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Exclusive Interview: Davey Suicide
Davey Suicide is ready to set the world ablaze. The Los Angeles insurgent injects gutter grit back into rock ‘n’ roll. It’s been far too long since a rebel raged through town with distortion blaring and middle fingers in the air. It’s time for a new leader and the time is right to put your trust in Suicide. Flanked by bandmates Frankie Sil [Bass], Ben Graves [Drums], Needlz [Keyboards], and Eric Griffin [Guitar], he distills heavy metal, industrial, and punk into anthems that are as corrosive as they are catchy. Whether or not you’re prepared, Suicide has arrived.
This week saw the release of the new Davey Suicide EP Put Our Trust In Suicide. This EP features four blistering tracks including a remix of the song “Generation Fuck Star”. In support of the release, Davey Suicide will be on the road with Blood on the Dance Floor and Jeffree Star as part of “The Scene is Dead Tour”. The second leg of the tour kicks off November 21 in Las Vegas, NV and runs through December 15 in Tucson, AZ.
“We are in a time where we need to support bands that put the ‘art’ back into the ‘artist’ so we can cut out the manufacturing bullshit from American Idol and the Voice,” says Suicide. “It starts with us, the real music fans and it starts today. We are the future. We are Generation Fuck Star.”
We spent time with Davey talking about the motivation behind his music and how his struggles early in life helped direct his journey as one of the new leaders of rock n ‘ roll.
Let’s go ahead and attack the name thing and get it out of the way. Some people hear the word “suicide” and freak out but it’s actually representative of your dedication to yourself and your choices in life, right?
The sense of empowerment and being in control of your own life is an important thing to equate to your life.
Kids are being brought up to think it’s OK to be a follower and not a leader. That drives me nuts.
I feel like people have always been telling me what to do or how to live or what job to pick. I’ve been proving constantly that you don’t have to do that. I never wanted to have a boss and I always wanted to call my own shots. I had to make sacrifices to do that, but in the end it worked out. Sharing that with kids who maybe grew up in a rough environment or were pushed around, it’s a good thing for them to remember.
How long did it take to nail down the look and sound you were going for with the band?
It was just me so I did the art. The image of the band is just like an extension of our personalities. It’s something that just kind of evolved. We’ve been doing this for a couple of years. I don’t think we had any kind of time limit on how things should turn out. Our lives have led to this moment. I do spend a lot of time on the artwork and editing photos and we do get together and go over concepts and things. It’s just been a constant evolution.
Did you always know you wanted an “image heavy” band?
Yeah. I’ve always been loud. I grew up in Maryland and I was always the guy who would go to the mall and just get stared at from the sailor guys, jocks, or whoever. I was always shunned away. The look just kept getting more and more over the top. I’ve always liked bands like Guns N’ Roses where you had five dudes that all looked cohesive but they all had a unique look to them as well. I always wanted a band like that and I feel like we’ve done it in a gothic, industrial, gutter-punk kind of way.
Aside from musical influences, different things in life can influence and inspire musical directions and lyrics. What are some things that help mold you as an artist?
My parents split up when I was young. My dad fought for joint custody so I would spend two weeks with my mom and two weeks with my dad until I was in high school. They tried to force me to live in one house because they lived in two different towns and the school bus didn’t go to both. I was going to have to choose and I thought whoever I chose would think I loved them more than the other. I couldn’t have the burden on my shoulders. I moved out when I was 16. I started sleeping on this wooden swing on the back porch of my friend’s house. I had all of my clothes in the trunk of my car. That started the division. To me it was about not hurting one of my parent’s feelings. They took it as me not appreciating them. That’s when I realized I wanted to start doing music. I no longer wanted to go to college for art or be on the baseball team. Music is all I cared about. Music was my escape and they didn’t understand that. That taught me to become an individual. I knew there was someplace I could go when nobody else wanted to hear me talk. That’s when I started sharing my music with people and making friends. Once I shared my music it made people able to identify with me and then they wanted to be my friend. That was a big transition for me mentally.
Did your parents ever understand that you weren’t trying to necessarily rebel from them, that you were just worried about their feelings?
I think, eventually. But I didn’t communicate that very well. I remember I got in a fight with my mom’s boyfriend at the time and ended up giving him stitches. It was over something stupid. I was very angry and I didn’t communicate the best ways that I did appreciate them. I didn’t realize until a couple of years later how much I really did appreciate them. Now they get it. When you’re going through something like that you don’t realize what you’re going through until afterwards.
I’ve heard you talk about how your parents forced you to go to church. Did that form a resentment against religion and church?
I would tend to say yes but I don’t think that was it. I was raised as a Catholic. I was listening to what they were saying. It was like if you didn’t believe everything they were saying then you were going to hell. My parents bribed me with doughnuts as a kid to get me to go. (laughs) The ringer for me was when I was in confirmation class. I was 14. That was the last class before we were confirmed. The instructor said, “If you don’t believe all of this you shouldn’t do it. God or Jesus wouldn’t want you to go though with it.” That resonated with me. Later on that week all my relatives from Pennsylvania and New York came in for the confirmation ceremony. I remember getting off the bus and just disappearing for the rest of the day. I didn’t want to go to the ceremony. I waited until I knew the ceremony was over and I remember walking in the front door and my family was lined up in the hallway as I walked through them. That was the day I became the black sheep. That’s the moment everything changed. That’s when I also realized if you feel something or feel a certain way you should stand up for yourself. They didn’t push it on me after that. I’ve always thought if you want something you can get it. You don’t have to depend on something else to get it for you – just get it yourself.
A lot of people cling to religion because they’re afraid of the consequence. If I don’t believe I’ll go to hell. If you believe that you should believe everything they teach you. If you only believe because you’re afraid of going to hell, that’s the wrong reason. To each his own. Please, do what you wanna do – just do it for the right reasons.
When you were living on your friend’s back porch and music became so important to you, who were some of the bands you were listening to then?
Guns N’ Roses was my favorite. Metallica. Pantera. Eminem. Marilyn Manson. Those were my favorites at the time. I felt like I could escape anything with my headphones. Nothing else mattered at that time. Playing guitar and playing live – nothing else can beat that. I wanted to feel that every night of my life.
Was a particular record more important to you at that time?
Use Your Illusion II is probably my “desert island” album. “Civil War” and the reckless abandon of “Get In The Ring.” I love Axl’s rant in that song. “You Could Be Mine,” “Don’t Cry” is probably my favorite ballad of all time. “Estranged” is amazing. The Marshall Mathers EP – just the lyrics – grabbed me by the balls and slung me around at the time. It’s brilliant. My favorite Metallica album was Ride The Lightning. The guitar work in “Fade To Black” is some of my favorite.
Do you believe in the “sex, drugs and rock n’ roll” lifestye?
I’m not a big advocate of the drugs part. I’ve seen so many people fall apart because of it. To each his own. There are a lot of people out here on dope and heroin and they go to a dark place and most of them never get out. It’s in the scene and it’s always present but I’m not into it. Some people feel like that channels their creativity. I think self-control channels whatever you want. I think it’s a bunch of bullshit. There are a few people I know that I’m no longer friends with. They’re not the same person anymore and it’s sad to see that happen to really talented people. Kids look up to these guys. That’s really sad. If you’re going to be a leader don’t be a chump and pretend you’re OK when you have an addiction.
Davey, I appreciate you taking time out for this. What would you like to say to wrap things up?
Every day I wake up and I’m lucky I get to live the life I want to live. It’s truly because people support my musical habit. It’s like we’re the seed and the more you guys water us the bigger we’ll get and the longer we’ll be around and get to share what we do. Infinite thanks for that opportunity.
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