Perth outfit Make Them Suffer have today unveiled their monster of a new record, How To Survive A Funeral, their biggest and most ambitious collection of music yet.
On this beast of a record, the band enlisted the guidance of producer Drew Fulk, A.K.A. WZRDBLD, who also shares credits with the likes of Motionless In White, Bullet For My Valentine, Yelawolf and Lil’ Wayne. The diversity of styles in that list alone goes a little way to explaining the vast influences heard on Make Them Suffer’s fourth full-length but, in truth, that’s always been their style.
In celebration of the new release, frontman Sean Harmanis has kindly offered to take us through the record, track by track.
The instrumental introduction to the album.
Falling Ashes is an assault of blast beats, dissonant riffs and a demonic guided meditation lead by Booka. The lyrics describe a derelict on his death bed, whose passing is guided by Booka’s voice. “Guardians guide him home, bury his soul.”
Bones is a song about sacrifice. It’s about the sacrifices I’ve made and the sacrifices we all make to pursue what we love. Writing the lyrics to this song raised the question of how much I’d be willing to give for this band. How much more could this pursuit take from me? “Shed my skin. Take me from my home. I give all I am. I give all I own. Steal my heart again, take from me my bones.”
Drown With Me
Drown With Me is just a really fucked up love song. Love can be beautiful, but also dark and terrifying. The lyrics, “Take my hand, don’t be scared, drown with me if you can,” beckons the listener to take the plunge into the unknown.
Erase Me is a song about pushing someone away and raises the question: is it selfless or selfish to do? It’s unfortunate to me that some people are wired to always feel as if they’re never good enough. The sentiment of the lyrics, “I’ve broken you enough so don’t hate me, erase me” demonstrates a quality of selflessness. In retrospection, it’s that same selflessness that makes you “good enough”.
Soul Decay is about watching someone deteriorate in front of you. Many struggle to recognise that a recurring pattern of failure or disappointment is often their own doing. To bear the blame of your own mistakes is something that’s difficult for most people. The lyric, “You built yourself this prison. Tear it down, burn it to the fucking ground,” is a call to action to rise above and accept your part.
Fake Your Own Death
Fake Your Own Death is probably the angriest song on the album. It’s about someone who’s such an attention-starved liar, they would even fake their own death for attention. To quote the song: “Have worms feast inside your head, just to find that no one cares.”
How to Survive A Funeral
The title track, How to Survive a Funeral is about my personal experience at a funeral and the complex mixture of emotions I experienced. We have our differences in life, but in death we’re all the same. We’re all just people, with feelings, memories and loved ones. It’s a tragedy that it had to take someone’s passing for me to realise that. The lyrics, “none of us knew we cared ’til you’re gone” are a reminder, that no
matter the part you play in someone’s life, you’re still a part of it.
The Attendant is Make Them Suffer reimagined as a rock ballad. This song is extremely sentimental for me. Not just because it’s my first time singing throughout the entirety of a song, but the lyrics are also very personal. The Attendant is basically finding a list of reasons to push someone away, though when someone does actually decide to leave, the response is sarcastic and bitter. “A toast to you, you always know what’s best.”
That’s Just Life
That’s Just Life is our album closer. The song’s about how you need to adapt in life if you want to keep up. To quote the lyrics, “That’s just life. You fall apart or take the ride.” For us, this song was more about having fun in the writing process and sending off the album in an appropriate way than it was about sending a serious message.