Former SUFFOCATION Drummer MIKE SMITH Says His Departure Was 'Inevitable'

Noel Smart of recently conducted an interview with former SUFFOCATION drummer Mike Smith. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. 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. 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. 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. Is there any bad blood between you and any of the members of SUFFOCATION?

Mike: There are only two members that I need to consider grudges with concerning SUFFOCATION. I only direct my concerns with founding stake-holding members. The respect that the brand gained and deserves was always a sour issue. In my opinion, it was always a simple concept to respect and protect the brand/band you created. No exceptions. Anyone who knows the dynamics of the band and the individual members already have a realistic understanding of why things could turn for the worst at any moment.

Read the entire interview from


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