Last night on the Metal Hammer Radio Show, Alex Milas sat down with Eddie Hermida and Mark Heylmun from Suicide Silence to talk about the new album, the addition of Eddie and just how incredible Return Of The Jedi is.
Eddie Hermida: "I’m not here to be Mitch – I’m here to be me"
We chat to Suicide Silence about fighting adversity
Where did the story of the new album begin?
Mark: "This record began the week before Mitch’s accident when we were in our jam room writing new music, we’d just been signed to Nuclear Blast, we were stoked and on cloud one million continuing on with Suicide Silence. Then we had a real tragic event that changed our lives and got us thinking a little bit and put us on our heads. Luckily we all stuck together as a group and Eddie was there for us. And one we knew we wanted the band to continue he was willing to step in and be the new singer, the next thing we knew we had a set of lyrics that Mitch had left behind called You Can’t Stop Me and we knew then and there that that’s the way we’re going. We’re not going to be stopped, that’s the driving force. We wrote ‘You can’t stop me’ on our whiteboard which is where all our songs usually start. And every day we’d walk into the jam and see those words and that’s where the record came from – the unstoppable force that is Suicide Silence."
Was there ever any doubt that you would carry on?
Mark: "I wouldn’t say there was doubt if was more a question of if we are going to continue, how are we going to do it for the right reasons? It needed to be done correctly. A lot of people say it happened fast, but we work all the time, we’re always doing something. The day after Mitch’s accident we got together and put together the memorial show. Then everybody went home and we didn’t do anything for about four months and it was the longest four months of our lives, we didn’t do anything with Suicide Silence. Asking Eddie if he was willing to work with us it crushed all doubt. Once we knew Eddie was down, that changed everything."
Eddie, did you know you were going to join? How did that all transpire?
Eddie: "I got the call to record a test track, it was simply to hear somebody else singing. I was happy to do whatever these guys asked, we have history together, we did our first national tours together when I was in All Shall Perish in 2006 on the Spreading Disease Tour. It was a really difficult decision, once I recorded that song they pretty much immediately rang me and asked if I was down to take the endeavour and run with it. And I asked for some time because I wasn’t sure. I said that if I decided to move forward then allow me still sing in the band I’m in and allow me to have artistic freedom – and they were all for it. There was a lot of fear on my side on whether I was able to step up to the plate and knock one out of the park for these guys."
What was the audition song?
Eddie: "I recorded You Only Live One. We released a snippet of it on the internet, but there is a whole song. People think I just did the snippet and ask if we’re going to release the whole song, but where do you think we got the snippet from? (laughs) I recorded it as soon as I was asked and they were impressed by how quickly I turned it round and how stoked I was to help them out and how good the song sounded. I got a call almost immediately after they received it. I waited about three months, talked my friends and family, and everyone was really positive and said I was doing something good and something that will help the future of the band."
It’s an incredible cocktail of emotions. It’s not just leaving All Shall Perish, it’s stepping in to the shoes who’s a beloved figure in our world so there’s an expectation placed upon you. How do you cope with that notion?
Eddie: "I don’t feel like I’m in the shadow of anything, if anything it’s a guidance. I was really good friends with Mitch and everybody involved in Suicide Silence, that’s been the helping force that lets me ignore any adversity. The name of the record is You Can’t Stop Me and there’s nothing that’s going to stop me continuing with these guys. You can talk all the shit you want about me, I know I’m not Mitch, but I’m not here to be Mitch – I’m here to be me."
Is there a feeling of resentment when people react negatively to the news that you’ve moved on? It’s a common phenomenon with bands who experience tragedy and the reaction of fans is more impassioned than people who went through the heartache and loss.
Mark: "I think it’s perfect. It’s so good that somebody can either be so happy the band is continuing or say ‘Why would you do that? No-one’s going to be Mitch’. That’s great because it gives us that pressure to put out a record that they’re going to love and it’s always been that way. We were a Myspace band, people thought we were only a band on the internet, but we said ‘No, we’re going to go out and play 280 shows in a year’. There’s no anticipating what would happen to our band and what’s happening now. There’s people that don’t understand why and maybe they never will, but there’s people we’re going to force to change their minds – and we’re already doing that with Cease To Exist. People are apologising for ever doubting it which puts in a situation to be ourselves."
Away from music, Eddie has the most impressively decorated shin I’ve seen all day.
Eddie: "My shin and my leg is going to be dedicated to Star Wars. I was born the year Return Of The Jedi came out and that was one of my favourite movies asa kid. I saw it the first time on HBO during the week HBO was free for my family, and I made my mom stay up til 2am to tape the movie and I wore that tape out. I watched it every day. I really identified with Luke Skywalker, he lost his father and I grew up without a father, but it turns out Darth Vader is his father and he has to face him. I wanted to confront that person inside of me and be the good Jedi while inside I felt really dark and I liked the dark side. From then I’ve watched all the movies and I’m so stoked on the whole story. I’m a big fan of the newer Star Wars movies, I actually have Samuel L Jackson and Liam Neeson tattooed on my leg. If you cut my leg open and pulled it out as a poster it’s gonna look like a movie poster."
It’s a powerful story that you obviously resonate with, have you met your father?
Eddie: "I’ve met him but we haven’t sat down and talked and I don’t think we ever will. It shaped me growing up with a single mother, it’s made me a really strong person. She’s pretty much the reason why I do what I do, she got me into music inadvertently. She showed me the passion and she’s a really beautiful singer and that made me want to be a singer. She’s also the man in my life, she’s a very strong woman. Not having a father around shaped me and made me really positive because I had such a positive role model."