Bloodrock Media ‘s Mitch Ellerbrock conducted an interview with members of New York death metallers SUFFOCATION prior to their October 20 show at The Forge, in Joliet, Illinois, where they were supporting THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER. You can watch the entire interview below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On SUFFOCATION‘s origins:
Terrance Hobbs (guitar, founding member): “We started in late ’87, ’88, between me Frank [Mullen, vocals], Mike [Smith, drums] and all these other guys, we had multiple different lineups at that point in time. Nothing was ever etched in stone. One day we were sitting at the mall and it was me, Frank and Josh [Barohn, bass] and we were tossing some names around and that’s how the name SUFFOCATION happened in ’88. I guess in the time we were in the right frame of mind to say, ‘Fuck it, SUFFOCATION.’ It comes on Wikipedia first and shit, so I’m happy.”
On the band’s 2003 reformation after a five-year break:
Terrance: “We had a reformation. Frank had gotten married and moved out of the state, then he decided to get divorced, which was one of those things, take it or leave it. He came back home and wanted to reform the band, so we kind of got back together and just started writing again and playing some older songs. A couple of different member changes later, because as time goes on, people are just, like, ‘Fuck this. I’d just rather be at my job.’ And we’re here today. We have Eric [Morotti, drums], Charlie [Errigo, guitar] kicking ass with us, still putting out some vinyl.”
On the band’s new “…Of The Dark Light” studio album:
Terrance: “It was self-produced. We pretty much tracked everything at Full Force Studios with our buddy Joe Cincotta, then we sent it out to Chris ‘Zeuss’ Harris, who’s done plenty of things. He’s done HATEBREED, LAMB OF GOD, this, that and the other things. We’ve kind of figured out that type of formula. It’s like we know what we can do at home and what we can’t do in the mixing department. So we sent it out to him and that’s the way it all turned out to be. It will be the second time we’ve pretty much done that. On the previous album, ‘Pinnacle Of Bedlam’, that was the method that we used. What was different on this record was the band was a lot more rehearsed going into this record. We had been doing some touring and stuff like that and soon as we had gotten off the tour, we immediately went to the rehearsal room and started rehearsing for it. I think that made it a little bit more organic in the way it was produced than the other record.”
On whether SUFFOCATION will continue to rehearse more regularly before recording an album:
Terrance: “I think for the most part, a band’s got to be rehearsed before you do a record. You’re capturing a performance in time. For us, I think, it’s always a different sounding record. I think a lot of the reason that it is different sounding is the techniques we used going about writing and the techniques we used going and producing it, letting other people have their input on it. We don’t want every record to be exactly the same, let alone we’re not going to put one out every year because SUFFOCATION has eleven records, so it’s like how long can we be playing this kind of music for you guys? We’re not going to do a three-hour set. I’d be a rotten bag of bones by that time. I’d definitely turn into bone dust. We’re better off doing it the way we’re doing it, keeping it short, powerful and intense and keeping the music true to what it was.”
On the musical backgrounds in SUFFOCATION and how it influences the band’s writing style:
Terrance: “Their backgrounds don’t really influence it. It’s up to them. Everybody has their opinion on what SUFFOCATION is supposed to sound like, what influenced them, what kind of edge gives them that intuition of what we’re doing. When people write riffs, it just comes out that way, it’s not necessarily just a specific formula. Obviously, me and Derek [Boyer, bass] have been doing a majority of the writing for quite a while now. But these young crazy kids, like Chuck over here, who’s flipping out. He’s got drumbeats [points to Morotti] and patterns he wants to utilize in the riffs. It’s a newer day for us; it’s going back more to the roots of us being an actual live band and bringing heavy shit. We don’t want everything to be done in a computer all the time. We want to actually write the riffs and congeal them together and really make something unique.”
“…Of The Dark Light” was released on June 9 via Nuclear Blast Records.