Photo by Meg Loyal Photography
Suicide Silence will be releasing their self-titled album on February 24th via Nuclear Blast Entertainment, and as Mark Heylum previously said, “It’s going to completely change everything you probably ever will think, and have thought, or ever will fucking feel about the band.” The ‘Doris’ single gave fans their first taste of the new material, and it got people talking right away. Whether you hated it or loved it, you’ve heard the new track, and the band is embracing whatever hate it sent at them like champions. As Eddie Hermida says in our exclusive interview, “We knew it would upset fans, but we also hoped that it inspires people to open their minds, and push their boundaries as a listener.”
Read my full interview with Eddie below about the new direction of the band, working with Ross Robinson, the backlash from the fans, and much more below!
Metal Mark: Eddie, how are you man? You guys have been the talk of the scene since you released the ‘Doris’ single huh?
Eddie Hermida: I’m good man, and yea, people are really….uh….responding to the new track (laughs). We knew that it would upset some fans, but we also hoped that it inspires people to open their minds, and push the boundaries in the scene. We know it’s not what people expected, but that’s what we wanted. We could have easily put together a follow-up to You Can’t Stop Me, but that’s not where we are as a band right now. If that upsets some fans enough to where they talk shit on the internet, that’s fine ya know. More power to you. If that makes you feel better, fine, but we are going to keep writing music that makes us happy.
MM: Over the past few weeks you guys have responded to a lot of the comments online, and seem to be having a fun time with the whole backlash.
EH: We are. We totally expected it. We definitely wanted people to be thrown off, and so far, so good. I’ve heard everything from “Mitch is rolling over in his grave” to “Shitcide Shitlence” to “kill yourselves” so it’s definitely thrown people off (laughs).
MM: Since it is such a drastic change for the band’s sound, I have to ask when this idea first came about. Was it recently or has this been a long time coming?
EH: Honestly, I would say before I was even in the band. The guys have been big fans of all forms of metal, and they’ve always been about pushing the boundaries of their sound. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the different genres of metal become stale renditions of themselves. The big names from death metal, deathcore, hardcore or whatever other genre, were always pushing the envelope, but it doesn’t seem like that anymore to us. Bands know how to write that certain sound, and fans dig it, so they are going to keep writing it. It’s easy and successful, but it’s not what we are about. We want to make people think, and bring something new to the table.
MM: Speaking of bringing something new to the table, you’ve done clean vocals before, but never as much as is found on this record. Was that challenging for you in the studio, or did you knock it out pretty easily?
EH: Every time you do something new there are some nerves with it, but you just have to overcome it and do it. I didn’t feel any extra stress while in the studio, but I did push myself like I never have before. For the first time in my career I didn’t focus on making everything perfect, or doing something I know I can’t handle. I just dove in feet first, as they say, and put it all out there. Listen to the early David Bowie records, he’s singing from the top of his lungs, and you can feel every emotion in every word. I really wanted to do my best and match that. If I cared too much about the little things, you wouldn’t get that raw and honest feel, and so knowing that’s what I wanted ahead of time really helped. It’s hard not to care about every little detail, but in the end, it makes for a more personal experience for the listener in my opinion.
MM: You guys have talked before about how Ross Robinson pushed you guys, and brought the best out of you. For you personally, what did he bring out of you that you didn’t think was possible?
EH: Ross is good at making you think. He can stare you straight in the eye and ask you “Why you’re here” and it means more than just those words ya know. He makes you find things in yourself that were either hidden, or you didn’t know was there. Personally, he brought out these raw emotions that I had built up inside, and made them explode on each song. All the despair, pain and torment that I had buried just flew out of me, and it was a surreal experience. There were feelings that I would have never brought up in a band before, but he made it okay, and that comfort really opened me up like never before. He really gave me more confidence as a vocalist and as a person, and beyond music, I’m forever grateful for that.
MM: Do you think you could have pulled off this record with any other producer?
EH: No. Not even close. Honestly, there are so many little subtleties on every record he’s produced that fans don’t even hear. I’ve listened to Korn and Slipknot‘s first two albums a million times in my life, but I had no idea what he added to them until I was in the studio with him. His ear is superhuman, and when he has a vision of where he wants a song to go, he’s good at keeping the vibe of the track, but adding in little things here or there that just make them more complete. It’s hard to describe, but the man is a legend for a reason. So I definitely don’t think this record would have been possible without him. I think we would have written similar songs, but his touch and input really took it to a new level. We were already at a ten in my mind, but Ross took it to eleven or higher. He made this record unstoppable and timeless.
MM: There is a lot for the listener on this record, and you really open yourself up like never before, as you said earlier. Is there a certain track that stands out for you as a favorite?
EH: That’s tough man. I could give you the cliché answer, and say all of them (laughs). It’s the truth, but there are some that I’ve really been jamming a lot recently. ‘The Zero’, ‘Silence’ and ‘Conformity’ have really deep meanings behind them. Those are just some of the tracks that I really went all out, and opened myself up like I never have before. You can hear that confidence that Ross brought out, that I mentioned earlier, in these tracks, so those are definitely extra special for me to hear. Those songs are also the essence of where we are as a band right now, and they are a glimpse of what’s to come in the future too in my opinion.
MM: You’ve discussed how you opened yourself up like never before on this album a lot. Would you have been able to do that with the old style of the band, or did the new direction help bring that out?
EH: That’s a really good question. Wow, I’ve never even thought about that, but yea, I would say it did. The music absolutely influenced my lyrical content more on this record than anything I’ve ever done. There were times when we were jamming, and I would just sit there and write non-stop. The themes I wanted to hit on really flowed out easier with the style of the new music, because they are dark and honest, which is what the music is to me. It definitely made it easier for me to open up, and say what I’ve wanted to say for a long time.
MM: Being your “first” official record with the band, it seems like it couldn’t have gone any better. Where does this record stack up with what you’ve done before?
EH: Honestly, this is my most favorite thing I’ve ever done. One of the main reasons that I say that is because I’m such a huge fan of Ross Robinson. The fact that he produced a record I’m on is something else man. It really is. It’s a dream come true for me personally. The records that he’s worked on shaped me as a man, and I remember sitting in my living room when I was younger going who the hell is this guy, and why is he producing all of my favorite records (laughs). Now I totally get it, and to be able to put his name on our record is mind-blowing.
Plus, the fact that I got to write an album like this with my brothers is special as hell. We are really trying to push the boundaries, and ourselves, and for any musician, I think that’s what you are supposed to do. It keeps it fresh, and it keeps it fun, which is what music is supposed to be.
MM: I totally agree Eddie. I want to thank you for taking out the time today, and will leave the last part open to you. Do you have anything else you’d like to say to the fans out there?
EH: Just like I’ll say to you for doing this interview, or to any fan out there, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I am very honored and lucky to be asked these questions, and have people give a shit about my music. It’s a dream come true, and I do not take it for granted. Anyone that’s ever brought an album, or taken a picture, or told a friend about us, we appreciate it more than you will ever know. We really put it all out there on the new record, so I hope you enjoy it. It’s out February 24th. Get ready.