Alex Lopez of Suicide Silence Interview
By: Craig Sternberg 9/09
SDM: Tell us about "No Time to Bleed" and how the album differs from "The Cleansing"?
Alex: Basically, The Cleansing was a live album, all the songs were recorded live with no click, just feeling, the songs were also composed over a span of four months during touring and just at home.
NTTB was more of a produced album; all the tempos were mapped out, and it took us a longer time to write and evaluate the songs as a whole. The recording process was strenuous, and I didn't realize what we were doing until we were done. But overall, both albums are good in their entirety, for what they are.
SDM: Why did you guys decide to pick Machine to produce this record? Was there a record he produced before that stuck out to you?
Alex: Machine, on my behalf, was picked for me. He's done a lot of amazing albums, like Lamb of God, et cetera. His method was really good for capturing the integrity of our sound, and in some form captured our live show.
SDM: This album was tracked instead of recorded live like the last one, how did this affect the recording process for you and the rest of the band?
Alex: It just took a lot more time to record, and each and every part took more thought. Each drum part was written, every fill and cymbal hit, everything was written; I'm more of a live, feel, on the spot drummer, so recording Machine's way was a bit like putting a blanket on my skills and ideas for songs, but overall the simplicity of the record is what makes it a good record, I feel.
SDM: Suicide Silence combines many different styles into its music. What genre of music do you listen to most to draw inspiration for your drum parts?
Alex: Usually the simpler the guitars are, the more I do on drums, and vice-versa. I always try to write stuff that I personally would like to listen to. Inspiration comes from everywhere, from the first metal CD I've ever heard to watching a video of the Beatles play in Shea Stadium, no matter where it comes from I feel its my duty to get inspiration, make it my own, and be one-hundred percent Alex about the way I drum.
SDM: You've also played guitar in bands. Tell us about your guitar playing, and if you have written any material for Suicide Silence before.
Alex: I think I've written about one or two guitar parts ("Hands of a Killer" main riff). Most of the time I'll write drum patterns that can easily be transformed into a guitar riff, like the "Wake Up" groove. I wrote on it drums and the guys basically matched it with guitars; being a guitarist has helped me understand that. When I play, I imagine myself also playing the guitar while I play drums. I already picture how a song will be once I hear the first two riffs. The writing process is not hard, in fact sometimes I feel I was destined to be the right person for the job: I try to keep shit original but not something all these other bands can't pull off; less is more sometimes. A fast drummer who doesn't rock out and hit hard is mediocre to me.
SDM: The popularity of the band continues to grow and you've toured with many huge bands. What has been the most surreal moment for you so far in your professional career?
Alex: There have been so many surreal moments that I've encountered being in this band, too many to talk about. Sometimes I feel like I'm getting used to meeting music legends. I do get shocked getting to play with amazing bands; most of the time, the day of the show I'll get butterflies when I see the soundcheck or see the band warm up, standing on the side of a stage watching a band that I used to be obsessed over is crazy, too. It shows me that hard work pays off, and that if you want something and you feel your whole life has led you there, you take it, harness it, and accept it, and enjoy your time while it lasts.
Alex from Suicide Silence provides some insight on blasting. Covers...