The Supersuckers are bringing their “Evil Powers” to The Jinx, which should prompt a shout of “Hell yeah!” from fans of blistering, down and dirty rock ’n’ roll.
“I always tell people they better wear their clean underwear because they’re going to get their pants rocked right off them,” promised vocalist/bassist and founder Eddie Spaghetti.
The self-proclaimed “Greatest Rock ’n’ Roll Band in the World” celebrated their 30th anniversary last year, a feat that once seemed improbable to Spaghetti.
“You never really think about doing something for that long until you’ve done it,” said Spaghetti. “It’s a bittersweet thing, I suppose, considering how little success we’ve had over the 30 years, but we’re still doing it. It’s pretty cool.”
Formed in 1988, The Supersuckers came out of the same Seattle music scene as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, and even released their first four albums on Sub Pop Records. However, they didn’t quite fit the grunge mold and did not achieve the same stratospheric success as their peers.
Besides the ups-and-downs of constant touring, line-up changes, and industry indifference, Spaghetti also recently won a battle with throat cancer, but he has come out stronger than ever.
“I think as I get older I’m more and more grateful for this crazy rock ’n’ roll life I’ve been able to carve out,” said Spaghetti. “Even though we’re not selling out arenas or being on the radio, we still have a nice little career and fans, and people who enjoy what we do. We still enjoy making the music. It’s really a gift to have this this late in my life.”
This year The Supersuckers are touring on the 20th anniversary of their “return-to-form” album, “The Evil Powers of Rock ’N’ Roll” (KOCH, 1999) and playing it in its entirety. “That record came out at a pivotal time for the band,” explained Spaghetti. “We never intended to do this tour in the States because the ‘Evil Powers’ was kind of a disappointment in the States, but it did really well for us in Europe. When we went over to Europe earlier this year we decided to do 20th anniversary of the ‘Evil Powers of Rock ’N’ Roll’ record and it went so well, and we enjoyed playing those songs so much, we decided to do a couple legs of it here in the States. It’s a cool record. It’s surprisingly good how well it holds up. It’s an amazing achievement.”
Spaghetti continued, “At the time — I’m sure you don’t remember, but I sure do — at the end of the 1900s we had just finished making our ill-fated country record (1997’s “Must’ve Been High”), which history has reflected kindly upon, but at the time it was a miserable moment for the band because we put a lot of effort into making that country record as real and honest and pure of a country music record as it could be, and everybody hated it when it came out. It was a big disappointment, but over time it’s become our most popular record.”
Supersuckers’ country songs are as popular as the rock cuts and “nine times out of 10” they get requested by fans at the shows. That was Spaghetti’s point in the first place when he made a country album. He grew up listening to the The Ramones and Hank Williams and recognized a common spirit. “The songs all sound the same, they’re all three chords, but they’re all awesome,” said Spaghetti. “It’s ‘three chords and the truth’ that make a good song. I wanted to show that these musics are pretty much the same exact thing, just presented with different accoutrements.”
With 11 albums, The Supersuckers continue to churn out excellent records like 2018’s “Suck It” and a new album slated for early next year. “We’re excited that we have the creative juice that we still do,” said Spaghetti. “We have no business being this good this late in the game.”
The Supersuckers have paired down form a quartet to a trio featuring “Metal” Marty Chandler on guitar and “Captain” Chris Von Streicher on drums, but that has seemed to have worked in the bands favor. “I think that the band has never been better,” said Spaghetti. “It’s finally the band we’ve always threatened to be. Once we got onto this three-piece mode the whole Motörhead vibe came into play and we really ran with it.”
Speaking of Motörhead, The Supersuckers got their greatest endorsement from legendary frontman Lemmy Kilmister back in the ’90s. Lemmy once said, “If you don’t like The Supersuckers, you don’t like rock ’n’ roll.”
“I can’t believe he said it and he let us use it,” said Spaghetti. “We were touring with them and he said that and I was like, ‘What?! Did you just say that?’ He said, ‘Yeah, because I think it’s true.’”