Suicide Silence released their self titled, fifth full length studio album, and the second with singer Eddie Hermida, amidst controversy over their new sound. We had a chance to talk with Eddie today about the band’s new direction, the importance of challenging himself as a musician, and Mongolian Throat singing.
You were here in Australia only a few months ago, in September 2016. How was the tour?
The tour was great! Had a last run of the You Can’t Stop Me record, and it was like the last goodbye to that album. We came home and started the immediate work that needed to be done for this new record.
This time around you worked with producer Ross Robinson, who is renowned for launching the careers of Korn, Slipknot to name a few. What brought you to the point of deciding to work with Ross?
We’ve all been really big fans of his since day one. I think all of us were really influenced in our individual teenage lives and Ross Robinson was the dude that was always on every CD, you know what I mean. It was always produced by Ross Robinson. So working with him was something that we have always wanted to do, it was a dream come true. It was really awesome to work with him.
Why was it awesome? What was the best experience of it all?
Being able to explore our musical sound with such a genius. It was really an eye opening experience and I wish to do it again.
Your sound has undeniably changed on this record. Was it an intentional change, or was it organic? Talk me through the process of how it came to be?
We decided pretty early on that the record after You Can’t Stop Me was going to be something way outside of the box, something where we were going to challenge ourselves and write something from the heart. Really delving into ourselves, and finding kind of the truth behind that anger, and the hatred, the not so sunny disposition was where the magic started and where the music came from.
With the new direction and change. Where do you hope that to take you? Is that something you expect to carry on now moving forward, or was it more of an experiment?
I don’t know. I’m taking every day by day. All I care about is to write these songs at this point and show the world that the band is still bringing what we have live to the table. Everything that we’ve always shot for is still very much us and this record is more of us.
It’s us being fearless and that’s really all I’m concerned about. It’s going to be a change for the future. Those are all things that are in the hands of the future, not in my hands, so we’ll see what happens.
In a recent interview, you made a few comments about Australia’s beloved Thy Art is Murder, and in the same breath, talked about what you describe as the “death metal elitists”. How do you feel that bands like Thy Art can benefit from what you describe as “challenging themselves and pushing what they can do as musicians?”
Well, I think that when you challenge yourself and push yourself as a musician, you are doing what a musician should do. You are not assuming that you are the kings of anything. You are allowing humility to be a part of you. We’re musicians, we’re not mathematicians, we’re not scientists, we’re none of that you know? We have a skillset and our job is to explore that skillset, which is an endless exploration. I think when you succumb to writing the same music that you wrote previously or releasing tracks that were unreleased before, anything of that, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
I’m friends with all the TAIM guys, I love them, I think they’re incredible musicians. I think it’s one of those things where you start succumbing to what the fans say and you start giving people what the fans want, then you’re boxing yourself into a certain category and you’re not opening yourself up to what you could be. And that’s doing music a disservice. That’s doing yourself a disservice.
With Suicide Silence’s new direction, working with a new producer, and obviously exciting things happening this year for the band, are you having fun with your music? How does it all feel right now?
It feels like a big weight off my chest. Playing new songs live has been something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now. We’ve been sitting on the record for about a year. The record is out today. So I’m really excited. Everything’s falling right into place.
With your self titled record out, what do you hope it will achieve? At the end of 2017, where do you wish for it to have taken you?
I hope it makes people feel. Because I feel like music is background music nowadays. People want to put on a record and get on the internet and scroll through pictures. Or people want to put on a record and do their homework. People want to use music as a distraction. And music is not a distraction. It’s a key to the soul.
I’m inviting people to open up their minds through this record. That’s all I can really hope it can achieve. I don’t have any statistical expectations, or album sales numbers. I don’t really give a fuck about the music industry, or record sales or money. That’s not why I wrote this record.
What music inspires you? What music do you listen to in your spare time that gets you going, that isn’t background music for you?
I’m listening to a lot of Mongolian Throat singing.
Awesome! What does that do for you? What does that bring out in you?
It is the language of the people who use music to warn other people of oncoming dangers from hill to hill back when there wasn’t telephones and things of that nature. I get to listen to it with an infant’s mind in a way as I don’t know what they’re saying and I’m not listening to lyrics. I’m enjoying these vocalisations and the noises that are coming out of their instruments. It really reaches down into me and shows me where music comes from, and it was made in today’s day and age. It goes to show there are people out there that are really reaching into their roots and going for it. And that inspires me.
Suicide Silence are currently touring North America with their self titled album.
Interview by Alison Northway
Their ‘Self Titled’ Album is Out Now