Supersuckers to Depants the ‘Dale
What: hard-rock showcase
The Supersuckers have been called a lot of things. They have been called southern-fried rock. They have been called hillbilly grunge. Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, the Supersuckers have even been called “country.” [Full disclosure: this is no country for old men; the Supersuckers are “country” the way Johnny Cash and Buck Owens were country.] John Lennon once famously explained: “We weren’t trying to invent Merseybeat. We were trying to play American rhythm and blues. But we grew up around Merseyside, so when we played [rhythm and blues], it came out Merseybeat.”
Eddie Spaghetti wasn’t trying to invent punk country. He and his friends were trying to play heavy metal. But, they grew up around Tucson, so it came out more like punk Porter Wagoner. Then they moved to Seattle, before anybody even knew Seattle was becoming Seattle. They signed with Sub Pop (from 1992’s The Smoke of Hell through 1997’s Must’ve Been High) and the world hasn’t been short on party music ever since. (The band is now on Acetate Records.)
The Supersuckers will once again conquer the hearts and minds of Carbondale Wednesday, April 26 at PK’s. Nightlife overbooked a flight to Seattle for an interview with Supersuckers’ founding member Eddie Spaghetti (bass, lead vocals).
Spaghetti, by the way, is also the bassist for the Franklin County Trucking Company, a new band formed by Jim Rotramel of the Number Nine Blacktops, and that band will celebrate the release of their debut album while warming up for the Supersuckers. Buzzzard is also on the bill.
You’ve played at PK’s before…
It’s one of the classic holes in America. In other words, our natural environment. We’ve played at Hangar 9, also.
Will you be flying in on any— ahem— well-known airlines for this show?
Even better. We’re trucking down from Seattle in the band van. No one gets dragged off the band van. Many have crawled off, but none have been dragged off.
I hear more western swing than grunge punk on [2015’s] Holdin’ the Bag.
Good call! The Supersuckers originated in Tucson, Arizona, in the 1980s, in a temperature of about 109 degrees. I believe it was a Tuesday. We were thinking of moving someplace not so hot all the time, like New Orleans. Then my friend moved to Seattle and he started bugging me to come up there, how great it was, how mild the weather was. You can wear a leather jacket in July. So, we ended up flipping a coin.
And Seattle won. Lucky Seattle.
A lot of Supersuckers decisions have been made by that coin. Seattle was a good one.
Has the coin ever been wrong?
Oh, yes, several times. Several, several times. Maybe I should throw it out of the van.
How did that Tucson sound go down in Seattle?
It didn’t even go down in Tucson. But fewer people booed in Seattle.
No, seriously, Seattle was great for us. It also helped that all the bands really supported each other. That’s rare. We didn’t fit in, of course, but that didn’t seem to even matter. We’re still looking for that place we fit in.
You’re celebrating your silver jubilee. Are you planning a party?
We haven’t finished celebrating our first gig. When that party’s over, we’ll get around to celebrating twenty-five years.
The same lineup for twenty-five years?
We’re under new membership, you might say. I’m still in the band— I think. Plus two other guys. [“Metal” Marty Chandler on lead guitar and Christopher “Chango” Von Streicher on drums.] I’m definitely the original Supersucker. I’ve fired myself several times, but I keep crawling back. You know, it’s hard to stay married to the same two people for twenty-five years. But I’d say we’re better now than I ever remember.
There are suckers, but then there are Supersuckers. How do you stay so young? What’s the secret?
Let’s see... blood drinking... puppy killing.... I keep a painting of Dorian Gray on the wall of the van. [Note: Nightlife does not condone the hanging of Dorian Gray on the walls of vans.]
You’ve made eleven albums so far, right?
That sounds believable. We’re working on our latest from Acetate right now. We’re pretty excited about it. We’re having a blast being us these days, playing our music. I think you’ll hear that on the album, and at our shows.
You played at Eddie Vedder’s birthday party. That’s an honor de luxe.
He’s one of the absolutely coolest dudes on the planet. And by the way, he’s an excellent ping-pong player.
Did he jam with you?
Oh yeah, Eddie sang some songs with us. The girls from Heart were there, too. We all jammed. Eddie sings with us sometimes if he’s at the show.
Anything else we need to know?
Yes. Tell everyone, “Remember to wear clean underwear to the Supersuckers show at PK’s, because we’re gonna rock your pants off. And we’re getting tired of looking at people’s dirty underwear.”
who: Supersuckers / Buzzzard / Franklin County Trucking Company
what: hard-rock showcase
when: Wednesday, April 26