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DRUMMER MIKE SMITH PARTS WAYS WITH SUFFOCATION

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DRUMMER MIKE SMITH PARTS WAYS WITH SUFFOCATION

It would seem that drummer Mike Smith has split with Suffocation — and under less-than-amicable conditions. He’s posted the below message on both his official website and Facebook page:

“There are not many things related to the suffocation brand I can honestly say brings me sadness. Except, the lack of pride that exists within those who have the ‘right’ to claim the name as their own.

“This battle has been one that to any focused being, should make obvious sense but has evaded some for 2 decades. Within any foundation the weakest link will always cause all structure to crumble.

“The one fact that keeps me at peace is the fact that anyone who has ever seen or spoken to me regarding Suffocation and the industry as a whole, has always left with an understanding of the level of focus and pride that I personally hold for myself, the brand that is Suffocation and the genre We influence and helped create.

“As I´ve always said, if you are willing to put your time and soul towards anything at
Be willing to speak truths, fight and bleed for it if need be.”

While nowhere in this post does Smith say he’s out of the band, it’s hard to read that and think that things are hunky dory. Meanwhile, Heavy Blog is Heavy reports that guitarist Terrance Hobbs has confirmed Smith’s departure on Facebook, although presently I do not see any such posts on either Hobbs’ nor Suffocation’s FB pages, so either that confirmation has since been removed, or I’m a dope.

In any case, this news is a bummer. Smith was, of course, a founding member of the legendary death metal act, and while he’s left once before, in the early 90s, at this point he’s been back in the band for almost ten years. His drumming is a huge part of their sound.

That being said, Suffocation has persevered without him before. Dave Culross, who replaced Smith’s original replacement Doug Bohn in 1996 has also played with Malevolent Creation and Pyrexia, amongst others, seems to have stepped in for Smith, and that dude is no slouch — so it’s hard for me to imagine that Suffocation won’t be able to survive without their original drummer.

Weigh in re: Smith’s departure in the comments section below.

-AR

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