Interview conducted by Suzie Lee. Published on 5/28/2010.
You're on day ten of the Mosh Lives Tour II, right?
Day ten? I can't believe we've been out that long. Still here, still alive, kickin it.
And you guys have been doing so well on tour, selling out dates...
Frankie Palmeri: Yeah.
Mike Mulholland: How do you know where we sell out dates?
Frankie: Yup, Shawn [band manager] does all that.
Mike: Oh, I don't follow...actually I do follow Twitter.
At the end of the day what do you get out of playing to a full house?
Frankie: Well, I'm usually very reflective after our set. I'm usually just happy with how we played, happy with how our show went. Hopefully everyone in the room had a great time with us. I try not to think about it too much and just try to enjoy being up there and enjoy the fact that in a sense my job is done for the day. And hopefully everyone got their fix, including me. That's really it.
This summer you guys are going to be taking part of Warped Tour for the entire run...
Taking a huge part of Warped Tour.
Last year you only played a week. What compelled you to take on the whole thing?
We had such a great time on that one week of Warped Tour we did that getting offered to go back was just a no-brainer. It's a party every night and it's like summer camp for metal and hardcore kids so, can't complain.
Warped tour has always been pretty diverse but at the same time only the biggest bands in certain genres and the biggest bands that the Warped demographic identifies with get asked to play. This year seems to be one of the heaviest Warped tour line ups in recent years with The Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die, Whitechapel...
Parkway Drive, Suicide Silence, and of course you guys. What do you think that this kind of representation on one of the biggest punk and pop-punk tours mean for the hardcore and metal scene?
I think it means people are starting to realize their favorite bands are getting bigger than their back pocket. I mean that comes with the territory. If people didn't support the bands they love so much they wouldn't be able to get to that point. You know, everyone has to be able to make that transition with the band they love. Because obviously as much as you enjoy seeing not only your favorite band play your local venue, when you go see them on Warped tour... most bands, after Warped Tour, you have to go up from there, you have to get to the next plateau.
I mean as far as all the bands that are playing, they're all amazing bands, they're all really heavy, and I hope the best for all of them. I hope they all get to completely encompass what it is to be a Warped Tour band; like you're saying only the biggest and best. It's kind of like survival of the fittest from here on out to do Warped. Hopefully Emmure gets to be one of those breakthrough bands. We'll see what happens.
I hear Emmure plans to play an entire Rage Against the Machine set at the Hoodwink Festival in New Jersey. Where did you guys come up with this idea?
It was actually a friend of ours Christian McKnight, I believe he puts on that entire Hoodwink Festival, he gave us an option between two bands and we picked Rage.
Will you guys be doing Emmure style Rage Against the Machine songs or will you try to encompass more of the Rage sound?
Probably both. I mean honestly we've yet to sit in a room and put the songs together, but I'm sure when we get on stage and play Hoodwink that people will be pretty shocked.
Do you know what songs you're playing yet?
You guys are going to be on tour pretty much all year long. Have you put any thought into the last record of your Victory contract?
In what way?
Have you started writing it?
Yeah, we're always writing, creating, trying to feed each other ideas on where we want the band to go musically. I don't know, it's kind of a never ending process. I think for most bands it's the same way; they're just kind of always on a constant build, you know? Always thinking about what they're going to do next, and what they want their fans to enjoy with them and what they want hopefully new fans to get out of it.
What can your fans expect from the new material?
Same thing they've always been able to expect is us breaking the mold in every aspect of our music, whether it's sonically, visually, anything. It's like you're going to put on the Emmure record and not hear any other band do what we do.
When you set out to start Emmure as a band was that one of your goals, to break the mold?
I feel like a lot of things are just played out. A lot of the bands that are out there right now, they're kind of just mirroring each other, constantly looking at what everyone else is focus on rather than focusing on themselves kind of thing. Believe me I'm friends with almost any band in our genre, they're my peers, they're my boys, they're my friends but there's always this competitive aspect to this industry. For me it's really about creativity. I want to create things that are stand-out in everything I do. No one wants to be cookie cutter you know?
I know that you probably can't nor would you really want to talk about the next step for Emmure as far as record labels go once your contract is up, but I don't think that you can honestly say you haven't thought about the next chapter for Emmure because it's an important step to help catapult your career into the next level.
To me it's like content is the only thing that matters. Doesn't matter what label you're on, doesn't matter how many Myspace hits you have. If you're writing good songs people are going to pay attention. Hopefully we're in the right place, right time for a new generation of, not only music listeners, but of labels and everything as a whole because the entire music industry is changing on a daily. How people are able to just go to any website now and basically stream your entire record, it's kind of like...you know. Younger kids especially now don't understand what it was like for someone like me when I was 13 and 14 years old to be into a band and want to see them live, there wasn't YouTube.
Honestly I feel like no matter what Emmure does as long as people are still interested to hear and see what we're doing, they're going to come out. I'm pretty sure labels understand that as well. It's all about the content. It doesn't matter if your band sold a billion fucking records. If you're not writing good songs then it's not worth anything.
You guys have some connections with the people at Sumerian Records. Would I be wrong in predicting that Emmure will find a home on the Sumerian roster sometime in the future?
I don't want to say your predictions are wrong but I don't want to say your predictions are right either. I don't know if there's any kind of plan to put Emmure on the Sumerian roster. To be honest I don't really care where the band goes. I just want whoever's interested in the band now to keep on tapping into what we're doing because we will always be putting music out and creating and giving something for the people to actually be drawn to. Like I said, like when you asked what to expect of a band, you're always going to get the most controversial and most unexpected shit you can possibly get, from any band.
Once your contract is over will you guys still try to put out a CD every year?
Yeah, I mean beyond the brand name of Emmure, beyond the band, I am an artist and whether or not I play with these four individuals I will always be creating; I'm pretty sure most of my band will too. That's just how I am. I thirst to constantly express myself and I'll use any avenue there is to do it. If people want to buy Emmure records we'll keep making them.
You're starting a label of your own, and not just your own label but you also have True Vision Management and Cold Soul Clothing, can you tell me about them?
Those are all of my creations that I've been spending a lot of time on and trying to get them as far as they can just like I did with Emmure. True Vision is going good. It's basically a team of two people right now, me and my friend Christopher Jornet, and [we're] just looking to get artists who care about the music they make and push it to as many people as possible. I feel like in this industry you need people who are really thinking more about the possibility of listeners rather than the possibility of dollars. To me you could be a DIY band and make money and tour but unless you have the right people behind you, are you making a career for yourself? You know what I mean? Are you always going to get the chance to step on stage? Are you going to one day be like 'Hey it's not for me. I'm going to work a 9 to 5'? Hopefully True Vision Management gets the chance to take artists who don't want to live that life style, and make it their job to constantly produce music, because that's what True Vision is all about.
With your vigorous tour schedule how do you ensure that each one receives enough attention to progress?
It's all I do. It's all I ever think about. On tour it's definitely different then when I'm either home or if I'm in the Sumerian Records office when I really get to concentrate on all those things. When you're on tour all you really have to worry about is being on stage. Everything else, the rest of your day, is up to you however you want to treat yourself, so I try to do right by my band mates and by all the creations I've created. Everything seems to be going ok, honestly, outside of all the business shit everything's alright too. I have no complaints. I don't ever find myself feeling like I'm out of touch or that I'm losing track of things, I just stay focused. It's not really hard for me to do all this stuff because I kind of live in this state of mind where no matter what I'm doing it's the right thing.
You've said that the Respect Issue is an album that doesn't accurately represent Emmure. I've heard that you don't even like talking about it anymore and just as far as music goes but with the album art and the way it was marketed. What is it about Felony that makes it an album that you can stand behind 100% in all aspects?
I think just based off the music it is a true example of what our band is capable of. From front to back, listen to that record, every record has its own star quality; every song has its own star quality. I just think that The Respect Issue was completely lack-luster. The music was black and white, the artwork was black and white, the feel was black and white, and I think it's the hardest listen of 2008, honestly, out of any record that came out that year. I can say that there were definitely songs on The Respect Issue that I like playing live and I'm proud that we made and wrote those songs but if I could go back in time and change anything I would definitely make that entire experience of writing that record and putting that record out completely different. But you know, it did its job and I'm not going to lose sleep over it.
Your lyrics are very personal and revealing. Do you ever feel like you need to hold back on what you put out there?
I do sometimes. Sometimes I do and sometimes I take the leap of faith. I know people are obviously going to not be able to separate me from the band but it's up to me to separate myself from the band. People can think whatever they want. It's whether or not I choose to let those feelings and thoughts that I put out in the music be a part of me. I try to have my music be an outlet for me and other people. I think in the end of the day it's more about me being selfless and showing all my flaws and all the things that I've felt so that people understand that it's not just them. I get kids all the time telling me like "Your music saved my life," and "If it wasn't for your words I don't know what I would do. I'd go crazy." I had bands like that, that I grew up listening to that I felt the same way. I guess to answer your question; I try to be as open as possible with my thoughts and feelings because I feel that the world deserves it.
What does it feel like to be put on a pedestal for those kids out there that listen to your music?
I don't know. It's funny that you ask me that. I've never been one to stroke my own ego and be like, "Well fuck yeah if it wasn't for me being here, what the fuck would you have?", because it could be anybody. I'm just me doing what always felt natural. That's what I express to anyone who wants to be in a band or pursue anything in life. Whatever feels good is what you should keep doing. If people feel good listening to our songs and hearing my words then I hope that we can continue to grow together as individuals. Because pain lasts and feelings last but getting to face them is the only way you're going to realize what kind of person you are.
Limp Bizkit is in the works on a new record and I know you're a fan of those guys. Do you think there are going to be any efforts to tour with them once they get the ball rolling again?
I would love to. I've been trying to talk to Fred Durst on Twitter for over a year now like, "Hey man hit me up. Want to talk to you. Bring my band on tour." I don't know we'll see what happens.
Your crowds are not completely different crowds; I mean they're pretty...
I would like to think that. I mean, I don't know, when I was growing up Limp Bizkit was the best band in the world to me and they're still one of the bands that completely altered my view on life and music and what I should be as a person. Getting to tour with them would blow my fucking mind I don't know if it'll ever happen...
It's with the original line up too.
Exactly, exactly, I mean...I don't know. That question just completely fucked my brain up. I can't even wrap my head around that being possible. I try, I try to push the band in that direction so that maybe one day that'll be possible. Honestly I don't even know who listens to them anymore. I know I grew up listening to them and I can't wait to hear the new record but I don't know anyone on a personal level who could talk to me and be like, "Yo man I'm stoked on Limp Bizkit!" No one ever talks to me about it. You're the only person that ever asked me if I would be stoked on touring with them, the answer is yes.
I watched your most recent interview with HardTimes and you mentioned something about your spirituality. Did your spiritual ideas change from when you wrote the Immaculate Misconception?
Actually what's funny is that Immaculate Misconception was kind of one of the first doors in my head that opened in that sense when I started to realize my own bloodline and my own prescience on Earth verses the idea that we're all lost aimlessly [and] don't know why we're here. I've always been here, my soul has always existed for thousands and thousands of years and what I do now is a reflection of what I've done in the past and what I will do in the future. I just happen to be in this vessel of skin, flesh, bone, everything that is here now with me. Once that leaves the soul goes on into the next plane of existence. When you're growing up, I think it's so strange how, certain things just happen to speak to you; certain music, certain images, certain people, certain words. They reflect you so hard, you almost don't know why, you're like "How come this lyric or this song, this picture, this artist, how come it speaks to me so heavily?" It's because it always has, it's always been inside you. All the ideas and feelings and pictures that you build in your head have already been there. We're just not supposed to know that. We're supposed to live in a society of fear that like, "oh something happens to us, oh it's the end!" No, it's not. It's really not.
Whatever happens here, now, is just going to carry over into the next. It took a lot of different things to happen to me for me to feel confident that this world has an expiration date, we all do. It's whether or not you're going to be afraid of it or not and I'm not afraid of anything. I just feel like whatever's going to happen is supposed to happen and I've probably been through worse and all I can do is make the best of my time here. So far so good. To be honest with you, for me to be sitting here talking to you on this Prevost, who the fuck knows why this is happening. It just is. I'm pretty comfortable with that. I'm not looking for any answers. Once everyone, the general population, is given this kind of big dose of information like, "Hey check it out, we're all stuck here," where we're going to go next no one knows, but for now just make the best of it. Anyone who's been about the advancement of the human race has been killed. It's pretty scary if you think about it. There's a Nixon quote that I just recently read that I thought was really interesting, he's quoted saying "the only time the human race will ever co-exist as one is if an alien race were to come and attack us." And I mean, it's probably true, I feel like everyone feels so segregated and separated as individuals racially, economically, religiously. Once something, some other force, comes and completely supersedes all that is when we're all going to be like, "Holy shit. What have I been doing this whole time? Who do I care about? Who do I love? Who am I going to keep safe? Who am I going to make sure gets to see tomorrow?" And we'll all someday feel that rush of, "Who do I run to? What do I do?" All in due time. I don't know if you have any more questions about that stuff, I could talk about that for days.
I just want to know what sold you on the idea of Planet Nibiru and its collision with Earth.
Do I think it will collide with Earth? I don't know. No one really knows if it will collide with Earth. It's been said that it might end up on the other side of the sun adjacent to Earth or it'll come between the Earth and the Sun and that's when the polar ice caps will begin to change, and all that stuff. But what you have to understand is this: global warming and all that shit is garbage. It's complete bullshit. Earth's core is literally like a... it's the energy of the Earth, that's where the heat of the Earth comes from. It's like a nuclear reactor. The heat of the planet is starting to leave, it's starting to go. Anunnaki and Nibiru are a race that has existed for longer than us. Where they live, they went through the same problems we did with climate change, heat leaving the Earth. They didn't know what the fuck to do. What they figured out was that gold can contain energy, it can protect planet Nibiru. Now what I've heard and what I believe to be true is that the Anunnaki have created us to get gold so that they can continue to survive on their home planet. Now I'm guessing it takes a long time for their planet to go in rotation towards Earth, but once it comes back, they'll be here for the gold. Whether or not they take us with them is hear-say.
Where did this come from for you?
I had these really crazy envisions and spiritual awakenings over the past few months where instead of looking in the mirror and seeing me I literally saw my third eye, horns, I saw all of the characteristics of my soul reflect out over me. It's really hard to get everyone to understand that it's not just me, it's everyone; everyone's like that, everyone has the ability to see themselves in that light. It's whether or not you choose to accept it, and I got the chance to see that. When I saw myself in that way is when I realized like, "Wow. So, right now on Earth, this is my life. This is my existence." No one can see what I see but what I can promise anyone is that once you leave here you're going to go somewhere else. I've had dreams, outer body experiences, where I've entered new planes of existence and when you're there it's like being born again. You feel alone, you don't know where to go, who to run to. As far as you're concerned anything you knew is gone. You're in an entirely new place. I mean, it's fucked because I know that the fact that me and you can talk about stuff like this only means that the human race as a whole is getting closer to the truth. Because anyone who ever speaks like this in public forum has been killed, has been removed. If you look up public speakers who talk about stuff like that, most of them have been either assassinated or have died from miscellaneous health problems that weren't previously there. I don't know, like I said, I could talk about this stuff all night.
Is your next album going to have lyrics about your spiritual awakenings?
It might, it also might be my way to get to voice a challenge to those who don't want us to know this stuff. It's all up in the air. I don't know how to treat it. It's like I said, MLK, JFK, two people, all about the advancement of the human race. JFK was going to talk about aliens. Martin Luther King was going to talk about the brotherhood of mankind, there's no such thing as race, there's no such thing as creed, we're all the same. Both people killed, no one knows who killed them. But for some reason the crack-head down the street from your fucking apartment, everyone knows who killed that guy. You know what I mean? People have to start waking up to that. There's something out there that doesn't want us to know and doesn't want us to feel like we have a place in the universe.
This is really deep shit.
Cool. Cool. Lambgoat will get a kick out of it.
Do you have any last words for Lambgoat?
If you're reading this you're probably in a band or wish you were in a band and I hope that you are stoked that you got something to read today.