Interview - Mark Heylmun of Suicide Silence

Discussion in 'Artist Reviews & Interviews' started by DDDorian, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. DDDorian

    DDDorian Mantis Toboggan, M.D Super Moderator

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    Jun 11, 2006
    Middle of nowhere, Australia
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    <strong> Interview - Mark Heylmun of Suicide Silence</strong>
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    <div id="post_message_89657" align="justify"><!-- google_ad_section_start --><div align="right"><img src="" alt="Fellsilent" /><br />
    <b>Interview: Mark Heylmun</b><br />

    <font size="1"><i>Interviewed by: Patrick "xshreditupx" Sheridan</i></font><br />
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    "Synonymous to the cult classics such as Metallica’s Kill Em All and Slayer’s Reign In Blood, the voracious No Time To Bleed provides a substantial wake up call to the masses giving today’s youth an outlet to vent their everyday frustrations. SUICIDE SILENCE can identify with their fans and know what struggles they face in today’s society. This new effort showcases a more mature band coming into their own, ultimately paving a new path throughout the metal genre unique all unto itself that can’t be replicated. This is the future of extreme music that is brutal, genuine and simply undeniable. " -official biography

    <img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="" alt="Tymon (left) and Paul (right)" /><br />

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;"></span> Hey Mark, thanks for sitting down and taking time to answer a few questions for the board. I know you and your band are touring like crazy these days, we appreciate it.

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">Mark Heylmun:</span>: Yeah man, we honestly are pretty busy as of late but I gotta show my respect to the seven-string users around, you know what I'm sayin'? And of course you know I would do anything for my boy Pat.

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> So, I'm sure there was a time that you were a six-string player (like the rest of us). What was it about the seven-string that made you make the switch?

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> Really, every band I have ever started I always stood by standard tuning as opposed to dropped tuning. So in an effort to get the best of both worlds I started using a seven-string guitar. I love low sludgy riffs but I still want to be able to use the higher strings to do expressive solos on the higher strings. After I picked one up and played it for awhile I never wanted to use a six-string as my main guitar again.

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> What is your guitar of choice, and why?

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> I use ESP guitars loaded with EMG's, they have the sickest low end you could ever need and the clearest highs you need to be articulate in your riffs. The SC-607 is my main guitar I use live right now, it is just a versatile guitar that I can't seem to replicate. I have tried a bunch of other seven-strings but this one just has everything I want in a guitar. The neck is rounder than most, it kinda reminds me of a seven-string Les Paul if that existed.

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> Are you particular about the strings you use? (brand, gauge etc)

    <img style="padding:20px;" align="right" src="" alt="Tymon (left) and Paul (right)" /><br />

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> I like Ernie Ball strings for sure and I prefer 10-60 gauge. Basically like I said about liking standard tuning, I just like 10-46 standard E and for my low A I like a 60 - not too tight, but not floppy and hard to keep in tune on low chords.

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> Suicide Silence has recently been in the studio (The Machine Shop in New Jersey) to record a new cd, No Time To Bleed. From what i understand there were not only seven-strings used in the recording process but there was an eight-string in the studio. Did you use the eight-string a lot during recording? What are the pros and cons of eight-strings?

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> Yeah, I used an eight-string on one song that isn't on the record but why I used it is exactly why I like the eight-string; you can do whatever you want, tune it however you want, play it how you want, and just have fun with it. I made up a tuning for the song and it is just an ugly dissonant chord that sounds scary. People ask me all the time about my eight-string and how I tune it and I don't know how to answer it because I got an eight-string to experiment and try new things. It's not about whether or not it is an extra low or high string it is about how you can use it to express yourself. I plan on experimenting a lot more with eight-string guitars but it is still just a branching out thing just like how I and most people picked up seven-string guitars.

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> Do you see Suicide Silence using eight-string guitars live anytime soon?

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> I have used it once but I don't want it to be a gimmick so I will most likely stick to rocking seven-strings because I still don't have my mind wrapped around the 8 like I do with my 7.

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> Okay, so lets talk about your rig. What kind of heads and cabinets do you use live?

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> I use Mesa Triple Rectifiers and Mesa cabs. I used all kinds of other things over the years and nothing compares so I knew what I had to do - play what is reliable and what I like.

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> Do you use any effects live? If so, what do you use?

    <img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="" alt="Tymon (left) and Paul (right)" /><br />

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> I am a naturalist when it comes to my tone. I don't like too much going on so I run a Tube Screamer, an NS-2, and a Boss Equalizer Pedal. If we are playing a small stage I don't even run a wireless. I mean, really, all you need to sound good is a good head and cab and anything else is just icing on the cake. I just want a little enhancement to my gain which is what I use my Tube Screamer for and a little boost in certain areas of my EQ for solos so I use the Boss EQ for that. Less is more in my book and I have always felt that way and believe me I have tried everything.

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> It seems that Suicide Silence has the reputation of being one of the heaviest bands touring right now. What do you think really gives you the edge that you have sound wise over other bands in your genre?

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> Well I feel like we aren't out to do any better then anyone. In this genre it is a big competition of whose breakdowns are lower or whose blast beasts are faster? We just want to get out there play fun songs and put on a crazy show that unless you are us, you won't be able to recreate. We are 5 dudes who love what we are doing and aren't out to be like anyone but ourselves. Our success is an attribute of us enjoying ourselves and being comfortable with what we do, not from ripping anyones style off and making it our own. We just want to be heavy and headbang all around he world.

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> When you and I aren't busy eating chicken wings (haha, sorry man, I had to toss that in here) we are talking about great guitar players and how they influence our playing. Who do you think inspires you to grow as a guitar player and why?

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> This is very true, I love talking guitar players man. Fredrik Thordendal is one of my favs for sure because he has such a vast influence of playing. He has got everything from Allan Holdsworth to Metallica to Buckethead in his pocket. He inspires me a lot to be a better player because I love players who can play original music that is inspired by other players or bands but comes off so unique. These days that is hard to come by. Another guy I really like even though he is a little older is George Lynch. I mean guys nowadays love the dissonant diminished kind of stuff and he was doing that with Dokken and they were a fuckin' pop-metal band? I could go on for days about my influences but I will end it with Dimebag, he was so fluid and he was the ultimate at putting on a show while he ripped it up. I still listen to Pantera and hear new things and I have to figure out how he did it. He was one of a kind.

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> Let's talk a little about the new CD. It's really crushing! I have to say that it is a way more grown up version of Suicide Silence then we have seen in the past. The riffs are still heavy in the way we would expect them to be from the band, but the leads are much more shreddy and the songs are way more complex then the older stuff. What do you think pushed you guys to take the next step with your guitar playing?

    <img style="padding:20px;" align="right" src="" alt="Tymon (left) and Paul (right)" /><br />

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> I just wanted to step up my game all around. In the past we would fight about what would "work" but this time we didn't want to fight, we just wanted to jam. I love to play solos and always have; ever since I was a kid I just wanted to be the kid that could shred. So when I jam I try and play cool melodies or leads over whatever the jam is. We started by recording all-day jam sessions and listening back to things we did; the jams were so fun we had to just build on them. Most of those jams became the real standout parts on the record. We realized these parts were way more complex and new for us but still sounded like us, so we knew we had to riff hard to make the rest of the record stand out equally. Basically this record is what all of us could come up with as a band organically and in a real manner. I and we are extremely proud of this record and can't wait to have people listen to it.

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> You and (Chris) Garza work really well together live. Is the writing process the same?

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> This record was our best collaboration for sure, we didn't want to write the way we did last album where he wrote a song and I wrote a song and whatnot. We really became the tight unit we wanted to be prior in this process. All the songs are written by us and thought out by all of us and not one song got overlooked at all. Most of all these songs are the 4th, 5th, or 6th versions so we just made sure it was the way we wanted it to be.

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> Suicide Silence recently won an award for "Most Innovative Band" at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards, tell us about that.

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> Oh man, we flew to LA from this Disturbed tour we are on and got to play an awards show and win an award? Not only did we win, Alice in Chains presented it to us! So we got to hang out with them and a shit ton of our idols while partying our faces off. It was kind of surreal if you are into hanging out with extremely famous rockstars, haha.

    <img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="" alt="Tymon (left) and Paul (right)" /><br />

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> It must have been crazy to stand next to all of the musicians we have all looked up to for years. Did any of them stand out? Who out of everyone would you like to tour with?

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> I saw the dudes from Slipknot and I would love to tour with them again, haha.

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> What do you think is the next step for the band?

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> Keepin' it real and trying to stay on our feet. I just want to get this new record out and see where we go from there. I just want to continue rockin'...

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS:</span> Well Mark, thanks a lot of taking some time out of your day to answer my rIdiculous questions! Congrats on the new CD, No Time To Bleed, and I can't wait to see whats next!

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">MH:</span> No problem man, everybody keep on rippin'!

    <div align="center"><br />
    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">For more information on Suicide Silence:</span><br />

    <span style="color:white;font-weight:bold;"><a href=" target="_BLANK">Official Suicide Silence website</a></span><br />

    <span style="color:white;font-weight:bold;"><a href="" target="_BLANK">Suicide Silence on Myspace</a></span><br />
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  2. Rick

    Rick ALL HAIL DJOD Forum MVP

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    Apr 25, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Cool interview. :yesway:
  3. Jogeta

    Jogeta Regular

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    Dec 7, 2008
    Clay Cross, UK
    they put on a brilliant show at Download this year! kudos to a really groovy and fun band!
  4. Anthony

    Anthony Banned

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    Jun 2, 2007
  5. vhmetalx

    vhmetalx \m/

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    Nov 11, 2009
    Northern Cali
    I love these guys.
  6. 7stringabuser

    7stringabuser McBrutal

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    May 11, 2009
    Concord, NC
    Well imma be the naysayer here i suppose...gotta have one...but I was extremely dissappointed with No Time To Bleed. I think these guys relied more on their name to write an album instead of their prowess as musicians...The Cleansing will always be a classic on mu iPod but No Time To Bleed hardly gets any play at all..its only on there so my brother can listen to it in the car every now and then...
  7. Dystopia

    Dystopia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 13, 2010
    Alameda, CA
    one of my favorite guitarist ever... this is the dude who convinced me to get a 7 string, him and chris garza
  8. iRaiseTheDead

    iRaiseTheDead Ashes Of Rebirth

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    Jul 24, 2010
    They Were AMAZING at Warped Tour 2010
  9. Shredasaurus

    Shredasaurus deathcore!!!

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    Dec 10, 2013
    My fave band.Mark is so cool
    These guys got me into playing again

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