Eddie Hermida has been lead singer of both bands that first started the genre we now refer to as deathcore. First ALL SHALL PERISH and now in the most well-known deathcore band in the world SUICIDE SILENCE. He also happens to be the first person I’ve ever interviewed in my life in a transitional period of the band and under a lot of fire, I was sweating balls from anxiety but our conversation still managed to make a pretty good read as we talked about their upcoming, self-title album, Jarred Jines, THY ART IS MURDER, memes and more! I may not be the biggest fan of “Doris” and “Silence” and I may not even like the album, but after this interview, I am a big fan of Eddie and more of a SUICIDE SILENCE fan than I ever was.
Hello from Greece Eddie and thanks Eddie for taking a few questions from me.
Hello man, Greece, wow wonderful! I’m honored to be asked questions from Greece, It’s a part of the job that most people don’t like but I really love, being interviewed reminds me that I’m lucky enough to be here.
That’s awesome, that’s good to know! Alright, you have a record coming up…
Yeah in six days! (the interview was made on 16th of February)
Oh, tell us a few things about the record, what are your feelings towards it?
Well it comes out in February 24th through Nuclear Blast Records if you wanna pick it up, you can get it there, Nuclearblast.com or Nuclearblast.de I’m not really sure right now but we have a couple songs on the internet and it’s been a pretty crazy ride so far, the reactions from the fans, as much as it’s been crazy it also has been expected. We as a band did something that really fucks with people’s Identity it forces people to think about how they identify with SUICIDE SILENCE and when you challenge that in people it creates a negative reaction. If anybody tells you “hey, the clothes that you’re wearing right now are really pink clothes”, they’ll yell at you and that’s all you know “I’m wearing nothing but black, fuck you for saying I’m wearing anything else”. So for us it was very expected, we knew that changing our sound was gonna cause a “disturbance in the force” (Chuckles)
To quote, “Star Trek”… laughter)
No! Οh it was joke… (laughs)
Yeah (laughs) that’s a joke, again I’m fucking with your identity. For me it’s simply a wonderful time to be alive, I’m very lucky to have had 10 years doing a style that people love so much, that they will die if I try to do something different. I’m also very lucky to be in a position where I can make a difference and Ι can change the sound that I want to make I can follow my heart and do it with somebody as wonderful as Ross Robinson. That was one of the luckiest times of my life and I’m here to show people that I accept it, I’m going to move through this world as strongly and as passionately as possible.
That’s great! Now I want me to tell me, what have your influences been writing this album both yours, as Eddie, and the band’s as a whole?
I would say that the biggest influence on all of us is self-exploration, all of us are obviously influenced by more bands than I can even mention right now. You know, Alex likes punk rock and goth music, I love goth and metal industrial music, Dan Kenny loves extreme death metal, Mark loves classic rock and roll and Garza, loves nu metal, all of us love nu metal y know. All of us love many of the same bands too so you take all those actual direct influences and then you stick them in a blender and you put them together and you add the magic ingredient which is going deep with is yourself and finding what is true and what is in your heart you create music that we created. That’s kinda the theme of this record, not being afraid to explore and take a step outside of the box to never record a record with the intention of putting it out in the world. Whenever we record it’s 100% to take the master and throw it away when it’s done. That was the intention and the biggest inspiration behind this record, it’s “hey , we’re gonna throw away the master when it’s done, so don’t worry, just do what you want to do”.
So how was the writing process shaped? Did you guys jam in the studio and put ideas together there, or did each member bring his own songs?
We did about 2 months of jamming, about 4 months of writing and then 2 months of unlearning the songs with Ross and recording. Pre-production with Ross was really eye-opening because he had us recording and doing pre-production at the same time. So we would choose a song one day and work the song to a point where we kinda knew what it was gonna do and then Ross would say “Okay it’s time to record!” and the we would record the drums. While we were recording the drums everybody was in the room together. Ross, Mark, Garza, me, Dan Kenny and Alex were all in the same room while we were recording the drums. It was really crazy. I had never recorded like that before and then for the rest of the month and a half that we were in the studio everyone would record individually, but we would be around. That was one of the rules, you had to be there for the whole process, you have to be here to support your brothers. You know when they’re recording you’re in the same room. So the whole band pretty much stayed to together for almost 10 months jamming, writing, recording this record. It was a very very important time in our lives.
That’s awesome. Judging by the singles so far, “Silence” and “Doris” there’s an obvious change to the sound…
Are all the songs in the album gonna be in the same vibe or are there gonna be songs like your previous works?
Hmm… It’s hard to say because even the heavy songs on the record the don’t sound anything like our old stuff. We do have some stuff that it’s fast, you know, blast beats, slams, we do get heavy on the record, but compared to the whole thing it’s kind of a nod, a tip of the hat to our style, our old ways. Most of the record has very different changes, you know, we have two ballads in there on the record, two songs that are really slow, they are all singing, we have songs that are all screaming, but we do anti-choruses in them where the chorus doesn’t sound like a chorus at all. The heavy parts, like, there will be Dan Kenny, myself and Alex playing by ourselves, no guitars during heavy parts. It sounds really weird so, as much as there is tokens to deathcore and to our sound and to what SUICIDE SILENCE was, it’s evolving it, it’s changing it, it’s doing it in a different way and trying something new out, so I think that, a lot of people that are expecting the same kind of music from us they are gonna be really disappointed.
Why the change of sound now? I mean SUICIDE SILENCE have been a band for like 12 years I think?
Yeap! Somethin’ like that.
Why now, did any events lead up to that or did it just come spontaneously while writing the album?
Well I mean, in 2012 our lead singer passed away, I am a brand new singer in the band. So all that really leads to, asking yourself “What am I doing here”? Why did I become a musician” and the answer to that always is to create new, to create something different, to rebel against people that are doing the same thing over and over again, and when you realize that you’ve been doing the same thing over and over and over again, being this heavy band you realise that in a way, as much as you’ve been trying to create a band that was running away from selling out, you’re selling out. If you create the same music over and over again to please a crowd, you’re playing it safe, you’re not challenging anybody, you’re not being punk rock, you’re becoming a suit, you’re being corporate, you’re creating a product, and that’s something that when you’re faced with, the reality of somebody dying that is very close to you that you never thought was going to die, it puts things into perspective, it really shows you what you’re doing, and being afraid is something that suicide silence never did so it’s natural for us to step outside of the box and do something completely different and put our middle fingers in the air and say “We don’t give a fuck” because we don’t.”
There’s been mixed reaction to the singles so far, but as usual the criticism has been more vocal about their opinion to the ridiculous point that they made a petition about stopping the album’s release (Eddie starts laughing). Did you know about that?
Oh yeah yeah, I laughed , I actually retweeted it myself, I reblogged and asked kids to sign it. I wanna show people that I doesn’t matter. You can say whatever you want but it’s not gonna affect us if this record doesn’t sell a single copy, and we stop being able to do shows, then it goes to show that people really want to be spoon-fed music and they don’t make decisions for themselves and that’s that. If that’s what this music inspires that I did my job. I don’t really care what people think of this record, I didn’t make this record for people to care about it. I made this record to change the world, and in order to change the world you gotta do something that nobody else is doing, you gotta do something that people are normally afraid to do. So I’m not really hear to please anybody. When people are being vocal on the internet, the way I see it is that I’m challenging their identity. I’m taking something that they believed was a certain way and doing something completely different. If you come to restaurant and you order coffee and they bring you orange juice you’re gonna complain about it. So that’s the thing, people think that I’m serving them music but in reality, I’m serving the music.
You’ve previously talked about how deathcore bands don’t push themselves to experiment more with what they can do as musicians. Are there any deathcore bands listened to lately and liked or you’re into?
Hmm… I mean I like most of the bands that are out there, but me liking them isn’t changing the fact that they’re acting scared. I like THY ART IS MURDER as a band, in fact I think they’re one of the heaviest bands out there, but I’ll still go out and say that, you know, they are not pushing the envelope. I know that all of them are capable of doing anything they want with music, and yet they follow the trend, and they follow THEIR trend. They stick to a style that, for lack of better words, we created that style, we created the look you know. The band SUICIDE SILENCE did I was a big proponent of deathcore when it first started.That’s true and I’m sorry to interrupt, I know. It’s not lack of better words, that’s actually true. Both SUICIDE SILENCE and ALL SHALL PERISH were bands that started all these trends…
So you understand that for me it’s like, to see all these bands sound exactly what we intended to create it’s kinda like “Ok well that means that this music has become stale, that means that people aren’t trying anymore, that they see a price tag in what they can do and they limit themselves when they shouldn’t. A band should always strive to be number one. And if you’re not striving to be number one, then I’m gonna strive to be number one and here I am.
Are there any non metal artists you are into? What are your favorite non metal artists?
Man, I’m honestly floored right now into metal, I listen to this band OATHBREAKER (interviewer gasps in awe and agreement), I listen to that band called CO DE ORANGE, I still love the classic OPETH. But non-metal. Shoot… I listen to a lot of non-metal! I listen to of hip-hop, I listen to LADY GAGA, I really love LADY GAGA and the fact that she is supporting metal as hard as she is it’s really important, I’m a big fan of, I guess you could say, EDM artists. I’m a big fan of MAX COOPER and I’m a big fan of our friend BIG CHOCOLATE who has been creating this like, experimental dubstep that’s changing the game in the underground scene for that world, it’s really cool. Yeah just to name a few.
Okay, what is your favorite SUICIDE SILENCE song?
My favorite SUICIDE SILENCE song… Now or in the past?
Okay my favorite old SUICIDE SILENCE song is probably “Unanswered”. It’s just like one of the nastiest heavy songs that the band has ever written. I’ve been listening to that song for a LONG time and it never really gets old it still hits pretty hard every time I listen to it. Even when we play it it hits really hard, it makes me lose my mind. Unanswered is a big song for me personally, I know it’s not a fan favorite, I think people really like No Pity (For The Coward) and You Only Live Once, those are probably the fan favorites…
Yeah! At least on Spotify haha…
“Unanswered” is my personal favorite too so…
Haha yes…! So I would say out of the new stuff, my new favorite track that we’ve ever written as a band is the song “Conformity” it’s a ballad on the new record. It covers all the spectrums it covers what is like to feel like a person who is tired of working the same job, it covers how you can be your best friend and your worst enemy at the same time and it also talks about how much of a joke is to do what it’s easy in life and sell out, you know, having a 9 to 5 job and still being happy. That’s a big joke to me, it’s a cosmic joke. The easiest path is always gonna lead you to the worst place so that’s one of my favorite songs right now.Cool, can’t wait to hear it!
Yeah man! It’s a good song
You’ve been touring for more than 10 years now, I’d like to make a few questions about that.
Sure man, ask away!
What is the most fun band to tour with?
Oh man… You’re putting me on the spot here cause I’ve toured with a lot of fun bands.
Alright, I’ll give you that, you can name a few if want.
Ok, well the BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, they’re a lot of fun to tour with, CANNIBAL CORPSE they’re our brothers, DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN I haven’t tour with them but they’re one of the bands that whenever I see them out on the road we party hard and always have a good time with. I always love running into DEATH ANGEL. Those guys are fuckin crazy and I love them. Especially their singer Mark, he’s always have a smile on his face, even if he’s blacked out drunk he’s one of the most fun people in the music industry. I’d say those bands are my favorite bands to tour with.
What’s your favorite country to play at?
I love playing here in the States a lot, I also love going to Europe, it’s one of the places that is very hit or miss, but whenever Germany is fired up and hungry for a good show they throw down harder than anybody else.
Cool! What is your favorite and what’s the worst thing about touring?
My favourite thing about touring is the show, obviously, I think that’s why we all do it, but for me it’s less about what I get out of it and more about how much I can give and whenever I’m fully committed to giving 150% of myself and going over the top and not even worrying about my body, that’s my favorite part about touring. Is that I’m given that gift of being able to do that. I think that my least favorite part is the fact that it stops. Does this makes sense?
Yes it does!
Τhe fact that you have to go home It’s just… Whenever I get homesick I know that I need to rest and I hate being human because I love being at tour so much.
Yeah I get that! On a lighter note, you’ve been pretty cool about the reaction to the songs, the comments the kids come up witch..
Are you familiar with the youtuber Jarred Dines?
Jarred Dines yeah yeah, we’ve become friends recently!
Have you seen his reaction video about “Doris”? What do you think of it?
It’s hilarious! I kinda see it as a joke on the fans. Kids don’t really see it that way and they identify with him but I see him making fun of how crazy the reaction has been does this make sense…? Like he’s almost making a joke out of how extreme people react to these songs and it’s like come on man it’s just a song. He says things like “he’s a really good singer” “I’ve always loved SUICIDE SILENCE”, he’ll be wearing a SUICIDE SILENCE shirt m he’s been to a lot of our shows. Obviously the guy is a fan as well. As much as he’s reactions are seemingly genuine I think that he is very much joking and he is doing it for the love of music, I mean to be fair ever since he did his reactions our videos have gotten a lot more views and It did bring a lot of attention to us. As much as he seems like he’s doing something negative, it’s actually really positive and we’ve talked about it. He recently did a cover of “Doris” that was acoustic, it’s a really good song! I liked it a lot and he asked me for the lyrics before and he asked me for permission to do it and I gave him permission. It’s that easy. It’s just cool to have somebody that cares enough to give you free press it’s really what it is. He is doing something for the band it means a lot.
Awesome, it’s good to know you guys are friends now.
Totally, I think he is a genius, I’ve always liked his work!
And last, have you seen any memes of yourself?
Of course man!! I wake up and I see a meme almost every day! It’s fuckin awesome, I’ve never had so many memes made of me before it’s really cool.
What’s your favorite one?
I would say that one of my favorite ones and I’ve actually posted it on my Instagram, it’s that little baby with the cartoon mom and the mom is being like “hey what’s wrong, is everything ok?” and the kid goes “teHEEE” and it’s just my face. It’s cute, it’s really funny.
That’s awesome. Do you wanna say anything to your Greek fans?
Bring us to Greece as soon as possible! I miss it, I’ve only been to Athens once in my life and it was an incredible show so I wanna play there. Please bring us, please bring us, please bring us!!
Thanks a lot for having me and answer some of my questions. I wish the best to the band and I hope the album goes well, although you say you don’t care about I care about it.
Oh man that’s good see? And that’s how I know it wont fail. Because people do care about it and people are excited for something different. I’m just saying I don’t care cause that’s how people go with it, they think that because there is negativity on the internet that it’s effecting us and it’s hurting my ego or that it’s making me feel less of a person when in fact it’s all pretty much designed to do this. So I have so much confidence and there’s no way to break my concentration. I think this record is gonna be a big deal but I don’t really care if it is a big deal.
Thanks for everything, I hope you have a good day…
You too! Or good night right?
Yeah it’s actually 10pm here so…
Wonderful time to have a beer!
Yeah agreed! Hope to see you in Greece someday.
Absolutely man hope to see you soon hopefully!