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Archive for October, 2010

In 2001, soon after meeting up with the band, I surprised many of my music business colleagues. My wife and I sold our house on Wonderland Ave. in Laurel Canyon and moved to Park City UT. I would leave the hustle of LA and focus my efforts on the Supersuckers. The internet made living anywhere possible and the skiing is great in Utah. Some of my peers thought I was crazy and that the band were leftovers from the glory days of the Sub Pop era. Many thought that if they had not broken into the mainstream after 10 years it wasn’t going to happen. One promoter warned me “Great band but the problem with the Supersuckers is you only need to see them once” implying that their set and their shtick was never going to change and it would be hard selling that same show over and over. I was up for the challenge.

Sure they were the ultimate party band, a bands band, great players and Eddie was a talent deserving of success but success eluded them. I honestly thought I could walk into this situation and sprinkle my magic dust and have another gold record. I had been a Sales Manager at Rhino, worked for John Tesh for years and helped get his music into new places, and most importantly I had worked for Bruce Flohr of RCA for about 7 years. Bruce trusted me and I had his ear. Bruce had signed the Dave Matthews Band, the Foo Fighters, Doyle Bramhall, and LIT, among others and being his “Scout” was a huge deal. There were tons of people that wanted my job with Bruce, but I hustled every day to make sure I was indispensable. If he wanted my opinion on a band in New Orleans I was on a flight at a moments notice and my comments were faxed to him within hours of the band getting off the stage. Being an A&R Scout for RCA and working under Bruce was probably one of the most coveted jobs in the industry and it was mine for years. But the time had come to move on and see where the chips would land with the Supersuckers.

Who hasn’t wanted to roll the bones or throw some cards around in Las Vegas with one of their favorite rock bands? Sound good? Well wait no more, my friend. We here at Supersuckers Industries and Mid-Fi recordings are offering you a once in a lifetime opportunity to come to “Sin City” and go gamblin’ with us! That’s right, we’ll fly the lucky winner and a guest out to Vegas, put you in a room at our hotel and treat you to a V.I.P. experience at our show that night. But wait, that’s not all. We’ll also give you $100 in chips to throw to the Gods of Chance at the game of your choice with The Supersuckers along as your good luck charm. Don’t know how to play? We’ll show you. Experienced gamer? You can show us a trick and a tactic or two. So get to bidding and we’ll see you there!

Eddie Spaghetti

If the Supersuckers were roulette table and I was a gambler, I put it all on black. Oh sure there was the financing of the trailer, co-signing for the van, fronting money from everything from albums to flights but it didn’t matter. We were on a roll and I never thought I’d lose. I bet a lot on the band and rightfully so. They were hands down incredible from the moment I met them for years to follow.

The band had survived the departure of their original drummer and amazingly enough survived all the drummers that filled in along the way. There must’ve been about 10 different guys back there before they got a permanent one. Mike Musburger was filling in around this era and he pushed the band to new heights. He was amazing, and the perfect guy before Scott Churilla joined. The reason Mike didn’t stay was probably because he wanted to spend more time at home and not on the road in a van with 6 or 7 grown men. And I’m sure the money was a factor too. It’s always about the money…right.
During 2005, I was confident. What we had accomplished in this short period of time put the band on another level. Shows were selling out. Offers were great. Guarantees for shows were way up and merch sales would sometimes hit 2K a night. The email list of fans approached an all time high of about 40,000, fan club memberships were rolling in so fast I could barely keep up, and the shows were just amazing. They challenged themselves and pushed their limits with covers ranging from Sail On, Hey Ya! East Bound & Down & Rubber Bisquit. I witnessed them do Mississippi Queen, Sweet Emotion during sound check and really saw the magic happen when they covered Marseilles by Angel City when they played in Marseilles. It was epic to say the least but it was exactly what they needed to do.

The Big Show just might’ve been the perfect answer to sustaining the magic. This particular show as many know, is where the Supersuckers would start with a county set and end with a rock set. A seemingly flawless transition mostly due to Wilbur (one of the former tour managers) and his uncanny knack for making it all look so easy. Jordan Shapiro did countless shows with the band around this time as well. It was a force to be reckoned with for sure. We didn’t need openers because the band had enough material, talent, drive and a long enough show to play for an easy 2 ½ hours. No breaks for Eddie. He would stay on the stage the whole set like a rock n roll warrior.

There were two live releases around this time that show the band hauling ass in overdrive; Live at the Tractor and Live at the Magic Bag. Both of these releases were like capturing lightning in a bottle thanks again to David Fisher. These releases would begin the series entitled Mid-Fi Field Recordings which survived one more release… And there was Devil’s Food… Up Next… Thanks Everyone

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Rontrose and myself discuss my early role, later goals and getting comfortable…and that  Supersuckers magic in 2005 which I plan to write about next.   A era worthy of a book.

Here’s Part 2 w/ host Bert Morris.  Click the play button below to listen:

Donations are key to keeping this thing moving along…  Thanks everyone

And I’ll see some of you in Hollywood on 11/9 for the first annual Rockonomics Open House.  Chris Neal of Midway UT

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It’s real hard to put into words how much I appreciated all the help we got from fans around the world.   The friends made and the experiences I had are just unbelievable which is just one of  the reasons for sharing so many of them with everyone right here…

 

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One guy that sticks out a bit more than the rest is Paul from the Netherlands.  Before Paul started his own band, the Paceshifters, he toured with the Supersuckers at the ripe old age of 16.  With his parents and a permission, slip from his

school, he jumped in the bus.  Not just once either.   It might sound crazy that the Greatest Rock N Roll Band in the World would have a 15 year old on a Tour Bus through Europe but it made perfect sense to me.  This was just part of how we did things…  Paul was a huge fan, eager to learn and able to tackle any task with a smile.  I could tell right away that he was drawn to the stage.  He was always watching the band and absorbing any lick Rontrose might toss out of aMarshall.  Paul had aspirations of being in a band so what an education he’d receive from us.  In fact, he documented some of it here…

Q: Touring with the Supersuckers provided you with an incredible experience at such a young age….  What were a few things that you learned from us that you were able to apply to the Paceshifters?

Well this might sound a bit strange, but the most important lesson I learned from the experience is: It isn’t all fun!

At first I was a bit surprised that my parents let me go on a trip with The Supersuckers of course during some years especially Rontrose had become a close friend of ours but still..

Looking back I know they wanted me to learn that the Rock n Roll business wasn’t just fun , like I could see on TV, but that especially for the Underground Rock n Roll which the Supersuckers are, is serious hard work!   And that is what I learned most from the trip. It is hard work! I mean you have to work hard!!

I was just sixteen when I had to get some working experience for my school. We were just on our way to a Supersuckers show in Nijmegen (the Netherlands) when I thought “why can’t I ask Ron to work for the Supersuckers for some time:-) So that is is exactly what I did… When the show was done Ron came over for some smalltalk and I just popped the question… “Ron, I have to get some working experience for school… can I work for you? Be your guitar-tech or something?…. Uhhhhh well…… Sure!  But I have to check with Chris first… After Chris took 3 seconds to think about it, everything was set in stone. I was going on tour with the Greatest Rock n Roll Band in The World for SIX WEEKS!!

I had to work hard! I mean, I was used to lying on the couch with the remote in my hand… Long drives, little sleep, heavy cabinets, some good and a lot of bad food.. And some stuff I’d like to keep to myself… But I loved it!  I wanna be in a band!  And work harder than I ever did in my life..

And of course my English wasn’t all that… And some people go to a monastery for some weeks to learn a language… I went six weeks on the road with a Rock n Roll band to learn the “real” street language.. Which would you prefer:-) Now I formed my own band Paceshifters and I am the main lyric writer…

Q: When the Paceshifters toured with the Supersuckers what were a few things that you learned that you took to your own band?

Well I think the most valuable lesson is what I learned from Chris and I think that is also the main issue on Rockonomics… FANS FIRST!   You have to take care of the fans.  You wanna be in a Rock n Roll band, you want to tour the world? Then you have to get yourself some fans that are willing to pay a little money to see you perform and hopefully buy a little merchandise so you can pay for gas to get to the next show… It is fun!, is the best job in the world, but you need fans otherwise you can’t afford to tour!

So this is what we took to Paceshifters…   Ask fans which shirt design they would like to have and provide them. Have a list at shows where fans can provide their email, so you can keep them up to date on the band.  Get and keep in touch with them.. After the show get to the merchandise stand as quick as you can for some personal contact. It is fun for the fans and fun for us… and learn from the fans what they like and what they don’t..

When you visit a city on a holiday you can walk around and see the buildings and history. And when you are touring there is hardly time to do that, but when you are touring you can get to know the people that live in the city a little bit… which is probably even better.

Q: Any particular entertaining Supersuckers story you’d like to share?

Well a lot of things happened… I could tell stories about snowball fights…, drinking bouts, things written on people when they were asleep…, almost getting into a fight with a Hells Angel…, but what stands out for me the most is the Vera show in Groningen (the Netherlands) in 2009 that was the show where we released our Split CD with the Supersuckers and we (Paceshifters) got to play with Rontrose… He recorded our song “Do whatever it takes” with us for the Split cd in our attic and decided to do it live with us..  The moment I asked him on stage to join us is something I will remember my whole life!  I can try to tell you how I felt, but I really can’t put it into words. Just watch:

Q: Tell me a little bit about the Paceshifters and what to expect this fall?

Well about Paceshifters… Things are going fast!!

In june 2008 my brother Seb and I wanted to start a band together and found a drummer Koen to join us. And the first song we wrote was about missing a Supersuckers show in Canada because of our age.. And two months later Rontrose stayed at our home for a week, to be able to visit a Hellacopters show, and recorded that song “Do Whatever it Takes” with us. And six months later the song (along with 2 Supersuckers’ and 2 other Paceshifters’ songs) was on a Split CD. Then we did some shows in England and the Netherlands supporting Nashville Pussy and the Supersuckers! And later we even had the awesome experience of touring Europe with Eddie Spaghetti with his solo shows. And even acted as Eddie’s backup band on 4 or 5 songs every night. Which we owe Chris Neal for BIGTIME cause it was his idea!

After that we asked Peter van Elderen (from Peter Pan Speedrock) to record our first 7inch (videoclip:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2DcItii3fU  ).

Then we got on a Dutch nationwide TV show “De Wereld Draait Door”, you could compare it a little bit to being on Letterman, because of our connection with the Supersuckers. And thing started rolling fast:-)

In April we recorded our Debut album, played some of the biggest festivals in The Netherlands and signed a record deal with Suburban Records!!

October 16th we have our CD Releaseshow. The album will be in stores on the 22nd and after that we are touring the Netherlands together with three other bands: Shaking Godspeed, Sunnpimp and Charlie Jones’ Big Band. And in this tour we will visit some of the nicest venues in the country, like: Paradiso, Atak, Bibelot and Hedon to name a few. Oh and just this week we received an email from Mojo Concerts that the singer from Therapy?  wants us to support them on both their shows in The Netherlands!! And they are performing the Troublegum album in “De Melkweg” so this might just sell out! How cool is that:-)

We just had an interview last week and the reporter asked us: “How do you guys do it… Every band seems to work hard, but with you guys everything seems to come so easy….”

Well he didn’t understand that we learned a LOT from The Supersuckers and Chris Neal.. And we do work very very hard and love it… and it doesn’t all come easy, but because we do it with a smile it just seems to…

Hope we can someday have our own 20th anniversary show!

For a little preview of our album: www.paceshifters.com

or www.myspace.com/paceshifters

ALSO AS A BONUS!!!  CD Giveaway to the first 2 people – see below

On the song “Hey Judge” that is online on www.myspace.com/paceshifters you
hear someone talking in the first few seconds… Who’s voice is it?
First 2 People to get this question right gets the Paceshifters CD.
Paceshifters European Tour Dates
15 Oktober RADIOSHOW Freakn8 Giel Beelen 3FM
16 Oktober Deventer Burgerweeshuis CD Releaseshow
17 Oktober Zomaarpop festival Oirlo
22 Oktober CD in stores
04 November Amsterdam Paradiso
06 November Nieuwendijk Xinix
13 November Enschede Atak
15 November Effenaar Eindhoven (supporting Therapy?)
16 November Melkweg Amsterdam (supporting Therapy?)
20 November Lierop Nirwana
25 November Haarlem Patronaat
11 December Almere De Meester
16 December Arnhem Luxor Live
17 December Dordrecht Bibelot
07 Januari Venlo Perron 55
21 Januari Zwolle Hedon
22 Januari Lelystad Underground
29 Januari Hoorn Manifesto
05 Februari Veenendaal Escape
11 Februari Tilburg 013

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Rontrose Discussing The Departure from the Supersuckers

w/ host Bert Morris.  Click the link below

I will continue to update and answer questions along the way.  Anyone who donates before Nov. 13 will automatically be entered a chance to receive a guest spot plus 1 at the Rockonomics Open House & Party in Hollywood, CA…

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