Even before Suicide Silence vocalist Mitch Lucker died in a motorcycle accident that his wife said was the result of drunk driving, the band was in turmoil. In a revealing interview in Alt Press, the band spoke about what got them through following his death, and how they regrouped with former All Shall Perish vocalist Hernan “Eddie” Hermida. It’s an understatement to say that Lucker’s death was a wake up call for the band. Guitarists Chris Garza and Mark Heylmun opened up to the magazine, stating that group therapy, nutrition and a lot of self help books led them on their road to recovery that led up to their recently-released top 20 album You Can’t Stop Me:
“There was a whole hell of a lot going on prior to Mitch’s passing, as far as all of our excessive partying and the effects we were having on each other,” Heylmun explains. “We couldn’t have been more unprepared for Mitch’s accident, given the state we were all in. The lines had blurred between our lives on tour and at home. I was concerned for other people in my band, but I didn’t feel like I could confront anyone without being a hypocrite.”
Garza says that the entire period up through their 2011 The Black Crown was a blur, and he was blackout drunk every night for months at a time. Following Lucker’s death, the band and their manager Jerry Clubb threw themselves into the benefit show that took place in December of 2012, which was an immediate way to deal with things, but after that, he had to admit that he had a problem:
“After the show, there was no more running away from what happened. One of my best friends died. The band, which was my primary way to get out aggressive or dark feelings, was gone. I knew the drinking had to stop. I was on the verge of wanting to kill myself.”
What helped Garza was fitness celebrity Mike Chang, which led him to throw out junk food and buy some weights. He then read The Ultramind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First, by Mark Hyman. Heylmun too, was reading and eating healthily simultaneously. Being off the road, he’d decided to stock his house with healthy food, streaming the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead and starting to follow the Paleo diet. Then, spurred by their manager, the band tried group therapy, much like Metallica did as documented in Some Kind of Monster. It’s helped the entire band. They’re healthier, if not straight edge, and Garza ends the article by saying “you can actually have a good time without getting completely drunk every single night.” Words to live by, given that you only live once.