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No Time To Bleed

American deathcore Suicide Silence’s vocalist Eddie on their India debut at CultFest in Bengaluru this month

Anurag Tagat Apr 07, 2015
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Suicide Silence. Photo: James Kilian.

Suicide Silence. Photo: James Kilian.

A few months before Canadian rapper Drake and his song “The Motto” popularized the wretched term YOLO, American deathcore band Suicide Silence had started popularizing the 21st Century term for carpe diem with a song called “You Only Live Once.” But the band’s current vocalist Eddie Hermida says it’s something they don’t need to stake claim to. Adds Hermida over the phone from Florida, “I don’t think anybody really cares about who said what ”“ we know what we’re doing and we know what it stands for and even before Drake said anything, it [YOLO] was already kind of an internet sensation. But it’s Drake, and he has a lot more fans, so there’ll be a lot more people backing him.”

“You Only Live Once” became one of Suicide Silence’s most famous hits, alongside songs such as “Genocide,” “Unanswered” and “Wake Up,” but the voice behind the band ”“ vocalist Mitch Lucker ”“ died in a motorcycle accident in 2012. Hermida, a friend of the band, was one among several big name vocalists including Randy Blythe [from Lamb of God], Robb Flynn [from Machine Head] and Max Cavalera [from Sepultura] who joined Suicide Silence for a memorial show in 2012. But it was only after a year-long break that the band began looking for a replacement for Lucker, finally choosing Hermida after he sent in his vocal cover of “You Only Live Once.” Says Hermida, “When I first joined, we all gave each other a big hug and put on our working hats and got to it, without talking about it too much. We started writing the record [their fourth full-length album, You Can’t Stop Me], then the tour came and the announcement came. We head down and move towards the next goal.”

Hermida, who was part of American metal band All Shall Perish, moved to Suicide Silence and it quickly turned into his first priority. Although he wanted to handle vocal duties for both bands, he says All Shall Perish had asked him to leave. Hermida, who was one of the earliest members of All Shall Perish since 2003, says, “I didn’t leave on my own. In fact, when I joined Suicide Silence, my stipulation was that I didn’t want to leave All Shall Perish. Everybody was fine with it, but All Shall Perish wanted to move forward and find somebody else.”

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So there’s a little bit of You Can’t Stop Me, Suicide Silence’s new album, which originally got its title from lyrics Lucker had written, that even Hermida can relate to, now that he’s leaving his past with All Shall Perish behind. Says the vocalist, “One of the reasons we wanted the title of the record to be ”˜You Can’t Stop Me’ was because it was really eerie. It was the last lyrics that Mitch wrote were: ”˜You can’t stop me. You’re not going to put anything in front of me. We’ll face everything and move forward.’ The lines in the song are ”˜And I will continue to move forward.’ It means he wants us to move forward. It really helped.” You Can’t Stop Me became the band’s most commercially successful records, scaling up to the second position on the Hard Rock Charts and Number 16 in the Billboard Top 200 album charts.

Suicide Silence are currently on tour with fellow deathcore band Emmure across the U.S. and head to India this month for their first show in the country, at annual festival CultFest in Bengaluru on April 11th, alongside American death metal legends Cannibal Corpse. Says Hermida about the India show, “We are absolutely excited. This is an opportunity that not a lot of other bands get and it’s a big deal for us. And not only that, but we also get to share in this great experience with one of our favorite bands ”“ a band that all of us are personal fans of. It’s a surreal experience but it’s going to be a good time and we hope the Indian people are ready to fuck shit up.”

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While death metal purists and fans of bands such as Cannibal Corpse would not readily take to Suicide Silence’s method of adding more elements of groove and melody to death metal and call it deathcore, Hermida says they’ve faced those people. Adds Hermida, “It’s just a different vibe and energy [between death metal and deathcore]. I don’t think anyone really hates us, more so I just think they’re just being metalheads ”“ some people don’t like groove, or some people don’t like their singers to have long hair. Who knows what’s going through their head? They seem a little more reluctant to accept a new form of death metal or music. For the most part, it’s not a problem.”

For their India show, Suicide Silence are going to stick to their hour-long tour set and play material spanning across four albums, not necessarily concentrating on playing songs from their latest release. Since there are no immediate tour dates for at least 10 days after CultFest, a few band members will stay back and explore India, although Hermida is heading out to Europe to get a bit of tattoo work done and warm up for their Europe tour. There’s a lot more time to be spent staying true to the meaning behind creating You Can’t Stop Me. Says Hermida, “It’s about music, metal, us as a band, Mitch ”“ you can’t stop any one of us.”             

Suicide Silence will be performing in Bengaluru on April 11th, 2015, as a part of Cult Fest 2015. Event details here.

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