When you think of Emmure, or the heavy music community in general, Arkansas is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. It is approximately 1,200 miles away from frontman Frankie Palmeri’s native Queens, New York, and a place most bands avoid on tour. But after years of helping his band claw their way to the upper echelon of the metal community, it is understandable why Palmeri may be seeking some repose there. Often the source of controversy and heated opinion (Palmeri shut down his online clothing store Cold Soul last year after severe backlash to provocative images and words on his merchandise), the charismatic frontman seems intent on continuing to do what he has always done—making music that speaks to the band and to the fans.
AP recently chatted with the calm-spoken Palmeri from his new residence in the Razorback state about Emmure’s recent resigning with Victory Records, and how the band’s upcoming record will “blow the doors off” on people’s expectations.
Are you calling from the East Coast today?
I actually just recently relocated to Arkansas. It’s so amazingly cheap to live here. I live in this picture perfect college town. It’s really nice here.
You’re from New York City. That’s about as opposite as you can get.
It would be more of a drastic change for me if I didn’t have the lifestyle I do. I basically do the same six things everywhere I go in the world, so why not do those same things but for way cheaper?
Speaking of drastic location changes, you guys recently played a couple shows in Alaska. Not many bands make it out that far. What was the reaction like at those shows?
It was great. We only got to play two shows. We didn’t feel like we were that far from home. The people were really kind to us. It was a beautiful place, and the scenery was amazing. The shows were fanatical and the kids were wild. It was well worth the trip, and we feel very honored and blessed to have been able to go there. It was an in-and-out thing because we’re not on tour right now. We’ve been off tour since the end of August when we ended the Mayhem tour.
Emmure just recently resigned with Victory Records for your sixth full-length album, the follow-up to 2012’s Slave To The Game. Tell us a little more about what went behind your decision to resign with Victory?
There were a lot of different reasons to resign with Victory. First off, I think the continuity of a band’s career is dependent on the relationships you make internally. We have a good relationship with Victory Records on all levels. We have a personal relationship with everyone who works there, from publicity to art director. We are also lucky because Victory Records has never stifled us creatively. Any idea we have ever had, they’ve been like, “Yeah, let’s do it,” whether it be a music video or an album theme or anything like that. They actually believe in our band, and they want to see what we’re going to do next. They are curious and excited about our material. It’s good to have that kind of backing from any label, period. It’s good to have that freedom to try new things. Even if you fail, they are still behind you. You can’t buy that. You can’t just expect that from people. It’s something you have to earn, and are blessed if you get.
On another aspect, our fans are not totally reliant on Victory putting the album out, but it’s easier for us to reach those fans if we stay on the same label. They will already have that familiarity. The continuity overall is really one of the main reasons to re-sign.
You know, there are those horror stories that people are going to spit out, but here’s the bottom line: All record labels are exactly the same. I don’t care which way you cut it. They are doing the same kind of business on all corners. Victory does good business, and if you’re a band that is expecting more than what you get, then you’re going to feel cheated and robbed. Personally, I’ll tell you right now, we’ve never been robbed. We’ve never been cheated of anything. Victory has been our home for basically our entire career, and it hasn’t done us wrong.
I think there is a lot to say about our band, to have not only continued success, but to have survived the hurdles along the way. It’s not easy. Anyone who thinks that, “Oh, we signed to Victory, my life is great now” is wrong. Things have never gotten crazier up until then. It’s serious then, you have to perform at a certain level. There is a lot of pressure in that.
I get a little frustrated because I think people forget that Emmure came from the gutter, the fucking underground of the underground, playing clubs no one has ever heard of and VFW Halls no one has ever seen. We did all that shit for years. Now it’s paying off. It’s paying off for us, and for Victory as well. The big reason Victory believes in us so much is because we had that gradual following and we came from that “all or nothing” place. Major shout out to our Victory family for continuing to believe in us. >>>