You Only Live Once: Jolie Lucker Interview

  • April 2009, a rising deathcore band from Orange County, California, called Suicide Silence played Revolver's inaugural Golden Gods award show. It was a remarkable sight; Dressed in smart tuxes that contrasted brilliantly with the brutality of their bludgeoning riffs, the guitarists windmilled their hair, their drummer convulsed behind his kit, and their vocalist–Mitchell Adam Lucker–stretched out his arms like a pterodactyl as he shrieked barnburners like "Wake Up" and "Unanswered". Later that evening, Alice In Chains presented Lucker and his bandmates with the trophy for Best New Talent.
  • As Suicide Silence continued their incredible upward trajectory, which included two albums making Billboard's Top 40 chart and two triumphant runs on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest, the frontman's star qualities fully emerged. His stage presence was unparalleled, as he loosened his demons into the microphone, and both onstage and on record, he wielded an intense vocal style that sounded like metal grating on metal. He was something special, and Revolver recognized that not only at the Golden Gods awards but also on both of the two covers of our September 2009 issue, which featured him.
  • "We actually had a huge poster of one of those covers in our garage," says Lucker's widow, Jolie. "He loved Revolver. It meant a lot to him and the whole band."
  • But on November 1, 2012, Mitch Lucker's journey came to a shocking end. That morning, at around 6 a.m., he died at U.C. Irvine Medical Center of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident the previous night. He was 28. He is survived by Jolie, and their 5-year-old daughter, Kenadee.
  • Shortly after his death, Suicide Silence started the Mitch Lucker Memorial Fund, all proceeds of which will go towards Kenadee's education, and on December 21, they played a benefit show, joined by guest vocalists including Mudvayne and Hellyeah fronman Chad Gray, As I Lay Dying's Tim Lambesis, and others. To contribute to the fund, visit SuicideSilence.net. Those who donate $20 or more will receive a commemorative T-shirt.
  • Also shortly after Mitch's passing, Jolie reached out to Revolver to see if she could talk to us about the singer's life, their life together, and especially about Mitch's relationship with his fans. "They've been so supportive for Kena and I, sending us stuff," Jolie says. "I have hundreds of letters. I wanted them to have that last closure and know that he was amazing. He loved all his fans. I want them to know who he was."
  • Revolver: How did you meet Mitch?
  • Jolie Lucker: Back in 2002, I went with my best friend to the tattoo shop [The Grand Tattoo Lodge in Redlands, California] where he was working. He walked past me, and I said, "Who is that?" He was super shy. He wouldn't even look at me. I found out he had a girlfriend. A couple of months later, we started dating.
  • R: What first attracted you to him?
  • JL: The way he looked. He was just as cute then. He said something like, "Why are girls so slutty?" I remember responding back asking why he was hanging out with shitty girls. He came to my house that night. We hung out and he never left. He moved into my apartment within a week. This was before the band. We were 18 or 19.
  • R: What was Mitch like then?
  • JL: Shy, insecure, quiet, funny. He was straightedge, so he would just drink a lot of caffeine and get insane. He would destroy stuff for fun. One of the first times we hung out, we were walking through some apartment complex and there was a computer monitor, one of those old ones that were huge. He just picked it up and threw it through the back of a car window. Our friends and I would be like, "What the fuck are you doing?" Him and his friends would do funny stuff like that.
  • R: Sounds like a troublemaker.
  • JL: We were all troublemakers. We all had troubled childhoods. So we would just go to shows and we'd get together after and just have fun.
  • R: What other hijinks did he get up to?
  • JL: When he was straightedge, we were at some house party in 2005 or '06 and there was some dumb drunk girl walking around drinking this bottle of Jack, trying to be cool. Mitch grabs the bottle and we went into this room that didn't have a lock, so I was holding the door closed, and Mitch was peeing in the bottle of Jack Daniel's. He walked back out and set it back down where it was and we just watched her drink it. She never noticed. We all just sat back and laughed.
  • R: Was Mitch close to the rest of his family?
  • JL: He loved his two brothers. His older brother is a Marine and is actually living in Japan, but they were still close. Within the last couple of years, Mitch wanted to get really close with his youngest brother, who is 18. The three boys grew up with their dad. They're all "dudes". His dad used to put porno mags on their bed, stuff like that. He really wanted them to like girls. He got Mitch into music and took him to his first Metallica concert when he was 10. His dad would get him guitars. He was Mitch's No. 1 fan.
  • R: When did Suicide Silence come into the picture?
  • JL: When we started hanging out, the band wasn't really a band yet. They were kind of just playing in [guitarist] Chris Garza's garage. I remember the night before their first tour. We were all lying in Garza's garage. They were so excited. None of them slept.
  • R: What was it like being around the band as they got more popular?
  • JL: It was really cool. I saw them grow and evolve. I love every single one of the guys. I've had a pretty special bond with all of them. I love their music. I heard it all the time.
  • R: What did Suicide Silence mean to Mitch?
  • JL: The fucking world. Those guys are his brothers. He was so fucking proud of the band; how fast Alex [Lopez] could drum, the riffs Mark [Heylmun, guitar] could come up with, everything. He talked about the band to me every day of our life. He could not wait to tour. He never wanted to leave Kena and I, but he fucking loved being with them. They had a special bond.
  • R: What did his fans mean to him?
  • JL: He cherished his fans. People would give him stuff all around the world, and he would keep every single thing. I'm like, "Dude, really? You want this? It's a magnet from Mexico." He's like, "Fuck yeah, a fan gave that to me!" When we would see people wearing Suicide Silence shirts, he would get so stoked.
  • R: Where are you keeping all the things the fans gave him?
  • JL: I recently up and moved from our house. I just couldn't be in there. It was making me sick. Every single thing of his and everything his fans gave him is all tucked away in closed boxes, except for the red flag a fan in Venezuela made. They wrote Suicide Silence on it, and he loved it. I'm putting that up in my room.
  • R: Suicide Silence have their share of famous fans. Whose praise meant the most to Mitch?
  • JL: Jonathan Davis [Korn's singer who contributed guest vocals to Suicide Silence's song, "Witness the Addiction," off 2011's The Black Crown], that was the hugest. He could not even believe it. When we saw pictures of Jonathan wearing a Suicide Silence shirt onstage, Mitch was like, "Holy fuck, babe, look!". The guys from Slipknot, he loved those dudes. There have been so many.
  • R: How did things change for you and Mitch when you became pregnant?
  • JL: We both grew up and were like, oh shit, we're 22 and about to be parents. We started taking life more seriously. We had a reason to be here now. Back then, we didn't care what happened to us, didn't care what trouble we got into. When I got pregnant, we both grew up. We had our daughter, Kenadee Isis Lucker, in 2007.
  • R: Who is Kenadee named after?
  • JL: No one in particular, but Isis was always one of our favorite bands.
  • R: Was there a specific moment when you noticed Mitch had matured?
  • JL: Yes. I was probably 9 months pregnant, and we were in bed. He rolled over and was spooning me, he had his hand on my belly and she was kicking. She always kicked so much in the morning. He just started crying. It's hard for me to talk about it now. He was just so excited. He just couldn't wait to be a dad. I just lied there because he got embarrassed easily. He kept saying, "That's my baby."
  • He had just come home from tour, on June 20th, and I had her June 30th. He was so excited, I remember when I went into labor, he didn't even remember wheeling me into the hospital room, he was so frazzled and out of it. They had just put the IV in my arm, and my mom was helping me walk to the bathroom and he passed out within two seconds. It was funny. He was still such a child. It's crazy.
  • R: But he was there for you.
  • JL: Oh yeah, he was there for me big time. I would feed her and he would get everything in the middle of the night, and he would rock her back to sleep. He was seriously the best dad. Even up until recently, she would wake up in the middle of the night and ask for warm juice or something. He wouldn't even hesitate. If he heard her coughing or doing something, he would jump out of bed. It was the cutest thing. He was so protective of her.
  • R: How did Mitch propose?
  • JL: His proposal was cheesy. He slid a ring across the table and I opened it up and I was like, "Is this what I think this is?" He was like, "Yeah." That's the Mitch Lucker proposal. There's no way in hell he was going to get down on one knee. He gets too embarrassed. No way in hell. The wedding was awesome. We had it in 2010. We waited until Kena was old enough to be our flower girl. She fully remembers it. When the DJ introduced us as "Mr. and Mrs. Mitch Lucker," we walked in to "This Love" by Pantera.
  • R: How has Kenadee taken his death?
  • JL: Hard. She understands, though. She actually goes to a Christian school. I've never been religious–she goes to a private school because of the quality of education–but she's learning about God, Heaven, and all of that. The day he passed away, I sat with her teacher and we took her into the chapel. I wasn't stable. I couldn't even comprehend what happened. My emotions were making her pissed. She was so mad, but she got it. She'd tell me, "Daddy died in a motorcycle accident. Are you going to keep crying?" It's rough. She's used to him being on tour, but once it hits the six-month mark, I think she'll understand. Right now, he could be on tour and coming back.
  • It's killing me inside, but I swear to God he does shit around our house. He used to catch bugs for her all the time and put them in jars. They would go bug hunting and get spiders, snails, and butterflies and put them in mason jars. He would pop holes in the tip. We woke up this morning, and we had just moved into this new house two days ago, everything is fucking scrambled. I had this vase sitting next to the front door. She goes, "Oh my God, mommy! There's a moth in here!" The vase is really tiny at the top–it couldn't have gotten in there any other way, I swear to God he did that. He's doing stuff like that for her just so she knows that daddy is still here.
  • She thinks the stars are him. She thinks the brightest star is him. We'll go outside and say goodnight. One of our best friend's husband is deaf, so we know sign language. So we'll do the hand sign for "I love you" and sometimes at night, she'll say, "I love you daddy. When is daddy coming home from heaven?" She gets really angry about it. It's heartbreaking.
  • R: You mentioned that you and Kenadee were used to him being away on tour. It still must be hard.
  • JL: Yeah, we split up last year for the first time ever, only for about seven months. It wasn't even really a split. He'd still come home from tour and live with us and we were still a family but just weren't agreeing on some things. It's very hard to balance the touring lifestyle and home. Especially when there are little ones. I would tell him, you really need to stop cussing around Kena. We just butted heads but got back together about two months ago, thank God.
  • Honestly, the last two months of our relationship had been the best in years. We didn't fight or argue. It was perfect. We had been talking about how since things are going so well, we could start planning on having another baby in a couple months. Actually on Halloween night, I was saying to him, "I wonder what we would dress our newborn baby up as." It's heartbreaking, but I'm thankful we had that perfect time together.
  • R: After he passed, you had a private service. What was that like?
  • JL: It was beautiful. The clothes I picked out for him for the viewing were ones that really meant a lot to us. It was the outfit he wore to our rehearsal dinner when we got married. I had him placed in a simple gray casked, so all of our friends and family could sign it and write notes to him. He was buried with this special picture of him and Kenadee he loved. At the viewing, he had his left hand over the picture, holding it close to his chest. It was fucking hard.
  • The band's manager made a flag with the artwork for The Black Crown on it. We had TVs repeating a big collage of all these pictures of him, his family, and his band. We had all these songs playing. I lost it to one song. I had gone into the viewing first, and it started playing Lucero's "Slow Dancing". That was the song playing during our first dance at our wedding. I just freaked out. It was bad. Later, we had a lot of Suicide Silence songs playing. I made it like it was his last night onstage. If you saw Suicide Silence live in last year, he walks onstage to "March to the Black Crown." When he was being carried out, we had that song playing.
  • R: It sounds like you bid farewell to him in a thoughtful way.
  • JL: He was awesome. It's jut a tragedy. Devastating. My heart is crushed.

I hate feeling like you’ll never be good enough for anyone