[Frank Mullen, center.]
Legendary death metal titans Suffocation have had a long and storied career and remain ever influential in the scene. They’re one of the reasons why mixing death metal with hardcore-style breakdowns caught on and became popular. In the past year though, the band has been on shaky footing, what with drummer Mike Smith stepping down from the band in February. Now things are looking a bit less positive for the future of Suffocation, as frontman Frank Mullen has announced plans to retire from full-time touring with the band.
In an interview with Horns Up Rocks, Mullen had this to say:
“I can’t really tour full time anymore. So when the album comes out, they’ll probably set up about a month-[long] tour, or something like that, in the States. I’ll only do about two weeks of it. There’ll be a fill-in singer [doing the rest of the shows]. And then I’ll probably do maybe a week, or a week and a half, over in Europe, and then any other touring they do for the rest of the year, will probably have somebody else filling in [on vocals]. I mean, I’ll do, like, spot shows here and there. But unfortunately, as you get older, death metal doesn’t make tons of money, and I’ve got a good job, so… you know, you’ve gotta work. And that’s pretty much what it is. I’m not a kid no more.
“At this point, you’ve gotta start thinking ahead in your life, you’ve gotta start thinking long-term goals and stuff. And unfortunately, death metal, again, it’s not the type of music where you’re gonna make millions and where you can make a really good living on it. I mean, you can have fun with it, and some bands could have a steady life on it, but for the most part, you do it more or less for the fact that that’s what you love — you love death metal and that’s what you play. It’s more or less that than trying to make a living.”
It’s hard to fault him. Getting older and having to provide for a family and holding down a steady job makes the touring life a chore. It’d be weird to think as Frank as a session-only vocalist for the most part in Suffocation, and I find the whole fill-in arrangement a little odd, but I’d assume fans will love to take what they can get. I’m not sure that the prospect of seeing Suffocation without Mike Smith and Frank Mullen, though, but good on everyone for doing what’s best for themselves.
Suffocation’s new album The Pinnacle of Bedlam will be available early 2013 via Nuclear Blast.