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Music / Suicidal Tendencies

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Mike Muir (and the rest)
I'm a suicidal failure
I gotta have some help
Have suicidal tendencies
But I can't kill myself
— "Suicidal Failure"

Suicidal Tendencies is an American Hardcore Punk band formed in 1981 by vocalist Mike Muir. Although their music video for arguably their most famous song, "Institutionalized", was one of the first hardcore punk music videos aired on MTV, they gained more mainstream exposure by adding thrash metal influences to their sound, leading them to be credited as the inventors of "crossover thrash". Their popularity even further exploded in the early 1990s when adding influence from funk music.

Despite their mainstream popularity, in recent years, the band has stripped away most of the thrash and funk influences and turned back into a hardcore band, primarily due to discomfort within the major spotlight.


  • 1983 - Suicidal Tendencies
  • 1987 - Join the Army
  • 1988 - How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today
  • 1989 - Controlled by Hatred/Feel Like Shit...Déjà Vu (complation of two EPs)
  • 1990 - Lights...Camera...Revolution!
  • 1992 - The Art of Rebellion
  • 1993 - Still Cyco After All These Years (a rerecording of the Self-Titled Album, with two songs from Join the Army)
  • 1994 - Suicidal For Life
  • 1999 - Freedumb
  • 2000 - Free Your Soul and Save My Mind
  • 2010 - No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal Family
  • 2013 - 13
  • 2016 - World Gone Mad
  • 2018 - Still Cyco Punk After All These Years (A near-complete rerecording of Mike Muir's 1996 solo album Lost My Brain! (Once Again))

Suicidal Tropes:

  • Acrofatic: Despite putting on a few pounds in recent years, Mike Muir still runs around the stage almost constantly when the band's performing and never seems to get tired.
  • Anti-Police Song: "Fascist Pig" from the debut album.
    Riot squad, bash their heads
    Kick their ass until they're dead
    I won't be a fascist pig!
    Love to fight, what a thrill
    We don't stop until we kill
    I won't be a fascist pig!

  • Abusive Parents: Mike's mother and father in the "Institutionalized" video. They imprison him in his room and wrap him in a straitjacket because they think he's "on drugs" even though Mike's never seen doing anything out of the ordinary in the video.
  • All Just a Dream: The video for "Institutionalized" seems to imply this, with Mike having escaped his parents and found freedom at a raucous live concert filled with fellow punks—only to Smash Cut to Mike raving and running around in an empty warehouse, implying the concert is all in his head.
  • Bungled Suicide: "Suicidal Failure" is sung from the perspective of a 19-year-old who has tried many different means of killing himself, but he just can't get it right.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: "We're F'n Evil."
  • Drugs Are Bad: "Feeding the Addiction."
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: "Waking The Dead."
  • Funk Metal: A major innovator in this, largely due to Robert Trujillo playing with them from Lights...Camera...Revolution! to Suicidal for Life.
  • Humble Goal: "All I wanted was a Pepsi. Just one Pepsi!"
  • I Am the Band: Mike Muir, the face of the band, one of the main songwriters since the beginning, and the only constant in a seemingly endless list of members.
  • Iconic Item: Mike Muir is never, ever seen without his trademark bandanna.
  • Lead Bassist: After Mike, Type C Robert Truijllo is probably the next best known member due to later playing in Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne's band and also adding in the funk elements Suicidal became famous for in their later career. Stephen Bruner is also quite famous for his solo work as Thundercat, while Tim "Rawbiz" Williams was also a name in session musician circles, and Ra Diaz is widely respected in bass circles and is known for his gear demos.
  • Miniscule Rocking: A staple of most of their more overtly punk albums, especially the first one.
  • Mistaken for Insane: "Institutionalized" is about a teenage boy named Mike, whose parents keep sending him to institutions because they think he's not right in the head (and that he's on drugs). He's really just a nonconformist, though.
  • Motor Mouth: Mike's vocal delivery on most of their faster songs gets really fast. "Institutionalized"'s chorus is a famous example.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: How the narrator of "Waking The Dead" feels by the end of the song.
  • New Sound Album: Join the Army, the first album with Rocky George on guitar, started adding in metal elements to their sound that would really crystalize in How Will I Laugh Tomorrow and Lights...Camera...Revolution!. Lights in return added a lot of Funk Metal to their sound.
  • No Indoor Voice: Mike spends most of the debut album yelling his ass off.
  • Religion Rant Song: "Send Me Your Money" is a Type 3.
  • Revolving Door Band: They have had a truly impressive amount of past members, at just short of 30 of them. Their first lineup didn't even make it a year. Their longest-running line up since then lasted six years. Muir has been doing this for over four decades.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: A common theme in their songs, with "Institutionalized" being a well-known example.
  • Scam Religion: The Church of Suicidal in "Send Me Your Money".
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Heaven." While parts of it do get heavy, it's mostly a gentle Funk Rock song
  • Thrash Metal: A Trope Codifier for crossover thrash, to this day being one of the most iconic bands in the genre.

...It doesn't matter, I'll probably get hit by a car anyway...