Suffocation interview

Originally published in ‘zine issue #3, 1991

Suffocation signed to RC Records this year and rushed down to Morrisound in Florida to record a debut album, Effigy of the Forgotten. Terrance Hobbs, one of the guitarists of this C sharp tuning, very technical death metal band from New York, called me up, and we did the following interview.

D.U.: So is there going to be all-new material with no demo songs on the second album?

Terrance: Yeah, definitely, without a shadow of a doubt. [laughs]

So you’re pretty sick of the old stuff by now, huh?

Oh yeah, man. It’s like, we wrote new songs on this album, but now we’re gonna have to turn around and write all-new material, so it’s just totally different. It’ll definitely be more faster and heavier than this album. I think we’re growing as far as writing style is concerned. It’s pretty cool, man.

How does the band make writing decisions? Does everyone vote or what?

As far as all of us, we all collaborate to write. If somebody comes out with an idea that’s cool, the other person’s gonna make it a little bit better, and maybe just start creating from there. And it’s pretty cool, y’know? Some of the times, Doug, the other guitarist, would write, like, a whole song, and maybe he might need something to help it out. I do the same thing. It’s all right.

Has Frank ever spoken in a clear voice when introducing a song live?

Well, he does that. It all depends on his feeling, y’know? If he wants to growl at the crowd, then that’s what he does too.

Can you tell me what effects everyone uses on their stuff?

Well, Frank doesn’t really use an effect. It’s more or less reverb. As far as our guitars and stuff like that, there’s really nothing on them, either. It’s just maybe a little bit of delay, just on the solos. But everything else is just raw.

Just natural distortion from the amps?

Yeah. We wanna stay raw, keep the heaviness.

You know the opinion a lot of people have of Morrisound Studios, like, “Everybody goes there”?

I don’t see why, though. I really don’t, you know? I think Scott Burns did a really good job on our album. I think that he is a good producer. He’s a good mixer. I hate the way that people slag him, but whatever. That’s their own opinion. Yeah, he makes the drums stand out always, prevalently, and it’s like, everything is so clean there. That’s why. I don’t think he’s losing any of the sound quality anywhere.

Some of the lyrics generally are about the soul and anti-religion and stuff like that, so does this reflect any personal beliefs of the band, or is it just stories?

They’re more or less just stories. There’s always music in the media and stuff like that with, um, just the basic things in life, like love and all that other kinda crap. And you’re like, “That’s so boring, man. Just give us something a little bit more to sink your teeth into.” So, when you go into death metal, you hear about killing and massacring and all that good shit. If people can’t cope with the music, then that’s kinda beat, y’know? I think people overlook [death metal] a little bit too much, and it’s something that they should pay attention to.

“Come see our show, otherwise people’ll die and you’ll hate it.”

What’s up with the new bassist? What’s his name? Where’d you get him?

Okay, our new bassist is Chris Richards, because we got rid of Josh, and Josh went to join Autopsy, which I think is pretty cool. [Chris] used to play in the New York band Apparition. They’re pretty cool. He wanted to go into a different kind of music. Everything worked out for the better, for us and for them, so it’s pretty cool.

So why did you kick Josh out?

I really don’t want to go into any details about it, but it’s just like, we had our differences in his playing ability, and we just wanted somebody different who could give us the things that we needed, as far as playing ability and stage presence and stuff like that. And we just finally got rid of him. Plus, there was all different disagreements in the band and just little things here and there. Josh is cool. There’s really nothing I can say bad about him.

Do you have a final comment?

Uh, just watch out for the tour. Come see our show, otherwise people’ll die and you’ll hate it, y’know? ■


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