By Sebastian Mackay
You can't escape or ignore the tragedy that Mitch Lucker's death was for Suicide Silence and for the metal community as a whole. The impact can't be quantified nor can it be overstated. When Suicide Silence announced their new vocalist Hernan ‘Eddie' Hermida there were mixed emotions. Now, with You Can't Stop Me upon us, it's time to take stock of what's happened and to size up the monster of an album that rampages full speed until it's blistering ending.
There's no one better suited than guitarist Mark Heylmun, who, quite frankly, F'n rules.
"We really wanted to write a record that we were happy with and we wanted to put our best foot forward and be really happy with it and make the fans happy." Heylmun says all the way from Europe where it's almost afternoon.
"We wanted to show people that we weren't going to go in another direction so they didn't say ‘oh, they've got a new singer, they're like this now.' We wanted to retain the Suicide Silence vibe and get people bouncing off the walls." (Vibe = retained!)
For him, and the band a like, there has been a shift in Suicide Silence. A deep one that's recently come to the surface for Heylmun.
He's now realising how much Suicide Silence means to its fans and how much each of them have influenced the lives of thousands of people they've never met.
"It's a heavy," he sounds optimistic but a little tired and he's somehow different to the man that's just been talking. "I don't want to say burden...role to walk around with and I'm not always on. I'm only human and I feel that sometimes needs to be taken into accountant and you need to do your part and be there for the fans, as a human being, as a regular person, because that's what I am."
He's not, he says, the person we see on YouTube or in magazines and it has been affecting how he writes his music, though we agree it's for the better.
"Some of the new songs we've written are trying to help people and it's become more apparent than it was before, especially over the lastyear or so, how much we affect people and how much they look up to us."
To say he's humble isn't to say enough. The way he sees it, he's a man in a band, and anything that comes after or out of that is more than he could have dreamt for asked for. He goes quiet while he says that their music helps them. It's almost as though he's putting it all together.
"Our music was helping people and a large amount of people were affected and it helped them get through what they were going through. It's something we hold dear to us and we only really did it because the songs are our therapy and listening to them is theirs."
It's hit him a few times, mostly by surprises, but, at Heylmun's own admission, as a touring band they live in a bit of a bubble. Play shows, move onto the next city, do a signing and some interviews, play a show.
The biggest moment when it hit came after Mitch Lucker's accident. "The outpouring [from] the fans and everyone else and how much everything was affecting them. I realised then just how insane it was and how much it blew up."
We've always known that music helps people feel less alone, connects them emotionally and or physically to a different person and for Heylmun it was as though everyone that had felt Suicide Silence reach out to them, was reaching back.
"[When] something like this happens you I realised how much bigger it is than me, than the band, it's huge. It don't know how to put it. It's like a dream come true. We were a garage band being vulgar and making something that was filthy and ugly and then people started to take notice."
We share a few moments of silence, it's unspoken, but it goes without saying: Suicide Silence are back and they're establishing themselves at the top of the heap.
Suicide Silence release ‘You Can't Stop Me' in New Zealand on Friday July 11th