Suicide Silence pushes forward after vocalist’s death

Posted on June 29, 2014

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Suicide Silence

By Rachael Mattice

OC Weekly

Twitter: @RachaelM_OC

The future success or demise of a group always relies on multiple factors but is rarely determined by one circumstance. As the musicians develop their own brand within the band, their magnitude of power is immediately discovered once a crisis occurs. This includes the passing of a band member in a tragic accident.

On November 1, 2012, Southern California’s Suicide Silence’s future became unknown when vocalist Mitch Lucker was killed in a motorcycle accident in Huntington Beach.

Breaking off into new projects or changing the band name are alternative directions, but Suicide Silence guitarist Mark Heylum said coming up with a new band name was not an option.

“Chris Garza, our other guitarist who started the band, said he would quit if we changed the name,” Heylum said. “Saying that made us realize that we needed to stick together.”

Once the band finalized their decision to continue as a band after Lucker’s death, they uncorked the last two years of grief and anger into a positive contingency for the deathcore band of five.

Turning to a close friend whom they’ve known since their first major tour in 2006 with his then-band All Shall Perish, Herman “Eddie” Hermida took over as vocalist and joined Heylum, Garza, Dan Kenny (bass) and Alex Lopez (drums) to forge the now Suicide Silence.

The new edition will be thoroughly introduced this summer joining the largest touring heavy metal festival in the United States with Rockstar Energy Drink’s Mayhem Festival, and with the release of the highly anticipated fourth full-length album “You Can’t Stop Me” via Nuclear Blast Records on July 15. Suicide Silence will join their metal brethren and share the roster alongside Orange County natives and headliner Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Cannibal Corpse, Trivium, Miss May I, Body Count and more.

Being alumni to Mayhem and returning to the outdoor stages with heavy hitters like Trivium, Suicide Silence gets to fuel the fire in their home realm at San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, Calif. on Saturday, July 5.

“Mayhem is one of our favorite tours; it was a breaking tour for us in 2008 and we’re excited to do it again,” Heylum said. “The hometown shows are always intense, and I run into people I went to high school with or haven’t seen in a long time.”

Corresponding with the Mayhem festival tour is the resurrection of new material. The cocktail of death, black and grind metal album title – “You Can’t Stop Me” – was taken from a collection of lyrics left by the late Lucker, and appropriately named with dedication and perseverance. Steve Evetts, longtime Suicide Silence collaborator and producer of the album was working with Lucker on new material days before the vocalist’s death.

“The vibe and emotion that comes with this record has a real message behind it more than any other record. It’s really empowering and resilient and about piecing everything in the band being back together after hitting rock bottom. This album is showing where we’re going and knowing there was a period of time in our lives that was extremely difficult. People can just be gone. Nothing can hold us down; it really speaks for itself.”

Following the album “The Black Crown,” Suicide Silence wrote “Inherit the Crown” for the new release to pay homage to their late vocalist and for Hermida to engrave his own voice in the band. Much like “The Black Crown” and previous records, “You Can’t Stop Me” also features guest appearances by industry legends including Cannibal Corpse’s George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher and The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato.

“ ‘Corpsegrinder’ is probably the most brutal death metal vocalist around,” Heylum said. “Greg has an unreal voice and his performance invokes living your life with fire, punk rock and not being a poser. The record incorporates those things and incorporates these two bands since they represent where we come from.”

After punching through the populated and dense music scene in southern California for more than a decade, Heylum said the key to Suicide Silence’s success is their willingness to put in the work to get noticed, playing what seems right and listening to your gut.

The second wind for Suicide Silence’s ferocious comeback continues with more tour dates to compliment the album drop.

“We will be booking headlining shows as well as club shows before the year is over,” Heylum said. “We can’t wait to see all of you there.”

To purchase tickets for the July 5 Mayhem Festival tour stop in southern California, visit http://concerts.livenation.com/event/09004C75CC6ADF74?c=DSP_LN_Mayhem_SB_Homepage. Ticket prices range from $20 to $155. To pre-order “You Can’t Stop Me,” visit suicidesilence.net.

To view the published article on the OC Weekly website, visit: http://www.ocweekly.com/2014-06-26/music/suicide-silence-mark-heylum/

Mattice is a music journalist for Village Voice’s OC Weekly and Metal Insider. She can be reached at rmattice125@gmail.com or on Twitter @RachaelM_JC.

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Posted in: OC Weekly