It’s not easy to find the bright side of the recent global pandemic. Sure, collectively as a society we were finally cool with gaining weight, day drinking and streaming TV shows night and day. And the punk/hard rock/Country world finally got a decent Supergroup out of it.
Supersuckers and Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs frontmen Eddie Spaghetti and Frank Meyer (respectively) have been friends for decades, but it took a lethal pandemic to get the two together (over Zoom, at first) to finally write and record music together. Going under the moniker Spaghetti & Frank (obviously), the duo is putting out Motherfuckin’ Rock ‘n’ Roll via Kitten Robot Records on October 12th.
The two were kind enough to share a premiere of their video for “I Think It Sucks And I Don’t Like It.” The video was shot at The Good Bar Eatery in Long Beach, CA and features the ladies of Booty Burlesque as bartenders.
“We wanted to show how these hard-working girls who work at the bars we play at and frequent across the world have to deal with aggressive, jerky guys constantly hitting on them. We think it sucks and we don’t like it,” said Meyer. “So, the video shows each lady getting her revenge or comeuppance on the guy that got fresh, and in the end, they count their loot and laugh at the dumb boys. This way the girls are empowered, and the guys are weak. We liked turning the tables, especially our bands are kinda known as testosterone-fueled macho rock outfits, so we thought this was a fun way to play with that a bit.”
Of the video, Spaghetti puts it bluntly, “We look pretty good for old farts!”
In addition to premiering the video here, Meyer and Spaghetti took some time to talk about how the band came about, covering Tom Petty, mind bullets and what’s next for their respective bands.
Watch the video and read our interview with the duo below…
So how did you two first meet?
Spaghetti: Way back in the 1900’s. We were both on a wagon train and his dog killed my dog in a brutal fight. We remained in contact after that.
Meyer: My band The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs were playing SXSW in 1999 and also backing up Wayne Kramer from the MC5 on that tour too. Eddie knew Wayne and stopped by the show. He dug our set and mentioned he wanted to take us out on the road. I thought he was just blowing smoke up our ass, but sure enough a few months later we were trekking across America on the Supersuckers “Evil Powers of Rock ‘n’ Roll” tour and have been friends ever since.
Is COVID to thank for this record?
Meyer: Eddie and I had made a few recordings before, but it was an all-star charity song at the beginning of Covid that kind of brought us together. I wrote and recorded this song called “Flatten The Curve” that featured a ton of musicians encouraging people to stay inside at the beginning of the pandemic, and Josie Cotton and Eddie were among them. That lead to me realizing that Eddie could record from home, which I was not aware of, so I asked him if he had any ideas he could send over for me to work on. He sent over a recording into his phone of this song called “Shit’s Fucked” and I made it into a full-blown recording. That lead us into doing “Jammin’ Me” by Tom Petty, and that lead to the new album. So, yeah, we might not have had the time or even inspiration to collaborate like this had we not been grounded due to COVID.
“Jammin Me” is a pretty inspired choice. I’m surprised it hasn’t been covered before. What made you pick that one?
Spaghetti: We have amazing taste, don’t we?
Meyer: I always loved that song and felt it was one of Petty’s more underrated and harder hitting tunes, but it needed a lyrical update. Eddie gave it the once-over and updated the references to current celebrities and politicians. I directed our music video for it, and we had fun recreating the original ‘80s vibe of the Petty clip.
How did the idea for an album first come about? Did you initially just think about just recording a song or two or did you always want to do a full LP?
Meyer: Initially it was just “Shit’s Fucked” and “Jammin’ Me,” which came out through Acetate as digital single, plus we did a music video for the Petty cover. I think it all just went so smoothly that, and we ended up with more time on our hands than we originally thought, so we just kept making music. He brought in some songs, I brought in some, we did a few covers. It all came together pretty easily.
Spaghetti: We didn’t think about much at all. It all just sort of happened. Isn’t it awesome?
Did you guys get together to write this one or was it done via zoom? When and where did you eventually record it?
Meyer: Both of us are pretty hard-working, prolific songwriters, so we both had a bunch of tunes already lying around that kind of fit the bill, but the title track “Motherfuckin’ Rock ’n’ Roll” is one we collaborated on, and “Tattletale” was written in Eddie’s teenage ‘80s band Thai Pink. The rest are new songs we each brought in and then helped each other work out. Most of the songs we sing back and forth lead vocals on, trading off lines, and a lot of it we sing harmony on. Our voices are a fun mix.
The whole album was done on Garageband in my apartment in Long Beach until we worked out the deal with Josie Cotton’s Kitten Robot Records, and then we headed into her studio with the great Paul Roessler (The Screamers, 45 Grave) with Cheetahs drummer Mike Sessa. Mike re-recorded all the fake drums with live drums and just crushed it. We rerecorded a few acoustics and basses and added some more percussion and mixed it. We also got Berton Averre from The Knack to play his lead guitar parts on our cover of “My Sharona” and Brian “Damage” Forsythe from KIX to play on our cover of their tune “Heartache.”
Spaghetti: Mind bullets. Telekinesis man.
Any songs that are your particular favorites on this album?
Spaghetti: “I Think It Sucks” is AMAZING. They’re all so good. How do I pick just one?!
Meyer: I love the desert outlaw country of “Top Shelf Shame,” I dig the Cheap Trick meets Radio Birdman energy if “Knock My Teeth Out,” and the power pop spark of “Relationshipwreck.” The first single is “I Think It Sucks (And I Don’t Like It)” and I directed a fun “Roadhouse”-inspired music video for that too that was a blast to make!
Thought about making another record?
Spaghetti: It’s all we do.
Meyer: Yeah, we even have a few songs we’ve been working on at the acoustic shows and trading phone files. It seems inevitable. We genuinely enjoy each other’s company, and we are musicians, so the way we communicate is thought music. These albums are just the way we talk to each other.
Frank, The Streetwalkin Cheetahs put out their first record in decades. Does the band plan on continuing?
Meyer: Yes, for sure. Our album One More Drink came out in March and was our first in almost 20 years. But that’s because we broke up for a decade and then when we got back together around 2014, we just enjoyed playing live and were content doing that. We released a few singles and tracks on compilations and that seemed fine, but people kept asking us when we were gonna do a full-length. When we wrote and started playing “We Are The Ones (We’ve Been Waiting For)” and “Fast, Fucked and Furious” and they got such a great reception in concert, we knew we had to write some ore tunes and hit the studio. We already have a bunch of new tunes demoed up so it’s just a matter of time.
Eddie, what’s going on with The Supersuckers?
Spaghetti: More unappreciated greatness lies ahead for us.
Now that the world is opening back up, any plans for the two of you to play some shows together?
Meyer: We did a bunch of acoustic shows together over the summer as we were making and finishing up the album. Right now, the Supersuckers and Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs are finally able to get back on the road, and both bands have recent albums out that need some tour support, so that’s first. Then we’ll hopefully do some Spaghetti & Frank live shows and even make a second album.
Spaghetti: No. We are still working out our differences over the whole dogfight thing.
Photo credit: Ed Colver