Mark Holmes of Metal Discovery conducted an interview with bassist Derek Boyer of New York death metallers SUFFOCATION before the band’s March 15 concert in Liverpool, England. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Discovery: So [drummer] Mike Smith left recently, of course, and he’s already spoken out in an interview I’ve read to say his departure was “inevitable.” Did the rest of the band feel that was inevitable as well?
Derek: You know, deep down we love the guy and we just kind of had a different direction in mind and it was nothing personal…I mean, for me personally, nothing personal. It was more we wanted to go full steam ahead and he kind of wanted to do it a different way. And nothing wrong with his way but his way didn’t work with the way we were trying to move. We wanted to do more work and it just wasn’t the right time today. But still respect for him; a lot of respect and that’s that.
Metal Discovery: Mike‘s been quite critical of the band in the interview I read after he left – was his departure amicable from your point of view?
Derek: We’re really not trying to defame anyone. He’s speaking his perspective and we’re just trying to be professional and move forward and that’s pretty much the deal.
Metal Discovery: There have been a few rumors on the Internet lately about SUFFOCATION splitting up. Were you surprised by that kind of overreaction based on just one lineup change?
Derek: It’s not over!
Metal Discovery: But were you surprised about people overreacting in that way?
Derek: Er, yeah, some people, you know, let’s say you’re a diehard Mike Smith fan — if Mike Smith‘s not in the band, then maybe your feelings are hurt and maybe it’s not SUFFOCATION if you’re a diehard Mike Smith fan.
Metal Discovery: I gather a new album’s set to be released later this year but nothing’s actually been recorded yet?
Derek: Well, we have all the pre-production done. We’re recording the record ourselves and so now we’ve gotta get everybody up to speed, teach everybody all the parts, make sure everybody feels comfortable with the tempos, and write the harmonies. There’s still some lyrical content that needs to be done but that’s the fun part, you know, like putting the icing on the cake.
Metal Discovery: Is the new material much in the same vein as “Blood Oath” or has there been any progression in your sound?
Derek: I feel like it’s a little more…I don’t want to say aggressive if that’s the only word because “Blood Oath” is pretty aggressive, too. It’s really chaotic, it’s really fast and it’s got a lot of really heavy slams and twists. You know, it’s the SUFFOCATION you know and love but also some new feel.
Read the entire interview from Metal Discovery.