1) How has your music progressed from the beginning in 1990 through the breakup and to today? *Our music has stayed the same, our business sense has improved/progressed. We arent looking to change the format and approach to our music.We are still waiting for the world to catch on to what we’ve already done.
2) How would you describe your music to people? *Controlled and legible Mayhem, with an original New York style and flare.
3) What image and message do you think your music conveys? *Suffocation was never interested in Gimmics to get noticed. Weve always been focused on playing tight/ tech/and correct ,everytime we perform which is what the fans expect of us. professionalism and focus is the only image we care to portray.
4) Who was your major influence musically while you were growing up? *we listened to everything , death Metal didnt exist until our late teens so prior to it we were into what was available, Maiden,Zeppelin, Sabbath,Van Halen and all of the stadium rock as well as Hardcore, Cro-mags, minor threat, Carnivore, DRI, testament,Violence,Slayer,Carcass, Destruction ,Exodus,Venom,Napalm Death and all of the bands that existed in order to familiarize ourselves and strive to be different from all mentioned.
5) Who or what provides your daily inspiration to do what you do? * The desire to take what we do to the next level is all we need to keep it moving everyday. The scene is bigger now than ever we as a band are stronger than ever so to pull out now isnt an option. Our dream is only partly fulfilled at the moment, but it is closer than its ever been before..
6) On your current tour, are the fans reacting to the new material as well as they do the old material? *Yes they react the same , but we play alot of old material live as well because we want the newer fans to know what and where we come from as well as where we are going with the new release.
7) Of the songs on your new album, which one means more to you and why? *If I had to pick one it would be “Bind,Torture,Kill “because it is played most often and has every element of Suffocation contained in the one song. Grind,Blast,Slam,and melody.
8) Can you talk a about the circumstances leading to the breakup of the band and how it was reversed to make for a successful reunion? * Loss of focus, inner conflicts between members, a stagnant Death Metal scene,the need to earn income to survive, an industry unaware of the relevance of the scene, all led to the decision to call it quits.
9) How is the new self- titled CD, set to be release in September, differently mucsically than your previous releases? *The only difference is it sounds better than the others . we arent interested in changing out way of writing. The past albums may be written a bit more technical than this one which may be a reason it took so long for the industry to take notice. Our goal was to make the music heavy but also listenable to the unaware who we are trying to recruit.
10) Your lyrics are very strong and deal with the the world today, who writes the lyrics and what do thye use as inspriation for them. * We all write lyrics. The feel of the music is what determines the attitude and topic of the song. There is no secret formula. What ever topic we choose ,we construct it to fit the emotion of the music.
11) Suffocation was one of the bands in the early 90’s that developed the Death Metal sound. What unqiue qualities do you think Suffocation brought to help develope the Death Metal sound.
12) What are your plans and direction for for the future? *To take the band to the next level of success, tour the areas of the world we have yet to visit, put out quality product until the masses recognize that we are infinitely legit.
13) Do you have any unique on the road stories you could tell, they fans love behind the scenes stuff, especially from a legend.
14) Your last album ÔSuffocationÕ was just released on Relapse records, what do you think about it personally ? Are you satisfied by the result ? *We are satisfied with the end results, the response weve received, and the attention and opportunities weve gotten since its release.
15) Why did you wait so long to release you self titled long play ? And why sould it be this one? *Suffocation as a whole was disfunctional until now. This is the time where the band actually feels united and on the same page. The last time the band was in this state of mind was when we were constructing “Effigy of the Forgotten”.Its only right that finally we feel comfortable putting out a self titled album. You never know which release will be the last , so this was as good a time as any to do it.
16) The production is modern with a sound so clean and striking so far from Effigy Of The Forgotten or Breeding The Spawn (my favourites), is that what you expected ? *Definitely, we record ourselves in our own studio on our own time, so we had all intention on it sounding the way it does. Weve learned to keep our fate in our hands and things will turn out as expected.
17) YouÕre signed on Relapse records, does the label impose conditions on your music or you really do what you want? *We do what we wish .We know whats best for ourselves and I think Relapse has seen that we are self sufficient without making decisions that would rub a label the wrong way. Suffocation and Relapse records started out the same time. We were the first album ever on Relapse .
18) What about your european tour this summer ? I think it wasnÕt easy without Terrance and with Derek who had a broken leg ? *The tour was successful without Terrance and with Derek sitting because of a broken leg. the fans see tha we are committed to do what is expected of us,and I think we’ve proven it is not that easy to diminish Suffocation. We will show and prove through most circumstances.We arent here accidently, we are here because we are supposed to be here. Our skill, drive and goals are 100% legit.
19) Your last tour in europe was in november 2004, do we have to wait two years to see you back here or is something scheduled at shorter range ? *We will be in Europe a few times in 07 March will be our first scheduled visit. the only reason it would take 2 years to visit is if the business offers didnt make financial sense to do. When the promoters approach us with serious options,the band takes playing the shows seriously.We do it for a living, not to sight see the world.
20) You released a live cd called ÔThe Close Of A ChapterÕ self-produced and only available on your webstore,. Why this title ? and why not distribute it on a larger scale ? *We chose the title because since our reunion we played 100’s of shows with a certain setlist. The close of a chapter is the end of the cycle of touring we did to prove Suffocation was back and stronger than ever. Now we have a new album so the setlist will now change, certain songs wont be played as often but they are now captured live on cd for the fans who need to feel that time.
21) What are your projects now ? new tours ? back in studio ? DVD ? holidays ?
22)”Suffocation” is the most technical album in your career. Did youbecome better musicians after all the time, or how did it come to this? Did the technical arrangement change the character of writingsongs? *No, I dont think its the most technical, its just the most to the point and thought out. No flash,no fillers just to the point music.
23) what is the process of songwriting for Suffocation? Lock in a room individually and imagine what could be written that would still sound new and unique and transfer aggressively when played live.
24) what is the reason for this self-titled record? *No special reason, we just felt it was time.
25) You re-recorded “Prelude To Repulsion” on this record. What about re-recording the other songs? *If there is a need for filler songs we will consider it. If we are full of new material , the old shit will wait its turn.
26) What about the artwork on the new Self-titled album? It was kept simple. Why? *Why Not.
27) Some of the young, acts label you as an influence. Does that fill you with pride or are you disappointed with what they’ve made with your heritage? * we apppreciate all of the respect we get from the younger bands, we are happy to be a direct influence to something so strong and unique.
28) You are looked at as the founders of the death-grind-scene. How do you look upon this scene today? *The scene is definitely strong and here to stay, we just need experienced booking agents, distributors,promoters and label execs of the genre running it. The labels have no clue whats important for Death Metal they are on the outside looking in . Deathmetal isnt a universal art, its definitely best run by those who know it and created it from the inside out.
29) You started your career at a small, but growing Relapse Records, changed then to Roadrunner. Now you’re back at Relapse. What is your comparison between a major label and an independent label?
30) What is the difference between Relapse at the beginning of the 90’s and now? What has changed? * bigger building packed with a ton of bands cds,but still an independent compared to..
31) To what extent does the daily politics influence your music? Are you more in rage with a president like Bush or the policies ingeneral? *Politics in general are created to hold the majority of people down.It all sucks… president and all.
32) How can you appease the fans that this line-up is solid for the upcoming shows? *The fans have seen Suffocation more than most bands within the past few years. I dont think weve dissapointed anyone as of yet, we only get stronger and more precise with our goals and direction.
33) On October, 22nd you are starting an US-Tour with FEAR FACTORY, HYPOCRISY and DECAPITATED. Do you have doubts because the younger audience of FEAR FACTORY or do you see that as a chance? Are you looking forward to this shows? *The unknowing will soon know all of the elements that make the genre. THe lineup is diverse enough to teach a major lesson to anyone paying attention.
34) How do you motivate yourself new every evening before going on stage? *The opportunity to prove any doubters wrong is all the drive we need to crush every night.
35) What would be your dream line-up of an American death metal package? * The bands from the beginning, Suffocation,Morbid Angel,Napalm Death,Deicide,Obituary, and a few others organizing our own traveling festival. Its not actually a “dream line-up ” its more of a common sense line-up at this point and time.
36) What are the plans for the upcoming tour activities? Other things planned?
*Europe in March/April, May, and August then possibly a US tour in Oct/Nov . We also would like to put out the dvd we’ve been speaking of for some time now. We will be done with our obligation to Relapse as well, so we will see what we decide to do with the future plans for a label and a new album.
37) Does Suffocation have anything further to prove at this point of their career? * Suffocation is always capable of raising the bar another level if we feel the need. At this point of our career we are still waiting on the industry to prove that they know what to do with the material we’ve already given them.Its like a card game. We dont choose to show all of our cards unless we have to. At this point its been proven that to show everything now would be a waste.