Most people know Eddie Spaghetti as one quarter of the self-proclaimed “greatest rock-n-roll band in the world,” the Supersuckers. Known for their raucous performances and hard-hitting style of punk and country-influenced rock music, the Supersuckers have gained a devoted following since forming in 1988. Recently Eddie Spaghetti, the band’s frontman and principal songwriter, decided to branch out with a solo record that blends country twang with dirty rock and roll, making for one of this year's best releases. Neil Ferguson caught up with Eddie Spaghetti while he strolled the mean streets of Manhattan. (Photo: Kevin Baldes)
Neil Ferguson: With your current tour, who's playing with you?
Eddie Spaghetti: It's a tailored cast of characters with me right now. It's me on the guitar, me singing, me doing the merch, me tour managing, me being the roadie, and me driving.
How do you balance all of that?
It's a necessity. You just have to buckle up and do it - a true solo tour.
Can you talk about recording the new album in Austin with Jesse Dayton?
It was awesome. I recruited Jesse Dayton because I wanted to make a real authentic country record, and he helped Supersuckers make Must've Been High, which was like a real cool country record. So I thought I would get Jesse to help make it sound authentic and to give me a Texas badass on the guitar, but he looked at it as an opportunity to get his rock on because he was making a record with a rocker. It kind of came out as a little bit more of a hybrid and it rocks a little harder than I thought it would, but at the same time I'm way more happy with it than I would have been otherwise.
You’ve said that you call Austin your "surrogate hometown." Is that still true?
Yeah, [Austin's] just always been a great place for the Supersuckers to go. We recorded [The Sacrilicious Sounds of The Supersuckers] down there in 1995 and just really liked it down there a lot. It's always been a good kind of home away from home for us.
Compared to your work with the Supersuckers, the new album is subdued in a lot of ways, and I'm wondering if that was a conscious goal going into it or is that what you gravitate towards outside of the band?
The whole idea was to make a nice sort of pretty country record, but I do have song titles like "People Are Shit" and "Fucking With My Head" on [the album], so it can only wind up being so pretty, I suppose. That's kind of the idea with the solo stuff is to take it in a direction that the Supersuckers don't really go too often.
What was the main motivation behind the song "People Are Shit?"
That's from a friend of mine that I play poker with a lot who's always like, 'people are shit!' I thought that would make a good song title. Then I had this pretty melody and I decided to juxtapose it with the line of 'people are shit' - I thought it was funny!
With much of the album there seems to be a theme of getting older. Does getting older bother you?
Getting older kind of sucks, but there're good things about it too; you know what you want, you know who you are, you're more comfortable in your own skin than you've ever been, for better or worse [laughs], because you're skin's starting to sag and look like shit. Generally speaking, I don't feel any older than I did when I was 18. I'm still a kid at heart and I like to do kid stuff, go out, have fun and get it on with the people.
Do you see yourself doing another solo album?
Oh yeah, for sure. This is kind of the start of my real solo career where I have something I am able to do. I foresee this being the start of something good for me.
What do you say to the fan that comes to see you on this tour and only wants to hear Supersuckers songs?
I try to play them. I'm definitely not trying to separate the solo shows from the Supersuckers. I am the Supersuckers pretty much and I'm proud of all of the Supersuckers songs. If somebody wants to hear a Supersuckers song all they have to do is yell it out and I'll try to play it for them. The primary difference between my solo show and a Supersuckers show is that the crowd really interacts and basically they dictate the entire setlist, it's fun.
You mentioned somewhere that there is a new Supersuckers album coming out. Can you shed some light on that?
There's a brand new Supersuckers album coming out in January. We actually recorded it down in Austin as well at the same place where we did [The Sacrilicious Sounds of The Supersuckers] in '95, so it was a cool kind of full circle thing. This new record is so badass. I can't think of a time when I've been more happy with a record that we've done, and I was pretty damn happy with the solo record I just finished. I was kind of dreading going into the studio with the band because I was afraid it wasn't going to live up to the last one I just finished. To have it come out so good and be so killer is really rewarding.
This interview was originally published on The Horn, an online publication based out of Austin, Texas. Feel free to read Neil's posts on No Depression or browse through his more than 200 published articles at readthehorn.com. To follow Neil's work please check out Neil's TWITTER!