Suicide Silence have always said that Australia feels like a second home, and with their most recent album cracking the local Top 40 album chart it’s fair to say that they’ve built a strong connection here. In September they will be here once again for a headlining run. Guitarist Mark Heylmun was only too keen for a chat.
Mark, Suicide Silence is heading to Australia again. It seems to be a place where you have always enjoyed a pretty good relationship.
The first time we went down there was with Parkway Drive and we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. So the first time we played in Australia was in front of 7000 people or more, or whatever. Every show since has just been badass. From the beginning it was good, it’s always been good.
As a band you have been through the darkest time that a band could ever experience. What is the vibe within Suicide Silence now?
The vibe of the band is really strong. Everyone is really stoked. It’s been a rough road, obviously, but making music is what we really love and what we really connect with so that being able to continue on and be able to have other people hang out and have a blast has been great. We haven’t really missed a beat. The whole vibe of the band has been go, go, go.
Was the fact that Eddie was able to come into the band and be accepted by fans so readily a validation of your decision to continue?
I don’t know if it was a validation. It was something that within the band, we wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t think it was going to work, if it wasn’t something that couldn’t continue on with the Suicide Silence name. I guess it’s a validation of our good instincts. Eddie is down with it, and we’ve known him so long we’ve got that connection. So I guess it was a validation it would be the the gut instincts of what is right for the band, what we play for and our vision and outlet for our expression. It’s cool, it’s cool to be where we are now with Eddie sharing in the creative process. Whether on stage or off stage, it’s all really good.
When Suicide Silence first came along, there were people who really loved what you were doing and everyone else hated it. Do you think that deathcore has become much more accepted now and is that because people have learned to deal with it, or if there’s just more bands doing it now?
I think, for the most part, there is more bands doing everything right now. There’s just a lot of new music. In any genre that’s kind of just established… well I guess it’s not even just established – deathcore has been around for over a decade now. It just has to be accepted, it’s still around, there’s still bands that are considered deathcore… there’s still bands around doing the deathcore sound, I guess.
Has there ever been a moment when you’ve thought that something you’ve wanted to try on an album might not be liked by the fans because it was a little different or not what might be expected?
I remember with on You Can’t Stop Me, the song “Sacred Words”, thinking, People are going to hate this. It was just run-of-the-mill… regular song structure and it was a song that everybody liked! There’s always a fear that people are going to dislike something, but at the same time you just gotta remember to write from the heart and not worry about what other people are going to think. Because when you start writing music, it’s not to please anyone else. It’s for yourself, and you try to maintain that even when you get some success because there’s always going to be a bunch of people who pay attention to your music and that can make you change the way you write, but it you can stay true to what you want to write, you can get over that worry or fear.
So are there ideas that you come up with that you haven’t done with Suicide Silence?
There’s always a progressive growth of working those ideas out, and if an idea works and it’s not good, it’s one of those things you’re always playing but not turning into a Suicide Silence song – because Suicide Silence is one aspect of everyone in the band’s creative processes – then you turn it into something else. Everybody does their own music on the side and has their own outlets for other types of expression. When it comes to the band we all encourage each other to thrown our own shit in there. We know how creative each other is and we’ve been playing together for so long that we all know what we are capable of. We’re a band. We love to riff out with each other and encourage each other to be badass and have a good time!
If you had one goal for Suicide Silence for the next year, what would it be?
Tour with Metallica!
Cool – how big an influence on you was Metallica?
I’ll never forget… and granted, I’m younger, so what was it when Load came out? (1996) Twenty years ago, I was eight years old and there was a foreign exchange student from Holland… this was back when there was standard CD releases and no one could download anything. The Load record came out first in the US, and he was stoked to buy it and showed me all this old Metallica. I’ll never forget being eight years old and seeing all this Metallica, so when I started playing guitar, it was just Metallica for a year or more straight.
People have a tendency to prefer either post-Black Metallica or pre-Black Metallica. Which era is your favourite?
I guess …And Justice For All is my favourite Metallica record, but it’s kinda hard for me to choose, because Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning are just so fucking good, and Kill ’em All is like nothing else. Those early years of Metallica, with Cliff Burton and shit, were just badass.
So if you got the call tomorrow, you’d definitely go out on tour with Metallica?
I think any band would!
3/9: Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane QLD
4/9: Manning Bar, Sydney NSW
6/9: Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW
7/9: 170 Russell, Melbourne VIC
8/9: Fowlers Live, Adelaide SA
9/9: Amplifier Bar, Perth WA