When interviewing Suicide Silence frontman Mitch Lucker, a good point was made when he discussed where the band stands now when saying “it’s a make or break album” for the band.
With their third album, “The Black Crown”, just released a few days back has become truly a make or break record for the band. On the Californian extreme metal first two albums, growth was shown and the band started to gathering a major following. But on the third album, everything has to be amped up and is the point on whether the band heads to that next level or toils with the rest of the pack.
With “Crown” out now, the band is showing that Suicide Silence is making their move towards the next level with the band’s intensity taken to another notch with this album. It’s easy to see what the band was a little nervous about how the album would do when I spoke to Lucker when the band was just starting the Rockstar Mayhem Tour, which they’ll he playing all summer.
Mitch and I discussed the events leading up to the new album and his distaste for some music, especially metal music that sounds over-polished. Here’s my interview with Mitch:
AM: With the album just out, is there a air of nervousness going into the album?
ML: To be honest, we’re really nervous right now. It’s our third album, so it’s gotta be our best and biggest. So far, the album is #1 on the first day and pre-orders have looked good, so I think and hope it’s gonna do well.
AM: What was the mood going into the production of the album?
ML: It was really different this time, because we did everything in the studio and thought out the writing and song structures. Before this album, we used to just write riff after riff and then worry about the rest of it later. This time, we went up to Big Bear for 3-4 weeks and sequestered ourselves writing this album. It was during the winter and with the snow, you really couldn’t go outside even if you wanted to. So, that feeling of cabin fever really made the album sound like it does.
AM: Do you feel there was a psychological advantage for the band recording in your home state?
ML: Oh yeah, definitely. With our last album (“No Time To Bleed”), we recorded most of it in New Jersey. And with being on the road 9 months a year, recording an album on the other side of the country- it just wasn’t a good experience for us. All I wanted to do was go home and see my daughter, so for us to only be a couple hours away was huge- I could go home if I needed to.
AM: This was the band’s first time working with Steve Evetts- what did he bring that past producers haven’t?
ML: With Steve, he’s looking for the real sounds of the band, real guitars, real drums and nothing synthetic. He wants everybody in the band to contribute. I think with a lot of producers, they think computers can create the best drum track, or guitar track and it comes off as too artificial. We wanted the sound of a live band, and Steve helped us with that.
AM: Was it safe to say that you were tired of some of the themes from the first album?
ML: So many bands write about the same s—. It gets real boring after a while. I want to keep it fresh and sign about things like the birth of my daughter, about seeing the world- things that aren’t always said in metal.
AM: Jon Davis of Korn and Frank Mullen of Suffocation guest star on the album- was it difficult for the band to lock down those guys?
ML: We’ve gotten to be personal and friendly with those guys- so it wasn’t that hard, but a huge honor nonetheless. Jon Davis was a fan and came out on stage with us somewhere in the Midwest and came out in a Suicide Silence shirt and a kilt and did his thing. They’re one of my favorite bands and from that moment, we started a conversation and lead to the song. It’s also a huge honor to have Frank come and do the vocal parts on our song as well.
AM: How does this Mayhem Tour compare to the one you did in 2008?
ML: In 2008, we had barely put our first album out and a lot of people were unsure about us on that tour. But the crowds were insane to say the least. This time around, the crowds are even more insane that it’s mindblowing. There’s extra security now, extra barriers, it’s a great feeling. I think being a frontman is the greatest job and I get to do this every day.
Suicide Silence plays as part of the Rockstar Mayhem Tour, playing DTE Energy Music Theater on Saturday, August 6th. Tickets range from $25-$60 and are available at www.palacenet.com. Additional tour dates and band info can be found at www.suicidesilence.net.