They may look like villains from “Mad Max,” but like outrageously dressed, dark acts before it, Davey Suicide is more substance than the Hollywood electro/industrial rock outfit’s style suggests.
Like the trio of artists that frontman and band namesake Davey Suicide mentions as influences – Marilyn Manson, Eminem and Axl Rose – the band’s words and appearance will likely stir up controversy. First, there’s the surname.
“I was at a low moment. I had to remind myself that I was the only one holding myself back from what I wanted; you’re in control of your own destiny. If that was my name, if I ever reached that (low) moment again, I couldn’t really escape from that notion,” he says, calling before the band’s Hide Your Morals headlining tour kicked off. It stops at Tremont Music Hall on Sunday.
“With Eminem, Manson and Axl, they took the rule book and threw it out the window and made people pay attention,” he says. “Anyone can go out and make a spectacle of themselves. There’s something special when you see an artist perform and know it’s coming from a place that’s an emotional warzone.”
After his Maryland-based band stalled, Suicide moved to Hollywood to start over. Two years later, his vision and lineup for Davey Suicide, the band, followed.
The five-piece released its debut self-titled album in March. It’s been compared to Manson and Rob Zombie for its mix of industrial, electronic dance music and metal, but Suicide’s music is admittedly less cartoony and horror-obsessed than Zombie’s and less shocking than Manson’s at its peak.
Songs like “Grab a Gun and Hide Your Morals,” “Unholywood, Killafornia” and “Sick Suicide” provide provocative political and social commentary, while tracks like “Generation F--- Star” harness angst and subsequent hope for bullied youth. He also sings of overcoming his own demons on his favorite track, “In My Chest is a Grave.”
Not everything is heady. There are songs about girls and sex, too – but more often than not, Suicide has something more to say.
His interest in dark imagery didn’t come from books or movies either.
“I found out at a real young age that my mom’s parents were murdered. That made me start analyzing things at 12 or 13,” says Suicide, who stumbled across newspaper articles about his grandparents, who were murdered in separate incidents – one of which remains unsolved. “Maybe that’s why I got into the dark stuff early – because I always wanted to know why people got to that point.”
It’s easy to imagine legions of frustrated teens from broken homes that can’t identify with Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift latching on to Suicide’s darker alternative, in the same way he gravitated toward his musical heroes.
“When I was growing up as a teenager, I kept hearing ‘remember your roots,’ ” he says. “I was trying to keep that in the back of my head. I remember Maryland and renting out halls and thinking we were getting signed and recording demos and sending them off to a million record labels. My manager now is someone I sent stuff to 7 years ago.”
“Of course they never listened to it,” he says, the teenage misfit seeping in. “Now some of them are working for me.”
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less