Suicide Silence have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by embarking on their first-ever virtual world tour (tickets available here). The trek kicked off on July 2nd in New York City and runs through July 30th in Toronto, ON. The month-long tour has the band performing two to three times a day streaming to different parts of the globe. We were lucky to experience this on their first night, and you can read our thoughts here. We caught up with guitarist Chris Garza to discuss their experience, their new album, Become the Hunter, and more.
How did the unique virtual tour idea first come up?
Came up about a little bit over two months ago, we were having meetings. And then, our long time manager came up with this idea about doing a virtual world tour. And we all got super excited. We’re like, “Yeah, that’s fresh.” Then, we’ve been going all at it, ever since.
Are there any different events that fans in different parts of the world can expect from you guys?
I guess there’s only one way to find out. I think once people see it, it’s going to click.
What’s interesting about this is that there are also actual concerts happening. There was one in Tennessee but, it didn’t look like there was any social distancing happening. With you guys reinventing the wheel and adapting to the times, what are your thoughts of concerts taking place without any real precautionary measures and COVID-19 related restrictions?
Right now, it’s 100% too early. And we don’t want to put anyone at risk, no matter how small or big the show is. And want to make sure that things are done right. And, if we have to wait another few months, a year or two, that’s what we’re going to do to ensure the safety of the people going to shows. Doing things too soon is definitely not good right now.
Of course, there’s definitely a big question mark.
Since you’re willing to experiment with the virtual tour. Once things do return back to normal, what do you think post-COVID-19 shows will look like?
I think that that varies from band to band. I think once artists of all forms see where things are heading, how long this thing might actually take place. I think bands are going to be forced to evolve, and then figure out maybe a new way. Or, still wait. Every band is different, every artist is different. And for us, this is what’s very called for.
I do admire that you guys were willing to adapt and find ways to interact with your fan base during these uncertain times. What’s been keeping yourself busy during quarantine, and while things are closed or semi-reopening?
We’re still worried about us, as we’re literally busier than ever. Because just doing this, there’s no roads. So, we’re figuring everything out in real-time. It’s all the big things, the small things. Because we literally trying to get this off the ground has been fucking hard. And so, we’ve been busy. And to be honest, that’s been a blessing for me. Because, I mean, I am supposed to be home and spend some quality time with my family, and my cat, and my girlfriend, and just play guitar literally all day, for hours and practice like I’m 12 again. So, it’s been a blessing, in a fucked up way.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic started, you guys released your new album, Become the Hunter. And over the last few months, how has the response been so far?
The response has been awesome. Fans seem to be reacting in a very positive way. And we’re blessed that people gave it a listen. Right when it was time to go full on touring, obviously that all got put on a hold, so it’s nice that now we could finally play these songs.
Social media can be a toxic place. And you guys took some hits over your self-titled album. I was curious, what are some things that you learned from this experience on handling social media backlash?
I had to speak to myself, and honestly, it was easy. Because, literally, I’ve been saying it, but people forget that our fucking singer died [Mitch Lucker]. I was the only one there at the hospital. It happened in front of me. So, when you go through something like that, everything else is literally nothing. Nothing can compare to that. I learned from then also, things that are said on social media, I don’t pay attention to it. Negative or positive, I really try to stay away from it. So, Mitch was truly the beginning of getting thick skin, and really knowing who you are, and keeping a healthy head on your shoulders. So, when we put up a self-title record that people don’t quite necessarily like. I have people who don’t like it. For me, it was the same. We just need to move on.
It’s a strong attitude to have. First of all, you guys are adapting to this pandemic moving forward with a worldwide virtual tour. And now, you simply moved forward from the backlash and didn’t feed into the noise. It’s an admirable attitude to have. Is there anything else that you wanted to say, or add, about the virtual tour?
We’ve been rehearsing. We just moved into the spot a few days ago. We’ve been working our asses off, to make sure everything’s working properly. The amount of work that has gone into this is 10-fold of a normal tour. It’s all these little things, are like, wow. Just trying to make things happen. But, it’s one-of-a-kind. The reason why we’re doing it is because there’s nothing like it. This is not a live stream. To me, live streams are fucking boring. That’s why we called it a Virtual World Tour, because it’s its own thing. I think once people see it, as opposed to seeing me say words about it. I think they’ll go, “Oh, that’s what you’re doing? Holy shit!”
It’s more like TV, than it is a show. It’s a full experience. And, for some reason, like all things in life, when you do something for the first time, there’s this pureness to it. So, whoever sees these first batch of shows is truly going to get a one-of-a-kind experience. And, there’s nothing… I’m always drawn to new music. There’s nothing out there even close to this. And also, at the caliber that we’re doing it.
We’re all excited. I don’t even want to play, I want to see it. It’s like, man. I have friends in L.A. and SoCal, that bought tickets, and had a big ol’ hangout on Thursday night. I’m like, “Damn, I don’t want to play. I want to be there and hang out.” It’s a full-on experience. And I’m really excited and looking forward to people actually seeing this thing. Because we spent, holy shit, so much time on this thing. And we’re still putting more time into it. Buy tickets for the Virtual World Tour, it’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime deal. This is its own thing. And I hope you guys enjoy it.