This Makes My Heart Hurt: Frank Mullen Will Sit Out Majority of Future Suffocation Tours
If you’ve ever seen Frank Mullen with Suffocation live — and I’m assuming many, if not most, of you have — than you already know how much goddamn fun he is. He’s just got some of the best stage banter ever; you’d think, given Suffo’s lyrics, he’d be all serious and stuff, the way so many death metal vocalists are, but no, he’s basically a stand-up comedian.
So the below interview with Horns Up Rocks!, in which Mullen basically announces his retirement from regular touring, is absolutely crushing… and not in a good way, like Suffocation’s music is absolutely crushing. Says Mullen:
“I can’t really tour full time anymore. So when the album comes out, they’ll probably set up about a month-[long] tour, or something like that, in the States. I’ll only do about two weeks of it. There’ll be a fill-in singer [doing the rest of the shows]. And then I’ll probably do maybe a week, or a week and a half, over in Europe, and then any other touring they do for the rest of the year, will probably have somebody else filling in [on vocals]. I mean, I’ll do, like, spot shows here and there. But unfortunately, as you get older, death metal doesn’t make tons of money, and I’ve got a good job, so… you know, you’ve gotta work. And that’s pretty much what it is. I’m not a kid no more.”
He goes on:
“At this point, you’ve gotta start thinking ahead in your life, you’ve gotta start thinking long-term goals and stuff. And unfortunately, death metal, again, it’s not the type of music where you’re gonna make millions and where you can make a really good living on it. I mean, you can have fun with it, and some bands could have a steady life on it, but for the most part, you do it more or less for the fact that that’s what you love — you love death metal and that’s what you play. It’s more or less that than trying to make a living.”
I completely understand Mullen’s position, but it still depresses me. Suffocation already did some touring without Mullen earlier this year, during which time Decrepit Birth’s Bill Robinson took his spot. And while I have no doubt that Robinson is more than capable of handling Mullen’s screams and growls (Mullen was obviously a big influence on Robinson, and pretty much all other post-Suffo death metal vocalists for that matter)… it’s just not gonna be the same without Mullen on stage, sharing his unique worldview in-between songs. Really, I find this news far more troubling than the band’s split with drummer Mike Smith back in March.
Watch the interview below; the relevant part comes around the 6:36 mark. Then grieve with me in the comments section below. Suffocation’s new album, The Pinnacle of Bedlam, will be out early next year on Nuclear Blast.