Interview: Suicide Silence's Eddie Hermida, "They’re just tired of making the same rehashed bulls***"
The following is an excerpt from the Suicide Silence feature in the February/March issue of Revolver. Here, frontman Eddie Hermida talks about the stylistic departure on their new self-titled record, how the band represents fearlessness, the music industry, chats with Mitch Lucker, and much more.
To read the rest, pick up the new issue on newsstands February 21 or get your copy here. Story by J. Bennett.
Reactions promise to vary wildly when Suicide Silence drop their fifth album right around the time this magazine hits your grubby paws. In fact, the comments pages have been lighting up ever since Hermida and his bandmates—lead guitarist Mark Heylmun, drummer Alex Lopez, guitarist Chris Garza, and bassist Dan Kenny—announced that the album would feature mostly clean vocals. “It’s going to completely change everything you probably ever will think and have thought or ever will fucking feel about Suicide Silence,” Heylmun told Revolver TV in an interview he and Hermida did last summer at the Ozzfest Meets Knotfest extravaganza in San Bernardino, California.
“If you wanted the same record out of us, if you wanted 'The Cleansing' part four, it’s not what you’re gonna get so you’re gonna hate us,” Hermida says today. “And that’s fine. If you hate us for the rest of your life and you wanna sit there and throw darts at a picture of me and scream ‘Laces out!’ for 20 years, then, yes, we’re going to change your perspective forever.”
But he’s not convinced that most fans will run for the hills. “In the years of touring I’ve done with these guys, I’ve got to know quite a few fans and most of them aren’t death metal elitists who just want to hear the gnarliest breakdown,” Hermida explains. “They like Suicide Silence because the band represents fearlessness. It represents the go-ahead to be themselves. And this record is that. It’s your ticket to do whatever you’re inspired to do. For other bands, it’s a straight-up challenge. For the music industry, it’s two middle fingers in the air saying, ‘You’re never gonna stop music no matter how hard you try.’”
The Music Industry: Somewhere in that murky, stagnant swamp lies the reasoning behind Suicide Silence’s bold departure from expectations. “Look at the state of music,” Hermida offers. “There’s no money in it. There’s no passion. It’s all computerized. It’s all fake. Everything that has real music and real art is going down the drain. And we’re all in this sinking ship together. There’s a reason Whitechapel decided to sing on their last record [2016’s 'Mark of the Blade']. There’s a reason all these bands are ‘selling out.’ It’s not selling out. They’re just tired of making the same rehashed bullshit and having people give it the same amount of attention they did to the record before and the record before that.”
“Everything I’m saying right now has been said 50 times over by 50 other artists,” he acknowledges. “But I believe Suicide Silence was in a very unique position because we had our singer pass away and that gave us an opportunity to say, ‘Fuck everything.’ So we really are back to those five dudes in the garage. Everyday I walk into that room and I see Mitch staring down at us from these two posters that we have, and it’s a really self-reflective moment. I think, If I write another record like 'You Can’t Stop Me,' I’m taking for granted everything that I’ve ever fought for or believe in.”
Released in 2014, 'You Can’t Stop Me' was Hermida’s first record with Suicide Silence after original vocalist Mitch Lucker was killed in a motorcycle accident on Halloween night in 2012. Prior to joining the band, Hermida was singing for Bay Area deathcore outfit All Shall Perish, who toured with Suicide Silence in 2011 when the latter were supporting 'The Black Crown'—which would prove to be their final album with Lucker. “In All Shall Perish, I had already explored the various styles of my voice. That band was very melodic to begin with,” he explains. “On that tour, I had a conversation with Mitch about the future of deathcore and the future for Suicide Silence. And he said he had started taking [vocal] lessons on 'The Black Crown' and that the next record they did would probably have some sort of clean vocals. So even when I first joined Suicide Silence, I knew this next record would have some.”
“What I did not know,” he adds with a laugh, “is how much.”