Suicide Silence’s Eddie Hermida Calls Thy Art is Murder’s C.J. McMahon “a Complete Sellout”
Y’know, it’s too bad there’s no deathcore equivalent to rap battles. ‘Cause this would make for an entertaining one.
As you may recall, Suicide Silence frontman Eddie Hermida asserted that Thy Art is Murder basically write the same shit over and over again (which is probably good for business); Thy Art is Murder responded by vowing never to use clean vocals and releasing a “Make Deathcore Great Again” hat.
Now, during a new interview with with live-metal.net [via The PRP], Hermida was asked if he intends to be more careful about potentially burning bridges in the future. His answer, like Suicide Silence’s new album, took balls:
“Am I being more careful now? No, fuck no. Thy Art is Murder absolutely saw an opportunity and ran with it, and honestly, they did the silliest thing you could ever do in mimicking somebody like Trump and say that they are not selling out. They are literally going, ‘Hey, we’re not sell-outs, but please buy this hat. You need to buy this hat.’ It’s completely backwards thinking.
“They’re looking for their fans to feed into the chaos. They’re looking for the attention, and that’s fine. It goes exactly with what I said—we don’t need that kind of attention anymore. I praise them for jumping on an opportunity just like they should. When you’re desperate for making money, you’re going to serve the fans, you’re going to create the same music so that they can feel safe in their sound, and you’re going to try your hardest to maintain in that world.
“I know from experience. I know from being in a band that was desperate to serve the fans, creating music that served us and the fans at the same time. All Shall Perish was a band that did that 100 percent. Especially with members leaving and all that, we always worried about what other bands were doing and how to be better than that. In that process, you forget who you are.
“It’s really funny that it’s become such a thing, but the reality is that I didn’t say anything that was that hurtful towards that band. They saw an opportunity, and they ran with it. If anything, they’re hurting themselves by continuing that mentality and continuing that really tongue-in-cheek way of doing things.
“It’s not showing anybody any kind of strength. It’s not showing any kind of value. It’s just going, ‘Oh, I see this opportunity where my band’s name is in the media. Let’s sell some stuff.’
“[Referring to Thy Art is Murder vocalist C.J. McMahon] ‘You, know, nothing else is selling, so I quit the band to begin with. There’s no money in it, so let me write this long-ass fuckin’ expose about how band members don’t make any money, then later come right back and basically say I’m not a sellout.’
“And at the end of the day, that is a sellout. A person who is looking for money and a person who talks about money and focuses on money when they’re making music is a complete sellout. I would say that straight to his face, and I would say that to any band member in this genre that isn’t challenging anybody.
“Anybody that’s going out there for the sake of making money and for the sake of being in a huge band for selling albums are out of their minds. They’re completely backwards.
“When we started making music as 15- and 16-year-old kids, you don’t have dreams and aspirations of being a money-making person. When Mitch [Lucker] created his band, all he wanted was to be in the best band in the world.
“He didn’t give a fuck about Lamborghinis or houses or anything. When the band started making money, it was because he realized in order to make money in this world, you have to work your ass off. You have to break yourself emotionally and physically in order to get paid the little amount that we do get paid.
“That’s all any musician who is a musician wants. They want comfort, and they just want to live. I don’t think that is selling out at all, I think that’s being a musician. It’s having some sort of value for your art and giving it for the value that it is. Everything else is literally just a copy of that, and if you want to run with it, you can. But personally, I didn’t write this record to sell a bunch of records. If it does, sweet. If it doesn’t, sweet, I still got to do what I wanted to do.
“If people want to turn something into an opportunity because I mentioned their band’s name, so be it. That’s not why I mentioned it. I mentioned it to show people why we’re doing what we’re doing. We didn’t want to create the same record that Suicide Silence would have written if we had written a record to make money.
“If we would’ve written that record, we wouldn’t even be talked about. I could have mentioned fucking Pantera, and it would have fallen on deaf ears. That fact is we did something huge, and now I can say something like ‘Thy Art is Murder‘ and it gets talked about a month later. When you make waves, people want to try to surf.”
Now, in McMahon’s defense, he complained about not making enough money to be “comfortable,” as Hermida puts it, not about not making enough money for Lamborghinis (although complaining about tour catering is not a great look for any metal musician).
Furthermore, Hermida’s definition of “sellout” is a little more staunch than the traditional one, which says that selling out is when an artist does something he has no desire to do only because he thinks it will sell.
That being said, Hermida’s larger point is valid: an artist creates because he has to, not because he wants or is paid to, and that being the case, an artist makes the art he wants to make, not the art that he thinks people will like.
Look. Obviously, I’m biased; I’ve been a Hermida fan since All Shall Perish’s The Price of Extinction, I actually appreciate the new Suicide Silence album, and I find Thy Art is Murder’s success to be totally baffling because everything about them feels like Generic Deathcore Band Assembly Line Creation #3,025, 468, 920. But Hermida is advocating for art for art’s own sake and in every way disavowing the notion of an artist doing anything other than that which fulfills him creatively.
Isn’t that what we always say we want in our metal musicians?