The sub-genre known as "Metalcore" has grown as stale as a bunch of turds that have been sitting in a tin litter box left in the Arizonan heat. Just when you think that you can’t take it anymore, Suicide Silence is born and saves the integrity of Heavy Metal. Bone crunching riffs and thunderous drumming drive a vocalist that I’m pretty sure is related to Lucifer himself. This band is a breath of fresh air for extreme music lovers. Their intense live shows will sweep you off your feet to get the blood flowing as you're banging your fucking head as if it were Armageddon.
In 2006 Suicide Silence signed with Century Media Records which is an international label that has spawned such bands as Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Winds of Plague, Behemoth, Shadows Fall, Iced Earth, and Diecast. In the first week that Suicide Silence dropped their major label debut, The Cleansing, it reached the top 100 on the billboards and sold more than 7,000 records thereby making them the top selling debut artist for Century Media Records of all time. Since The Cleansing, they have played over 300 shows a year with today’s top artists. They've played the Mayhem Festival, Bamboozle Festival, Spring Breakdown Festival, and are getting ready to play the infamous Download festival in Europe. Suicide Silence was recently named the “Best New Talent” at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards hosted by Megadeth.
I was fucking blown away the first time I saw these guys live by the intense power that they bring to the stage and when I was there to see them perform at the Golden Gods in Los Angeles that same power was in the room when they played. It’s very rare to see a band with the passion that these guys display. This is perhaps the hardest working band in metal today, and I believe Suicide Silence is on their way to being one of the biggest bands in the world. Mark my words: these guys will be taking on the world Dethklok style! Our world economy will depend on Suicide Silence’s record sales. I have already started paying my taxes to Mitch the vocalist of Suicide Silence. That’s the only way I could get him to agree to an interview with Morbid Miller. Thanks for taking an hour out of your busy schedule to talk to me and give me some fun pointers. You rock Mitch!!! Thanks to Dan their tour manager and the rest of the guys in Suicide Silence! Much respect!!!
How did Suicide Silence form as a band?
Mitch: I used to go to all the local shows and I played in a few other local bands. In 2003 the only kind of music that you could see for metal was like shitty fucking positive hardcore and Nu-Metal bands. I was like, "This is bullshit. I can’t be seen in a scene like this." So Chris Garza (guitars) and I went out of my way to start a band that’s just fucking brutal. We would get together with just a P.A. and a guitar amp and jam these heavy ass riffs. We didn’t have a bass player or drummer at the time. We would write these songs that were 5-6 minutes long with these heavy riffs, after heavy riffs, after heavy riffs. It was fucking awesome. Then we slowly recruited the best of the best from the local scene. Now we need another guitar player, now we need a bass player, now we need a drummer, now we need a better bass player, now we need a better drummer and so on… we kept improving our line up. We steadily built the band, making it better and better. We started playing local shows and from that point on we just played our asses off. Since 2006 we have had the same lineup. We have played around 300 hundred shows a year since 2006.
What was it like playing as a local band in Riverside, California? Did you guys have to work hard to get people to come to your shows or did all of that just come naturally?
Mitch: Really, really crazy because we were friends with the owner of the club called The Showcase and he would put us on with the national acts that would play there. One time while we were doing a show for a national act, there was like 400 kids at the show. We opened the show and after our set was over like half of the kids left and didn’t stick around for the headliners. We had this great following from the beginning and that’s how the word spread.
How did you guys end up signing with Century Media?
Mitch: We actually held off from signing to a label for the longest time. We did our own American tours and European tours. We also put out an E.P. independently that sold very well. We had every label throwing these contracts at us. We were able to be like this contract is better than that one and this contract is better than that one. We started telling labels that this label is offering this and that. We started a battle between labels and we ended with Century Media because they stepped it up the best.
I was listening to some of your early demos and I noticed that you guys incorporated some Family Guy samples on your 2004 demo and you have them on your album cover. What’s that all about?
Mitch: Well at the very beginning when the band was just staring out, some of the kids were turned off because it was like straight up heavy ass metal; brutal shit. We wanted to add something that would lighten it up a little so it’s not so serious. We wanted to stray away from the perception that we were these big bad brutal dudes. We do this for fun, so we wanted to lighten it up a little bit. We are all about our live show so that was one of the things that we would incorporate into our live show.
Was your album The Cleansing the best selling debut artist for Century Media Records?
Mitch: I think it’s still the best selling album for a debut artist. It was on the top 100 of the Billboards and it's seriously still selling like crazy and we have no idea why. I think it’s honestly because we're always on tour. We force people to check us out. We did Hardcore tours, Heavy Metal tours, Nu-Metal tours, and we did every possible genre that we could get into. It all went very well!
The Cleansing album was recorded live. Why did you guys decide to do that?
Mitch: When we signed to Century Media, we wanted to put out a record as soon as possible so we could start touring on it. We had all these songs that we had been playing live for a couple of years. So we recorded it in two weeks and we would just keep the best takes of every song. We put mistakes on the record. There was no quick track on this record and that’s how that record came about.
It sounds great. I couldn’t tell the difference. How do you guys feel about being labeled in the Deathcore genre?
Mitch: Everyone pretty much hates it. We're just a heavy metal band. Deathcore is a teeny bopper joke! I can’t take it seriously. I would like to be considered as a heavy metal band that makes some heavy shit. It’s been around forever and it will never go away. Stop trying to make up these sub genres and shit.
How was winning the most innovative band at the first ever Revolver Magazine Golden God’s Award show hosted by Megadeth?
Mitch: It was amazing to be awarded best new talent and have Alice in Chains hand it to you in front of all these people. It was fucking great!
How nervous were you guys?
Mitch: To play we were really nervous because we were on tour with Disturbed and shit and we flew in from Little Rock, Arkansas to do the Bamboozle Festival and the award show. We seriously landed and had to go play the Bamboozle show, then we had a day off and the next day we went to the Golden Gods. Everyone was completely out of it and not there. We were so nervous to play and after we played we just started pounding drinks, so by time we got the award we were like, "wee-hoo! Fuck it!!" It couldn’t have gone over any better. It was like the most exciting thing I have ever done.
You have a new album coming out June 30th, 2009. How much pressure did you guys have on your shoulders to follow up to such an epic album as The Cleansing?
Mitch: It wasn’t that much of a burden. There were no worries. The new record we did in 5 weeks. We moved from California to New Jersey and we went there to do nothing more than to make an awesome record. These songs that are going to be on the record, we actually took our time to write and it's perfect. It was all mapped out.
What was it like working with Machine?
Mitch: It was like going to boot camp. We lived an hour from the studios so we had to wake up at like 7 in the morning to arrive at the studios in time to start at 9 a.m., then we would work to like midnight (1 o'clock or 2 o'clock on some nights), drive back, go to bed at like 4, then wake up and drive back to do it all over again. It was like that everyday!
On your MySpace you have a Deftones cover of their song "Engine No. 9." Are you guys big fans of the Deftones?
Mitch: That’s the one band that all of us love and we listened to at a very young age. Everyone grew up listening to the Deftones and that first record is something that all of us loved growing up. If the Deftones weren’t a band I don’t think that we would be a band at all.
I noticed that you guys toured with A Day To Remember, how was the tour?
Mitch: It was awesome because we toured in Australia with them and Parkway Drive who is from Australia and every show was packed. A lot of kids came out to that tour. Australia has a really good scene there.
You’re currently on the Music as a Weapon tour? How’s that going?
Mitch: Disturbed, Kill Switch Engage, Lacuna Coil, Chimaira, Crooked Edge, and Spineshank and two local bands open up the show every night. It's cool, but we're getting a lot of cancellations right now. It's pouring down rain almost every night and it's an outside show.
What does the rest of the year look like for Suicide Silence?
Mitch: After this we are doing the Slayer, Megadeth, and Machine Head tour - it's Canada and Northwest states. Right after that we are doing a headlining California tour right after our album comes out. Then after that, we go back to Europe for awhile. It's all been booked, it's just I don’t really know all the details because I usually don’t know where I am until I wake up. There's too much shit to keep on so you just kind of have to just go with the flow.
Coming from a band that tours a lot, do you feel that touring has made you better as a band?
Mitch: You play every single night for 3 months straight, then you have one day off and all you have to do is play music, and when you're on stage you're playing music and practice makes perfect. You get better and better. If you're out there playing everyday and you're not getting better, then something is seriously fucking wrong with you. Everyone in this band has updated and improved 150% since we first came out and that’s what's going to make this record so much better than The Cleansing.
How do you keep your voice healthy while touring?
Mitch: I do warm ups and when I’m done on stage I take really good care of my voice because it's my instrument. If a guitar string breaks, you just get another string. If my voice fucks up, I’m screwed, so I’m always consciously aware of that.
What did you do before you started Suicide Silence?
Mitch: I worked in a tattoo shop doing piercings and stuff like that for John Montgomery. He is one of the busiest tattoo artists in Southern California, so I worked for him full time and when I started this band I would take a few months off here and there and then come back to work when I wasn’t touring. Then things started to pick up and I would be gone for 9 months at a time so he was like, “Dude I think I’m going to find someone else,” but it's all cool. We are still good friends.
What advice do you have for young musicians starting out in pursuit of a musical career in today's industry?
Mitch: Don’t write shitty music. Don’t write music that sounds completely like other bands because that’s fucking retarded and you're not going to get anywhere doing that. You have to tour - if you're not touring than you're not going to make it. I can guarantee you that.Buy me a shot! [CLICK HERE]