Jeff Maki of Live-Metal.net recently conducted an interview with vocalist Hernan "Eddie" Hermida of California deathcore masters SUICIDE SILENCE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On fans' reaction and backlash to the new, self-titled album from SUICIDE SILENCE:
Hermida: "They're not letting the music soak in, from what I see. They're trying their hardest to make other people feel the way they feel, which is not really doing a whole lot, to be real to you. It's not breaking the band. We still are who we are. The fans that are open-minded are allowing the music to soak in, and the fans that are afraid of music are not giving it a chance yet. They will when they see it live. They will when they come to the show and realize the music is still heavy, it's very cohesive, it fits well with the older music. That's kind of the biggest thing.
"We made a record for ourselves and not for our fans, so it's going to create turmoil. If I set out to change people's opinions, then why would I be surprised when their opinions change? I knew a hundred percent that even if I threw one clean vocal on the record that we would receive a backlash. Not only did I not throw just one clean vocal in, I threw in vocals that were completely off-putting — vocals that are meant to create discomfort in people because they're uncomfortable vocal stylings. It's not from a point of trying to sell records, it's from a point of angst and just complete hysteria, depravity and despair that these vocals are coming from. So it's not even a focus of clean vocals.
"I'm not doing things to sell records, I'm doing things to create music and an art form. If I was worried about selling records, then I wouldn't have created this record. I would've Auto-Tuned my vocals, and I would have created something that is more pleasant of an experience. I would have created more of a safety net for all of these fans to fall into. The point is that I didn't want to create something comfortable. I wanted to create something punk rock. I wanted to create something heavy metal."
On using "clean" vocals on the new SUICIDE SILENCE album:
Hermida: "I've been singing my whole life. I was in musicals as a kid into my teenage years. Every band that I've been in except ALL SHALL PERISH and SUICIDE SILENCE were singing and screaming bands. Even on ALL SHALL PERISH, I sang on a majority of our records. I wouldn't call it as much singing as I did on this one, but really the only record that I've done without any clean vocals in it is 'You Can't Stop Me'. So for me, it's kind of like it was more than obvious that this kind of change was coming.
"When I was doing this record, the one thing I steered clear from was safety and comfort. I wanted the vocals to sound really raw, to sound crazy and despairing. It's complete unabashed vulnerability in the vocals, and that was something that was really hard to deal with. Getting to that point was easy for me because I'm a very passionate person. Cutting down to who I am is what [producer] Ross [Robinson] did. He was able to draw out some really painful memories out of me and was able to get down to the nerve of who I am. And once I was there, it was easy for me to do these vocals. But getting back to normal and feeling okay again was the hardest part, because I was so vulnerable and so cut open that the wounds took time to heal. It was really hard not trying to be completely changed after sessions with Ross. I think that that was the hardest part, not the singing, but just the emotional state I was in that really made things difficult."
Read the entire interview at Live-Metal.net.