SUFFOCATION Frontman On War In Iraq: 'I Think We Need To Bring Troops Home'

Way Too Loud! recently conducted an interview with SUFFOCATION vocalist Frank Mullen. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Way Too Loud!: I wondering what your current involvement is with Roadrunner. Do they just distribute your old albums, and that's it? Do you get anything out of that, at all?

Frank: They still put the old albums out in the stores and everything, and we get royalty checks every now and then, from Roadrunner and stuff like that, but as far as anything new capacity wise, there's not much. There's talk of possibly doing a greatest hits CD that they want to put together, but for the most part, that's the only ties we have with Roadrunner.

Way Too Loud!: For a lot of people, "Souls To Deny" was the album that got them started on SUFFOCATION, like it was for me and a couple of friends there. The last time I saw you play, you didn't play anything from that album.

Frank: It's hard, because there's just so many songs, and it's like which ones do you pick? Which ones do you put into a setlist? If you're not doing a headlining set, it becomes even harder, because you want to put in the good songs and stuff. This time around we're going to put in a few songs off of "Souls To Deny". It becomes complicated to throw a good set together, because you want to throw in everything, and when you do, you're already at twenty songs, and you know people would go nuts for it, but there's no way I can play twenty!

Way Too Loud!: Standard touring and album cycles suggest that we could be expecting a new album next year.

Frank: That's what we're looking at. We're going to do this tour, and there's probably going to be a European tour, and then there might be some other dates with South America, and things like that, then it'll be crunch time, putting a new album together.
Way Too Loud!: I keep reading about the connection to hardcore, and I'm wondering if that's ever been an influence on you.

Frank: Oh yeah, yeah! I mean, growing up in New York, the thing about New York, is that you can listen to anything. It wasn't necessarily if you listen to hardcore, that's it, that's who you are, and if you listen to metal, that was it. Growing up, I listened to everything. I listened to thrash metal, speed metal, death metal, hardcore, and a lot of that stuff was an influences. We tend to have the heavy breakdowns from the hardcore influences, and things we listened to over the years, like the real heavy, in-your-face drop-downs, and then the technical and melodic stuff was old-school thrash. You've got your influences from DESTRUCTION, KREATOR and stuff like that. There's definably a hardcore influence.

Way Too Loud!: With the lyrics on your last album, I could really see a connection to the war in Iraq, although the opinions in the lyrics and the statements you guys have given aren't quite standard cut and paste statements. I know different members write the lyrics, and the opinions expressed seem different from one another.

Frank: Terrance wrote some stuff on this new album lyrics wise, and me and Terrance wrote a song lyrics wise, so as far as the question your asking, with the war in Iraq and stuff, those weren't lyrics that I wrote, so I can't give you exactly what it's trying to say. Me personally, what's going on and everything, I think it's crazy, and I think we need to bring troops home, and just be done with it. I think it was just a waste, almost, of time and lives because it hasn't accomplished anything. When you have two sets of people over there that live in one country, it's never going to happen, so what are we trying to accomplish over there? To me it's like we're over there, and going at it, and losing a lot of innocent lives, and for what? I think we should end it, and bring our troops home and let them establish what they want to establish over there.

Way Too Loud!: So the other guys in the band might have something different to say about that?

Frank: Yeah, you know? Everybody's got their opinions on what goes on and how they see it. But yeah, they may have different opinions.

Way Too Loud!: I know Terrance said something that got in a magazine, and the bands opinions on the situation aren't simply cut-and-paste. It's pretty cool that your band can express different things.

Frank: That's the way it always should be. That's the one great thing about living in the United States, freedom of speech, and you have the right to your own opinions. You might not necessarily agree with them.

Read the entire interview at www.waytooloud.com.

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