By ANDREW McKAYSMITH
Suicide Silence and Metallica. On face value the bands have as much in common with each other as Ned Flanders and Homer Simpson. Yet it is during my interview with Suicide Silence bassist and all round champion human being, Dan Kenny, that the comparisons between the two bands become inevitable. Both bands have released albums that confuse fans and media types.
Kenny is an unabashed fan of the rock and metal titans. High on his wish list is the desire for Suicide Silence to join Metallica on tour. Platitudes were exchanged about our shared love of …And Justice for All (’88)
“It’s weird for a bass player to say they love that album, but I just personally like the songs and I think it is aggressive”.
The discussion quickly turned to the backlash Metallica experienced way back in ’96. That was when the Load album series was unleashed on a weary metal listening public, mirroring much of what Suicide Silence is going through in ’17.
“I think some of that stuff is pretty rock, and I feel like it is more rock than metal, but it is just a different record than what fans were used to and to what Metallica had been doing up to that point”
Kenny’s next comments about Load could equally apply to the new and very different album from his own band, the self-titled effort that was released in February this year.
“(Load and Reload) are not going anywhere, if you don’t like them you can just go and listen to Metallica’s other stuff.”
Suicide Silence have been pillared by many fans on social media for their decision to release a rawer, stripped back version of the bands brutal deathcore onslaught. What’s Kenny’s take on the response to the new album?
“It’s a whole new ball game right now, with a different kind of record from us. The fans are confused by it. They are talking about it though and everyone seems to be giving it a listen. I’m starting to get a little bit more confidence back about the new record. For many people it takes a couple of listens and then they start liking it.”
A quick read of the comments on YouTube reveal a tendency for subscribers to label the bands new sound ‘DefKorn’, referencing the perception that the band took their cue from the nu-metal icons on the new album.
“I am little bit surprised. I wasn’t expecting all the meanness and the jokes. I think now (fans) are just trying to outdo each other (with meanness). Some of the stuff is pretty funny, I will say that. I just take it all in, I can’t take it too seriously. Its divided lots of people… the new album is too much for them”
Ross Robinson… the so-called godfather of nu-metal was roped in for production duties. It may very well be the addition of Robinson that has many fans attributing the change in sound to his vey influence.
“I wanted to be like a perfect bass player, not fuck up, and he wanted me to fuck up, he wanted to feel emotion behind it. I was in a pretty dark time in my life personally, but he brought a performance out of me”
Kenny is also quick to point out that there is a theme to the new album.
“This is just us being ourselves. We called the album Suicide Silence and we put our faces on the fucking front. If you open the album booklet, every one of our home towns is listed. All of us put our blood and heart and soul into it. We talked about real things”
With all due respect to so many who have commented on the album unfavourably, the next comment is when Kenny doubles-down on one of the key reasons for the albums raw sound.
“The concept (of the new album) is just be yourself, like I told you I play the bass on it and I was going through a bit of a personal hard time in my life. That was me being me, I couldn’t fake it. I can’t speak for the rest of the guys, I’m sure everybody else is going through some burn. (Robinson) made everybody open up their hearts and that’s what we did.”
Demonstrating all the maturity and sensibility of the road worn bass warrior that Kenny is, his next comment summarises the episode surrounding the album’s release nicely.
“People don’t like change, so any sort of change in music or art, like an actor does something different or a weird role… some people just don’t know how to take it”
Heavy metal is a genre littered with corpses of bands with misplaced yet ultimately good intentions… where Suicide Silence fall in this category over the long run will remain to be seen. One thing is absolutely certain though, the bands fifth long player is a determinedly stoic offering.
Suicide Silence is out now via Nuclear Blast