EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH SUICIDE SILENCE BASSIST MIKE BODKINS
We first met Suicide Silence nearly a year ago, on the set of their David Brodsky-directed video for “Bludgeoned to Death.” Unfortunately, we didn’t get to interview any members of the band at that time, so we were stoked to get to sit down with Suicide Silence bassist Mike Bodkins at the Rockstar Mayhem Festival’s stop at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. Bodkins had some interesting things to say about the band’s first big summer festival tour, partying on the road, the dreaded “deathcore” tag, and the progress of the band’s new album. Full transcript after the jump.
So how’s the tour going?
The tour’s been ridiculous. There hasn’t been one bad show. It’s like the dream tour that we’ve always wanted, you know what I mean? We always talked about Slipknot this and Slipknot that and then we finally get on it, and it’s exactly what we expected. It’s unbelievable.
You grew up listening to Slipknot?
Yeah. I remember the first time I heard them. I was at a Best Buy right by my house, and I saw Slipknot and was like “Who the hell is that? It sounds like some weird gay band or whatever.” Then I go to the check-out counter and this guy is buying it. I saw the video for “Sic” and I was like “Holy fuck!” Ever since then I’ve been listening to them nonstop. Slipknot is everyone in the band’s favorite band.
This like the first really big festival that you’ve guys have done, right?
Yeah, as far as a full tour, this our first festival tour. We did Groezrock out in Belgium with Story of the Year, Bad Religion, Good Charlotte, Lit, all those bands played.
[Laughs] Yeah, we fit right in. We played at like 11 in the morning in front of 10,000 people. It was like, “Holy shit!” I woke up and stepped right onto a tack. It went into the ball of my foot, and I was pissed because we had to play two shows the day before, then we had to get up at 8 in the morning to play that show, and then I wake up to that in my foot. I was like “Damn it, it’s early, we’re going to play in front of 500 people because it’s so early.” Then like door opens and it’s like a stampede of kids. Me and Mark [Heylmun], our guitar player, were just throwing shit. We were like “Oh God,” and just throwing shirts into the crowd.
So as a musician/performer, how do you feel playing for thousands of people as opposed to like hundreds of people? Do you acknowledge that difference in your mind or do you just treat every show the same way?
I treat every one the same way. The first two or three shows on the tour I was really nervous. I haven’t been nervous for a show in forever. I remember the first show I was shaking and was like, “Holy shit.” Then I got on stage and everything was fine, but the first couple of shows, I was like, “Damn, that’s a lot of people.” But now I’m starting to get a little more used to it. I like the smaller shows because they’re more intimate, you can get into the crowd with the kids and do that kind of stuff. The bigger crowds are equally as cool because you get to play in front of so many faces… loud screams from the kids is always a good feeling.
Have you guys been well received by the crowds on this tour?
Yeah, I think we’re doing pretty well on this tour. We’ve been getting a good reaction every day. Tons of kids have been coming up to us and giving us high fives and the whole thing.
As one of the younger bands on the tour, do you feel like all the elder statesmen have been treating you well or is it just like …
You mean the other bands?
Yeah, actually I’ve been really surprised. All the Slipknot dudes hang out a lot. It’s really cool that they’ll come around and stuff. All the other bands, it’s the same thing, they’ve been really cool. We’ve toured with Walls of Jericho before, so we already knew them. We’ve been getting along great.
We heard about the nightly barbecues. Have you guys done the Suicide Silence barbecue yet?
The Suicide Silence barbeque has not happened yet.
It will happen. The best one so far, I think, was the Dragonforce one. That “dragon punch” was bad news. I drank like two or three cups of it. I never drink, ever, so if I do it’s a rare occasion. I drank like three cups thinking “Oh, this tastes good. What is this?” Then I’d stop drinking for a few minutes and was like “Whoa, I got a good buzz off these three drinks I thought were going to be weak.”
So one last question and then we’ll let you go. You guys obviously been stuck with the whole “deathcore” tag. How do you feel about that? Does it drive you up the fucking wall, or do you not care?
Call us what you want.
We don’t really consider ourselves deathcore. We don’t want to hold ourselves to one style of anything. I mean there are so many different inputs in the band. For instance, [Chris] Garza the guitar player and Alex [Lopez] the drummer, nu metal is their thing. They’re all about the nu metal stuff. I’m sure you can hear a little bit of the nu metal in some riffs. Then you got Mark and me who are more straight metal roots, more death metal like Cannibal Corpse and all that stuff. We’re trying newer stuff with the album, it’s pretty epic.
So you got a new album coming out?
We’ve written half the album. We’re shooting for [recording it] sometime early next year, have it out by early spring/summer. That’s what we’re really hoping for. We’ve been writing and have half of it done. It’s looking really good and we’re really excited about it.
Do you feel like there is any kind of tonal shift or directional shift from the last album or just Suicide Silence being epic?
It’s not the same Suicide Silence but it is. You can tell it’s us, but it’s got a different vibe to it. It’s a little more up pace, kind of epic. There are songs that sound like there are actual keys in it, weird guitar effects and shit.
It should be good.
-AR & VN