Metal Martyr recently conducted an interview vocalist Frank Mullen of legendary New York death metallers SUFFOCATION. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Martyr: You guys just signed to Nuclear Blast Records a little less than a year ago. What kind of opportunities has that maybe afforded you that you may not have had in the past?
Frank Mullen: You know, I don't think it really changes anything as far as opportunities go. Pretty much every label we've been on have been good labels with Roadrunner and Relapse. We signed a two-year deal with Relapse and we just wanted to see how things worked out. After we were done with Relapse, we figured we'd start looking around for a new label and Nuclear Blast has been around forever and they've wanted to talk to us in the past about coming aboard and we talked to them and they came up with a nice package and it's pretty much like a one-album deal and we'll take it from there and see how it goes.
Metal Martyr: Coming up in the New York City death metal scene, it didn't break out as much as let's say the Florida death metal scene with the exception of CANNIBAL CORPSE, who came out of Buffalo. I don't mean to compare you guys to them, but do you think if you guys came out of the Florida scene, do think you'd be bigger than what you are today?
Frank Mullen: I don't think so. I think what made it unique about coming out of the New York scene was that we had a different sound and approach to the music. I think that's what made us unique. I think what hurt us at the beginning was, you know, I was newly married and had a child and I couldn't tour the way that those bands could. Death metal at that point didn't make any money. You went out on tour and you might only make like $2000 on tour for an entire month, so it's like, and I had good job at home and you just can't do that when you have a family to support. I think that more or less what hurt us as far as going to the next level like the bands coming out of Florida, because you know, they had the opportunity to tour like crazy and it really blew up in the scene.
Metal Martyr: Are you kind of surprised that um, well I'm sure it was the same way for you, back when I was in high school, metal wasn't cool. You wouldn't see too many kids wearing metal shirts and these days it has exploded and it's a lot bigger, maybe with more scene kids…
Frank Mullen: Yeah, metal, different forms of metal will always be around around. I can remember when I was in high school it was SLAYER and OZZY and things like that. That was the real heavy stuff, CELTIC FROST, DESTRUCTION. I just think people will always be looking for something heavy no matter what generation and how it passes down and translates through death metal or extreme music, kids are always looking for it. I think the only thing you'll never really see again is the hair metal or glam metal, I don't think that's going to come back where you see guys teasing their hair and wearing the spandex. That's not going to happen…
Metal Martyr: Do you think nu-metal might have brought the metal scene to a more mainstream level during it's run?
Frank Mullen: Yeah, in a way. They were able to play songs on the radio and play bigger venues and stuff like that and basically give it an opportunity to grow, where as like death metal and extreme metal was just too crazy for the radio and the mainstream.
Metal Martyr: "Blood Oath". There's a lot of buzz about that. We're hearing that it's going to be a bit different than past albums. What's going to be different about it?
Frank Mullen: I wouldn't categorize it as different. The production on it's going to be very good, best production we had so far and I think the last album came out really, really good but I think this album, production wise, you'll be happy with it. As far as different, not anything has really changed differently. It still has the basic structure and formula that SUFFOCATION has always used.
Read the entire interview from Metal Martyr.