InterviewsMay 7, 200824,843 views

Suicide Silence interview

By Devin Braden
In their short time together, Suicide Silence has made quite a splash in the heavily populated underground market, eliciting both extreme praise from eager young listeners and extreme derision from so-called metal elitists. Their debut album – The Cleansing – has, to date, sold over 36,000 copies and currently holds the first-week sales record for a Century Media debut album. And while they have weathered their fair share of criticism, the band – thanks in no small part to their rabid, youthful fanbase - show no sign of fatigue or dejection.

I first met Mark – guitar player of Suicide Silence – on the street outside the Bluebird Theater. He had been given a coupon for a free item at a neighborhood head shop and was showing off his new acquisition to the band's tour manager. Minutes later, Alex – drummer and self-proclaimed open-minded music fan – walked up to our small huddle, curious to see what all the commotion was about. "Wanna do an interview with Lambgoat?" asked the tour manager.

"Sure," Lopez answered, "we love Lambgoat." "Yeah," added Mark, "we were just reading the site earlier today."

How's everything been going with the Nile tour?

Mark: Awesome.

How long have you been on this particular tour?

Mark: This one? It's been…

Alex: Three weeks.

Mark: Yeah, three weeks. And we're touring with Nile. Every night is fucking amazing.

Some might call that a dream tour. Are there any other bands you'd like to tour with? Any other dream tours?

Mark: Well, we've done a lot of them.

Alex: Deftones.

The Deftones?

Mark: Yeah, Deftones would be sick. Behemoth would be sick. Darkest Hour again would be sick.

You guys just toured with Behemoth, didn't you?

Mark: Yeah, in Europe. Let's see, we'll throw in Suffocation.

Good pick. Now, let's talk about the album a little bit: I read somewhere that the producer you worked with (John Travis) isn't really a metal producer. Any reason you decided to go with him?

Mark: I call it the "Rick Rubin approach," whereas he wasn't really doing metal or anything like that – he was doing punk and hip-hop and whatever – and he does Reign in Blood. We met up with him and had some good times, and it seemed like he had an all-around good musical background.

Alex: He took a big interest in us and he worked with a lot of cool people – not only rock, but hip-hop … pretty much everything. He's a well-rounded guy with influences from everywhere.

Didn't he do a Wu-Tang Clan album?

Mark: Yep, and Dilated Peoples. I don't think he produced it, but he recorded it.

Did you record the album live?

Alex: Straightforward. We wanted to capture our live energy. John said my timing wasn't bad at all, so we shot each track, like, seven times and kept the best one – the best pieces out of the best ones.

Some bands actually play better when they track live.

Alex: Our music's not complex to the point that we need, like, crazy timing, so we were just like "let's do what we can do live."

And the album was the highest selling debut in Century Media history?

Mark: Debut – right. [We sold] 7100 the first week. We were on the fuckin' Billboard chart.

Alex: It's something I would have never imagined. It just goes to show that if you work hard, you achieve [success].

Some might suggest it had a lot to do with the buzz created by the band's MySpace page.

Alex: Well, to be a successful band, you've got to create a buzz. You've got to have kids out there wanting to see you live. And whether you're on MySpace or not, you know, your live show's always got to be there. If you're the kind of band that's not putting on a good show, kids will rather download the album than buy it at a show.

Since you bring it up, what are your thoughts on so-called "illegal" downloading?

Alex: I download and I buy albums. A lot of people do. So, you figure if someone downloads it and likes it, they'll buy it.

Mark: I'll definitely download an album when it leaks and listen to it, but if it's a band I want to support, I'll definitely buy it. I've bought so many CDs numerous times. It's like, how many times have you bought Reign in Blood, you know?

Definitely. Now, you guys had Nate Johnson add vocals to a couple of tracks on the album. How did that collaboration come about?

Mark: It goes way back – before I was even in the band, when Nate played with Premonitions of War.

I still think he was their best singer.

Mark: Dude, by far.

Alex: We just wanted someone with a brutal-ass voice.

Mark: Someone cool, you know? He always came out when we played Connecticut – in fact, he still does.

Alex: He's a supporter of the music.

Mark: He'll come out and he'll mosh, he'll get on stage and do guest vocals.

Alex: He's the chillest guy in the world.

I remember a POW show with Burnt By the Sun a few years ago where everybody was standing still during BBTS's set. He actually came out from behind the merch table and starting moshing – he was the only person moving in the entire venue.

Alex: He's a real-ass…

Mark: He's a fuckin' pirate!

A pirate?

Mark: He is a legitimate pirate.

Well, he sure seems to change bands a lot. He's not singing for Through the Eyes of the Dead anymore, right?

Mark: No – he's in Since the Flood.

That's an interesting switch.

Mark: He's a hardcore dude, though. As much as he has that death metal-ass sound, he's into hardcore. That's his bag.

Well, Since the Flood is definitely a quintessential Boston hardcore band.

Mark: It's funny. We were actually on tour with Since the Flood when their singer quit and they were all talking about what they were going to do -- they were all talking about trying to get Nate, and they got him.

Have you heard them with Nate on vocals yet?

Alex: Not yet.

What are your thoughts on the term "deathcore"?

Mark: I dunno, it's just the same thing that's been going on. It's another way for people – or even labels – to categorize [and] help sell records.

Alex: It's what kids are naming it these days. Back then – in 2000 – they called it "metalcore" or "nu-metal." It's a name for kids that don't want to say they listen to death metal because they're not really into death metal like Nile and Suffocation. They want to say they're into metalcore, which is basically a new type of music. [If they say] "oh, I listen to metalcore," you already know what they listen to, versus a little kid saying "I listen to death metal" and someone tries to drop knowledge on him: "oh, have you ever heard of fuckin' Borknagar?" And they're like "I don't know who the fuck that is." You know what I mean? They just want to give it a title so you know what they're about. And I support it – name, or no name. Music is music.

Mark: Straight up.

Alright. So, you're saying it's not just the brutalness of death metal fused with the emotion of hardcore?

Mark: I don't know. I don't know about the emotion thing.

Alex: Every [type of] music has emotion, you know? All you gotta do is read the lyrics and then you'll feel it. I assume "core" is just a cool name, and metal is what it is.

Do you feel your band is more closely aligned with death metal or with metalcore?

Mark: Neither.


Mark: Well, actually, death metal – I'd say death metal of the two.

Alex: Everybody in the band listens to different stuff, so when it comes out it's totally … I dunno, I guess you can call it metalcore, but we don't really have any two-step parts. To me, that's what hardcore is.

Two-step parts?

Alex: Yeah, a lot of two-step. You go to a hardcore show, you're gonna see two-step. I'm not hating on the two-step – I'm just saying.

Mark: As much as we're gonna get hated for it, I'd say we're doomy nu-metal grindcore.

Doomy nu-metal grindcore?

Mark: I can't think of another way to sum it up. I mean, it's just low-tuned…

Alex: Anything that could be new nu-metal.

Mark: Yeah, the new nu-metal.

Instead of old nu-metal – or "classic" nu-metal, if you will.

Alex: Yeah, I guess.

Mark: I dunno.

Fair enough. How do you feel about the relationship Hot Topic has with this new wave of bands?

Alex: I'm for it. There [are] a lot of suburban neighborhood areas in cities, and there are a lot of parents out there that are now more conscious of what their kids are doing. If a store like Hot Topic in your average mall can carry your CD and your merch, then why the fuck not? You have these kids that are like "hey mom – while you're at Forever 21, can I go to Hot Topic and buy the Suicide Silence CD?" It helps out – I'm not gonna hate it.

Mark: Not only that, but – fuck – if you're living in Spain or France or somewhere like that, they don't have Hot Topic. You've got to know your local scene. And, yeah, it's keeping it underground, but at the same time [Hot Topic] is taking the underground to a real general audience. In all honesty, does everyone want to be stuck in the underground for their whole life? You've got to get to the masses.

Alex: It's just helping.

Mark: I mean, I've heard complaints from people in Canada [that say] "you guys are lucky for having Hot Topic." They're reliable as far as what's going on now.

Alex: It sucks that they sell a lot of gay shit there, and a lot of corny stuff…

Like bondage pants?

Alex: Yeah, exactly. It's a place where, honestly, anyone can go and find something cool. I go to Hot Topic and buy, like, Tool shirts.

It's cheaper than it would be at a show.

Alex: Exactly – shit that I can get here versus when I have a Hot Topic card I got for my birthday. Might as well get something cool.

Lambgoat's webmaster recently declared Morbid Angel's Covenant to be one of the greatest death metal albums of all time. Agree or disagree?

Mark: Greatest death metal album of all time? Sure, Covenant's great, but summing up all of death metal into one album is impossible. Because, to bring it back to the deathcore thing, [there are] so many bands [playing] death metal that someone's going to be like "oh, that's grindcore" or "that's thrash death metal." I mean, Napalm Death – is that death metal?

I'd say grindcore.

Mark: Yeah – it's like grindcore/thrash. But, I dunno, best death metal album…

Alex: I don't even listen to that much death metal.

Mark: Yeah, he's the least of the death metal. [Laughs] I dunno, I don't want to say anything because I don't want to get bashed for it, but … Cannibal Corpse – The Bleeding, or Suffocation – Pierced from Within.

I don't think anyone will bash Suffocation – not even on Lambgoat. What about on of your favorite non-death metal albums of all time?

Alex: One of my favorite albums of all time is probably Deftones – White Pony.

That's a great album. I saw them twice on that tour and they were amazing.

Alex: Also, A Perfect Circle – Mer de Noms. The first album. I keep my listening skills open. I mean, I listen to death metal – even when I'm on tour and the bands we play with are death metal. You need a break even now and then – you know, chill out to some cool grooves.

A lot of bands seem to say that.

Alex: I know. We've made friends with people in bands that are the same way.

Mark: Dude, it'll break everyone's hearts, but every death metal dude goes into their fuckin' bus or van and throws on fuckin' Creedence Clearwater Revival and fuckin' passes out.

Makes sense to me. When I interviewed Leonard from Cephalic Carange, he was wearing a huge Blue Öyster Cult medallion around his neck.

Mark: I love that dude. I mean, classic rock – that's where it's at! It's my all-time favorite genre.

Agreed. A good percentage of my vinyl collection is music my dad listened to in college.

Mark: My dad's a jazz guitar player, so I listen to Steely Dan and Larry Carlton.

What's your favorite album released before 1980?

Alex: For me, it would be The Beatles' white album.

Mark: When did Tommy come out? I'd say Tommy. I love The Who.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Mark: Man, we've got so much shit…

Alex: Basically, we're booked until next year.

Mark: Directly after this, we're doing Bamboozle in California.

Bamboozle? Really?

Mark: Yeah, but Dillinger's playing, and we're playing right next to Dillinger, so it's like there's going to be a metal segment of the show.

Alex: And we're fans of Dillinger, too. Seeing them alone will be cool as fuck.

Mark: They're always great live. I think My Chemical Romance is headlining or some shit, but whatever. We're doing that. Two days after this tour is over, we're home for ten days, and then we're going to Europe with Parkway Drive and Bury Your Dead. Then, we're starting to write the new record. Right after that, we're doing Rockstar Mayhem with Disturbed and Slipknot.

That'll be … interesting.

Mark: Actually, it's gonna be sick 'cause it's, like, us and The Red Chord.

Isn't Mastodon playing, too?

Alex: Mastodon, Walls of Jericho, Dragonforce, Machine Head.

Mark: It's not even that big of a deal. It's gonna be cool 'cause it's a bunch of badass bands in a short amount of time.

I saw Dragonforce on a show last year and the singer was calling everyone in the audience "cunts." Every time they finished a song, he'd say, "how did you cunts like that?" And, if memory serves me correctly, he was wearing a pirate shirt and leather pants.

Mark: Fuck yeah! I haven't seen them yet. I'm excited!

Sounds like you've got quite a year planned.

Mark: Yeah, and there's still more shit after that we haven't announced yet.

Nothing you want to announce here and now?

Mark: Well, it's just going to be us going back to Europe one more time after Slipknot…

Alex: Summer Slaughter.

Mark: I think we're going to do a headliner.

You're playing the Summer Slaughter tour?

Alex: In Europe.

Mark: It's not even out yet – that's why I didn't want to say anything yet.

Alex: It's still in the works. Hopefully, it does happen.

Mark: Busy, busy, busy – another headliner…

Alex: In Late December.

Mark: Yeah, I think two more US tours before the year ends, then back in the studio at probably the beginning of the year.

Any closing thoughts?

Mark: Satan's real.

Alex: Get the new Winds of Plague.

Winds of Plague? That album's been getting, um … let's say "mixed" reviews.

Mark: Oh, dude, I read the Lambgoat review on that.

Alex: Who cares? They're a hard-working band and they tour all the time and they have a good fanbase.

Mark: And they're our friends.

Alex: And they're our friends as well.

What's the singer's name? Johnny Plague?

Mark: Johnny Plague. He's been Johnny Plague forever.

Before the band?

Alex: Well, not Plague – he's just been Johnny. He's a pretty cool guy.

Mark: He's been the same forever.

Alex: He's probably the only guy I know who was straight edge back in the day and is still straight edge.

Mark: Yeah, he's still straight edge.

Alex: And he doesn't shove it down our throat. I could smoke a cigarette next to him and he'll be chill as fuck. They're all really cool guys. I mean, we get bad reviews all the time – those are just those kids that … y'know …

Mark: It's like, they get slammed in their reviews, but they're at over 10,000 CDs [sold] already, you know? And it's the same here. So, who's reviewing this shit? Is it the kids, or is it some elite fuckin' dude who just wants to listen to Cannibal Corpse and Cryptopsy?

Good point. Anything else you want to say?

Alex: Go to Lambgoat.

Well, if they're reading this, they've already gone to Lambgoat…

Alex: Okay [laughs] – keep going to Lambgoat, then.


Post Comment
Mike_ 5/7/2008 2:49:22 PM

First read

eatshit2000_ 5/7/2008 2:49:26 PM

first post, tlnr. Didn't these shit gays break up? if not, they will soon, hopefully..

ferrisbueller_ 5/7/2008 2:53:46 PM

2-step is hardcore.

agent_friday_ 5/7/2008 2:57:53 PM

Alright. So, you're saying it's not just the brutalness of death metal fused with the emotion of hardcore? LOf*ckINGL

arty_mcfarty_ 5/7/2008 2:58:10 PM

so not only do they sound like tools when they make albums, but they sound like tools when they talk too.....i'm glad, symmetry is important to me

nike_ 5/7/2008 3:15:41 PM

these dudes sound like a couple douche f*cks.

DICK FACE_ 5/7/2008 3:39:18 PM

this interview sucked ass! they should of interviewed the original memebers of SS, not the 2 members that got lucky enough to tag a long with the band.

Quesadilla_ 5/7/2008 3:39:49 PM

the demo was the coolest, when i was in 11th grade. the band should have stayed stupid, not gotten serious. less fun now. seeing mitch at hogues sometimes is rad though. Oh well best of luck! local success is sick.

Fur_Beach_ 5/7/2008 3:44:46 PM

gays, the whole lot of them.

zombiesatedusty_ 5/7/2008 3:46:42 PM

god awful music by god awful gays

joe_ 5/7/2008 3:50:39 PM

so i should go pick up the new Winds of Plague because they are a hardworking band who tours all the time and has a good fanbase? but they're friends of yours?? why didnt you say so?? i'm running out right now to buy it!! get f*cked c*nts.

aids_ 5/7/2008 3:50:39 PM

This interview really shows they are everything that is wrong with music. I love how they are like "kids" this and "kids that....simply because smelly uneducated children support this band.

Brett__ 5/7/2008 4:03:08 PM

Um, like, y'know, I dunno, Um, like, y'know, I dunno, Um, like, y'know, I dunno, Um, like, y'know, I dunno, Um, like, y'know, I dunno, Um, like, y'know, I dunno, Um, like, y'know, I dunno, Um, like, y'know, I dunno....

doomy nu-metal grindcore_ 5/7/2008 4:34:37 PM

The spiny anteater's four-headed phallus had been puzzling scientists. "When we tried to collect stuff by [electrically-stimulated ejaculation] before, not only did we not get a single drop, but the whole penis swelled up to a four-headed monster that wouldn't fit the female reproductive tract, which has only two branches," says Johnston.

xsuicidesilence4lyfex_ 5/7/2008 4:40:29 PM

this interview is really embarrassing. "Mark: As much as we're gonna get hated for it, I'd say we're doomy nu-metal grindcore." speechless. they have no grasp on music or where they fit into its whole scheme (the bottom of the barrel). this band is horrible.

fuckin' Borknagar_ 5/7/2008 5:04:27 PM

GODDAMNIT why would you interview such gays

facts_ 5/7/2008 5:27:44 PM

actually they have sold over 36,000 copies of the cleansing to date.

DJJazzyJeff_ 5/7/2008 6:03:35 PM

Shit comments.

YouAreSceneAsFuck_ 5/7/2008 6:32:04 PM

It seems that lambgoat did an interview with a pack of awful gays.

anonymous 5/7/2008 6:59:36 PM

wow they actually sound like real people so they're gays? get over yourselves, if you actually listened to their album you might enjoy it, if you're into heavy music.

Sup Bitch_ 5/7/2008 9:14:03 PM

Band f*cking sucks, winds of plague f*cking suck, not hardcore, not nu metal, they have no idea what they're talking about.

anonymous 5/7/2008 9:32:24 PM

good band...stop hating!

Fuck you_ 5/7/2008 9:46:23 PM

One of the worst bands that scene kids hype. I hate these turds more than terror.

HeySharpshooter_ 5/7/2008 9:47:11 PM

f*cking pathetic... shit band, shit interview. The interviewer had a real chance to stick it to one of the bands leading this shitty Deathcore movement. This interview should have been done the way The DEP interview was done.

Rochester_ 5/7/2008 10:30:15 PM

whatever, all of you gays love this band.

benecio_ 5/8/2008 1:55:17 AM

vocalist is one of the nicest and most genuine dudes i have ever met. i shared a much needed clove with him afterwards.

anonymous 5/8/2008 6:40:11 AM

They stripped me naked had me lift my ballsack up so they could check underneath it, and then had me bend over and spread my asscheeks apart so they could look inside my jerk.

tG_ 5/8/2008 9:55:01 AM

its so funny seeing people comment this interview comparing them to bands like terror and what not. this band is heavy, brutal, and has some of the best breakdowns ive heard ina long time. Good luck in the future

fresh_prince_of_bel_air_ 5/8/2008 12:17:59 PM

"best breakdowns..." i think this is what i would call an oxymoron.

pee_butt_ 5/8/2008 1:10:02 PM

you're f*cking deathcore

mojotfb_ 5/8/2008 2:21:04 PM

This band is f*cking terrible. I saw them on the Nile tour and it was one of the worst things I've ever seen. Disgusting.

robotwheelchair_ 5/8/2008 2:28:00 PM

These gays dont know shit about anything. What a f*cking joke.

chrispotter_ 5/8/2008 3:52:23 PM

i have a radio in my car.

fffff_ 5/8/2008 10:11:50 PM

its so funny seeing people comment this interview comparing them to bands like terror and what not. Thats because terror is a hype band like these f*cking gays you dumb shit.

heavy_ 5/9/2008 2:37:57 AM


hang_yourself_ 5/9/2008 9:57:04 AM

good interview, good dudes, f*ck that overweight gays on lambgoat.

..._ 5/9/2008 1:50:45 PM

"As much as we're gonna get hated for it, I'd say we're doomy nu-metal grindcore"

casketcrusher_ 5/9/2008 2:19:49 PM

wow, they sound like a bunch of fruity teenagers

baobab_ 5/10/2008 12:36:23 PM

finally read this..both of these guys sound like tools. "yeah johnny plague..he's been johnny plague forever..well not before the band, back then he was just johnny, but hey he's cool!!" my head hurts. f*ck this gay shit.

RuinerXL_ 5/10/2008 4:44:41 PM

wow. f*cking terrible

flashtanto_ 5/10/2008 8:01:16 PM

WOW! This was a horrible interview with a horrible band.

k_ 5/12/2008 12:17:02 AM

so number of records sold negates any bad critique given to a band? does that mean numetal is actually f*cking sweet?

missinglimbs_ 5/12/2008 1:29:44 AM

reclaiming the term nu-metal...i can dig it.

Jonah_ 5/12/2008 2:01:03 AM

This interview makes me hate metal.

pumpgasinhell_ 5/13/2008 4:07:58 AM

I guess I don't know what everyone expects to hear from bands? OH MY GOD!!! They're normal regular people!!! your all gays. you expect way too much from all these bands. and I still dont understand why its such a big deal when there are new members in a band. they're there bc the "ORIGINALS" picked em. shouldnt that be enough? You all think your so much cooler bc you listened to em before... it should be about the music and nothing else. Immature gayry. I'm totally checkin these guys out bc t

thesouthsucks_ 5/14/2008 12:57:35 AM

this band has no f*cking interview

matthewp_ 5/21/2008 5:28:38 PM

mark and alex hit me up! matt from boo.

f28r06a42n12k_ 5/27/2008 1:24:35 PM

I lol'd real hard after deathcore, borknagar, and the fusion of metal and hardcore were mentioned.

matt_ 6/18/2008 2:51:33 PM

suicide silence is an awsome band id say there metal-core not nu-metal that like distubed and slipknot. god i hate those bands with a passion bu that just my opinion

killyourboss_ 7/29/2008 2:48:14 PM

"...little kid saying "I listen to death metal" and someone tries to drop knowledge on him: "oh, have you ever heard of f*ckin' Borknagar?" And they're like "I don't know who the f*ck that is." tries to drop knowledge tries to drop knowledge tries to drop knowledge WORST BAND OF ALL TIME IGNORANT gayS KILL YOURSELVES. jesus f*cking christ, that's just pathetic.

BRUCE WILLIS_ 10/24/2008 1:58:19 AM


madcats_ 5/19/2009 11:37:50 PM

all of you are so dumb saying that this band sucks because they have an amazing talent that you probably dont even have talent. i cant wait for the new album to come out. everyone posting bad comments on here are all ignorant

madcats_ 5/19/2009 11:41:41 PM

and to all of you talking about the music genre thing, who cares! its good music just give it one SIMPLE term-"metal" not nu metal, not deathcore, grindcore... just METAL. i hate it when ppl argue over stupid things like this. and dont give these guys any shit. theyre doing an interview!if they dont have personality while doing the interview, its because theyre DOING THE INTERVIEW. stupid ppl

Lord Xenu_ 3/29/2010 1:54:03 PM

Fortunately, I don't think the rest of the band is this boring and stupid sounding. They have a decent sound but No Time to Bleed is nowhere as good as The Cleansing. Still Mitch is a sick vocalist.

arianna<3_ 9/16/2010 2:14:02 PM

susicide silence is one band that takes pride in offending people. they dont care about religion. they dont care what they do. there metal. everyone has their own choice and opinion in music. keep your comments to yourself. you can hate and leave comments saying they suck but there still guna keep doing what they do best whitch is writeing amazing music. smokein weed. drinking and f*cking bitches. there amazing in my eyes. mitch is f*cking sexy with the most amazing vocals ever. one guy i look u