Hey there, all DJ Dizzy here & here's my interview with the band Sucker pie
How'd you get started in music?
Well first off, thank you so much for doing this interview, it’s my very first one! I’ll try not to say anything dumb.
That being said, I started playing guitar when I was 13 after seeing my first concert (AC/DC) and stuck with it for a while, but never really got serious enough about it. I took a few years off when the kids were born, and then decided as they got a little older that I wanted to show them that I actually did something with my hobby, so I took it up again. At that point I started recording some of my old songs again to be distributed digitally under the name MONKEYBALL. I started by myself in the basement with a digital 8 track recorder, and electronic drum set, so I could record after the kids were in bed without being loud. Those three elements are still a part of my “process” today.
After a bit I found that the MONKEYBALL name was not going to work so I decided on SUCKERPIE, named after one of my songs. It was the only song I could search on Google and have it come up right away since it was such a weird word… so I figured I’d be easier to find that way. Plus, all the good names truly are taken. Given a bunch of time during the pandemic, I finished most of those songs and wrote several more, and that has led to the SUCKERPIE repertoire of today. You can still find two MONKEYBALL songs out there, “Frostberg 2000” and “Hole Hog”.
Who are your inspirations or influences?
Well as a kid I ate up my parents’ record collection… my mom liked the Motown stuff, and Buddy Holly, et. al., and my dad was more Jimi Hendrix and the Mothers type of stuff… and of course they met in the middle with the Beatles, so I digested a lot of that in my formative years. Then when I was 11 or 12 a kid moved in next door with a handful of Motley Crue, Aerosmith and AC/DC records and I was off and running. Nowadays, I’d say I’m influenced by “heavy, blues based riff rock” overall. As far as structuring, orchestration, and overall aesthetic I’m usually ripping off at least one of my “big three” which are Black Sabbath, AC/DC and Metallica, with sprinkles of other stuff dropped in.
What advice would you offer aspiring performers?
Well, I don’t know if they’d want my advice since I’ve only sold about 22 bucks’ worth of streams, but here goes. My advice is to start the ball rolling in any way you can. I know talented musicians who are planning to do what I do but they are holding off until they get certain equipment, or a certain living situation, or whatever. Honestly, my first recordings sounded terrible (but still somehow endearing). But, over the years I learned a few things about equipment, microphones, etc., and have improved my sound vastly, to my ears anyway. If I had waited until now to get started, I’d still have to work out all those bugs and at my age I’d rather spend my time writing songs. Start with what you can do, and then you will actually HAVE something. When someone asks you what type of music you play, you can show them. Put your music out there, and you never know. Maybe you’ll gain fame as an artist. Maybe someone will hear your songs and say, “I could do something with that”, and buy them… or want to collaborate! Maybe one of your favorite artists will hear it and want to cover it. But you gotta have the stuff out there when opportunity knocks or it’s all just a bunch of ideas and talk. And then once you've gotten comfortable at that level, you just take it step by step. Once I had about 7 or 8 songs done, I decided I had enough to start trying to promote them online, which is something I’m still learning the ropes of now, and again in a limited way, but I just go one step at a time. You’re the only one who can bring your songs to the world, so be proud of them and don’t let them down!
How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
I use a two – tiered method. Tier one involves “primitive recording techniques” as outlined above, and the other key to my sound is “mistakes”. I am definitely one to leave a take in that has a few mistakes, if it captures some element of the vibe I am looking for (plus, I’m not that great a player to NOT have them). When I listen to my songs amongst the playlists that people have been kind enough to include me in, I find that most of the production and performance on all the others is very slick, but I always find myself preferring my songs, because of course I do. I wrote them so I would like them! But I’m definitely challenging people to hear my good songs through my bad performances.
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
Well I am a one man show, so a gig would be a problem. Someday, if I sell so many streams that my “public” demands a show, I’ll round up some players. Until then, I am happy to just keep cranking the songs out from the basement. In fact, if I could make a living doing that I wouldn’t even care to play out. I would love to be the world’s first successful “streaming only” artist. The part I enjoy most is putting the songs together and coming up with the ideas. But song wise, I am always working on new stuff. I have two more songs almost ready, just waiting for the family to go out for the day so I can record some vocals. So everyone be on the lookout for that!! Thank you again and cheers!
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