RETURN TO SUPERSUCKERS

 

Supersuckers
By Peter Atkinson

Much as he tries, Supersuckers’ frontman Eddie Spaghetti admits fighting progress is becoming a losing battle. But he hasn’t given up just yet.

A purist who will go to his grave preaching the virtues of vinyl, he’s also a collector who tracks down the singles, B-sides and other extras of his favorite artists — be it CD, tape or whatever. That used to having the patience to rifle through a record store’s stock and owning the requisite stereo equipment. These days, though, it’s usually a matter of having a good computer and fast Internet connection.

“Now everyone’s doing all this tricky shit where they’ll put extra songs on their website that you can only access by playing the CD in your CD-ROM while you’re online,” Spaghetti says on the phone from his Seattle home. “And you get all these bonus videos you can only see on your computer. It’s a pain in the ass for a poor, old bastard like me.”

Spaghetti’s most recent purchase was a nice gatefold vinyl edition of Johnny Cash’s new album, The Man Comes Around — which he ducks away for a moment to put on the stereo. But he shrugs when I mention the CD version I got includes a DVD of the video for Cash’s remarkable cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.”

“See, that’s the kind of shit I’m talking about,” he said, though noting the “Hurt” video is a bit too creepy for his liking anyway.

Spaghetti is hardly just some stodgy fan pining for the way things used to be. Tired of all the bullshit they had to deal with at other labels, the Supersuckers have been running their own Mid-Fi Recordings for the last couple years, and now issue all of their material on it. As if it isn’t tough enough to compete as a small indie label, when everyone else is offering all these hi-falutin’ extras to lure consumers the job gets that much harder. But Spaghetti is only willing to go so far.

“There are some things we just won’t do, we don’t want to make people work just to hear music,” Spaghetti said. “And I don’t want to make people pay more than they have to. We just wanna get our music out there and have people dig it, not try to trick them into liking us.”

The veteran rabble-rousers aren’t making the battle any easier for themselves with their riotous latest album. By titling it Motherfuckers Be Trippin’ and lacing it with tracks like “Pretty Fucked Up” and “Rock Your Ass,” the ‘Suckers can pretty much kiss off the mega-mart market. But Spaghetti is pleasantly surprised by the response from other outlets.

“Buyers at some of the big Best Buy-like stores have been great,” he said. “They’re giving us listening stations and featuring us on the aisle racks. It’s pretty cool. And we’ve got a little sticker for the ‘Motherfuckers,’ but you’ll know what it says anyway.”

Despite his curmudgeonly air, Spaghetti says he hopes Motherfuckers will help the ‘Suckers reconnect with a younger audience, something the band should have paid more attention to over the years. Tours that will carry the band through the summer will have a decidedly more all-ages mentality.

“As soon as we turned 21 and could go to bars, we’ve been playing in bars to a bunch of old drunks,” Spaghetti said. “Why haven’t we struck it rich playing punk rock music? Basically it all comes down to us ignoring the kids. We won’t make that mistake this time.”