In April 2009, a rising deathcore band from Orange County, California, called Suicide Silence played Revolver's inaugural Golden Gods award show. It was a remarkable sight: Dressed in smart tuxes that contrasted brilliantly with their musical brutality, the bandmates, led by their vocalist — Mitchell Adam Lucker — tore through barnburners like "Wake Up" and "Unanswered." Later that evening, Alice in Chains presented Lucker and his bandmates with the trophy for Best New Talent.
As Suicide Silence continued their incredible upward trajectory, which included two albums making Billboard's Top 40 chart and two triumphant runs on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest, the frontman's star qualities fully emerged. He was something special, and Revolver recognized that not only at the Golden Gods awards but also on both of the two covers of our September 2009 issue, which featured him.
"We actually had a huge poster of one of those covers in our garage," says Lucker's widow, Jolie. "He loved Revolver. It meant a lot to him and the whole band."
But on November 1, 2012, Mitch Lucker's journey came to a shocking end. That morning, at around 6 a.m., he died at U.C. Irvine Medical Center of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident the previous night. He was 28. He is survived by Jolie, and their daughter, Kenadee.
Shortly after his death, Suicide Silence started the Mitch Lucker Memorial Fund, all proceeds of which will go towards Kenadee's education. To contribute, visit SuicideSilence.net. Those who donate $20 or more will receive a commemorative T-shirt.
Also shortly after Mitch's passing, Jolie reached out to Revolver to see if she could talk to us about the singer's life, their life together, and especially about Mitch's relationship with his fans. "They've been so supportive for Kena and I, sending us stuff," Jolie says. "I have hundreds of letters. He loved all his fans. I want them to know who he was."
HOW DID YOU MEET MITCH?
JOLIE LUCKER Back in 2002, I went with my best friend to the tattoo shop [The Grand Tattoo Lodge in Redlands, California] where he was working. He walked passed me, and I said, "Who is that?" He was super shy. He wouldn't even look at me. A couple of months later, we started dating. This was before the band. We were 18 or 19.
WHAT WAS MITCH LIKE THEN?
Shy, insecure, quiet, funny. He was straightedge, so he would just drink a lot of caffeine and get insane. He would destroy stuff for fun.
SOUNDS LIKE A TROUBLEMAKER.
We were all troublemakers. We all had troubled childhoods. So we would just go to shows and we'd get together after and just have fun.
WAS MITCH CLOSE TO THE REST OF HIS FAMILY?
He loved his two brothers. His older brother is a Marine and is actually living in Japan, but they were still close. Within the last couple of years, Mitch wanted to get really close with his youngest brother, who is 18. The three boys grew up with their dad. They're all "dudes." His dad used to put porno mags on their bed, stuff like that. He really wanted them to like girls. He got Mitch into music and took him to his first Metallica concert when he was 10. His dad would get him guitars. He was Mitch's No. 1 fan.
WHEN DID SUICIDE SILENCE COME INTO THE PICTURE?
When we started hanging out, the band wasn't really a band yet. They were kind of just playing in [guitarist] Chris Garza's garage. I remember the night before their first tour. We were all lying in Garza's garage. They were so excited. None of them slept.
WHAT DID SUICIDE SILENCE MEAN TO MITCH?
The fucking world. Those guys are his brothers. He talked about the band to me every day of our life. He could not wait to tour. He never wanted to leave Kena and I, but he fucking loved being with them. They had a special bond.
WHAT DID HIS FANS MEAN TO HIM?
He cherished his fans. People would give him stuff all around the world, and he would keep every single thing. I'm like, "Dude, really? You want this? It's a magnet from Mexico." He's like, "Fuck yeah, a fan gave that to me!" When we would see people wearing Suicide Silence shirts, he would get so stoked.
SUICIDE SILENCE HAVE THEIR SHARE OF FAMOUS FANS. WHOSE PRAISE MEANT THE MOST TO MITCH?
Jonathan Davis [Korn's singer, who contributed guest vocals to Suicide Silence's song, "Witness the Addiction," off 2011's The Black Crown], that was the hugest. He could not even believe it. When we saw pictures of Jonathan wearing a Suicide Silence shirt onstage, Mitch was like, "Holy fuck, babe, look!"
HOW DID THINGS CHANGE FOR YOU AND MITCH WHEN YOU BECAME PREGNANT?
We both grew up and were like, Oh shit, we're 22 and about to be parents. We started taking life more seriously. We had a reason to be here now. We had our daughter, Kenadee Isis Lucker, in 2007.
WHO IS KENADEE NAMED AFTER?
No one in particular, but Isis was always one of our favorite bands.
HOW DID MITCH DEAL WITH BECOMING A FATHER?
He was so excited, I remember when I went into labor, he didn't even remember wheeling me up to the hospital room, he was so frazzled and out of it. They had just put the IV in my arm, and my mom was helping me walk to the bathroom and he passed out within two seconds. It was funny. He was still such a child.
BUT HE WAS THERE FOR YOU.
Oh yeah, he was there for me big time. He was seriously the best dad. If she would wake up in the middle of the night and ask for warm juice or something, he wouldn't even hesitate. If he heard her coughing or doing something, he would jump out of bed. It was the cutest thing. He was so protective of her.
HOW DID MITCH PROPOSE?
His proposal was cheesy. He slid a ring across the table and I was like, "Is this what I think it is?" He was like, "Yeah." That's the Mitch Lucker proposal. There's no way in hell he was going to get down on one knee. He gets too embarrassed. The wedding was awesome. We had it in 2010. We waited until Kena was old enough to be our flower girl. When the DJ introduced us as "Mr. and Mrs. Mitch Lucker," we walked in to "This Love" by Pantera.
HOW HAS KENADEE TAKEN HIS DEATH?
Hard. She understands, though. She actually goes to a Christian school. I've never been religious — she goes to a private school because of the quality of education — but she's learning about God, Heaven, and all of that. The day he passed away, I sat with her teacher and we took her into the chapel. I wasn't stable. I couldn't even comprehend what happened. My emotions were making her pissed. She was so mad, but she got it. She'd tell me, "Daddy died in a motorcycle accident. Are you going to keep crying?"
AFTER HE PASSED, YOU HAD A PRIVATE SERVICE. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?
It was beautiful. I had him placed in a simple gray casket, so all of our friends and family could sign it and write notes to him. He was buried with this special picture of him and Kenadee he loved. At the viewing, he had his left hand over the picture, holding it close to his chest. It was fucking hard.
The band's manager made a flag with the artwork for The Black Crown on it. We had TVs repeating a big collage of all these pictures of him, his family, and his band. We had all these songs playing. I lost it to one song. I had gone into the viewing first, and it started playing Lucero's "Slow Dancing." That was the song playing during our first dance at our wedding. I just freaked out. It was bad. Later, we had a lot of Suicide Silence songs playing. I made it like it was his last night onstage. If you saw Suicide Silence live in the last year, he walks onstage to "March to the Black Crown." When he was being carried out, we had that song playing.
IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU BID FAREWELL TO HIM IN A THOUGHTFUL WAY.
He was awesome. It's just a tragedy. Devastating. My heart is crushed.