Suicide Silence Interview with Mark Heylnum
Suicide Silence have had a few tumultuous years. After the tragic passing of frontman and founding member Mitch Lucker bounced back with the aptly titled album ‘You Can’t Stop Me’. Two years of relentless touring and successful shows around the world followed. Now Suicide Silence will take their show down under. I had a chance to catch up with Mark Heylmun to discuss then upcoming shows and the work on the new album.
Marc W: Your last album ‘You Can’t Stop Me’ has been released a couple of years ago. With this distance to the release of the album what are your thoughts about it in 2016?
Mark H: Man, I feel like that record was exactly what we needed to do at that point in time for the band. We just had the most unexpected, tragic, the biggest handful of live that you can ever be served. That record was a response to that. Suicide Silence is a pissed-off, fucking bunch of angsty, young man and ‘You Can’t Stop Me’ is where we took a tragic event and how we used it to write music which is what we do, we’re a band, we write music. That record, now that we’re a couple of years into it, is still exactly what we needed to do. It’s to proof that Suicide Silence can do anything no matter how hard we get hit. We’re standing right back up and starting to throw blows right away.
Marc W: You have toured with the new album and the new line-up quite extensively. How does it all work for you on stage?
Mark H: It’s pretty cool that Australia is pretty much the kick-off for everything that is Suicide Silence now because Soundwave were the first shows we played with Eddie. We had already recorded a record and we’ve been working as a band for a little while before we came to Australia. We came to Australia, played Soundwave and that was the jumpstart of exactly what you were talking about: the chemistry, the playing on stage, working on new music, how the dynamic is on stage without Mitch and with Eddie. It’s cool, man. At this point we’re more confident and it’s more great fun for what Suicide Silence is for us as individuals and as a band than we ever have. Going through everything we’ve gone through, putting out ‘You Can’t Stop Me’, being able to see that we’re still able to continue on, even though it was possible that it was over at one point. So having the band slipped through our fingers, losing a brother, getting back on the horse, starting to go full flash, starting at Soundwave: we’ve been riding that wave since Soundwave. It’s been non-stop. We all moved. We live closer to each other. We care more about the band than we care about anything. It’s always been that way but now it’s plain to see that this is what we are, that this is what we do. We’re not going anyway. We’re gonna be here for fucking ever.
“Australia is pretty much the kick-off for everything that is Suicide Silence now.”
Marc W: Now you will be coming back to Australia for a headliner tour. What can your fans expect?
Mark H: We’re pretty much gonna be there drinking the sweat of every person that comes to these shows. We’re going to encourage them to use their energy, their bodies to freak the fuck out, to fill up all these spaces and get it all misty and hot and fucked-up. We’re gonna come there and not be outside like Soundwave, we’re not gonna be at a festival. We’re gonna be able to put on our own show and not just gonna have a 45-minute set that we’re gonna have to stay inside of. No matter what day of the week it is, come along and have fucking good time. If you’ve never seen Suicide Silence you’re gonna see the best Suicide Silence there’s ever been. And if you’ve seen Suicide Silence before you’re gonna see the best Suicide Silence there’s ever been. We’re just pumped. We love Australia. Australia is our favourite place to play. It reminds us of home but at the same time it’s very far from home. There is something awesome about that. We’ve always had a blast down there. We’re looking forward to creating more memories. We’re just gonna have a fucking blast, no matter what.
Marc W: As you know we don’t have the biggest scene here in Australia but people are very dedicated. That seems to be the best recipe for an awesome tour.
Mark H: That’s exactly right. If the scene gets to big then it’s too popular and the motherfuckers say ‘I don’t like that shit anymore because it’s too cool’. It seems that Australia has preserved deathcore more than almost anywhere in the whole world. People are proud to listen to deathcore, listen to whatever the scene is over there. It’s small enough to be large and create a fucking crowd. This is another reason why we love it over the so much. We’re accepted very much.
“Suicide Silence is a pissed-off, fucking bunch of angsty, young man.”
Marc W: You mentioned the genre deathcore. I think your music actually includes a large variety of different influences from all sorts of metal subgenres. How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t listened to your music?
Mark H: That almost happens every day. I do encounter people who I tell that I play music in a band for a living. And they ask what kind of band that is. I usually say to an untrained ear or someone who isn’t really into all the subgenres that we’re kind of like a death metal band. If they have heard of Cannibal Corpse I say it kinda like that. But to me as a fucking metalhead, as an avid music listener I understand that what happened with us is very fucking awesome. It doesn’t happen very often. When we came out it happened to be at a certain time where there wasn’t a lot of stuff going on in death metal and in the heavier part of it. We’re just a little bit harder to put your finger on what it was. I think that the image of the band had a lot to do with that. At first we were like ‘Fuck that. We’re not deathcore, that’s stupid.’ Really as time goes on it’s really sick that the media is where it comes from. The journalists and the websites, they needed something to call it. There were a bunch of new bands that didn’t exactly fit the death metal bill. They’re not hardcore. They really got something going on a little bit differently. I’m not comparing us to Metallica but thrash metal was something that came out of the fact that it was a little different to anything else that was going on. I would say that we’re lucky enough to have a label that people wanted to call us because it separated us from the pack. If anything we’ve gotten to put our own little dent into heavy metal history with deathcore. Quite honestly there wasn’t really anybody else doing what we were doing at that point. That’s where the whole thing started. I’m not afraid to say that if deathcore is gonna be around forever we’ll be something that people talk about. We’re pretty much one of the, if not the originator of it. Whatever happens with deathcore is up to us which pretty cool.
“It was possible that it was over at one point.”
Marc W: Have you started working on a new album?
Mark H: The record is far along. We recorded a bunch of songs with Ross Robinson. That’s probably already common knowledge. We were in the studio to up about a month ago and then we’ve been out of the studio kind of reassessing the band business so that we can hit the road when we release the new record. We haven’t finalised the release date yet. We’re on track to have new music come out as soon as we got it set. I imagine this is going to be next year. We’re flying. We got a lot of shit up our sleeve at the moment. Maybe we’re playing a new song in Australia. We’re not sure yet. We’re in the middle of rehearsals right now. We actually haven’t put together the set list. Within the next few days we’ll know what we’re gonna do.