Last week, when we reported that Frank Mullen, frontman of legendary New York death metal outfit, Suffocation, announced he would stop touring full time with the band, that sent a wave of shock throughout the metal community. I guess the game of telephone got back to the band with the news that Frank was quitting the band… not sure how that leap was made, because it certainly wasn't made here.
The band felt the need to release a statement late last week clarifying their position and their future:
Mullen was the first to issue a statement saying:
"I am not leaving Suffocation. Massive one month long touring on my side cannot be done anymore though. When the new album is released next year I will be touring as much as possible to support the album as well as the following year in 2014.
When I was asked that question in the interview I was taken off guard and didn't really know what my schedule was going to look like next year and wanted to try and answer. I haven't given much thought to what our touring schedule would look like since we've been in the studio recording the new release. So I'm going to be getting out there as much as I can to support the album and get out there in front of the ones who have supported Suffocation over the years, the true fans. So we are going to be supporting this record as soon as it comes out"
He's basically reiterating what we know. He'll be able to do short runs (probably on the East Coast, so he's relatively close to his job) and then he'll have to head back to work, while a fill-in helps on some dates. We speculated that Bill from Decrepit Birth might be that fill in, but according to a statement from the band, it's not.
"We have respected this decision that Frank has made, but by no means does this mean Suffocation will 'replace' him with new singer or stop touring. Death metal has been good to us, and we feel fortunate with the success we have achieved. For shows or tours he can't be a part of there will be a well respected, talented, fill in singer, so we as a band can continue to prosper and bring Suffocation to the fans. Bill Robinson (Decrepit Birth) is a good friend of ours and came through during the European tours when Frank was unable to make the shows, but he was just filling in those two times. The fill-in singer will be announced soon, and we promise that our fans will not be let down. We have been fortunate to make a great living playing music, and are willing to continue to give our fans what they want."
Either way, Suffo fans are sure to be a little upset that they might not be seeing the same band they're hearing on record. But knowing how committed those guys are to their band and their craft, I doubt they would let just anybody up there.