Suicide Silence frontman Eddie Hermida continues to defend the band’s decision to radically alter their sound on their latest self-titled album. The group took a bold step away from their deathcore roots on this latest effort, implementing clean vocals and unconventional vocal styles, among other changes. Speaking with live-metal.net, Hermida said of the backlash from fans:
“…They’re not letting the music soak in from what I see. They’re trying their hardest to make other people feel the way they feel, which is not really doing a whole lot, to be real to you. It’s not breaking the band. We still are who we are. The fans that are open-minded are allowing the music to soak in, and the fans that are afraid of music are not giving it a chance yet.
They will when they see it live. They will when they come to the show and realize the music is still heavy, it’s very cohesive, it fits well with the older music. That’s kind of the biggest thing.”
He later added that the group also cleaned house within their camp before the release:
“The biggest thing we’ve done was right before we started writing this record, our agent stopped wanting to work with us and we had to get a new agent. We got rid of our manager, and we got new management. We pretty much started weeding the people out who were not with this music—the people that believed we needed to stick to a certain criteria as musicians, people who were stuck worrying about money and not worried about anything else. That’s the shit that steered us away from them.”
He later said of the band sticking to their guns:
“We made a record for ourselves and not for our fans, so it’s going to create turmoil. If I set out to change people’s opinions, then why would I be surprised when their opinions change? I knew 100 percent that even if I threw one clean vocal on the record that we would receive a backlash.
Not only did I not throw just one clean vocal in, I threw in vocals that were completely off-putting—vocals that are meant to create discomfort in people because they’re uncomfortable vocal stylings. It’s not from a point of trying to sell records, it’s from a point of angst and just complete hysteria, depravity and despair that these vocals are coming from. So it’s not even a focus of clean vocals.
I’m not doing things to sell records, I’m doing things to create music and an art form. If I was worried about selling records, then I wouldn’t have created this record. I would’ve autotuned my vocals, and I would have created something that is more pleasant of an experience. I would have created more of a safety net for all of these fans to fall into. The point is that I didn’t want to create something comfortable. I wanted to create something punk rock. I wanted to create something heavy metal.”
When asked if the similarities to previous albums that “Suicide Silence” producer Ross Robinson (Korn, Slipknot) worked on in the past were intentional, he stated:
“Were we going for it? No. We were going for what we wanted to do. The identification of music through pigeonholing it with other styles from other bands is a very common thing. You go, “Oh, this sounds like Korn, this sounds like Slipknot, and this sounds like that.” And to me, it’s kind of an obvious and easy way to make yourself understand what was going on.
However, it’s inaccurate in a sense that it’s too obvious. There isn’t anything obvious about this music, and there isn’t anything obvious about the record. The only obvious parts are the fact that we’re on the cover, the fact that it’s called Suicide Silence and the fact that’s it’s completely different from anything you’ve ever heard from a band in the deathcore genre ever.
The stylings and the things that you’re mentioning are obvious to me because it’s Ross Robinson. Things are going to sound similar because it’s Ross Robinson, just like when Korn writes a record, you know it’s obviously Korn. The one thing people are having a hard time seeing is how obvious of a Suicide Silence record this record is, and that’s because people have this diagram and this formula of what they think Suicide Silence is.
And they don’t realize that all of the hints that were in all the other records are very much brought to life on this record. We’ve always had like really ethereal, no-timed-out parts in the middle of our songs. We’ve always had very open choruses that instead of someone singing over it, someone is screaming over it. Songs like “Ouroboros” and “Sacred Words,” songs like “Witness the Addiction,” “Disengage,” “Wake Up” … All those songs have little hints as to what this record is. They’re just really out in the open now.
The band has always been a big fan of Korn, of Machine Head, Slipknot, At the Drive-In, Glassjaw—a lot of Ross Robinson’s work. That’s why we were driven to work with him.
That’s where people are trying their hardest to identify our music with that stuff, but to me, it’s not what we were intending. What we were intending was just to create new music, to create something different, and to go out of our box and show people that we have more up our sleeve than breakdowns and blastbeats.”
Hermida also opened up on the ‘feud’ with Thy Art Is Murder that flared up online in recent weeks. Hermida essentially criticized Thy Art Is Murder for being stuck in a deathcore rut. Thy Art Is Murder then capitalized on his criticisms with this hat. When asked if he intended to be more careful singling out bands in the future, he offered:
“Am I being more careful now? No, fuck no. Thy Art Is Murder absolutely saw an opportunity and ran with it, and honestly, they did the silliest thing you could ever do in mimicking somebody like Trump and say that they are not selling out. They are literally going, “Hey, we’re not sell-outs, but please buy this hat. You need to buy this hat.” It’s completely backwards thinking.
They’re looking for their fans to feed into the chaos. They’re looking for the attention, and that’s fine. It goes exactly with what I said—we don’t need that kind of attention anymore. I praise them for jumping on an opportunity just like they should. When you’re desperate for making money, you’re going to serve the fans, you’re going to create the same music so that they can feel safe in their sound, and you’re going to try your hardest to maintain in that world.
I know from experience. I know from being in a band that was desperate to serve the fans, creating music that served us and the fans at the same time. All Shall Perish was a band that did that 100 percent. Especially with members leaving and all that, we always worried about what other bands were doing and how to be better than that. In that process, you forget who you are.
It’s really funny that it’s become such a thing, but the reality is that I didn’t say anything that was that hurtful towards that band. They saw an opportunity, and they ran with it. If anything, they’re hurting themselves by continuing that mentality and continuing that really tongue-in-cheek way of doing things.
It’s not showing anybody any kind of strength. It’s not showing any kind of value. It’s just going, “Oh, I see this opportunity where my band’s name is in the media. Let’s sell some stuff.
[Referring to Thy Art Is Murder vocalist C.J. McMahon] ‘You, know, nothing else is selling, so I quit the band to begin with. There’s no money in it, so let me write this long-ass fuckin’ expose about how band members don’t make any money, then later come right back and basically say I’m not a sellout.’
And at the end of the day, that is a sellout. A person who is looking for money and a person who talks about money and focuses on money when they’re making music is a complete sellout. I would say that straight to his face, and I would say that to any band member in this genre that isn’t challenging anybody.
Anybody that’s going out there for the sake of making money and for the sake of being in a huge band for selling albums are out of their minds. They’re completely backwards.
When we started making music as 15- and 16-year-old kids, you don’t have dreams and aspirations of being a money-making person. When Mitch [Lucker] created his band, all he wanted was to be is the best band in the world.
He didn’t give a fuck about Lamborghinis or houses or anything. When the band started making money, it was because he realized in order to make money in this world, you have to work your ass off. You have to break yourself emotionally and physically in order to get paid the little amount that we do get paid.
That’s all any musician who is a musician wants. They want comfort, and they just want to live. I don’t think that is selling out at all, I think that’s being a musician. It’s having some sort of value for your art and giving it for the value that it is. Everything else is literally just a copy of that, and if you want to run with it, you can. But personally, I didn’t write this record to sell a bunch of records. If it does, sweet. If it doesn’t, sweet, I still got to do what I wanted to do.
If people want to turn something into an opportunity because I mentioned their band’s name, so be it. That’s not why I mentioned it. I mentioned it to show people why we’re doing what we’re doing. We didn’t want to create the same record that Suicide Silence would have written if we had written a record to make money.
If we would’ve written that record, we wouldn’t even be talked about. I could have mentioned fucking Pantera, and it would have fallen on deaf ears. That fact is we did something huge, and now I can say something like ‘Thy Art Is Murder‘ and it gets talked about a month later. When you make waves, people want to try to surf.”
Thus far the the sales of Suicide Silence‘s new album have been tepid with the first week sales down 69% from their past album’s first week sales. In it’s first week “Suicide Silence” shifted 4,650 units and has since fallen off the Billboard 200 in its second week. For a lot more from Hermida head to live-metal.net.