Does a deathcore band have real singers
“A lot of deathcore bands are just crazy hard, it's disgusting” —Suicide Silence in an interview
There are few bands that have shaped the sound, demeanor and style of deathcore as much as Suicide Silence from California. Especially their singer Mitch Lucker did everything with his mercilessly distorted voice and his impetuous energy on stage to make his band one of the greatest representatives of the genre. A genre that was often decried for being just a marketing gag that was already exhausted after the first story. And in fact, there hasn't been any real innovations in this brutal mixture of death metal and metal core since the appearance in the mid-00s. The breakdowns just got duller, the blast beats faster, the lyrics and atmosphere darker, the screams higher, the growls deeper and the productions polished more perfectly to brutality.
In 2012 Lucker died in a motorcycle accident. The band decided to continue anyway and almost a year later Eddie Hermida was announced as the new singer. Fans of his old band All Shall Perish (another deathcore pioneer band) were just as unhappy about it as the Lucker fans, who didn't want their idol replaced. When the first Suicide Silence album was released in 2014 with Hermida on vocals, they could have felt confirmed. Because that was just a solid Deathcore release, All Shall Perish in simple or Suicide Silence with another guy.
In 2016, Suicide Silence went back to the studio, this time with producer Ross Robinson. He, who has already worked cursed successfully with Korn, Slipknot, Sepultura and Limp Bizkit and can proudly call himself the architect of Nu Metal, should now make more of Suicide Silence than a Mitch Lucker Homage band. The first real news that pattered over the feeds was that Eddie would mostly sing clean - damn untypical for traditional Deathcore. The indignation was correspondingly great, which turned into real frustration and malice when the first single "Doris" was released later. The song revealed a raw, almost washed-out production and of course Eddie, who sang not only clean, but even with his head voice otherwise less dominant grunted and grunted, but rather impetuously dirty screaming. The dislike bar got longer and longer, the comments more and more nasty and the deathcore meme side had their hands full, busy Emmure and Attila to exchange for the new hated representative of the genre.
There hasn't been that much excitement about a Metal album for a long time, so of course we talked to Eddie and he responded directly to the overwhelmingly negative feedback on "Doris", his decision to sing so much clean and maybe the Nu Metal vibe of the most important deathcore album in a long time:
Noisey: The first news I saw about your new album was that it was 70% clean. Why did you choose this fact as a feature to promote the album?
Eddie Hermida: That was just something Alex [ Note: Alex Lopez, drummer for Suicide Silence] said and what everyone then talked about. People cannibalized what is cool to me when it makes them hear this piece of art.
Still, I have to say: It wasn't my intention to sing 70 percent of the album clean. The music just asked for that. To be honest, it's even more than 70 percent ... To even state that in percentages is a bit stupid for me.
It was an oddly accurate number.
Yeah, but we're not calculators, haha.
How did you think the fans would react to this news?
Um, I didn't give a fuck, hahaha. If I did that, the album would suck. Then I would have an album like You Can't Stop Me made. With the album, I was really careful about what the fans would think about it - because I was the new one. Now I felt more comfortable in the band and wanted to try out more. The band wanted it too, so we did it together. It was time to do something different. The band has released four deathcore albums. Now you wanted to move outside the usual framework.
Can you explain why clean singing is such a big topic in the deathcore scene?
Maybe it's still such a big thing because I'm the new one. Or because Suicide Silence have never sung. Maybe because Suicide Silence means different things to people ... I really don't know. I personally appreciate it when bands break new ground and try something different.
Since the last albums from Whitechapel or Parkway Drive were the first to sing melodically, I would have thought that this would be more accepted in the meantime.
Absolutely not. In both bands kids also talked shit. Now that "Doris" is out, they change their minds and say how much they loved that at Whitechapel, but now hate it with us. It's very transparent to me. The truth is, if you do something differently, when the majority of people are very concerned, they write this down in their little electronic diary and post it for everyone to see.
Not only are you singing clean now, your screams also sound totally different. Why this?
Ross said, "I want you to sing in a way that it hurts your voice." And I did. I forgot all my training, stepped out of the comfort zone that protected my screams and spent two months on myself hurt.
This week you released your first single "Doris". Why this one song?
Did you see the reactions
Oh yes of course.
Because of that. To those who are most likely to judge us to take the seatbelt off. To immediately hold a mirror in front of everyone. We want you to look at yourself and say how you feel. The song is perfect for that. The first notes you hear sung are uncomfortable, insecure, not produced, just a man singing in falsetto. It forces you to take a stand. You either hate it or you love it. We wanted to shock everyone right away. "Doris" has done that.
The metal YouTuber Jared Dines screwed this falsetto extensively in a video.
Yeah, I just saw the video today, it's really funny. I watch a lot of his videos, he's very on point, he understands deathcore and what's annoying about it. I love the faces he makes and some of what he says about "Doris" is also true. It's just his reality. If we've touched him, we've done something right.
But when your video was out and all the negative comments, dislikes and memes were pouring out on you, didn't you think, "Fuck, that wasn't a good idea"?
I never thought that was bad. It's so amazing when you show people this song you get their reaction right away. Either "God this is the best, I love you guys, keep it up guys" or "Oh my god, this is horrible, I hate it, you guys are horrible, kill yourselves!" Do you know what they don't say "Yeah, that's OK." They don't say, "Yeah, that's just not mine." You get a strong reaction right away, and that's what music is about - when you first listen to something and it takes you somewhere else and touches you.
But how did I feel? I got up and said: this is perfect, this is exactly what we wanted.
Did you show the song to friends beforehand, who then doubted that it would all be a good idea?
Showing our friends was the worst we could have done. My friends' reactions scared me more than published it - because everyone loved it. It was like we were just showing them a new record. There wasn't a single one who doubted it. Not one! That made us really nervous. We didn't want people to hate it, but we wanted them to be shocked by it. We wanted to be Marilyn Manson when he showed himself in the same clothes David Bowie wore in Starman. He changed the damn game. He wasn't afraid to do his thing at a time when people were being killed for Being gay. Punk rock's greatest pop star was dressed in women's clothes — that was a goddamn shocker. We wanted that too.
You were more afraid that people would like it than that they would hate it?
Yes, one hundred percent.
What kind of album did you want to do anyway?
We wanted an album that sounds like a band that has been playing for ten years and eating shit. A band that tries something new, that lets out its pain, agony and despair about what our music world is today. The lack of effort from fans and bands. The ugliness of the music industry. The torture of wanting to follow your heart but being told that you are not cool or handsome enough. This is all disgusting and our album is meant to represent that. It is enough.
Because the album is so dirty and raw, it almost seems like an alternative to the over-produced Deathcore, where the drums only come from the computer.
When you tell someone that you hate them, others will think that you really must have a big problem with that person. But in order to hate someone, you have to love them too. It's the same feeling. Since the whole genre was defined by gloom, hatred, sadness and depression, everyone just says that they actually want to be happy and to be loved. That's what people are scared of and that's what our album is all about. It's not hate, it's one hundred percent love. And you can't get that across with artificial sounds, you can't let your heart speak through a computer.
Nothing has changed in the genre in the last ten years. The plates were just polished more and more smoothly.
A lot of deathcore bands are just crazy hard, it's disgusting. Sometimes it still hits you in the stomach and I respect it, but at the same time I watch it fail. I've been to many concerts by young deathcore bands, some of whom don't even want to be called "deathcore" because you, as a deathcore fan, are suddenly a victim of the scene or a pussy that doesn't like real music.
It's a stigma we put on ourselves. We give deathcore a new life, we don't change it, we show people that it can be anything. Deathcore is metal, deathcore is hardcore, deathcore is punk rock. Deathcore is pop, deathcore is rock'n'roll, deathcore is the culmination of all music. You just call it deathcore to identify with something. That alone locks you and your ideas in a cage. Just be free, dude.
The record really doesn't sound like conventional deathcore anymore. It's more of a Deftones / Korn vibe. Where does this Nu Metal influence come from?
When we were all 11, 12, 13 years old, it was the hardest music for a kid who lived in a household where the parents didn't know much about heavy music. They weren't punk rockers, more like hippies. Something like the Beatles were the maximum hardship for them. Back then I fell in love with the Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains or Korn and Metallica. Korn and Deftones were bands that went nuts. Later that was mixed with Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation and created what I am today and where I want to go musically. Did we consciously look for this sound? No. We just did it, recorded with Ross Robinson, haha. You can't refuse to look at the gold plates from Slipknot, Korn or Sepultura and be a little influenced by them. Those were my favorite albums.
Isn't it a little strange that you've changed your sound so drastically, but your album Suicide Silence is called?
That's why we call it that. There is an old EP that was also called that. I heard them back then and fell in love with this band. When Mitch died he took himself out of Suicide Silence, the band is different today. You Can't Stop Me was the last Suicide Silence album with Mitch, this is the first album with me, Eddie Hermida.
So the last album was more of a carry on than a real new album?
It was a tribute to Mitch to show his respect. This is now unfiltered, unforgivable reality on your face. This is suicide silence, like it or not.
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