What gave it away that All Shall Perish was having a great Summer? Was it the rave reviews their latest album This Is Where It Ends has been receiving? Was it that they’ve been winning over fans on this year’s Mayhem Fest? Or maybe it was the fact that This Is Where It Ends debuted in the top 50? Whatever it may be, All Shall Perish have been continuing to make a name for themselves as one of the best bands to come out of the new generation of metal.
During the Mayhem Festival’s stop in Camden, NJ, we got the chance to talk with singer Hernan “Eddie” Hermida. During our chat, Hermida discussed how new members Francesco Artusato and Adam Pierce saved the band from breaking up, how great of an experience Mayhem Fest has been, and how honored he is that a little known guitarist named Kirk Hammett really digs the group.
So your new studio album, This is Where it Ends, is also the first with guitarist Francesco Artusato and drummer Adam Pierce. Can you tell me what input they had in the new recording?
They were actually very involved in the writing process. Francesco helped put together I’d say a good solid 4 or 5 songs on the record. And when I say put together he went in and arranged everything, wrote everything, wrote all the solos for his own songs, and then he had Adam help him do the final arrangements and final touches with the drums. Adam was very involved in each and every song, he put together all the drums for the music which is a very integral part. They were both super involved, and they’re both awesome. We really love this record.
Would you say they brought a breath of fresh air into the band?
Yeah, definitely. The band was, I would almost say, on the verge of breaking up and those guys stepped in and really livened us up and made us happy and gave us a resurgence of belief in ourselves. And I feel like we’re out there killing it right now.
Can I ask what caused such issues within the band?
Matt [Kuykendall, former drummer] was one of the five founding members with Craig [Betit, former vocalist] and Caysen [Russo, former lead guitarist]. Matt’s been in it from the beginning, and he decided one day he just didn’t want to tour anymore and that he just wanted to manage the band from behind the scenes. We tour so much, we kill ourselves touring that we just didn’t feel it was fair. So he had to go. That was a huge hit for the band. The rest of us, Mike [Tiner, bassist], Ben [Orum, guitarist], and I were all very shattered by the whole thing. Adam and Francesco stepped in at the right time and helped us write this record. They stepped in to do a few tours we had lined up that Matt couldn’t finish up, and I think they did a good job.
With the founding members not being there, and Chris and I stepping in, it was kind of a huge step. It changed the dynamic of the band. It changed the sound of the band and created a much more different beast to handle. When Chris left, we had a replacement guitarist who went off to do Born of Osiris, and then we found Francesco, which was going to be fine. But when finding Francesco, Matt decided he didn’t want to be with us anymore, and that really did change the dynamic of the new record, but I feel like we still have the old school sound. I feel like we brought some of the old school brutality that All Shall Perish used to bring on The Price Of Existence and Hate, Malice, Revenge. I’m really happy with this record as far as that goes.
All Shall Perish often get characterized as a deathcore band. Do you feel that that label is unfair?
I don’t know if fair is the word. It is kind of deathcore if you break it down. I mean, to me it’s just metal. We’re a metal band that does parts that have death metal influence, and parts that have hardcore influence. If you want to call it deathcore because it makes you happier, then so be it. I really don’t give a fuck. [laughs]
You’re just happy to be playing music.
Dude, who isn’t?
Especially on a tour like Mayhem Fest, I’m sure. Speaking of which, how has it been so far?
This tour is hands down one of the best vehicles for exposure for putting a band like us on the map, and that to me is something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid. I’m really happy with it; I can’t thank the people at Mayhem enough, and seriously, that’s all I can say.
So if they’re listening right now, they should definitely try and get you back on next year?
Next year, maybe the year after, I don’t want to over saturate All Shall Perish. I don’t want people to get tired of us. But yeah, I would love to do it every year if possible, just to be around these people, the cooks, the people working catering, and the people taking care of us over at the second stage bringing us water, beer, just making sure that we’re ready to play. This whole festival is set up for that. It’s making sure that the artist gets to really express themselves every single day. It’s a tour that I’d love to be here every summer if I could, but business is business.
You might have heard this, but Metallica’s Kirk Hammett has not only raved about the band countless of times, but also named your last album Awaken The Dreamers one his 25 favorite of the decade. That must have been amazing to hear.
That was breathtaking to say the least. It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter what level of musicianship you’re at, how much money making, how much money you’re not making, music touches all people in all facets of life. I read that and I was like ‘Are you kidding me? He’s exposing us like that? That’s fuckin’ huge!’ That’s something that I hope one day I’ll be able to return to some band in the future. Even if I get that far, I don’t know. Death metal…is death metal. [laughs]
Well you can do that right now if you’d like! Any band you’d like to shine the light on?
There’s a couple of bands that I listen to, but I mostly listen to my friend’s bands that have broken up, so it’s like yeah I could expose them but they’re not a band anymore. There’s actually a really, really good band from Northern California called Red Fall that I really love. They’re good friends of mine, and they write really insane music.
And they’re still together?
Yeah, I think so, they might have broken up. [laughs]
We’ll check online before this posts. [laughs]
Definitely! [laughs] [ed. note: from what we can tell from their MySpace page, Red Fall appear to still be together]
Have you had the chance to contact Metallica, or have they contacted you at all?
We inadvertently talked through Kirk Hammett’s PR person and gave him a couple of t-shirts, a CD, sent it out to him, said “Hey man, this a gift for hooking us up so fat.” Apparently he loves to wear the shirt and listens to the record, and that’s really cool. We also have contacted their manager. Their manager’s son is a huge fan of All Shall Perish apparently. On [last year’s] Summer Slaughter tour, he requested to be on our guest list, which we thought was pretty cool.
That’s really cool! Does the band have any plans after Mayhem Fest?
October, the only thing we have lined up so far is The Black Dahlia Murder tour, which is going to be coming around secondary markets. We’re trying to pack out a bunch of small houses and make sure those shows are nice and packed. We’re going to have insane shows every night. It’s kind of the goal, to take it back to the old school touring days, playing the dingiest venues, but you have the best shows. We’re going to be doing that, and then a bunch of abroad touring. We’re looking to do headliner, early 2012.