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Suckers Strive to Sound Like No Other While Starving in Brooklyn

Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Updated: Thursday, May 17, 2012 17:05


Courtesy Suckers

It has been a year since Suckers toured nationally, but now they’re ready to get back on the road with their fun, inventive and trippy sophomore album, Candy Salad.

Band mates Austin Fisher, Quinn Walker, and Pan grew up in the Connecticut suburbs and not far from each other. These days they make music in the one and only Brooklyn.

College Times caught up with Fisher before their tour to learn a bit about what it’s like being a democratic band in the Big Apple.

College Times: How did Candy Salad come about?
Austin Fisher: Well, we had to make another record after we finished touring on our first one. What we do is we don’t really write songs individually for Suckers. We always just get together in our rehearsal space and improvise and take bits of what we like. We record a lot of what we improvise and kind of edit that into songs. We just started putting things together and this time we knew that we were doing this for the express[ed] purpose of writing an album. In the past we didn’t know that we were ever going to be making an album. We were just making songs and the first album had songs that were written long before. For this [album] we recorded songs in a batch.

Does that make it easier or more difficult?
Not really either, I guess. It doesn’t really make a difference. It sort of feels more cohesive because everything was in the same mood. In terms of writing we write together all the time and individually, so it’s something we’d be doing together anyways.

It’s nice you can do that together.
Yeah, it took a little while actually to figure out how to do it. It’s very democratic and you have to learn very quickly as a group what’s working and what’s not.

Without having hurt feelings?
Yeah, without having hurt feelings. Exactly.

Several times I’ve seen Suckers quoted as not wanting to be influenced by any other band.
Yeah, when we’re writing music we’re not the kind of band that says, “Oh yeah, we want to sound like the Stone Roses meets Metallica.” If we feel like one of our songs is starting to sound like something familiar we try to veer away from that. We try as hard as we can to sound original but also accessible.

You and [guitarist, singer] Quinn [Walker] are cousins, but did you grow up in a musical family?
We’re cousins, yes, but, no, not especially. We had an older cousin who played the guitar but no one else in our family that we interacted with was a musician. We kind of struck out on our own, but they’re music lovers.

What are the best and worst parts of being a band based in Brooklyn?
Well, the best part is that there are a lot of other people here doing interesting musical things and just sort of interacting with that group of people is inspiring. The worst part is probably that it’s pretty expensive. Living in Brooklyn is not expensive for New York, but you have to rent everything all the time. No one really has a car so if you want to bring you gear anywhere, you have to rent a car service and rehearsal space, and since it’s New York everything’s expensive and blah blah blah. All that stuff. You really have to want to spend the time and spend the money to be in a band.

I guess that’s why they call them starving artists.
Yeah, they kind of are starving. That’s why everyone’s starving, they’re paying for rehearsal space. I mean, you could never practice in your apartment. It’s not like you live in a house and you can practice in the basement or something. You can’t practice where you live because sound travels so you have no choice, unless you’re like a person who does everything on their laptop.

Suckers w/Young Man, The Rhythm Room, May 22, 8 p.m., $11 adv, $12 dos

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