Interview: Suicide Silence's Mark Heylmun Talks Dislocated Knees, Bloody Guitars, and Brawling Over Pizza
As part of our coverage of this year’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, Revolver caught up with many of this year’s performing bands for our June/July 2014 issue, on newsstands now, to ask about the occupation hazards that go along with touring. Here, writer Jon Wiederhorn interviews Suicide Silence about all the mayhem.
The presence of Suicide Silence on the 2014 Mayhem Fest is nothing short of remarkable. It marks the first major U.S. tour for the band since the tragic death of vocalist Mitch Lucker in November 2012. After taking time off to grieve, Suicide Silence asked ex-All Shall Perish vocalist Hernan “Eddie” Hermida to join the band and recorded their fourth studio album, 'You Can't Stop Me,' which is scheduled for a July 15th release. “We’re pushing boundaries a little bit,” guitarist Mark Heylmun says of the record, “but it’s 100 percent Suicide Silence.”
The death of a well-loved bandmate is the worst type of mayhem a band can experience, but clearly Suicide Silence have persevered. And now that they’ve moved on, they can look back at some of the crazy, funny, and painful experiences they survived to get where they are today.
REVOLVER What’s been your worst stage mishap?
MARK HEYLMUN In 2011, first song into a concert in Spain, I slipped on water that was on the stage and dislocated my knee extremely bad. My kneecap was behind my leg. I was on the ground and in extreme pain. So I gritted my teeth, popped my knee back into place, pounded some vodka, and finished the show. I knew I wasn’t going to walk off the stage, I just needed to finish that set. I ended up in the hospital for the night and they wrapped me up. I flew out the next day and we ended up making it to our next show, at the Wacken festival [in Germany], in time for our set.
Any memorable acts of bloodshed?
We were in Hungary in 2011, and we ran out of beer and had a bottle of wine, so [guitarist Chris] Garza tried to open it with a knife. He sliced open the index finger of his left hand. The cut was super-deep. I don’t even know how he played the set. He wrapped it in gauze and superglued it, but nothing worked, and for days after that, his finger would bleed profusely when he played. He’d get blood all over his guitar, which looked cool, but it sucked for him because he couldn’t really play.
What’s the strangest mayhem you’ve experienced in a vehicle?
One time in 2009, we were drinking all night on a day off somewhere in Massachusetts. Dan Kenny, our bassist, had this stowed away pizza that he wanted to eat really bad. He had been saving it and he snarfed it down super-quick. Then he went to sleep. We were hanging out and he came back 20 minutes later, found the empty pizza box, and started accusing everyone of eating his pizza. He started pointing fingers and getting super mad. And that led to drunk people getting mad at other drunk people. Punches got thrown and a vacuum got flung down the bus at somebody. In the end, we had to make Dan smell his own breath to prove to him he had peperoni on his breath and he had already eaten the pizza.