In a new interview with Terry "Beez" Bezer of Knotfest.com's "Mosh Talks With Beez", SUICIDE SILENCE guitarist Mark Heylmun spoke about the negative fan response to the band's controversial 2017 self-titled album, which saw the group take a noticeable change in direction from its traditional deathcore sound. Asked if he feels he and his bandmates were "hard done by" in the wake of the LP's release, Mark said (see video below): "In a way, yeah. I definitely feel like it's hard not to take it personal, to an extent, when it's something that you did put your heart and soul into. But I still can step away from it and look at it from an outside perspective a hundred percent and think about my relationship and how I'm a fucking metalhead, dude. I've been a metalhead, a metal kid, since I was young, so if I was on the other end of this, I one hundred percent can see how I would probably be one of those people that if my favorite band took a hardcore departure, I might be, like, 'You know what? That record fucking sucks.' But I'm also not the kind of person that's gonna go on the Internet and fucking make memes about it. So there's a difference about that.
"It's a different time," he continued. "We live in a one-hundred-percent different era of music. And metal is a nostalgic genre; we want our metal to remind us of something that — whatever it was, whatever that energy. Like, let's just say [2007's] 'The Cleansing' for us, if people listen to 'The Cleansing' as their first record, or maybe our third record, [2011's] 'The Black Crown', as their first record, they wanna listen to our music and have this nostalgia of whatever it was that they first heard of us. And I understand that too — I mean, that's how I relate to a lot of my favorite bands. If CANNIBAL CORPSE puts out a new record, I want to be reminded of 'The Bleeding'.
"So I a hundred percent get it. And it's almost like I have sympathy for the people that hated it. It's, like, 'Hey, man, I'm not apologizing for what I did, but this one wasn't for you.' I recognize it."
On the topic of how he and the rest of SUICIDE SILENCE took all the criticism over the change in the band's sound, Mark said: "I would say we all took it as best as we can, minus Alex [Lopez, drums] getting drunk and talking shit on the Internet one time, which I thought was pretty funny. We all took it pretty well, because we were prepared that it was, like, 'All right. If people one hundred percent don't like this, we have to be able to play this hand. We chose to do it.' But I think that it goes deeper with Eddie [vocalist Hernan Hermida]. He may have taken it a little harder, but, in all, I still feel like he learned a lot from the situation. I don't wanna word it wrong — I don't wanna make it sound, like, 'Hey, man, Eddie is a better singer than people say that he is,' but the way that we produced that record, it was almost like there was this intention to make so that when you heard it, it wasn't like he was trying to be this polished, Auto-Tuned singer; there was an intention behind it. And, again, I have a hard time saying it, 'cause I don't wanna be, like, 'Hey, you guys just didn't get it.' I don't wanna sound like that. But at the same time, there was a lot more intention put into that record than people thought. I think a lot of people kind of thought we were trying to go more commercial or make a radio record, which it was so far from that. We tried to make something that was, like, 'We want fucking people to hear this and feel uncomfotable.'"
SUICIDE SILENCE's sixth studio album, "Become The Hunter", was released in February via Nuclear Blast. The disc was produced by Steve Evetts (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, SEPULTURA, HATEBREED) at The Omen Room and mixed by Josh Wilbur (TRIVIUM, LAMB OF GOD, GOJIRA). Ted Jensen (PANTERA, DEFTONES, SLIPKNOT) mastered the album at Sterling Sound Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. The artwork for the album was created by Adrian Baxter.
Photo by: Hristo Shindov