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Suffocation Interview

6 January 2010 No Comment

Suffocation @ Grand Regency

Suffocation front-man Frank Mullen
9/20/08 @ Exhumed to Consume Tour
Regency Ballroom, San Francisco,CA
By Jeff Longo

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In the early nineties, beginning with releases Effigy of the Forgotten and Breeding the Spawn, Long Island’s Suffocation solidified their place in the establishment of death metal (brutal death metal, to be exact). The signature death growl of singer Frank Mullen, the return of original drummer Mike Smith, and full time label support keeps them on the forefront of the genre today.
Dominating by staying true to their own stripped-down style of death metal, the band combines the extreme styles of hardcore and punk with grind-core and doom metal. The result is a unique, all-out assault on the senses that is simply…Suffocation.

Suffocation @ Grand Regency STUBBLE: So you left Relapse wasn’t Suffocation their first ever CD pressing?
Frank:
Uh, yes on Relapse but you know it just didn’t work out over at Relapse, they just kinda like we got lost in the mix, and you know certain things we thought were gonna happen didn’t, and um you know we just weren’t happy with the situation so…. So yeah, it comes time to move on and we had a couple of offers, you know some other different labels and everything, and you know pretty much Nuclear Blast stepped up and uh they been long time fans of the band and everything, and you know they said hey, you know we want to do everything we can to bring you guys up to the next level.

STUBBLE: It just seems like we talk to bands about labels it seems like only a couple people work there?
Frank:
Sometimes it seems that way, you know definitely with Relapse at times you know that’s how it felt. You know it’s like you know one person over there and if you don’t get a hold of that one person you don’t get a hold of anybody! And I just remember instances where we’re playing a huge festival, let’s say over in Europe, and they knew we had a signing and you know you’d think they’d send flats you know pictures we could sign, little cards or whatever and they didn’t send anything so… We’re signing hot dog trays, you know you got a line of fans and I’m signing hot dog trays. You know it was things like that, that were bad. You can’t put your band out there and then not do things that are like… you know bare essentials.

Suffocation @ Grand Regency

STUBBLE:How did you get involved with the History Channel?
Frank:
That was a really cool thing, I mean they got in touch with Mike Smith (founding member and current drummer) and wanted to put it together. They were looking for something real heavy and real crazy.

STUBBLE:They came to the right place…
Frank:
They had a premise for a show called The Dark Ages and they were looking for a commercial with some heavy, brutal death metal you know to kinda represent the time. And they got in touch with us and said hey you know we’d love to have you guys do it. We were excited so. Let’s do it!

STUBBLE:How do you feel about extreme metal gaining popularity in the mainstream?
Frank:
I mean, I’m glad it’s finally moving into the mainstream, I mean it’s been held down for so long, you know and it really doesn’t need to be. You know some of the most talented musicians in the world play death metal, and extreme metal, and you know it’s about time that you finally get the recognition, and respect that you deserve.

Suffocation @ Grand Regency

STUBBLE:Are you seeing more kids at the shows?
Frank:
Yeah, there’s more kids at the shows, real young kids now, which is funny for us cause we get them comin up to us at shows goin “ Man I’m like 16 years old” and I’m going holy crap you were like one when ‘Effigy’ came out.. So you know it’s like nuts. But yeah you know the kids are comin out, you know they’re lovin the older heavier stuff, which is you know really cool. They range in ages from you know people our age to older to you know 14-15 years old. You know my daughter goes to school and she’s gonna be 16 and she’s got friends and they’re like “Oh, your dad’s in Suffocation..?” Its crazy…you know they’re fans and its nuts.

Suffocation @ Grand Regency Satan STUBBLE:How has the scene changed?
Frank:
The thing that’s changed over the ladst five years is the advancement of the internet and finally playing heavy videos on TV,. Headbanger’s Ball back in the day was a joke. They had Ricky Rackmen or whatever and he’s playing hair bands I saw that afternoon already. Now its geared to brutal videos your not gonna see all the time Sirius radio has a station that is just straight up Death Metal…Instead of being force feed what they want you to hear, hearing the same Black Eyed Pea song 25 times a day…

For all things Suffocation check out  www.suffocation.us

Check out more killer metal at Metal Blade Records  – www.metalblade.com

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