Supersuckers want to rock your world for the better.
By Ashley Fantz
NOVEMBER 22, 1999: Supersuckers are a simple band.
Wearing a gnawed-up urban-cowboy hat cocked to the side of his sexified, rocker snarl, frontman Eddie Spaghetti breaks it down.
"We cross genre boundaries, but people want to categorize and package us so that we can be sold properly," he says. "And I reckon it does do serious damage to our sales potential, to the all-important green."
The band's latest CD, The Evil Powers of Rock 'n Roll, a non-stop middle-finger-in-your-face collection of searing metal, should sell well among hard-core addicts. The four-member band may be less popular than Korn but their fans are no less obsessed -- they've been known to tail the touring musicians from city to city like Deadheads. But Supersuckers expect this album to garner both critical and underground praise.
"On our other albums, I can tell which songs are filler, but with this one we don't have any of that," he says. "It's quality songwriting from beginning 'til end."
Take "Cool Manchu," a sarcastic lament about how everything that's fun (looking at naked ladies, using dirty language, smoking a cigarette) is now the insufferable sign of loserdom. That song slips smoothly into "I Want the Drugs," an ode to bloodstream jolts. For a true rock-and-roll product, mix in a few quasi-melancholic should've-done-this songs about the past and end the romping album with "Hot Like the Sun," a ditty that makes every woman recall her first metal icon doing Spandexed hip rolls (either David Lee Roth or Bret Michaels depending on demographics): "I can't quit 'cause you're so hot/like the sun you're blinding me/and I get burned there's no doubt/you got demons girl and I'm gonna hump them out."
And people think the Backstreet Boys know all the smooth talk.
Supersuckers came together in the late '80s in Tucson, Arizona, as the Black Supersuckers, a name that gave them nothing but grief for its unintended racial implications. The name came directly from a video advertised in the back of a pornographic magazine. The band moved to Seattle in 1989, and Spaghetti, who writes most of the group's songs, became lead singer. He calls himself "more of song maker-upper than a writer."
"Supersuckers have been together for so damn long that we know everything about each other," the singer says. "We allowed ourselves to experiment with different forms of music. Our last album was an easier, country-heavy band and maybe our fans didn't know quite what to make of it."
Rotating now in Spaghetti's CD player are Willie Nelson's new release, Swedish punk band Turbo Negro, and Dirty Sanchez by Zeek, the banging rock band that will open for Supersuckers Thursday at the Young Avenue Deli.
"We ask bands who challenge us to tour with us," he says. "There are so few rock bands out there that are playing new, cool music. When I write a song, I'm filling a void like, 'What music do I want to listen to, but isn't around.' I mean you can have Korn, but I wouldn't call that really hard."
Yet Supersuckers don't consider radio play when compiling songs for an album, Spaghetti says. And though he doesn't like to admit it, he listens to Kid Rock and other bands endorsed by the increasingly corporate MTV.
"I'm not above the cheesy music," he says.
One might call that survival skills. After all, the band suffered through Seattle's grunge overkill for years.
"Then the bars were chock-full of jerks from the suburbs, but it's kind of gotten back to normal there," Spaghetti says. "There are all these bands playing Pixie covers and getting back into it."
There are a lot of things wrong with the world, the singer mutters wistfully. But in this day and age, why not run for president and make a few positive changes? Everybody else is.
"Yeah, but I'm not old enough to become president," he says, still fantasizing. "I would change the driving age to 21 and the drinking age to the time you graduate high school. I'd vote for Chris Rock before casting a vote for anyone ... . Definitely George Carlin. Ralph Nader who consistently has not sold out to a corporation or tried to screw the little guy. But no one who hasn't embraced rock-and-roll as their personal savior is going to get my approval."
Well put. President Eddie Spaghetti, we welcome you and Supersuckers to Memphis. Is there anything you might need? A dressing room with an ample supply of cigars? Extra Secret Service protection from hard-core Korn fans?
"Just copious amounts of crack-rock will do, thanks."
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