When The Rolling Stones recently performed one of their 50th anniversary shows in London, one reviewer noted that the “bravado” was gone and there was no mention of their longtime motto, “The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” Since the Stones aren’t using it, perhaps rockers Supersuckers can claim it. They have, after all, been using it for most of their 20-plus years of existence anyway.
With the Supersuckers, such proclamations are more about humor and fun, not bravado, as anyone who’s seen the band’s raucous, sweaty live show can attest.
The ’Suckers formed in 1988 in Tuscon, Ariz., before — according to frontman Eddie Spaghetti’s bio of the group — flipping a coin to decide where to relocate. It was between New Orleans and Seattle; Seattle won. Though initially unaware that the city was becoming the local American music scene to watch, they embraced Seattle’s musician-friendly environment and began recording singles and knocking out the locals with frequent, fervent live shows.
SubPop Records, the ground zero of the “Grunge” explosion, signed the group based on those sizzling live shows and released the Supersuckers’ debut long-player, The Smoke of Hell.
The band’s punkish sound always had a hint of twang, and in 1997 the group pushed the Country influence to the forefront for Must’ve Been High, their final effort for SubPop besides an extensive retrospective release, How the Supersuckers Became the Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World, in 1999.
Determined to keep alive the legacy of Supersuckers — who have backed Willie Nelson on The Tonight Show, recorded with Steve Earle and Eddie Vedder and toured the world with the likes of The Ramones, Mudhoney and White Zombie — Eddie Spaghetti and the crew went independent in 2001, forming their own Mid-Fi Recordings label and taking over their own management. Relying on their dedicated global cult following, the ’Suckers have continued to put out releases, including several live albums, a singles collection and a pair of new albums (the most recent being 2008’s Get It Together).After being on hiatus the past couple of years so Spaghetti could focus on his solo album, Sundowner (released by seminal AltCountry label Bloodshot), the Supersuckers returned to the road to convert the unconverted and satiate the multitude of followers who can’t imagine a world without them.
THE SUPERSUCKERS perform Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Southgate House Revival in Newport with Skinny Jim & the Number 9 Blacktops and Red Hot Rebellion.