Suicide Silence have been kicking ass around the metal scene for more than ten years. Fans of deathcore and more traditional metal alike have fallen in love with their intense live shows and devastatingly brutal records. Where a lot of bands would stagnate, Suicide Silence have always shown the ability to evolve. Each record shows a new level of ambition and passion. The band has a new album on the way and have their upcoming Australian tour starting this week, for the first time since 2014. We had the chance to talk to guitarist, Mark Heylmun about the upcoming record, the tour and more.
So cool things are happening at the moment, the band has a new record on the way, and you’re about to embark on a tour of the southern hemisphere, what’s the mindset like right now?
The mindset is fucking destroy everything! And the mindset is, we’ve been at home a while and we’re ready to hit the road and Australia is one of our favourite places to go. We haven’t been there since Eddie first joined, so we’re ready to go back and fucking throw down harder than the last time we were there. The mindset is fucking strong!
That’s awesome man. I think the last time you came down was for Soundwave, a few years back. Festival shows tend to be a little bit different to headline shows, so can we expect something a little more brutal, a little more insane this time around?
I’m pretty sure that whenever you put us in a club setting you’re gonna get the most intense reaction, the most intense people and also the most intense expectation out of everything because people are there and they want to see the most extreme and the most brutal, loudest, in your face show. When we’re playing in a club that’s something we’re well aware of and we just take it to the extreme and throw down as hard as we possibly can so that everyone there can just let the fucking shit just ooze out of their soul and get a nice release at a brutal heavy metal show. We’re there to throw down. We’re there to fucking let everyone have that time and give our time to them and just have a good fucking time dude. It’s gonna be like Friday night every single night and everybody’s gonna be raging. So we’re stoked, we’re just really pumped to get down there.
Yeah, well I’m pretty sure everyone is stoked down here as well. Here in Perth, it’s cool, it’s at a decent size venue where it’s not too big that you can’t get loose, but not so small that it’s a sauna. It should be cool.
Yeah Perth is always a good time. Perth is one of those places, kind of slightly farther away than anywhere else so the people are just slightly further away from the normal. And we’re all about that. We’re all about the crazy. So we’re down to get thrown right into the mix of Perth madness and just have a blast.
Well, pretty much what I meant by ‘people won’t expect what it is’ was that people won’t expect the ‘punk rock’ attitude that we gave toward this record. It’s the raw, live, everything is us: it’s not gonna be full of computer trickery. It’s not gonna sound like all the ProTools ninjas and Logic ninjas. We got real microphones on real drums and real amps with real performances, real takes, real fucking everything. The record’s gonna be natural and raw and fucking pissed. It’s gonna be exactly what music needs, which is some fucking heart. Some fucking blood. Some real fucking ‘give a shit’ passion put down onto moments in time. I mean, we recorded with tape on this record. There’s real music, it’s not samples and a bunch of fucking bullshit like Autotune or whatever-the-fuck. We just went for it, for a record that speaks for us and really exemplifies where we’re at as a band. It’s gonna be something else for people to witness. Like a car accident they can’t keep their eyes off of.
Awesome man, I’m excited. That’s great… that’s exactly what you wanna hear.
Haha, we’re pumped, dude. That’s really where we’re at with it. We don’t want to compete with music industry bullshit, where everybody’s just trying to crank out a record every two years because that’s what you have to do. Or like, put out this record because this is what people are gonna want. This is the first record that we’ve fully just put blinders on and we’re not looking at anything going on outside of us, just what’s in front of us. And what’s in front of us is our band. And the music we’re gonna make is the music we’re gonna make and there’s no outside influence other than Suicide Silence doing what Suicide Silence wants to do. So it feels good. We’re far along in the process, the record won’t be out until next year but we’re deep in it.
Cool man! With your last album, You Can’t Stop Me it was the first time you stepped into the lyrics side of things. What has been the process this time around or will that be the process this time around?
I think that overall idea for this record, and the process, is to try everything. If there is an idea, try it. Don’t be afraid, you know? Don’t let the fear of trying something different stop you from opening up a can that might be the… exact soup you wanna taste, I dunno [laughs]. There’s lots of food metaphors when it comes to music “we’re making a sandwich and one person has to show up with the vegetables and another person has to show up with the meat, but some people don’t eat meat, so you gotta show up with the right cheese. And some people don’t like cheese…” [laughs]. I dunno, we always want to work together to encourage everyone to be the best that they can be. So that’s especially where we’re at, having gone through a lot, and having a new member come in and having to rebuild that whole camaraderie of being creative. We’re all just trying to give to the music, and give to each other and give, give, give, give, give. Because we gotta get shit out and give this fucking music, this fiery piece of nothing, this magical thing that doesn’t even exist until we create it. Just throw down and give it all you can and encourage each other to give all you can and encourage each other to give it everything you possibly can. So that’s what the new record is going to be like!
Cool man, I think that’s what is important and I think that’s how you get a real honest response. But, I feel like I’m not using enough food metaphors in my writing, so I’m going to have to amend that! I’ve been listening to You Can’t Stop Me a lot over the last few days, and I find that it reminds me a lot of Pantera’s Great Southern Trendkill album, not melodically or anything, but stylistically: how it achieves its heaviness, and the way breakdowns are approached or something. What kind of influences would you say directly affect the way you put a song or riff together… the way you might approach a new section.
I guess it’s kind of hard to say ‘direct influences’ when we’re working on songs because usually what it sounds like is not what we think is influencing us to do it. I dunno, we’re not that calculated and not that smart when it comes to it. It’s just kind of like what I was saying earlier. We just all come together and there’s nothing there before and we just jam a little. If something comes out and we all dig it then we all just dig into it. You’re saying it reminds you of Pantera, and that’s fucking awesome because it’s a huge influence: obviously if you play heavy music. I dunno man, it’s too hard to say exactly where the things come from because we’re usually listening back and hear something and go “oh fuck that’s absolutely something else” and we didn’t realise that it was already something that exists. And it’s just kind of inevitable with playing heavy ass shit, and all of us being fans of heavy music, that we’ve just got that essence of something that you’ve gathered that influence from. And if You Can’t Stop Me has a little bit of Pantera, that’s kind of a good thing. I think that might have been where we were at that time, just trying to be that sheer brutality and that Vulgar Display of Power shit. We’ve been compared to worse!
[Laughs] Yeah. Well, that’s like my favourite metal record of all time, and when you’re listening to music it’s easy to draw up comparisons that are related to something else. But yeah, that’s cool man.
Alright, so just for one of those ‘standard interview’ type questions. When you’re going on tour, what’s the one thing you never leave home without?
A little travel coffee maker.
A what sorry?
It’s a little thing called an AeroPress. It’s just a little coffee maker thing that I always bring everywhere I go so that I can make a good cup of coffee. No matter where I am.
But really, I’m a coffee fiend. But I always try and bring a little travel acoustic guitar so that if anyone runs into me at the airport or runs into me anywhere I got a little travel acoustic guitar that I’m riffing on.
That’s so cool man, I like both answers. Alright, so before I let you get back to what is probably a nice warm day, or night, in California is there anything you’d like to say to fans reading this that are excited about the tour?
I am equally excited for the tour. I’m equally excited that there’s any fans in general listening, read, paying attention to anything Suicide Silence are doing because if there weren’t people paying attention to what Suicide Silence are doing Suicide Silence would be doing things and no one would be paying attention [laughs]. We’re just all round stoked that we have the opportunity to hit Australia, see fucking bad ass people, party down, throw down a good show and make some memories and have a good time. And we’re just stoked to get down there and see some new faces, some familiar faces and fucking rock the fuck out. It’s time to get weird. Don’t be afraid to get in the pit, get sweaty and do your goddamn thing. Just all around, we’re stoked to get down there.
Interview by Dave Mullins
Suicide Silence tour Australia 3rd – 9th September.