career? He was like a perpetual motion machine when it came to music and ideas about music. How did that affect what you did, how you did it, and how you do things now?

Gloria Cavalera: Every time I make an achievement, I think of how happy he would be.

Soulfly, Incite, Lody Kong, and Decrepit Birth take the stage on Friday, August 15, at the Marquee Theater in Tempe, Arizona. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $29. .A small portion of the ticket funds will go to benefit the Iggy Diabetes Fund..

Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.

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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon