A Conversation with Frankie Palmeri of Emmure

With the crest of a new album over the not so distant horizon, Emmure seeks to rally the troops and become a force that can't be ignored. With momentum building behind them, we sat down with outspoken vocalist and songwriter Frankie Palmeri to talk music, his band and general nerdery.
M.DREW: Let’s start at the top – what’s new on this record? What can long-time Emmure fans expect from this record?
FRANKIE PALMERI: “Eternal Enemies” is a big “fuck you” to everyone who has ever doubted us or has challenged us. This is the record that not only defines our band but I think defines us as people. It's also a true and passionate record that we made for our fans. Everyone else who isn't down with Emmure can go fuck themselves.
M.D: What about Emmure? Where is the band’s headspace right now? What kind of things are inspiring your songwriting?
FP: Well the album is done. But at the time all the inspiration came internally. We were all on this amazing wave length. The communication and trust was at an all time high and that's what it takes to really make an amazing record. We all put a lot into making this album and it has a touch of all of our influences to make this incredible piece of art.
M.D: This is probably a softball question, but it bears asking – in this era where label hopping and self-release and promotion is frequent, Emmure re-upped with Victory Records in fairly short order. What give you such confidence that they’re right for your product?
FP: It is undisputed fact that Victory Records is one of the best labels for any artist who truly puts everything in their craft. You get back what you put in. And with Victory they work just as hard as us to make sure that what we do creatively can grow the wings necessary to reach new heights. They have taken care of the band and supported everything we have ever wanted to do. You can’t buy that kind of relationship. It is earned.
M.D: Emmure has come a long way from humble beginnings, for people who will never experience it, what is that first taste of success like?
FP: Good question, I am not quite sure yet. What we focus on is working hard. We leave the champagne and laughter to the other people who are trying to reach goals and put the flag on top of the mountain. For us it's all about the vision. It's about the fans. Our greatest achievement comes from making people feel what we do. Without vision and without the people who follow it we have nothing.
M.D: What’s the ceiling for Emmure? What is this band’s ultimate goal?
FP: Like I said. We don't create goals. We create a world for ourselves. Something we can believe in and other people can believe in as well. It's a real and organic thing.
M.D: You’ve been accused of racist and homophobic speech in the past – what’s your defense against those allegations and has that changed how you handle yourself in the public eye?
FP: First off, fuck what people think about me. To label me as any sort of bigot is the most short-sighted and ignorant thing in the world to me. I have friends of all race and color and sexual preference. It's easy to sit back from a far and act like you know someone. Let's get this straight. You do not know me, where I am from, or what I have been through. The public eye deserves a needle in it. That's what I think about the public eye.

M.D: Abruptly switching topics, it’s fairly common knowledge that you’re a comic book/science fiction/animation kind of guy, which begs the question: what are you watching/reading these days?
FP: Wow, what a way to switch gears there. I am playing a lot of “SkyRim” these days. But I am constantly filling my time with all sorts of amazing shit. I finally watched the latest SuperMan movie, “Man Of Steel.” My cousin kept pushing me to watch it I finally gave in. It's worth checking out. Also I am really digging the Justice League cartoon that is on Netflix right now. It's from 2008 or something.
M.D: Are there particular tropes/themes you look for in that medium? What grabs your attention?
FP: I am big into super villains. I like to watch the guy who is so crudely portrayed have his chance to have a different light shined on him. I like anything that has to deal with the darker side of for a lack of a better term "the force". I am constantly drawn to that world.
M.D: What drove your decision to announce publicly that you wouldn’t write songs based on comic books anymore? Was it a perception problem, like you were concerned people weren’t taking Emmure seriously?
FP: To be honest it was more that I wasn't taking Emmure seriously. I wasn't feeling the music. So it was hard to really put Frankie Palmeri in the song...I used the Marvel and video game stuff as a scapegoat to avoid talking about what I was going though personally. Better yet, the music that was being made wasn't angry enough to carry the fury that I had brewing inside. It took a long time to get my band mates to understand that I need to have a specific canvas to really express myself correctly. With this new album, I think we finally reached that place. In more ways than one.
M.D: In lieu of that source material, what’s the theme of this new record?
FP: Hate.

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