Mike Muir & Dave Lombardo Talk Returning to Punk Roots on New Suicidal Tendencies Album


Suicidal Tendencies secured their place within the annals of popular culture with their 1983 punk anthem “Institutionalized,” together with that tune’s charming, low-budget video and look within the cult movie Repo Man. Had they merely pale away after that, we'd nonetheless keep in mind them as icons of Southern California skate punk.

Of course, the story didn’t finish there: From the early ’80s to the early ’90s, the band lined a panoramic number of types, blazing new trails within the fusion of hardcore, thrash metallic and funk whereas introducing new components with every subsequent album. By 1992’s The Art of Rebellion, Suicidal Tendencies had developed into a flexible alt-metal act that leaned on its prog and jazz fusion influences for the extremely textured sound the band nonetheless embraces in live performance in the present day.

Nevertheless, regardless that it’s anchored by the multifaceted contact of longtime guitarist Dean Pleasants, new Suicidal album Still Cyco Punk After All These Years (Sept. 7, Suicidal Records) sticks to a rudimentary, virtually Oi!-style punk method. A transforming of frontman-bandleader Mike Muir’s 1996 solo outing Lost My Brain! (Once Again), Still Cyco Punk options founding Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, the newest in an extended checklist of one-of-a-kind gamers to move by the Suicidal ranks, together with Rocky George, Mike Clark, Robert Trujillo and Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner.

Below, discover Billboard's dialog with Muir and Lombardo:

Mike, the band has reworked pre-existing materials a number of instances earlier than. You scored successful doing that with 1989’s Controlled by Hatred/Feel Like Shit... Déjà Va. Why did you revisit your first solo album 22 years later?

Mike Muir: Quite a lot of issues occurred lately, beginning a few years in the past with Dave Lombardo becoming a member of the band… Also, folks began mentioning a few of these previous songs — about six or seven instances in a few weeks. It had been so lengthy since that first Cyco Miko [solo] file that lots of people didn’t even learn about it. When I first needed to try this file, we had achieved quite a bit in Suicidal in different folks’s eyes: a gold file, a Grammy nomination, opening up for Metallica and Guns N’ Roses, [and] I wasn’t actually completely happy. So I did the Cyco Miko factor as a result of I needed to do one thing that [embodied] what I appreciated about music after I was younger. The irony was that I didn’t need it to be a Suicidal file, however now it feels very very like one.

I used to be additionally shocked that, lyrically, it’s the place I’m at 20-something years later. But having Dave taking part in that music in rehearsal had a really feel that I don’t assume the unique file did. Obviously, it was superb to have [Sex Pistols guitarist] Steve Jones play on the unique, however the best way we recorded it sounded very dated. Lots of people now try to do data that sound previous. I mentioned, “Let’s attempt to make it sound prefer it’s new.”

Suicidal opened an enviornment tour for Queensryche in 1991. You mentioned on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball on the time that you just appreciated taking part in arenas.

Muir: Oh yeah. If you’d instructed me as a 15 year-old, “One day, you’ll be taking part in arenas,” I’d have been like, “No means!” I can’t even sing! But to have the ability to do this with a band [like Queensryche] that was one of the performed bands on the radio and MTV on the time, to be in mainstream America, and to rapidly promote a pair hundred thousand extra data was essential. It was slightly little bit of validity. It was an awesome expertise, and we discovered a heck of quite a bit.

So the band’s arc was on a gentle uptick. Why had been you sad?

Muir: As folks noticed issues occurring [with our success], they’d go, “Well, why can’t you be as large as so-and-so?” There had been sure folks that might’ve needed to benefit from the journey. That’s simply not one thing that me.

Are you speaking about folks behind the scenes?

Muir: People normally, like buddies and possibly some folks within the band too. I give Axl Rose a whole lot of credit score. I learn someplace that he mentioned he needed to be a rock star since he was 6 years previous, and he did it. In my faculty, folks mentioned they needed to be an astronaut or the president, they usually ended up in jail. Anybody who can change into what they need, I give ’em a whole lot of respect.

Dave, you first noticed Suicidal reside in 1982. What was your impression?

Dave Lombardo: I’d heard this rumor, children on the street saying, “You have to take a look at Suicidal.” They had this fireplace that wasn’t typical from the metallic bands I used to be watching on the time. So I loved watching punk bands. Suicidal influenced me to step up my sport so far as vitality. It was like, “Wow, we now have to compete in opposition to these guys.”

Punk, hardcore and thrash-punk crossover bands closely influenced Slayer’s quick tempos. When did you uncover punk in relation to metallic?

Lombardo: [Late Slayer guitarist] Jeff Hanneman launched me to punk. He was a giant Suicidal fan, [and one-time Suicidal lead guitarist] Rocky George was one in every of his greatest buddies. At first, the [other guys in the band] had been sort of apprehensive. As time went on, they usually noticed me and Jeff singing the lyrics after we had been in a van touring up the coast of California to San Francisco, they acknowledged a [like-minded kind of] drive in punk.

You are taking part in with Dead Cross, Suicidal Tendencies and The Misfits. You’ve had quite a bit happening earlier than, however this could be probably the most intense interval of juggling you’ve ever carried out.

Lombardo: Yes. [Laughs.] It’s very grueling. I lately did six weeks in Europe with Dead Cross. I get on a airplane the following day after a present in Belgium, after which the next day, I’m onstage with Suicidal in Brooklyn. Time may be very treasured, however I’m having fun with what I accomplish that a lot, and I've an incredible assistant who units up my schedule and makes certain I’m in the correct place on the proper time. [Laughs.] I wouldn’t be capable of do it with out all of the musicians and superb folks round me.

How a lot adjusting does it take to modify amongst three completely different types of punk?

Lombardo: All of those types are brewing in me, however Suicidal has a specific groove and funk and swing that’s completely different than Dead Cross, which is simply over-the-top brutal as quick as you possibly can play. [Laughs.] And then you could have The Misfits, which is punk, however a rock’n’roll sort of vibe. For some purpose, I don’t discover [switching among the bands] troublesome. The most troublesome half is coping with the jetlag! I imply, a few of the Suicidal songs are difficult. They have these trickly little adjustments in elements that it's a must to keep in mind. But I keep in mind after I did that present in Brooklyn, it felt like a clean transition.

How a lot have you ever immersed your self in your native Cuban rhythms?

Lombardo: It’s a lifelong immersion. I can nonetheless see my mother and pa singing a few of the songs, so after I hear traditional Cuban music of the ’40s and ’50s or deeply religiously rooted Cuban rhythms, they strike a nerve. And each time I come throughout African Yoruba music, I soak up the polyrhythms and the syncopation. It’s so instructional.

Most of the traditional Suicidal catalog options drummer R.J. Herrera, whose taking part in gave the music a touch of Latin really feel.

Lombardo: I'd positively agree. He does have a sure swing that moved me after I first heard [those early albums].