By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
After years of constantly clashing with record execs and long, draining tours with the likes of Ozzy Ozbourne and Metallica, Muir started to become disillusioned with the whole rock-star thing, and Suicidal broke up in ’94.
“I felt like a prostitute,” says Muir. “I found myself going, ‘I’m in front of 20,000 people every night, but I would turn my head if I saw any of ’em on the street.’”
Two long years later, the band regrouped and began touring again. Their contract with Epic was kaput, capped by the label’s final S.T. release, a retrospective called Prime Cuts. The next logical step for Suicidal was to release their new material, and despite past experiences with record companies, they did meet with a few. In the end, though, they decided to start from scratch and release their music through Suicidal Records. Not that this was a new endeavor — back before it was common for bands to self-release records, Suicidal did just that with ’85’s Welcome to Venice, a collection of tunes from neighborhood friends’ bands.
“You have to decide why you’re doing it,” says Muir about starting one’s own label. “Then you have to have some money.”
The rest, it seems, is all a learning process. “We talked to people about how and where to do it. We looked in the phone book. We talked to manufacturers and distributors, and got the basic costs of things.”
Today, Suicidal Records has seven releases to its credit, including two compilations — ’99’s Friends and Family and this year’s Friends and Family 2 (featuring Suicidal; Infectious; Muir’s solo project Cyco Miko; longtime Suicidal guitarist Mike Clark’s other band, Creeper; and new bands such as Missile Girl Scout and Zen Vodou) — as well as the latest Suicidal Tendencies full-length, Free Your Soul . . . And Save My Mind.
The band has gone through several personnel changes over the years, but with Muir providing the emotional core, their mix of manic metal riffs, passionate rants and slammin’ good grooves lives on, no doubt a huge influence on many of the current crop of neo-punk/metal/rap rockers. But as always, Cyco Miko doesn’t care about being ahead of his time or sounding like so and so, or even about making the kind of bank that those he’s inspired are hauling in. With Suicidal Records he finally has the freedom to express what’s in his often stubborn mind, and after the journey this punk pioneer has taken, that’s all that matters.
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