Metal Army caught up with Eddie Hermida, vocalist of ALL SHALL PERISH at this year’s ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MAYHEM FESTIVAL. He gave one of the best and most surprising interviews of the day. We hung out for quite a bit and we had a heartfelt discussion about the impact on him and the band being part of the tour, their new record, the writing process and inspirational lyrics. We also talked about his awesome Star Wars tattoos, sadly off the record. What follows is an excerpt of our chat.
One of my favorite albums to jam out to this summer.
MAA: How does Mayhem Festival compare to other festivals ALL SHALL PERISH has done?
EH: Mayhem has been something that we were really intimidated by. When we got the news that we got the deal, but not only that they wanted us, but they also wanted to pay us. My heart jumped and I went with it. It was one of the most intense feelings in my entire life. I called my mom. I almost cried, I was so choked up. This is the culmination of everything we have been working for all this time. Everything I’ve ever been all about is being able to step out to a bunch of really, really dedicated fans and show them why they should be dedicated to All SHALL PERISH. We go out there and we kill it everyday. We give everything, just like we do every show. Just like we do every tour.
MAA: How is the new material going over from This is Where it Ends?
EH: You always get nervous. When you are writing a song, you don’t really know how people are going to react to it. You are just writing, going from the gut. It’s more like this is a new song, this is what I’m feeling. The crowd has been responding a lot better than I thought they would. I was very nervous to see how they were going to react. I wasn’t sure they were gonna get it. I genuinely believed people weren’t going to see the direction that we took or that they were gonna judge us too hard. Ultimately people are loving it, which is makes me really happy because this is my favorite record we have done.
ALL SHALL PERISH were one of the best side stage acts at Mayhem.
MAA: The new record is definitely a step over Awaken the Dreamers. How does ASP write an album?
EH: The way we work in ALL SHALL PERISH from beginning to end: the guitarists get together a couple of riffs and then they get together with the drummer. They piece the song together from there. Then the bassist comes in and adds all the color. Then the lead guitarist comes in and he destroys the thing and then they send it to me to put it back together. When it comes to me I really try to soak in the music and I spend three or four straight days and nights with it. I sleep with the music on repeat until I come up with something. First, I free flow parts over the music and try to come up with patterns until I decide what the song is trying to speak about. Then I write lyrics. I try to talk about how the music makes me feel. I draw upon my memories and I draw upon my good times and my bad times until I come upon what the song is about. Other than that the band comes together really well and I think this is the best lineup of ASP.
MAA: This is Where it Ends still comes hard with the thought provoking lyrics. Why is it important to you to have serious lyrics on your albums?
EH: The first memory I can really draw back from is something my mom told me. She said I could be anything I wanted to be. Which is the typical thing a parent can say. But she also said she didn’t care what I do, just that I would be the best at what I do. I try to write something that I would be inspired by. Something that if I heard it I would be totally taken back by. You can’t really draw millions of peoples’ thoughts into one thing. I don’t know how I do it, but I try to. I try to keep it verbose and I try to establish myself as a poet as well as a singer. A big thing for me when I was a teenager was I really loved the lyrics from Corey Taylor on the first SLIPKNOT record. He was using a lot of huge words I didn’t understand and it really inspired me. And I wanted to do the same too.
MAA: And now you are doing it en español!
EH: Oh I was really nervous about pulling that off (the Spanish version of the track “Royalty in Exile”). There was a lot of pressure from Nuclear Blast. They wanted me to utilize that side of what I can do. It wasn’t like “you need to do this to to sell more records!” The record company was like “you should try to express that side of you more.” And I was really nervous to do it, but it came out great and I was really happy with it later.
MAA: What is essential for you to survive a summer tour?
EH: I need weed and sunscreen. I got a baseball mitt, a ball and a couple of condoms laying around! (laughs)
Eddie Hermida is a pretty deep guy, but you can tell he loves his job!
MAA: What does the band have on tap for touring the rest of this year?
EH: We are going to be hitting the road in October with THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER and then Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia. Then I would love to come home and do a big headline tour.
MAA: Thanks for your time Eddie!
EH: Thanks for the support!
(Thanks to Eddie Hermida, Nuclear Blast and Curtis Dunlap Photography)
by Keith (Keefy) Chachkes