It’s been a big year for Perth’s Make Them Suffer. They dropped the ‘Ether’ single, toured Australia under Parkway Drive, and have had plenty of abroad travels in the US and then Europe shortly afterwards. However, much more recently, the band played a small East Coast run in Australia and it is prior to that short tour that we hear from Make Them Suffer’s vocalist, Sean Harmanis, for the second time in six months.
Sean, my man, it’s been really good to see Make Them Suffer getting out to overseas markets this year!
Yeah, and it’s taken us a while too. This was our first US tour, and it was really good to get over there, considering that we had previous tours there lined up and then they fell through sadly. But it’s exciting, as we’ve also got more lined up there for the future.
For sure, and with that Architects tour with Stray From The Path and the recent Never Say Die tour, Make Them Suffer is definitely coming up in the metal world I feel.
We feel that too. Especially with that Architects and Stray From The Path, those are two of my favourite bands at the moment. I’m super excited for that tour. It’s also going to be very cool to tour with our mates in Betraying The Martyrs on the European Chelsea Grin tour as well.
And as we’ve mentioned, it seems like you guys are ticking a lot of things off the bucket list in 2016, and will be doing so in 2017.
Yeah, and look, if it was up to me, it would not have taken us so long. We’ve been doing this almost nine years now and that’s longer than it should have taken but there were a number of other factors that affected. It’s just good to get out of Australia, and it feels like we’re taking a turn for the better now. The shows on the Never Say Die run were sick. The last show in Leipzig sold out and had about 1,5000 people. Plus, the bands on that package really got along. We were on the bus with Fallujah and Polar and Obey The Brave and they’re all just such lovely dudes. All of the other bands were all great and it was this tight-knit group. So it was emotional saying our goodbyes at the end there.
Well with the Never Say Die Tour, do you think that it was a bit much having Whitechapel, Thy Art Is Murder, Carnifex, and yourselves all on the one lineup? Do you prefer to be the “odd” band out?
Well… Never Say Die this year was super deathcore and death metal and Polar and Obey The Brave sticking out. I’m not sure if it was the previous year, but it was The Amity Affliction, Defeater and Being As An Ocean, so it was quite emotional that year. So the organisers stick with one vibe each year, and I think it’s cool to see deathcore coming back in a way. It’s why I am also really excited for the Architects tour cause having us, Architects and Stray are all three very different bands.
It was also great to see you guys holding your own against the really big names in the scene. Moving away from the touring, please, please tell me that Dacre Montgomery got the role of Jason in the new Power Rangers movie from being in the ‘Old Souls’ music video?
[Laughs] I’m not really sure, to be honest. He probably would’ve sent in an audition for the role, but our video was the last piece of published film that he was in before he got the part. He was actually insane in the music video, as we did a bit of acting in the music video for the fun of it. Yet he was just full of so much energy and he did the best improvisations. In the scene where I’m lying down with him in the grass, he was just saying the most insane shit.
That’s what you want; someone who really gets into the role. And it looked like he really got into the narrative of the album too!
He really got into the character, and when he’s reading the letter from the female protagonist and he was able to bring on tears really naturally while reading it. It was really awesome to see too.
He did it justice, for sure. Now, with your next release, is the sound and Japanese inspiration of ‘Ether’ going to be present in the next album?
We have an idea for a release but the music we’re writing currently won’t be suited for Ether’s Japanese vibe. In between the August Burns Red and Never Say Die tours I went to Japan for a month and got even more inspired. That’s definitely something that will happen in the future, but not for this album.
Can you perhaps tell me what ideas and themes you and the band will be exploring on this new record?
Well…keeping it as vague as possible….it is a juxtaposition of nature mixed with machinery. It’s pretty weird, and I’m not really sure what I’m writing [laughs]. We’re actually finishing up the tracking soon.
Okay, cool. So it’s a mix of the natural and the artificial. Is that what will somewhat represent the music; light and heavy sounding?
You could say that! It’s a different sort of ‘dark’ and ‘heavy’ now for us. It’s hard to say. It just sounds…different. It’s a different vibe for the band. We’ll be changing up our sets on these three Australian dates too.
I get it, dude, you can’t talk about it too much right now, but that’s fair enough. And when you mean changing up your sets, what exactly do you mean by that?
Well, we never did many headline shows after ‘Ether’ came out, and we just haven’t played enough of the heavier, more “metal” songs off of ‘Old Souls’.
Right! I thought you were going to say that you were doing a live cover or something like that.
You know, we haven’t done a cover song yet. But we’ve been racking our brains and we have a few options of what we could do and we’re weaning it down to a couple songs. So we may even do a covers release or just keep it for our live shows.
I think that Make Them Suffer’s sound could do some really weird shit with a poppier or lighter sounding songs too.
We’re looking at a couple songs, songs that are certainly 100% singing, and we’re thinking about doing them really softly, like acoustic covers and the like.
Oh! So would you scream those parts or would you sing…? As I think you’ve only sung once in Make Them Suffer so far. How well do you think you are at singing, by the way?
I think a bit of our usual back and forth could be cool for a cover. And in ‘Ether’ I do the whole pitch-screaming thing in the second half of the song’s chorus, kinda like Sam from Architects would do. There’s also a bit in ‘Timeless’ where I do sing pure cleans, for about five or seconds, but I’m not that confident in my singing. I do think that some vocalists aren’t the best vocalists ever but the way they deliver it makes up for it. Like, Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins doesn’t really sound amazing as a singer but he has his own style.
True, he does have his own vocal style, for sure. That’s when he’s not getting in lawsuits with TNA but hey, whatever.
[Laughs] yeah! There’s that too, that dude is in the news a lot.
He really is [laughs]. Well, hey Sean, thanks for your time today mate, was good chatting with you.
No worries Alex, talk soon!
Make Them Suffer’s ‘Ether’ is out now. Stream it below.