Despite a cancer scare, they continue to purvey “handcrafted rock’n’roll for connoisseurs of quality”.
You can have your goddamn grunge bands, but the real kings of Seattle rock’n’roll remain the Supersuckers. Frontman Eddie Spaghetti has led his crew of beer drinkers and hellraisers through an endless party that’s lasted for 30 years, 11 albums, and who knows how many nights in the drunk tank. He flipped his RV, and got throat cancer a few years back, but neither the crash nor the disease killed him, as evidenced by the Suckers defiant new album, Suck It. So, Eddie…
It feels like the days of dangerous rock bands might be over. There was some low-level controversy recently because Mike Ness punched out a heckler at a Social Distortion gig. Didn’t that used to happen every night? Well, Mike Ness is almost a fancy lad these days. He wears pleated pants and suspenders and, like, floppy hats. He’s upgraded since his days as a punk rocker. He left the trenches from where we still dwell long ago, so maybe that’s why. He’s probably not too worried about his health insurance. I’m sure he’s covered.
When’s the last time you punched out a heckler?
I try to never do that. I don’t care, really. I expect people to flip me off and give me grief. Generally I have the advantage since I’ve got the microphone. I just verbally humiliate them and call it even.
Suck It, in general, is really about how tough it is being a hardcore rock’n’roller in a softcore world. Yeah I realised that what we do is not for everybody – much to my debit card’s detriment. I wish everybody loved the Supersuckers like they love the fucking Foo Fighters. It’s for so few people, it’s barely worth doing at all. I still get a kick out of it, though. We’re like a boutique operation delivering quality, hand-crafted rock’n’roll for the connoisseurs of quality.
Foo Fighters play baseball stadiums, for Chrissakes.
Dave Grohl’s a great guy, and he’s always been supportive of us, but Foo Fighters are a serviceable rock band at best.
After your cancer diagnosis, did you change your lifestyle drastically?
I still try to remain a reckless a fool whenever I can, but I appreciate things more than I used to, and I don’t get angry about little things any more.
“even our worst record is better than most bands’
How have you adjusted the Eddie Spaghetti look as you’ve got older? You do have a beard now.
Yeah, I gotta cover up as much of the ‘old man’ face as possible. I still got the cowboy hat, and I still wear the sunglasses but now they’re prescription. Also one of the benefits of having cancer was that
I lost a bunch of weight, and it’s not coming back. Cancer is a good diet plan.
Supersuckers still tour relentlessly. What’s the worst town to play in?
El Paso, Texas. We’ve had the worst shows of our career there.
What’s the problem?
We don’t play, like, mall heavy metal. That’s all they want to hear there.
After thirty years don’t you deserve a statue or something?
Probably. I mean, let’s face it, even our worst record is better than most bands’ best records. KM