The three members of Sucker stressed two things in a recent phone interview with The Weekender – their love of partying and their dislike for wearing clothing.
Both of these points are essential to understanding the wild rock 'n' roll music of vocalist/bassist Candi Vee, guitarist Janson Harris, and drummer Timmy Prime. Each provided a laundry list of bands they played in previously or currently, but none seem to be as much of a passion project as Sucker is.
“I spent a lot of time partying, and most of (the music is) about that. I don't like to talk about anything too serious. I like to go out and have a good time, and a lot of the stuff that I listen to is just about going out and having a good time,” Vee, 25, explained.
“I didn't want people sobbing into their beers or thinking about the meaning of life while they were out at the bar. That's where I drew a lot of my inspiration from, just playing in bars, so I wanted it to be something that I would want to hear, something that reflected the kind of stuff that I like to get drunk and dance to.”
Vee always wanted to play in an original band, forming the Scranton-based group at the end of 2009, but she couldn't make a lineup stick until Harris, 33, joined six months later, writing and recording with a drum machine in Harris' room until Prime, 32, was on board.
“(Writing) was really simple to be honest with you, now that I think about it… She would have the bass line or I would have the guitar line. It's weird because either way, no matter who has what, we both have the other,” Harris noted. “I wake up and I say, 'I want this song to be rockin.'”
“That's pretty much the criteria,” Vee agreed. “You have to be able to dance to it.”
“Candi has an '80s kind of sensibility, and Jansen has a range of different things that he can do and different styles. We have surfy parts in songs and bluesy songs and stuff, so everyone has their own distinct style, and when you put all three of those together, I think what we come up with is the sound that we have. I don't think it's like we plan it or anything,” Prime added.
Sucker's “On My Love” EP captures this diverse spontaneity well, though the trio is even more excited to release their full-length, 13-track album on March 15 during a CD release party at Diane's Deli & Internet Café (206 S Main St, Pittston) with 3 to Breathe, The Curse of Sorrow, and Walter Prez & the Awesome. Merchandise will also be available for the first time, but what matters to them most is putting on a fun, high-energy performance.
“Stage presence is one of the most important things to me, in my opinion. You can be a great musician and I respect that, I love that, but when I see it live, I also want to feel it. I don't want the guy to just be standing there,” Harris said.
“I practice thrashing around while I play these songs; I'm not even kidding…just so I know I can play this stuff while I'm jumping around.”
“We have a song called 'Amphetamine Queen.' We have a box full of tiaras, actually, so we bring one down to every show. We end up crowning some chick, and we tell everybody to buy her free shots,” Vee continued. “I bring a bag of lollipops and I chuck them at the crowd. I try not to knock anybody's eye out while I'm at it.”
Planning a music video for “Circus” that promises to be full of “hedonism,” they say their live shows are often performed in various stages of undress, so when asked what they have planned for Friday, the answer seems obvious.
“I got circumcised for the show,” Prime cracked. “It's not going to help anything at all, but I'm the drummer, so I do my little part.”
After joking about their current lack of clothes, Vee shouts as Prime continues talking.
“Oh my God, you really are f——-g naked!”
“You can't say we're naked without us being naked,” Prime retorts. “That's dishonest.”
This honest talks yields a rare moment of seriousness for the band, which plans to tour over the summer.
“It's taken Sucker a long time to get to this point. I've been waiting a really long time to get the right lineup together and get the right songs written,” Vee said.
“The CD coming out is a big, big step for all of us… I've never had a real CD with real stuff, merch and all that, in my life, and I've been playing a long time, 18 years,” Harris shared.
“I've never been as proud of a CD as I am of this one. It's kind of special for me because I'm finally in a band again. I've decided to take up music again and stop focusing on other things in my life and start focusing on the important stuff that I really want to do,” Prime emphasized.
“So let's all get messed up and drink and stuff.”