THE GHOST GENERATION X FRANKIE PALMERI/INTERVIEW

THE GHOST GENERATION X FRANKIE PALMERI/INTERVIEW

I probably couldn’t have picked a more polarizing person from the music world to interview if I tried, although that’s not ENTIRELY true. I could have, but it wouldn’t have been in our best interest and R. Kelly won’t return my calls for some reason.

Frankie Palmeri, for those who aren’t familiar, is the vocalist/mastermind of EMMURE. They’re a metal band because I say so, cause I can’t bring myself to use the term “deathcore” without feeling like an asshole. These fucking modern genre tags drive me nuts, just like it did in the 90’s. I love all kinds of music and I was all about it when we started being introduced to shit like Korn, Deftones, etc. but I was INFINITELY frustrated when people started calling it “nu-metal”. Why can’t it just be “heavy music”? From there the train sped off the rails like a bullet and now we have “blackened symphonic metalcore”, “ambient melodic hardcore”, and “post-shoegaze” and it’s all just fucking ridiculous. I made those up, but I swear I’m not far off.

I’m pretty sure fartcore is a thing too, but my faith in humanity is WAY too low for me to Google it right now.

EMMURE is a band that embraces their love for all things wearing Adidas tracksuits, but they’re a lot more than that, and a lot more than the metal press community gives them credit for too. They’re frequently described as overly simplistic, lyrically bankrupt also-rans but the streets tell a different story altogether. They’ve got an insanely loyal fanbase who PACK shows and anxiously await new music. The music itself? It takes the brutality of NYHC (New York Hardcore for the kids in the back of the class) and death metal, channels it through the dissonant groove of bands like Korn, and adds all kinds of flavor from electronic music and hip-hop.

Their sound has evolved over the course of their seven studio albums to become a tight, focused, and vitriolic beast and I really fucking dig it. Like I said before, contrary to what a lot of the metal-elitist press has to say about it, I hear a great deal more going on than they get credit for. There’s real anger here, told through the lenses of the person who’s lived it, and a listen through headphones will reveal all kind of layers of sound coming at you. There’s the requisite breakdowns, sure- but these guys are playing with a combination of skills that is incredibly difficult to get right-precision AND ferocity. They’re tight as a fucking vise, especially as the new lineup has solidified (a quick Google search will tell you that everyone except Frankie left a while back which led to him pulling together a completely fresh lineup) and like him or not, Frankie Palmeri is a force of nature on stage. Part emcee, part antihero, he stalks the stage like an assassin picking targets only instead of using a sword he’s laying waste with a microphone.

Yes I DID just use a ninja metaphor, I’ve got Wu Tang on the brain and I’m not sorry about it.

There’s a little bit more to the story though, of course. A lot of you reading this right now ARE those loyal and rabid fans I was talking about earlier, but a lot of our readers might not know this shit so stay with me while I address the rest of the class. Frankie Palmeri has done and said some “less than ideal” things in the media. That’s not me judging, them’s just the facts. His Cold Soul clothing line featured images from the Columbine shootings, the band’s own merch featured an image of a battered woman, he’s been accused of homophobia and saying the “N” word as a joke, and there was that public feud with The Acacia Strain that has long since been squashed. He’s been accused of writing violent and misogynistic lyrics, and the metal press in general seems to cover him and his band with tongues firmly in cheek.

That was a lot of information.

Yeah, it was. Thanks again to everyone that already knew that shit, I do have to make sure EVERYONE knows the deal after all. All the things you read in the previous paragraph are things one could argue have made people angry justifiably, 100%. Am I PERSONALLY OK with all those things? No, in all honesty a lot of it wasn’t in real good taste and shock for the sake of shock doesn’t do much for me. In most other situations it would probably be enough for me to shy away from a person and/or band, but I can’t quite quit these guys for some reason. I feel like these things aren’t where the story should end. Here’s the deal, imagine if YOU were thrown into the “post dawn-of-the-internet” world as an angry young person. Your childhood was spent more in the PRE-internet days and now? Your band gets big and you’re suddenly a public figure. Maybe you dealt with some rough shit growing up, and maybe you have your own way of processing it. It’s also fucking with your ego, your attitude, and the way you see yourself out in the world and I’ll tell ya- it’s a lot to deal with. We’re not really wired for that shit, and a lot of the time we definitely aren’t given the tools to handle the shit RIGHT either.

Something about EMMURE’s music grabs me though, and now that I’ve had a chance to get to know Frankie a little more than from what I read in the press, I realize that we have a lot in common. We both experienced bullying growing up and it has deeply affected us and our worldview. I think we’ve both walked through life with a lot of anger with no perfect way to get rid of the shit. I also think both of us like a little bit of controversy to float around us, Frankie might say differently but I don’t buy that for a second. I know I like to challenge people, I like to fuck with norms, and I like to ruffle people’s feathers wherever I can- it’s just my nature. I was abandoned by my father BECAUSE I was born and there will always be a part of me that processes those feelings of not being wanted by fucking with society whenever I get the chance. Have I always made the best decisions? Fuck no! Thankfully most of my mistakes were made before they could go viral, but Frankie hasn’t been so lucky.

Go ahead and let me know if YOU’VE never done something stupid. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

So that’s where I stand I guess, I can absolutely relate to where Frankie Palmeri is coming from, and while some of things he’s done publicly aren’t things I agree with, I’m not gonna sit here on my high-horse and judge because I also understand that anger can have a vastly different effect on people and sometimes we make a bad call. Do we deserve to have our lives ruined because of it? What’s the line? Who gets to decide? The bottom line is, these questions are bigger than I care to be responsible for, and the dude hasn’t killed anyone, talked about my mom, or kicked any puppies that I’m aware of so I wanted to see if he’d be down to talk to me about all this shit.

I’m not like everyone else in the press, I’m not out to make fun of people or judge them. What I DO want to accomplish with these interviews is to go deeper. I’m not here to ask “who farts the most on the tour bus?”, I want to get fucking REAL. Some people don’t get it, and that’s fine. I’ve been accused of being “long-winded” and “asking too many questions”, or my favorite “this is all too conversational, where’s the question?”. Hell, Frankie even seems to not QUITE get it towards the end, but I’m OK with it. I’m a writer first, and I want to write something more than just a fucking vacant Q & A. I’d be shit at my job if I didn’t try to elevate the craft at least a little bit, so I’m OK with it if a few people aren’t down with the cause.

Wanna talk “long winded”? Just let me leave you a voicemail where I uncontrollably describe every detail of what I have to do that day and you’ll probably agree.

I felt like the press wasn’t giving Frankie a chance to speak openly and honestly, without judgement or sarcasm, so I was absolutely thrilled when he agreed to get on board. He might be a lot of things, but “overly simplistic” or stupid are NOT on that list. The Frankie Palmeri I’VE been talking to via email the past few weeks is an extremely intelligent man, who is extremely guarded and calculated when it comes to how his band is perceived, and who is also looking for a shot at peace of mind. He’s recently confused the press again by “sort-of-but-not-really’ apologizing for and/or renouncing his past lyrics and actions, and whatever his intent was it is abundantly clear that he’s looking to find a path to elevate himself above the anger he feels has burdened him for such a long time. We should ALL aspire to such things, so again- the man I have here is someone I can relate to in a lot more ways than I might have thought going in, and I respect him and what he’s trying to do.

There’s much more to it and I think it’s the perfect time to shut my long-winded ass up and get down to business. I’m extremely proud of how this conversation played out and I think you guys are going to see a side of him that nobody else has really let a light shine on. He’s extremely open with me, if maybe a LITTLE cagey on certain things (given the way the press tends to treat him it’s completely understandable), and it all comes together to become a really great snapshot of where he stands in 2020. Without further gum-flapping, here’s The Ghost Generation’s interview with Mr. Frankie Palmeri.

(Sidenote- our email exchange started back in late February so you’ll notice that there isn’t any mention of the current pandemic situation we’re dealing with or how it’s affecting EMMURE, just as an FYI)

AFHGhost1/ So I’d say it’s been an “interesting few months” for you but it’s never really NOT interesting in your world. Since you’re someone who’s kinda become a lightning-rod for agitating the shit out of the music press I wanted to kick off with the question I’ve had on my mind since before we even got connected- what’s it been like hitting the road with As I Lay Dying? If you were going for “low profile” that certainly wasn’t it! Did management get together and say “hold my beer, we have an idea”? I’m just sayin’, that’s a bill that screams “Controversy Wrestlemania” but on the other side of the coin it looks like things have gone incredibly well. What’s the response been like from where you’re sitting?

FP/ So, I just wanna start by saying thank you for putting the time into this interview. As far as “what it’s like” to be on the road with As I Lay Dying, it’s pretty average in terms of energy. When you’re on the road, you’re kinda living in this perpetual “Groundhog Day” scenario. Whether it be with As I Lay Dying, The Acacia Strain or whomever… we’re all just out here playing music and if divinity allows us, also cashing a few checks along the way. Now, I think what you’re really asking me is, ‘What’s it like to have my name associated with a heavy metal band that garnered much media attention due to their singer’s legal history”, and to be honest, I don’t care about other people’s personal decisions and I see no reason to comment on Tim Lambesis’s prison sentence or what that means to metal fans. Low profile isn’t really something myself or the people involved with EMMURE are concerned about. We knew that the tour was going to be successful and it was a chance for us to reach new audiences that otherwise have not tuned in to the band over the last decade. As far as controversy, that’s the least of our concerns. I am a firm believer that the only thing that matters is the music, which by how the recent U.S tour was received, their fans seem to agree. As I Lay Dying are a good bunch of dudes. I am happy to call them my peers. 

Fair enough, and don’t worry- I’m not trying to bait you into talking about Tim Lambesis at all. I think the world at large has pretty much made up their own minds about whether or not they can cosign AILD coming back with him in tow and it seems like plenty of people are at peace with it based on the packed rooms I’ve been seeing in the tour photos. Everyone’s entiltled to their own choices, and the road to redemption is a fucking tricky one, now more than ever. I guess what I was looking for was an acknowledgement of the fact that regardless of whether or not you care about it- controversy HAS followed you around, and I have to believe it came up SOMEWHERE in the conversation about putting that lineup together. And, that being said, what I meant by “low profile” was this- in the past week or so you’ve been back in the media spotlight- first with what many perceived as renouncing your past lyrics & controversies and then, days later seemingly reversing that stance entirely. Touring with such a HIGH profile band who is coming out of a very dark period just seems contradictory to what (in my opinion) looked like you reaching for some sort of psychological sea change.

Where I’m going with this is here: let’s get on the level. All it takes is a quick Google search to see that a lot of these metal news outlets are covering you with a pretty firm tongue in cheek and I’m not one of those people. What I’m interested in is finding out the REAL motivation behind it all, cause I don’t think ANYONE is getting that from you in the press. So, I’m hoping you can feel comfortable in this process and get into the real shit- you had an interesting point in there earlier this week, when you said that you undesrtood why (and I’m paraphrasing) “normal” people don’t listen to music like Emmure, and metal/core in general, because it’s such an onslaught of emotional pain, deep rooted trauma, and aggression with a lot of it being manufactured to fit a certain image. In metal, darkness sells, whether it’s real or not doesn’t entirely matter much most of the time. So, if you’re saying you’re trying to grow as a person and an artist, where do you REALLY stand with all this? Is the Frankie Pameri of 2020 genuinely looking to rise out of the ashes of what a lot of people have looked at as a villainous or angry persona to find genuine healing and growth? Is it a heavy burden to bear? Trying to balance an inner desire to shift emotional gears while still wanting to play music that has served as a release of all those toxic emotions and feelings?

As far as my tweets are concerned, I don’t get to pick and choose how they will be perceived. I should narrow down my comments here- When I first tweeted the bit about “normal” people gravitating towards pop or rap music, it was truthfully out of frustration that I was with someone around the clock who was only blaring metalcore and emocore (or whatever) music, and in sitting there, I just had this frustrated thought about how obnoxious it is to hear this kind of stuff all day. Hearing dudes scream on the mic about their emotions, day after day became so draining to me, maybe I’m just more sensitive to that kind of thing- but I can’t stomach hearing just one genre all day especially when it’s so much of the same posturing and like you said, manufactured darkness. Which, before I get too side tracked, made me feel like I should preface on twitter by saying, I know a lot of EMMURE songs are super negative, talking about broken relationships, depression, homicide, and suicidal thoughts…which is plastered across 7 albums, that was to make sure I wasn’t the pot calling the kettle black. The EMMURE discography is a catalogue of my pain and feelings I choose to block out. That was pretty much what I wanted to get across. My twitter account was private, I truthfully felt like I was speaking to an echo chamber of my audience, not even considering there would be any media attention, because why anyone gives two shits about my opinions, still baffles me. Anyway, I felt like all these news sites and music fans were pretty much stuck with me bashing an entire genre, which isn’t the case. So I took the opportunity to shine a light on myself and just talk further on where I am as a person and how I view the art I have made in the landscape of the genre I was misinterpreted as depreciating, which again, no one has to give a shit about- that’s just the internet using me as click bait. I absolutely enjoy and will continue to make aggressive music, but a lot of things have changed for me internally. Changing my habits, my thought patterns, etc. You wanna be on the level with me? I admittedly suck at being in the public eye, and I get caught under the microscope for things that aren’t really worth caring about. Unlike other people who remain anonymous on the internet and have zero accountability for anything they say online, I don’t have the luxury. Not complaining, I just still find it strange people care, even little bit, or even if they don’t care, they want to take some internet comment I made and put it through the meat grinder. I don’t care about attention, at all, I care about the people who support me and that’s it. If listening to only metal and hardcore makes you happy, right on, go for it. I was just using my twitter to voice some opinions. No one has to like it, that’s theie perogative . Fuck it. Now, I don’t feel the need to once again use more onscreen data to divulge how I feel about the music I have made, in short, if my suffering has in some way helped others cope, then it has given purpose to the pain I felt and carried with me for as long as I can remember now- but I don’t recognize that person anymore. I am done hurting. I desperately want to be happy and let go of the past. If people can’t appreciate that then they are sick. I don’t care about being embraced or accepted by any music community or revolving door subculture, I know what I want out of this life, and it’s health and happiness. Anyone who denies that fact for me or themselves is a weak person and can go fuck themselves. I meet a lot of people in this business who spew an image of positivity but underneath are ugly, mean spirited, elitist pieces of garbage. I think that’s way worse in my opinion. Anyone who has met me, I like to think walked away feeling appreciated and recognized as another human being trying their best to make sense of this fucked up world we live in. 

Seriously, thank you for that- THAT’S the real shit, that’s what I’m trying to bring out. I completely understand where you’re coming from because it’s 100% true. That’s why I’m trying to do The Ghost Generation in the exact opposite manner that all the rest of them are conducting themselves. It’s nearly all fucking garbage, by passionless people who don’t actually care about music, or people, or doing something better. It’s just elitsts going for clicks, and I wouldn’t be able to sit here and do this with anyone if I felt like that was where I was coming from.

I think some part of you DOES know that those people are going to latch on to the things you say, but like you said- maybe all the “public eye” shit just isn’t your strong suit. It’s getting harder by the day to navigate the cultural dialogue in this world and it seems like instead of trying to TALK to each other it’s just about taking everyone down with the ship. Whether or not I, or anyone, agrees with what you say or how you say it, it comes down to treating people like human beings-even if they’re not saying something that you agree with. 

As far as the music goes, I’m definitely NOT one of those “metal only” people. I’m a huge hip-hop head who loves punk rock and Tori Amos in equal measure- if it comes from a real place I’m all about it. To limit your soul to only taking in one thing just isn’t good no matter WHAT it is. So, the public stuff isn’t gonna get any easier in 2020, and it seems like your head is in the right place regardless of how the fucking press wants to spin it. It sounds like you’re not the person they try to make you out to be, and in regards to the stuff people have called out in your lyrics before, or things you’ve said (no need to rehash here), you’re owning it and copping to the fact that you’re trying to be a better person. Why do you think that’s not enough for anyone these days? A person has to really be careful because every asshole on the street fancies themselves judge, jury, and executioner.

I think that in terms of celebrity (which I don’t in any capacity consider myself), or just any known person in art, music, whatever, it starts out with people just wanting a piece of your skin, then your blood, then bone and eventually they feel better to see you turn to ash. I can’t really explain this phenomenon. When I read comments online, although I try to make it a habit not to, I find myself wondering where this energy is coming from. I have heard most of my life that hate is just misdirected love, or that people who put negative feelings outwardly are most likely suffering themselves, and maybe there is some truth to that. I think the internet, or more so social media platforms, have given birth to some incredible things, but it has also exposed an ugly side to humanity that previously, even in my lifetime, was only something you were subjected to in small doses. I do feel like I date myself when I mention what I have witnessed in the rise of the internet, but in reality I am still pretty young, turning 34 in June, but even as a young kid when you hated a band or something, that opinion and experience you had forming it was just for you, and you would be pretty much relegated to whatever small group of misfits or friends who gave two shits to listen to you possibly speak on it- there was no public forum like there is today. If you thought an album sucked, you had maybe one person to express that opinion to, now you find people connecting en masse on these low vibrations and utterly useless chirping about some song or whatever pop culture topic they don’t like. People are quite desperate to find acceptance or to bond with others, pulling someone or something down from a place they themselves can’t reach, it has a funny way of bringing people together, whether its a band who puts out a poorly received album, a comedian who told a risky joke, or politicians. I guess that’s just the world we live in now. I personally take it all with a grain of salt. Life is too short. 

Shit man, I’m gonna be 40 in September and I know EXACTLY what you mean. We’re gonna be some of the last people who lived before AND after the internet and while so many things have gotten better it has also done a lot of damage. For every step forward we take it feels like we stumble back twelve. This new mob mentality is fucking crazy to me, it’s like all these things we’ve done to bring ourselves together just end up dividing us further because we’re not affecting REAL change as human beings. The rise of cyberbullying is probably the worst example of it, I was bullied most of my childhood and adolescence cause I grew up in a shitty Midwestern town full of close-minded people but now that’s not a limiter- the bullying follows these kids everywhere. I know you had a similar experience growing up- how deeply did that affect your worldview and what do you think we can do to course correct from the toxic growth of all this hurt we’re causing one another? Do you think we can ever achieve a world where nobody else has to worry about this shit?

Well, I don’t really have anything profound to say about it, I like to think that kids learn quickly that it doesn’t feel good to make someone hurt emotionally or physically, basic right and wrong stuff. As far as our current social climate with the internet and stuff, it seems like the negative effects never really resonate with people, because the ramifications for online abuse simply don’t exist. The classic “just turn your computer off” comment gets passed around when the topic of internet bullying gets brought up, maybe there is some truth to that, but because we are becoming so technologically dependent, especially young people socially, I think it’s hard to just write it off as some sort of anomaly or not worth taking seriously. I think this current generation, kids born in the 90’s and aughts will probably be the ones to focus some sort of legislation that protects people from this kind of toxic behavior in the future. My opinion though? There should be some sort of quota a person has in order to have the ability to comment or send a message anywhere on the internet, or some kind of fee you pay for freedom of digital speech. Everyone has been given a voice, and I am honestly not sure if that’s a good thing. There is a large percentage of uneducated people who just want to see someone fall from grace with out any sort of rhyme or reason other than “they were trigged” or to showcase virtue signaling, or just to find a way to lash out since they themselves are so miserable. The world isn’t sunshine and rainbows, people are going to disagree, be assholes to each other, the whole bit, but there should be designated spaces for this kind of stuff. Ms.InternetQueen of Twitter shouldn’t be able to just write to someone on the internet “You’re disgusting ew, you’re canceled bitch”, what value does that have? What if that ends up being the thing that pushes her target over the edge? I am sure this all gives off some kind of “boomer” energy, but not everyone has the gift to see words on the screen and just laugh it off, that’s a skill you gain, not a innate ability. In closing though, people shouldn’t focus so much on social media it has its merit, but it’s not the most important thing in the world. 

See that’s the thing- I feel like anyone who doesn’t totally worship the internet and social media gets hit with that fucking “boomer” shit and it’s absolute, complete and total bullshit. The fact is, giving humanity more of a voice is great in THEORY but then you have to remember that ignorance has a habit of weaponizing certain voices so that’s where all the ugliness comes from. The problem is, if you start picking and choosing who gets to be heard then you’re essentially shitting all over free speech- My hope is that one of these days we’ll wake up and people just won’t want to be assholes and everyone will just let each other fucking live their lives in peace. I’m aware that it probably won’t fucking happen until I’m long gone, if ever, but that’s my hope nonetheless. Til then I just wish we could find a way to make people see how unimportant it all is. Do we NEED pictures of your dinner? Do we NEED your shitty comment about the band you don’t like? Do we NEED influencers out there making millions selling lies on Instagram while the rest of us watch the world crumble from the inside out. No, we fucking don’t. You’re 100% correct, we’re so COMPLETELY technology dependent that we can’t even see how little value most of this shit actually has in the real world. We just keep on clicking our lives away. Then you have the other side of the coin, I NEED people to read our shit so I can do this but I try incredibly hard to make sure I’m bringing something of value to the table. Something of some kind of creative worth, otherwise I’d just be sitting here asking you what kind of socks you like to wear on tour. 


Speaking of tour, you’re heading back out with AILD again soon, you have some festival dates on the books soon, and you dropped “Pigs Ear” very recently too- I’m guessing we’re getting close to the new record being finished, and if the aforementioned new track is any indication it looks like your fans are in for an album that pushes your sound in even more new directions. Are you leaning in to some of the more electronic/hip-hop inspired influences on this one? Anything news you want to share with the cult? We’ve talked a lot about the personal shit so I figure we should talk shop at SOME point!

Yeah, we’ll be doing some big festival dates overseas with As I Lay Dying and White Chapel in April. Looking forward to that for sure. I would rather not start spilling clues on what people can expect to hear- truthfully, I don’t think it does the artist any good to tell people what to expect. It’s much more interesting for the listener to discover and experience things on their own terms. As far as news, not much to share. Fans can expect a new LP to drop this year, and hopefully all the content gets executed and delivered to scale as we envision it. 

Playing the cards close to your chest I see. Respect. I was really just curious to find out if you were going to explore some of your “less-metal” influences a little more this time out, but a little mystery never hurt anyone. In fact, it’s a nice change of pace these days. Everyone gives away the fucking house before its built, so I can appreciate when someone just shuts the fuck up and let’s everyone find out when the shit drops. 

I like to ask people if there’s anything they WANT to do that they HAVEN’T done, but I’m pretty sure you’ll keep those cards close too so fuck it, let’s talk video games for a bit before I cut you loose. We cover a lot of ground on The Ghost Generation and one thing I definitely cover is rad video games, specifically on Switch cause it’s a fucking MAGICAL machine. From what I gather you’re a pretty massive Street Fighter fan, I’ve never been super-huge on fighting games but something changed recently. I got turned on to Arc System Works games by my friends at PQube Games who are their publisher for a lot of their fighting franchises (Under Night: In Birth, BlazBlue, etc.) and now I’m fucking batshit crazy for the damn things. They’re super technical but somehow my brain just “gets’ them and I can do the kind of shit I never really could in others. I’m just DESTROYING, it’s rad. I don’t even watch Dragon Ball Z but I picked up Dragon Ball FighterZ cause Arc did that one w/Bandai Namco and it’s fucking incredible. You get down with any of these or have I just bored you to sleep?

The only game I still play passionately is Marvel VS Capcom 2. Anything new that comes out I play out of curiosity, casually, and that’s about it. Dragon Ball Fighter Z is a cool game, but nothing will ever come close to the high octane excitement of Marvel VS Capcom 2. 

That one’s a high watermark for a lot of people, and I’ll probably get a fair amount of shit for this from the gamers that read this but I’ve never played it. I can see the torches coming down my street now! Seriously, I know it’s an amazing game, but around the time it came out I was so fully immersed into writing music, playing music, all that shit- I didn’t DO anything else. I missed a metric ton of shit too, but I’m trying to catch up now. So yeah- I don’t have that frame of reference for fighting games so it’s kinda cool being able to come at some of these modern fighting games without the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia pointing me towards something I’ll always perceive as better. Especially since I’ve always been so shit at them, fighting games and me have always been like my relationship to skateboarding: I like it, I did it for a long time, but I nearly ALWAYS sucked at it. I could get on and reasonably STAY on, and even go fast, but my fucking brain just never “got” how to do much else. 

Enough about the things I’m terrible at, which are plentiful. I want to finish this up with a two-part question- I know you’re a busy man with plenty of other shit to do so, to close this thing out: Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, musically or creatively in general, that you haven’t yet? Something that might come as a complete and total surprise to the world?

There is a lot I would like to do creatively still. Not sure what will come to the surface. Only time will tell. I don’t think sharing any specifics or explaining in detail does anything except create vague expectations and disappointments. I’ll always make music. I’ll always be drawn to self expression. 

Man, I really thought you’d have some shit to say about that one, but I guess you’re right. If you say you’ve always wanted to do a grindcore/bluegrass album people are gonna fucking EXPECT that shit to drop at some point, and if you change your mind about it you’d be disappointing people whether it’s intentional or not. I get it.

Finally- We’ve talked a lot about these ideas of controversy, redemption, the past, the future- the music press has tried very hard to paint you in a certain light and unless I’ve missed something, I don’t think anyone has ever given you a real opportunity to show much of a different side of yourself because they’re too busy treating you like clickbait. What I’ve learned from this process is that I don’t think you’re the villain they’d like to make you out to be. I think there are a lot of things about you & I that are similar and a lot of the anger you’ve dealt with in your music comes from the same places a lot of mine has come from too. I think everyone processes things in their own way, and sure- maybe through the course of spending your 20’s and 30’s in the public eye you’ve said/done things that have gotten you into some shit. I happen to be one of the people in this world who believes very strongly that unless a person is an irredeemable piece of garbage (like Trump, or terrorists, or anyone who continues to allow John Mayer to play “blues”) they should be allowed to move on from mistakes, learn from them, and have the opportunity to put it the fuck behind them. In this age of misinformation and sensationalism I don’t think too may people are afforded that opportunity so instead of being allowed to grow and shift public perceptions you get stuck, backed into a corner forever. That’s what I see, I see a guy who has said a few ill-advised things, and maybe made a couple ill-advised merch design decisions, but who isn’t a bad guy, not by a longshot. In fact, I’m really glad we got to do this because I’ve enjoyed talking to you very much, we share a lot of ideas about the world at large today, and you’re a smart guy. You’re about to be 34, and you’re looking to live a more emotionally healthy and fulfilling life and I think it’s fantastic, so here’s what I think-

I think you should leave it all here. Seriously. Just leave all of that shit from the past right here, bury it in this interview, and never talk about it again. The next time some shithead from a metal site wants to ask you about your old lyrics, or your Twitter account, or whatever- you should tell them that you’re done talking about it, you’ve said enough, and people will think what they want but you’re DONE. Don’t give anyone the satisfaction of allowing them to have a hand in how you’re painted out there. Take it back. Fuck the media, you don’t owe anyone besides yourself a damn thing- but what you DO owe yourself is peace of mind. I’m not sure if that fully exists out there in the public eye but it would make me happy to know that you’re finding it in some small way. 

I am having hard time seeing a question mark here, so I just want to say thank you for the sentiments. 

Yeah, apparently people aren’t used to interviews being conducted more like a REAL conversation, no worries. I’m fucking weird, so I figure if I can manage to stay afloat in this fucked up culture they’ll catch up to me eventually.

I really appreciate you putting the time in to do this with me man, I know you have a lot going on so I think it’s a real integrity move for you to spend so much time getting your ears talked of by yours truly. I wish you absolutely nothing but the best with the tour, the new album, and finding that elusive “peace of mind” stuff people keep telling me about. Maybe we can chat again sometime after the album drops and see how shit’s going then. In the meantime, take care and thanks again!

Be well, thanks. Chat again soon!

And there you have it folks. I know that was a lot to unpack for me, some things hit a nerve and some things didn’t- you just never know. I know that with his schedule and everything going on in the world this one was a long time in the making and I’m glad you guys finally got to see it for yourselves. I did a lot of research going into this and I really do feel like it shines a light on the parts of him that nobody else has really let be seen, and if that’s all I’ve accomplished here then I’m OK with that. Is Frankie Palmeri a perfect human being? Nope. Am I a perfect human being? Far from it. The point is, I think people are capable of tremendous growth and it’s unfortunate that we’re so quick to just “cancel” everything in 2020 instead of taking a fucking breath to look a little deeper. I think Frankie’s on the right track and I applaud ANYONE who can rise above their demons to find some fucking peace. That being said, I hope you guys have enjoyed this and stay tuned, there’s a metric ton more of these I’d love to do but the world is kind of dealing with a crisis right now so don’t be shocked if a little time passes before you see another interview like this. In the meantime, we’ll keep writing and getting through it all together.

AFH

You can find Frankie Palmeri on Twitter and Instagram, as well as at his website, and you can find EMMURE here and on the Twitter too. They’re also on Facebook, but since I fucking hate Facebook I’ll let you find that one yourself. 🙂

BTW- “Pigs Ear” came out a while ago and they’ve dropped a new single since we started this interview, so here’s the latest- “Gypsy Disco” is a killer track and even more evidence that this next album is gonna be fucking fantastic.

A blog/website where these happily married, 30-something parents of 2 little minions rant, rave, and speak in tongues. Raw, honest, and riddled with profanity. Get on board and let’s make The Ghost Generation awesome together! http://theghostgeneration.com Twitter.com/Gh0stGeneration

The Ghost Generation

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