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Suffocation’s Guy Marchais Talks All Things HEAVY

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Death Metal legends Suffocation have released the brutal ‘Pinnacle Of Bedlam’ album recently. This is the seventh album in their fine legacy and Guy Marchais was good enough to speak to HEAVY about a slew of happening in the Suffocation camp.

Your new album ‘Pinnacle Of Bedlam’ has just been released… how do you guys feel about it?
Guy: Ah we’re really stoked with it and are excited about all the fans getting to hear it and hopefully like it. We’re so excited with it that we’ve actually inspired ourselves and have already starting writing the next one.

Wow that’s awesome man…so was there a change in the process at all after Mike Smith (original drummer) left and Dave Culross (former drummer) jumped back into the fold?
Nothing really changed. It’s always really easy working with Dave, he’s really relaxed. We’ve known Dave for a long time and he lives local so we asked if he wanted to do it when Mike left and he said yeah. He’s already been playing with us a year.

How is the song writing usually approached? Has it changed much since you joined in 2003?
Yeah in 2003 when they reformed they asked me to join because Cerrito (ex- guitarist) didn’t want to do it, so I’m not sure how they wrote the songs up until that point. But the way we’ve always done it since is that I’ll write at home with Pro Tools, Terrance will do the same, Derek will do the same. Then we’ll all go to each other’s houses back and forth working on each other’s material. The difference on this album compared to the last few was that we took more time with the process. Writing, arranging, recording and mixing we just were able to take more time doing it.

With Frank Mullen (vocalist) not able to commit to touring as much these days, what is the plan for Suffocations touring schedule for this album?
Well the way it is now with Frank is if we get tour offers coming in then we’ll call him and see if he can get off work and of course if he can get the time off then he’ll do them. He has some time saved up for this year’s tour schedule and of course weekend shows he’ll do. There will be some shows though where we’ll have a fill in singer by the name of John Gallagher of Dying Fetus. He is somebody people are going to enjoy I think. We may need to use Bill Robinson (Decrepit Birth) from time to time aswell but yeah hopefully people will still come out and see us with a new singer because the songs are still the same it’s just with a different person singing.

Have you guys ever considered doing a whole set of one of your classic albums from start to finish? That seems to be popular with bands these days…
Ah we were talking awhile ago about doing a tour for Effigy of the Forgotten, but now with the new album out I don’t think we’ll be doing it anytime soon. We’ll probably be doing 4 or 5 new songs off the new album and when we tour behind it we’ll try and mix up as much old stuff like we usually we do.

I have to ask, what is happening with the Suffocation dvd? So many people have been anticipating it for so long….
That’s still going ahead but we no longer have a working relationship with the guy who was putting it together, so now the guy who is doing the making of this album and our video for ‘As Grace Descends’ has a ton of footage to sift through and he’ll be putting it all together soon. He’ll be coming out on the road with us to get some new footage aswell. In the meantime though we have this making of ‘Pinnacle of Bedlam’ which is an hour and a half long and has so much great stuff like us recording, equipment, our personal lives and just the funny shit that happens in the studio. It’s really cool.

How did you go learning all the songs to get out on the road?
The first song I went and jammed was ‘Thrones of Blood’ and it was funny because the songs look so fucked up when you’re watching them get played but when you’re playing them they actually aren’t too difficult and are very memorable. They make sense and they just flow so well. So then it didn’t take that long to get a set together. Maybe a month or 2 and we were out on the road. Ever since then we’ve been adding a song here and there but then when we add a song we drop a song and then when we want to put that back in sometimes we have to relearn it if it’s been a while (laughs).

Any plans to tour Australia anytime soon?
I’m not sure when we’re going to be coming to be out there but we’re looking to get out there. I’m particularly excited to come out there because I love it so much. One day I think I’ll live in Perth or something I actually love it that much. But yeah we love it out there and we have made some great friends there so we look forward to coming out and having beers with everyone and playing some shows and hopefully everyone likes the new album. See you guys soon.

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