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SUFFOCATION's Mike Smith Talks About Leaving The Band

Mike Smith's decision to leave Suffocation was pretty much inevitable, he says, and he can no longer make a living playing in Suffocation full time. He also told Sick Drummer that the band's new drummer, Dave Culross, will not have a problem playing the old songs because the "hired guitarists" can't even play them.

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He's pretty candid about the whole thing, which was something Suffocation chose not to be, as the band put out a pretty vague statement regarding Mike's departure from the band. Smith also says that he has no plans to retire, as he will be doing session work and playing with Synesis Absorption and Iniquitous. Here is what Mike Said:

SDM: Why did you decide to step down from the drum throne of Suffocation?
Mike: The decision was pretty much inevitable. When we first reunited the economy was in a much different place and I was able to make Suffocation my full-time job. Over the last few years the ability to tour and support a house, family and all it entails, became a strain on myself and my family. Once you reach a certain point financially, decisions have to be made before falling to a point of no return.

SDM: Is this the same reasoning that led you to leave the first time, so many years ago?

Mike: No. The first time there was no money ever made to be missed, it was just a moment in time that happened. Soon after I left the entire group called it quits anyway. The relationship between members was always suspect and brittle.
SDM: Are you happy with your replacement in Suffocation being Dave Culross?
Mike: My position in Suffocation isn't as simple as mounting a drum throne. The position I held within the band as President, founder, manager, songwriter, spokesperson, and all else pertaining to the working business of the band can never be replaced. Anyone drumming for the group now is just enjoying a moment in time, on me.
SDM: Do you think the new drummer of Suffocation is going to have a difficult time getting down the material from Souls to Deny, Blood Oath, and the Suffocation self-titled release?
Mike: The new drummer won't have a hard time, because the hired guitarists can't play the songs, so he will have nothing to worry about. Whatever songs are played will be the same ones we've been playing for the last 1000 shows or so. Forcing the crew to learn and practice all the Suffo songs was a battle that later became not worth fighting for. You're only as strong as the weak links in a band.
To read the entire chat between Sick Drummer and Mike Smith, you can do so at Sick Drummer's website here.
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Bummer Alert

We wish everyone in Suffocation all the best.