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Posts Tagged ‘Zeke’

One of the first tours I did with the Supersuckers was probably one of the most memorable because Zeke was also on the bill. This was around 2001.  I knew Zeke from my times in Los Angeles but I didn’t really know Zeke until one specific

show in Hoboken, NJ at a place called Maxwell’s.  I remember during sound check, Marky breaking out Eddie Van Halen’s Eruption as if it were as easy as frying an egg.  I was floored.  I just couldn’t believe that this band with its own sound and super charged power was making its way through a sound check at Maxwells with the attitude that it was playing Giant Stadium.  Imagine if every band had that bravado…but it does say in their bio “rock like this might be the last show ever”.  

The last time I saw Zeke was when they were on the bill during the Supersuckers 20th Anniversary Show in Seattle, WA. in 2008. And they played that night like it might be their last too.

Here’s a Q&A with Marky from Zeke.  I wanna thank Brian Kasnyik aka Kaz for helping me pull this off and for the photo’s included.  And I wanna thank the readers for reading…

Q: Zeke is going to celebrate their 20th anniversary here soon.  What can we expect?

A:  Wow, that long, huh? ridiculous, really!  We haven’t got anything planned per se.  But the last time we tried to do an anniversary show in Seattle it was pure bloody chaos.  We could barely play.  And half the band was stone cold sober! Someone tried to ram a mic down my throat and chipped my tooth…again!  Amps  falling over…  I don’t know if it was piss or beer or puke all over the floor but it was impossible to remain standing for the last part of the set.  Maybe that’s why we haven’t planned anything as of yet.

Q:  Marky you’re an awesome guitar player.  I heard you liked my Redd Volkaert interview and that you dig Roy Buchanan.  What other guitar players do you like and are there any stories you care to share?  

A:  Thanks. I’ve been playing since I was 9 yrs. old so I better be able to play halfway decent.  Volkaert  is a master of the instrument.  I didn’t know about Buchanan until Brian turned me onto him.  Now I know where Page got everything.  Mostly the old guys; Clapton, Beck, Hendrix.  I grew up in a small town in Arkansas and you have to be pretty quick if you want to hang with other musicians there.  I’ve picked up country and blues styles there.  I went through kind of an obsession with Michael Schenker and Ulrich Roth.  So you might hear a little of that. Obviously I’m a bit limited doing the kind of music Zeke writes. So I was happy with Death Alley.  There were a couple of places where you might get a taste of what I can do when I cut loose a little.  I honestly slacked off on Til The Livin End but I just wanted to lay back and give Jeff some room to be what he is… a badass.  I’m pretty sure there will be some of my best guitar work on the new Zeke stuff if we can just get it recorded. I guess Chris isn’t that bad either.

Q: Til The Livin End is my favorite Zeke album; Chinatown, 383, and Hold Tight are Rock-N-Roll masterpieces… What’s your favorite Zeke record and why?

 

A:  Thanks, brother.  It’s funny.  Those tunes were written just a couple days before we went in and recorded it.  A lot of  those songs were actually written for other projects and I’d play one of those riffs and Donny or Jeff would be like, ” Let’s play that!” And so when Relapse wanted a Zeke record…well, It may not have been what they were expecting.  They probably wanted another Death Alley which was written in about a month. I was obsessed with that whole concept, really.  It just came out right. But the truth is that the Zeke fans at Relapse said they thought Til The Living End was a rock and roll masterpiece. I guess if we’ve got their vote and your vote.. I guess I’m happiest with Flat Tracker. The tones are all there. It rocks like hell but is still in control. I like what we did on the European split with Peter Pan Speedrock.  We may try to make those recordings more available at a later date.  The last single we did for Relapse, that’s kind of the direction we’re heading in. Jack Endino and I work well together.  I’m very critical of him and he could really care less.  If I listened to some of his suggestions we’d make better records!

Q:  There’s gotta be a favorite tour story from the road…please share.

A: Well, I should really just write a bloody book!  There’s just a lot of frightening stuff that happened in and around us all through the experience of doing this band.  Much of it is probably pretty funny in a weird way.  But often people got

Zeke Aftermath

Zeke Aftermath

hurt, it wasn’t a good deal.  I remember we used to stop in the middle of 302 and just start hurling pounder glasses at audience members. You can imagine: the pounder glasses break when they hit folks’ skulls!  A-cars would show up.  Glad I don’t have to live that way anymore.

Q: If you could sit in and play with any band past or present who would it be?

A: Well I think I could probably have been the third guitarist for Derek and the Dominoes, you know…

Q: Can you suggest a few good books to read and songs to hear?

A:  I’m reading Larry Niven stuff right now. Some Heinlein. Of course I’m a huge Lovecraft fan. The Illuminatus trilogy is pretty hilarious. I guess I really love Electric Wizards’ Dunwich. 1st track on the Blind Faith LP  David Allan Coe’s Family Album and whatever the name of the LP he did when he hung out in Key West…Spectrum IV  I think. Anything by the Byrds, Marshall Tucker Band,Blue Oyster Cult, Edgar Broughton Band. etc. So many books, So much music….

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Once again, I’m making the case for “you’re only as good as the company you keep”.  As mentioned we were lucky to have the help of the fans.  My pal Andrew, is no exception.  He got involved knee deep with our efforts.  This guy was in the trenches, at the boarders, on the phone, at the merch booth, and in the van.  He was still working for the band long after I left (Oh we’ll get to that).  You could say he was my right hand man.  There’s no way I could’ve had the success without him.  We met in Boston outside a show when he helped me carry in a Marshall Amp and later that same night he was helping me sell merch and collect email address’.  He worked for the band for about 7 years.  I hope he’ll share some more stories but let’s get this first Q & A out to the people.  I can honestly say it was guys like Andrew, Diesel, Kaz, Brain Baltazar, Mike A, Sully, Wilbur, Paul Bodis, Rick Clark, Bartley, Charlie, Andy Gems, Cory, Jim Bullotta, Little Steven, Kevin from Lit, Jeremy Hunt, Adam Grimm from Satellite Amps, Frank and Paul from the Netherlands (BTW check out the Paceshifters), Hal, Andy George, Rhett Sander, Brent Hamilton, Mr. Moo, and the list goes on that made this run such a great experience.  And I hope all of them will contribute to the story of the Supersuckers.  Some already have.

Enjoying a Beer in Germany!

Q: How did you get turned onto the Supersuckers

I’ve been a big Pearl Jam fan for a long time and that’s how I first came across the Supersuckers.  Eddie Vedder did a few songs with the Supersuckers for a West Memphis Three Benefit, I think it was “Devil Doll” and “Poor Girl” by X.  Anyway, after hearing those songs, thanks to the wonders of the internet I delved into the Supersuckers and put together a little mix CD of a bunch of their songs that I regularly rotated through my CD player at the time.

Q: How did you meet the Supersuckers

I was in my first semester of college at the time and was doing a project where you had to go out and interview someone in the music business and then write a paper on it.  I saw that the band was coming to town (Boston was my town at the time) so I emailed Chris through their website and he was more than happy to accommodate me.  I had wanted to interview the band and I did end up interviewing Rontrose but little did I know I should have been interviewing Chris.  He was the guy behind the scenes and since I’m no Eddie Van Halen on guitar so I should have seen that I was better suited to learn from the guy who was making things happen.  Luckily for me, I guess Chris saw something in that green 19 year old kid, because he sent me home with some art proofs for some of the 7-inch singles the band was putting out at the time to send over to England.  Little did I know this would be the start of a long and invaluable relationship for me.

Andrew & Paul trying to find those Cracked Stickers

Q: What was it about the Supersuckers that made you want to work for them

At first it was the fact that they gave me the chance to work for them.  I was young and was happy to have any chance to get my foot in the door.  I felt it was an opportunity my peers at the time didn’t have.  Once I got in a little deeper, I truly began to see that this band had some really great songs and I just couldn’t comprehend why they weren’t bigger.  Sure, there were some songs that obviously weren’t going to get radio play like “Pretty Fucked Up” but it sure is a catchy song, my mom even remembers it to this day.  There were still songs that I thought should get some attention and I saw an opportunity to be apart of possibly breaking the band, ride their coattails if you will.  On top of this, Chris was willing to let me in and see what was going on behind the scenes.  I was, still am, eager to learn and I wanted to soak it all up.  He was slowly handing me more and more responsibilities and bouncing ideas off of me and letting me give my input on ways I thought we could raise the profile of the band.

Q: Any funny particular story you’d like to share

There are some really funny stories that I’d love to share but probably shouldn’t but there are some cool ones that I can share.  For one, meeting Lemmy for the first time was pretty awesome.  He is exactly as you’d expect him to be.  That guy isn’t an act, he is the real deal.  Another would have to be at the 20th Anniversary show which really could have been called a “Who’s Who Of The Seattle Music Scene.”  The bill was Zeke, Green River, and the Supersuckers.  It was the first time I’d ever gotten to see Zeke which was cool enough in and of itself but to see a band like Green River that hadn’t played a public show in something like 20 years was unreal considering where the members of that band have gone in their careers since.  I was tour managing for the Supersuckers at the time and was put on beer duty during the show since there were about 50 people in the tiny backstage at the Showbox and the beer was disappearing fast.  So basically while they were on stage I sat in front of the beer telling people they couldn’t have any.  I knew who some of them were but not who all of them were.  After the show was just unreal though.  Ron introduced me to Mark Arm of Mudhoney and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam and was nice enough to talk me up so I’ll never forget Stone Gossard saying to me, “So, I hear you’re pretty awesome.”

Even the Cops in Serbia dig the Supersuckers!

What are you doing now

Luckily, I’ve managed to get some pretty great people in this business to believe in me so somehow things keep seeming to work themselves out every time I’m about to throw in the towel.  I tend split my time between tour managing, the occasional PR project with Black & White PR (we’ve been lucky enough to have some amazing clients in the past – The Hellacopters, The Wildhearts, Backyard Babies, the list goes on), and doing some marketing/promotion for a local club.  Anyone need a tour manager??

Andrew Demarest

ademarest02@earthlink.net

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For the most part, I always felt the bands the Supersuckers toured with were a good fit.   Some obviously more than others.  And some just downright amazing and fun like Zeke, Hangmen, Danko Jones, Mydols, Throw Rag, Railbenders, and Trainwreck.

I hope to feature more interviews here in my ongoing series “Rockonomics Field Recordings” that shed light and share insight.

I’m not one to force people into seeing shows these days, although I do encourage everyone I know to learn about and listen to Michael Bloomfield, but go and see Trainwreck…  They’re fun, entertaining, great players, and bring it.

Tell them I said hello.  And a special thanks to, Hal BrigishMike A and Brian Baltazar.

More Field Recordings coming soon…

Trainwreck Tour Dates Below… Don’t Be Late!

Sept. 4th – Long Beach, CA – Dipiazza’s

Sept. 15th – Foxborough, MA – Showcase Live

Sept. 16th – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge

Sept. 17th – Buffalo, NY – Mohawk Place

Sept. 18th – Albany, NY – Jillian’s Of Albany

Sept. 20th – Baltimore, MD – Bourbon Street

Sept. 21st – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl

Sept. 23rd – Toledo, OH – Frankie’s Inner City

Sept. 24th – Bowling Green, OH – Howard’s Club H

Sept. 25th – Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen

Sept. 27th – Minneapolis, MN – 400 Bar

Sept. 28th – Sioux Falls, SD – Nutty’s North

Sept. 30th – Denver, CO – Cervante’s Ballroom

Oct. 1st – Fort Collins, CO – Hodis Half Note

Oct. 2nd – Colorado Springs, CO – Triple Nickel Tavern

Oct. 4th – Aspen, CO – Belly Up Tavern

Oct. 5th – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge

Oct. 6th – Reno, NV – Tonic Bar

Oct. 8th – Eureka, CA – Red Fox Tavern

Oct. 9th – Oakland, CA – The New Parish

Oct. 10th – Bakersfield, CA – Fishlip’s

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