Spaghetti is a “very highly skilled porcelain engineer.” If
the wildman wasn’t so busy fronting The Supersuckers, he’d
be raking it in as a plumber. Or a cab driver. Or a tour guide for the
Haunted Voodoo Tour of New Orleans. However, Spaghetti’s current
gig is yielding enough favorable results to bypass the search for any
alternative careers. Nearly 15 years after its inception, his band continues
to please a legion of converts by consistently producing kickass rock
The RED Interview
The Supersuckers members' flaunting of the mark of the Devil and KISS-like
behavior, their Salt Lake City show was greenlighted.
natives Spaghetti, Dan “Thunder” Bolton, Rontrose Heathman,
Dancing Eagle and Eric Martin originally formed their band out of a desire
spend more time together. They quickly learned that their chemistry transcended
the typical bounds of friendship and that a few hours spent screwing around
in the garage could lead to some genuinely authentic music. Small-town
success eventually inspired the group to seek a wider audience—a
quest that led its members to Seattle, where a little-known movement called
grunge was just starting to take hold. Soon thereafter, Martin departed,
citing creative differences, leaving The Supersuckers to gain notoriety
as a quartet.
While rooted in humble origins, the band now proudly proclaims itself
to be “The Greatest Rock and Roll Band Alive.” Interestingly
enough, New York City’s The Mooney Suzuki has adopted a similar
title indicating its status as king. Spaghetti remains unfettered by this
potential threat to self-appropriated prestige. “They’re pretty
good. I saw them play and I liked them a lot,” Spaghetti said. “But
you know I’ll go toe to toe, blow to blow with those guys any time
of the week.”
Bravado aside, the members of The Supersuckers have proved themselves
capable of living up to the hype. Unlike their Suzuki garage-rock rivals,
Supersuckers members keep their passions in check. During live shows,
the group plays “balls out” every time, regardless of potentially
negative crowd response. “A great rock-and-roll band sits there
and sucks it up. They don’t throw their guitars down and pitch a
fit,” Spaghetti said. “There are no fits to be pitched if
you’re the greatest.”
The lead singer is even willing to abandon strength in numbers by baring
his talent on stage without the support of a backing band. An affinity
for risk recently inspired Spaghetti to start playing solo shows as a
supplement to his relatively secure day job. The additional gigs also
serve as a way to further increase musical prowess.
“I think it’s a really cool thing to do as an exercise,”
Spaghetti said. “Can I entertain this crowd? Are these songs good
enough to stand alone on the icy tundra of acoustic and one voice?”
Though a bare-bones approach applies to the band insofar as it promotes
traditional, straightforward instrumentation, The Supersuckers would blow
the roof off any low-key open mic. The group’s sound falls in a
long line of hedonistic rock exemplified by bands such as Jon Spencer
Blues Explosion and Reverend Horton Heat. Live, the synchronization of
sinful, dirty guitars and stampeding drums establishes a furious harmony
that often results in religious experiences.
Spaghetti even cites the band’s latest album Motherfuckers Be Trippin’,
as “the perfect record for someone who has embraced rock and roll
as their personal savior.”
However, The Supersuckers’ appeal rests on more than just a gimmick.
As a rock group with a country edge, it retains a classic quality often
lacking in contemporary music. While innovation is certainly necessary,
many new bands place so much emphasis on creating strange, ground breaking
sounds, the intensity of which causes listeners to feel pleasurably alienated.
Sometimes it’s nice to hear a familiar bass line, tap toes to a
recognizable beat and sling back pitchers to a soundtrack that reminds
you of home. Spaghetti believes it is that traditional style that “totally
pulls the expiration date off The Supersuckers.” He credits Chuck
Berry as one of the main sources from which most subgenres of rock have
sprung, that every new style is simply a variation of an unbreakable mold.
“It’s the staple that everyone comes back to,” Spaghetti
said. “We just stay a little bit truer to the ‘magma’
of rock and roll.”
So can the members of The Supersuckers safely side-step the classifieds
and rely strictly on this rock-and-roll lifestyle? Spaghetti feels confident
of the path they’ve chosen.
“I think that we can, legitimately, do this for a very long time.”
Supersuckers will rock balls with openers Throwrag at The Zephyr, located
at 300 S. West Temple. It will be well worth the temporary membership.