"For us, [this album] was 'go big or go home,'" Make Them Suffer frontman Sean Harmanis says of the Aussie metal band's latest LP, How to Survive a Funeral. "We wanted to play to our strengths and push our melodic moments and chorus as far as they would go, whilst also putting out our heaviest record to date."
The quintet has surely succeeded in that goal. How to Survive a Funeral — which is due out this summer and available for pre-order now — is big and bold. It slams, soars and swerves, compellingly juxtaposing Harmanis' harsh vocals against singer-keyboardist Booka Nile's ethereal croon while the band around them shreds with abandon. Helping to orchestrate the sonic frenzy behind the scenes was producer Drew Fulk, a.k.a. WZRDBLD, whose resume includes everyone from Motionless in White and Bullet for My Valentine to Yelawolf and Lil' Wayne. Make Them Suffer made the long haul from their homeland to Fulk's L.A. studio to work with him, and the effort paid off in spades.
For evidence, check out the latest single off How to Survive a Funeral, "Soul Decay," which is making its debut right here right now. It's as hooky and radio-friendly as Make Them Suffer have ever sounded, but still hits hella hard. Check it out — and read our recent interview with Harmanis about the song and album — below.
TELL US ABOUT THE SONG "SOUL DECAY." WHAT'S IT ABOUT? WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT IT?
SEAN HARMANIS "Soul Decay" is about watching someone you know fall back into the same bad habits over and over, unaware that they themselves are the root of their own problems. I believe this is a message we all need to hear sometimes. Being able to accept responsibility for our own mistakes keeps us humble. I love how simple and to unassuming this song is — it's probably our closest thing to a radio banger.
WAS IT A RELATIVELY EASY OR HARD SONG FOR YOU GUYS TO WRITE?
Like most songs of this nature, the writing process for this song was very smooth. It came together quite quickly.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST SONG TO WRITE OR RECORD FOR THE NEW ALBUM?
The title track, "How To Survive a Funeral." This song was the first song we started and the last song to be finished, so it was a fitting pick to be the title track of the album. We had so many ideas for this song in the beginning of the writing process. We ended up using a lot of the ideas and themes for this song as a rough blueprint for the rest of the record.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH WZRDBLD? WHAT DID HE BRING TO THE ALBUM?
Drew was absolutely amazing to work with. It was our first time working so closely with such an established producer. Drew was a great mediator between the main writing forces in the band — he had a way of recontextualizing ideas to make them fit in a song. This allowed for a very streamlined, drama-free recording process.
WHAT'S YOUR BEST MEMORY FROM THE MAKING OF THE NEW ALBUM? WHAT'S YOUR WORST?
Best: Picklebacks, Worst: Picklebacks.
THE ALBUM TITLE, HOW TO SURVIVE A FUNERAL, IS VERY STRIKING AND CAN BE INTERPRETED IN DIFFERENT WAYS. WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR THAT?
The title itself takes something very dark — a funeral — and turns it into a somewhat lighthearted joke. The title is akin to a survival handbook, i.e. How to Survive an Earthquake or How to Survive a Bear Attack. The whole album, and our band in general, has always been about juxtaposition, so for us, injecting life and light into something typically dark is basically our bread and butter. We felt the album title perfectly reflected that element of our sound.
HOW HAS THE COVID-19 SHUTDOWN AFFECTED THE BAND? HOW ARE YOU ADAPTING?
Apart from us having to push back the album release and cancel our European tour with After the Burial two weeks early, things are running pretty smoothly. Thankfully, we have a good team behind us and everyone behind us has been very supportive. We're just chipping away and writing bits and pieces whilst pretty much continuing life as usual.