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You Can't Stop Me: Gnarly Charlie's Exclusive Interview with Vocalist Eddie Hermida from SUICIDE SILENCE

By Charlie Steffens aka Gnarly Charlie, Writer/Photographer
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 @ 9:15 AM

“Dude, the new album is a tribute to our departed friend, man. It’s a very heartfelt piece that encompasses all of our rage, forgiveness, sadness, strength.”

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After a long period of regeneration, SUICIDE SILENCE is back in the light. The Riverside, California deathcore band’s forthcoming album, You Can’t Stop Me, will drop July 15th. It’s their fourth studio album, and the first recorded without original vocalist Mitch Lucker. A founding member of SUICIDE SILENCE since its formation in 2002, Lucker died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in November of 2012. A month later, a memorial show to benefit Lucker’s daughter Kenadee was held in Pomona, California at the Fox Theater. SUICIDE SILENCE members Chris Garza (guitar), Mark Heylum (guitar), Alex Lopez (drums), and Dan Kenny (bass) performed with some of metal’s most respected vocalists, including Randy Blythe (LAMB OF GOD), and Robb Flynn (MACHINE HEAD), among others. The memorial concert, titled Ending is the Beginning: The Mitch Lucker Memorial Show, was released on DVD last February.

In October 2013, after nearly a year of inactivity, the band hired ex-ALL SHALL PERISH vocalist Eddie Hermida and the band began writing the material for what would become You Can’t Stop Me. A lyric video of the track “Don’t Die” has recently been released on YouTube, and thousands of fans will be seeing them on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival beginning July 5th at the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, CA.

Eddie Hermida can count on two hands the number of shows he’s done with SUICIDE SILENCE, although he is a veteran to the stage. He shares his excitement about this summer’s Mayhem: “It’s like a summer festival,” he says of the tour. “I feel like we’re at metal, rock star band camp. It’s fuckin’ awesome. The fans, too. They come out and they get to see us having a good time. They get to come out and have a good time. It’s such a big community that you get to walk around and just kind of roll around with people that you would never really kick it with. There’s a whole plethora of things that come with that tour, but just that tour in general makes me excited. I’m really happy to be part of it again.”

While there will be many bands spread out over four stages, SUICIDE SILENCE is arguably the heaviest act, second only to CANNIBAL CORPSE, on the Mayhem bill this year. Hermida says for him, it is a career first: “I’ve been wanting to tour with CANNIBAL CORPSE since I was a wee lad. They fuckin’ rule.”

While in ALL SHALL PERISH, Hermida began making friends with the guys in SUICIDE SILENCE in 2006, when the two bands first toured together. They toured Europe and performed at the 2011 Mayhem Fest, and in April of 2013, SUICIDE SILENCE asked Hermida to record a song with them, months before he became an official member of the band. “They approached me and said, ‘Hey, dude, would you be down to record a song for us?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely. Whatever you guys need.’ They handed me “YOLO” (“You Only Live Once” ). I did “YOLO” for them. Within the week they asked me to join the band and I said I needed time to think about it. There was obviously a lot on my plate still. And about three months later, after a lot of thinking and reflecting with family and friends, I made the decision to move forward.”

Hermida says that moving from ALL SHALL PERISH to SUICIDE SILENCE and getting the material down was a fairly smooth transition. “We were both bands that kind of fed off of each other our whole career. ALL SHALL PERISH was a band that always wanted to be the best in that scene. We wanted to write the best music and the best records…that was the whole intention. SUICIDE SILENCE was paying attention to the live show and how the live show reflected on to the record. So it was two different schools of thought, playing the same music. I got to step over and do both of them—all at once.”

Stepping in as the new singer brought with it some apprehension for Hermida. His main concern was that his physical attributes differed from Lucker’s: “It was insane watching him go nuts because he was such a big dude,” Hermida recalls. “He was big but he was skinny. That always concerned me; that they would take somebody so short and thicker-boned. Fat is always something you can get better at (laughs). I used to be an athlete so I wasn’t always a kind of chubby guy. I’m a bigger-boned guy. I’m barrel-chested.” From the outside it might appear that Hermida’s ability to deliver as a front man was there, though it took a while for him to feel at ease as the new vocalist. “I think another hard part was making the guys feel secure, making them feel comfortable. Even though they made the decision and they knew damn well what we were getting into. It was adjusting to them and adjusting to their way of thought. Coming from a band that really didn’t socialize a lot together, and going to a band that pretty much spends all day texting each other random things, and we talk like best friends do. Because we have a history together, everything kind of smoothes itself out.”

It looks like a banner summer for SUICIDE SILENCE, with a new album and the Mayhem tour. But Hermida remains thoughtful: “Dude, the new album is a tribute to our departed friend, man. It’s a very heartfelt piece that encompasses all of our rage, forgiveness, sadness, strength. You know, the hole that’s there from losing a friend. Such a deep friend. Mitch was always the guy that whenever I’d walk into a room…he’d see me and come right over and give me a big hug. The album has Mitch’s lyrics and he gave us the gift of the title of the record and the song. Yeah, man. We wanted to just completely put this whole record out to him.”


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