Suicide Silence are unstoppable: their throat-ripping and bone-smashing take on deathcore is unmatchable, and even after the tragic loss of their iconic frontman, Mitch Lucker, they stood up and continued – with All Shall Perish’s Eddie Hermida behind the microphone. Their second offering with him is a self-titled album, which moves away from their usual sound, touching on genres like nu-metal, clean singing and radio rock. A bold move? Surely. But as we’ve already said, the band is unstoppable and they do as they please. Here’s what Eddie commented on all these.
As a band, did you hit a point where you didn’t want to do the same things again?
I think every band that isn’t a new deathcore band, pretty much all the originators branched out in some shape or form. We’re obviously committing to that branch. With All Shall Perish, there’s singing all over the second and third record; it’s very in the realm of Opeth, Killswitch Engage, Emperor. There’s that. The thing is, in order to fully commit to a sound, fully commit to a change, a lot of the bands — including Suicide Silence, up until we decided it was time to fully commit — they wanted to change, but didn’t fully do it. Chelsea Grin added singing; Whitechapel just did it with the newest record. The only bands that still stick to the “original” deathcore sound are the newest deathcore bands, because they think that’s the way to make money and that’s how to get fame, just like Suicide Silence or All Shall Perish or Despised Icon. So, they’re the ones waving the flag nowadays; the old-schoolers realized the one-trick pony [aspect] of it. Fans don’t really like the technical aspect; they love the breakdowns. So, either they become more breakdown-y and continue doing whatever they do, or they branch out. We started seeing that trend, and really, Suicide Silence wanted to make a change before I even joined the band. When I recorded “You Can’t Stop Me,” that was the time for that album. When it was time to start writing this record, it was time. We all looked at each other [and said] this is the perfect opportunity to branch out and do something different. We looked at each other and all jumped off a cliff.
When did you start singing?
Kindergarten. I sang in The Wizard Of Oz when I was a little kid. I was the Scarecrow and sang in front of 250 people. I’ve been singing ever since. I was in choir, in theater, I sing in the shower — I sing everyday. I started screaming when I was about 16 years old. After covering Led Zeppelin for so long, old rock standards, “House Of The Rising Sun,” old Jimi Hendrix songs, you hear a band like Slipknot and you’re like, “Fuckin’ rad. I wanna do this.” Heard Chris Barnes’ voice and was like, “Fuck, dude, I want to do this. Those vocals are next-level.” Up until then, I was doing nothing but singing.
Has that been an itch for you, to sing like that on a record?
Yeah, man. I’ve been really wanting to do something a lot more full-bore songwriting, making sure choruses are choruses. Singing. I’ve always done it in some way, shape or form on some record. Even my screaming, in a way, I would always try to sing my parts out first and write like kind of a catchy part to myself, and scream the same kind of cadence. That’s always what I did. So, I’ve always exercised my singing prowess. I’ve just hidden behind the screams because I was afraid of losing fans, but that’s just something I’m not afraid of anymore. I don’t really give a fuck. I’ve been giving fans what they’ve wanted for 10 years, and I’ve realized fans don’t want you to give them what they think they want. Fans want you to be yourself. Now that I’m being myself, I’ve seen the reaction, and it’s fucking killer.
With your intent going into the record, how did Ross Robinson help you realize it?
I mean, Ross is Ross Robinson. His name precedes him — he’s the godfather of nu-metal. He helped create post-hardcore, which is a massive scene, a much older scene of people who really give a fuck about music. He’s the type of dude who knows exactly what to do in a situation. When he came to us and said, “It’s time for you guys to work with me,” he saw what we saw: This scene full of incredibly talented musicians is killing itself. It’s unwilling to change, it’s unwilling to grow, it stays within the margins with safety — meaning it’s not going to spend more money to record records, it’s not going to challenge the way it records records, is found its way of doing it the same way every time. It’s dwindling — record sales were low when we started, and they’re even lower now. That is something to keep in mind for the whole story. So, when he came to us, he was on the same tip, like, “We need to figure what your band is about and who you are through music. If that means you find your core by writing stuff that doesn’t sound anything like your old stuff, then let’s do that.” But we found a way to meld it. The band prepared extensively; we jammed and did pre-production for six months before going into the studio with Ross. We were literally as prepared for destruction as any band could be, and Ross put the icing on the cake. “This is how you do it: You let go of your ego and who you think you’re supposed to be, and you just serve the music. You show up to be that 13-year-old kid again, jamming with his buddies. Forget all the magazines, the interviews, the fans, the drugs you’ve done, the shows — it’s never happened as this band.” And that really started it all. We were prepared to write a record. If you took the masters after the recording and threw them into the ocean, what’s the record you’d be the most proud of? And that’s what we set out to do. If no one ever heard it, I’d know in my heart. It’s the best work we’ve ever done, the most versatile I’ve ever been; it gave me a new formation for singing. Ross was the main proponent of that. He was the main dude who helped us achieve our goal.