Friday, 24th February will herald the release of Suicide Silence’s self-titled album. Within seconds of maiden single Doris dropping some months prior, it became fairly obvious this was going to be a contentious release.
Not only did the track feature hardly any death metal vocals, it featured predominately cleans. This was enough to send some of their fanbase into a tail spin. Soon after, the band made it clear that the majority of the album would follow suit. That tail spin then turned into a full blown melt-down.
Rather than shy away from the criticism, the band squared off with it. Almost two albums since the passing of vocalist Mitch Lucker, it was time for Suicide Silence to evolve and grow. Fortunately, most fans understood.
We spoke to frontman Eddie Hermida, expecting to find him enjoying the calm before the storm that is their new album, however Eddie and the band were quiet literally experiencing the calm before an actual storm…
Eddie: Last night and right after the show there was a full on tornado warning. So I think we’re currently inside a storm, nearing the eye before it comes back and hits hard, quite literally. It was a fun show! Everything went according to plan, the songs sound really heavy live and the kids are freaking out about it. Then there was a full on fucking tornado warning so it was very poetic of Mother Nature to do that.
The Neversphere: Suicide Silence have released many albums now, and during your time with All Shall Perish you have also. But this is a self-titled album, which is a bold statement. Is this album a particularly big deal?
Eddie: The thing about this band is the obvious; it’s gone through a massive change not only in personnel but also in the fact that when you have somebody close to you pass away, it changes your whole perspective on everything. It forces you to see things through a different set of eyes, a set of eyes that probably didn’t pay any respects to your morality. This leads people to come together in ways you could never imagine.
As much as we all have our separate paths in the band, everybody found their way to be together in this group some way or another. The fact is, it’s music that’s written by people who are completely different. We are a brand new band because of what happened. It’s one of those things where it was time for us to make the change, to follow our hearts and do something that, if we died tomorrow, what would we be most proud of about the newest form of us?
For me, this record and titling it Suicide Silence was a statement to that. It’s also a statement to the fans saying we aren’t going anywhere; we still have the same intentions. We still want to prove fearlessness to people, we still want to show people you can be whoever the fuck you want to be, and not be afraid of being that person no matter how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Personally, this record is a statement also saying this is a new era for us. A new chapter and I’m going to show you guys it’s the best decision for a band to make to follow their hearts.
The Neversphere: You released Doris and almost straight away there was hate for the new direction. Haters are always the first to comment – they have nothing better to do. Once they moved on, did the love come through?
Eddie: You know, the video got like a million views in less than a month. As much as there has been negative commentary, it was all expected. We have a feeling that the further we go with this record; the more people will do a complete 180′. Especially the deeper they go into their hatred hole. That’s how I’ve been seeing it. Anytime I’ve shined any kind of love to people on the Internet who have been really hateful, they’ve immediately flipped a switch…I didn’t even have to wait. All I had to do was ‘like’ their comment, no matter how shitty it was. Then literally within that moment they’d be like ‘Oh dude, I was just kidding. I don’t know much about music but I was just having a good time and making a joke’.
That social experiment is going on as we speak. For me, it’s been really interesting since day one. It’s been extremely expected and I love it, I love every second of it. I’ve never seen a reaction like this. Except for when Metallica released The Black Album and people were flipping out about the fact they cut their hair. I’ve not seen such a pointless reaction to music in a long time, which means we’re doing something right.
The Neversphere: I recall a quote from an Australian hip hop group, “Hip hop is a state of mind, not an area code.” I feel that’s relevant here, perhaps “heavy is a state of mind, not a vocal technique”?
Eddie: Absolutely. All I have to say to anybody who is sincerely doubting coming to seeing us live, or saying we’re selling out, or whatever the fuck else they want to say, I don’t give a shit – Come see us live then tell it to my face. That’s all I have to say to anybody on the face of the planet. Come see us live, then talk your shit. Other than that, I don’t want to hear it. It’s false. It’s garbage.
The Neversphere: You mentioned you’re airing the new tracks live now, how has it been delivering these clean vocals live?
Eddie: The biggest part of this record is I actually strayed away from trying to make the vocals sound good. By good I mean professionally good, trying to make something that makes people think this is a great vocalist. Y’know, someone who comes from The Juilliard School of fucking cocksuckery, and can sing like a fucking birdy – I stopped giving a fuck about that a long time ago.
So when I went into this record, the intention wasn’t to make people think I’m the next Freddie Mercury, I wanted people to say ‘Holy shit, this guy’s going through some heavy duty stuff’ Cos I am. I’ve been suffering my feelings for a long time. These are things I need to get out, and the well is endless.
That’s what people are mistaking what they’re listening to. If they’re looking for auto-tuned perfection, that’s not what they’re getting on this record. That’s not what we’re giving. Not syncopated, tempo-tracked songs. We’re giving you songs that a band is playing for real. So, live, it’s easy for me to make shit sound more intense. Some of the vocals are hard to nail, but I don’t give a shit about that. That’s not punk rock. I’m there to give them my heart.
The Neversphere: Thematically and conceptually, the album feels heavier than anything Suicide Silence has ever done. There’s clearly a lot of shit going on and with no more white noise vocal, it’s easier to hear. What topics did you want to address with the self-titled?
Eddie: The biggest message of this record is the same message the band likes to procreate; The message of love and fearlessness. It’s about not being scared of who you are. You chose to be here in so many ways, no matter what you want to say. I believe every entity on the planet came to life based on their decision at one point in their true history. I know that sounds existential and weird, but don’t be afraid to be that person. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. The more of yourself that you are, the more you’ll see the world become loving.
It’s about finding the positive in the negative. It’s about facing, and running towards failure. It’s about loving yourself and finding why you hate certain things so much. The songs open up with Doris. Doris is my Aunt who estranged my family. She was one of my favourite people on the planet. She turned her back on us and it really fucked me up as a kid, I loved her very much, she was very important to me. She taught me how to fucking drive. It really fucked me up because it made our whole family fucked up in so many ways.
The song is about me telling her, through my own words, that no matter what she’s still my family and I love her to death. The next song is Silence, and Silence is the ticket to the whole record. The opening line in that song is ‘Here we are, are we transparent?’ that’s what I want people to see, that through silence, through self-exploration, you can find the right answers.
We’re so use to not Listening, which is the next song, that when we feel upset or awkward, we turn to a safe place. What do you do? You go in the internet and you hide. That’s what we’re talking about. The next song, Dying In A Red Room is about facing that fear and allow yourself to die through life and live through death.
The record is meant to be listened to front to back, and the message, once you listen to the whole thing is very clear. At the end of it we say ‘Somehow, it’s so safe to fail’ and that’s where the record ends. It’s OK to make a mistake, it’s OK to be flawed, it’s OK to be made fun of because all that shit is going to make you a better person and it’s your challenge to endure.
The Neversphere: I suppose technically this makes you Patient Zero for this change in state of mind. You’ve explored yourself, you’ve made it into an album. Now, are you finding that you’re healing?
Eddie: …As soon as I finished the record, the song Run ended a 13-year silence between my biological father and myself.
The Neversphere: Fuck, dude…That’s amazing
Eddie: Yeah, it’s pretty fucking incredible [Laughs]
The Neversphere: So you’re living proof that this approach to life works?
Eddie: Yeah, absolutely. It’s something I’ve had my finger on my whole life, and I’ve been sharing this message for a long time and it took someone like [Producer] Ross Robinson to really open the door and show me exactly what I was saying and put it in a more cohesive way.
The Neversphere: You were in town just last year but what’s the plan, will you be back again soon with the new album?
Eddie: I want to play this record for everybody. Obviously I think a little bit of time in between the waves of madness that are going on the internet and letting people soak the record in will be important. Right now we’re on this small run, finishing out the last little squeeze of You Can’t Stop Me and letting people see the band one last time before we really start hitting it hard for this record.
But I want to take this record to anybody who needs to hear it.