The Supersuckers are doing it right. They’re doing it ALL right. Let’s break it down:
1) The Music
The music is great. Rock and roll at its raunchy finest. You can tap your feet to it and enjoy yourself listening to it. I wouldn’t say it’s “feel good” music because it’s rock after all, but it is great music.
What? You don’t believe me?
That’s OK because it brings me to point number two.
2) They’ll let you hear the music for free
That’s right. In a world where bands are either satisfied with thirty second sound samples on iTunes (who honestly believes that thirty seconds is really going to convey the whole song?) or non-downloadable full songs on MySpace the Supersuckers are right there offering you no less than eighteen full songs for free on their web site. The singer, Eddie Spaghetti also offers five songs from his solo albums at the same location so in total you can listen to twenty three tracks for free.
These aren’t tethering you to your computer or asking you to judge whole songs or albums based on thirty whopping seconds. You can drive and listen to them or run, walk the dog or put them on the boom box outside while you grill dinner on a summer evening with friends. This seems like common sense to me because honestly, unless you’re at work, how often do you sit in front of your computer and listen to music? Is it a greater amount of times than when you listen to music in your car? Or run? Or just hang out? These are the times when music is the most important.
In the case of their album Motherfuckers Be Trippin’ they are offering HALF of the album for free.
I guess some bands are worried about doing this themselves because they think that it will negatively impact their album sales. While this seems rational it also seems very knee-jerk. The hard truth is that all of your stuff is probably already out there on peer to peer programs anyway. I’m not a big music pirate anyway (sometimes it IS the only way to get certain things though) but if I were, I would feel less inclined to illegally download music from the Supersuckers because they negate the process. You always hear people say that they download to sample the artist or album and then if they like it, they’ll buy it. Well, the Supersuckers are giving that to you. If you can’t say after listening to half of the songs from an album whether or not you’ll buy it, you have really high standards.
Besides, if the Supersuckers are giving me the tracks for free in a non-spyware/virus ridden package, what motivation would I honestly have to go out and steal more of it (besides the fact that it rocks)? I like it. I’ll buy it eventually. I need to do a little survey but right now my instincts say that if an artist were to give you the load of songs that the Supersuckers do, most would be less inclined to look for even more from other places. This is good for the band because maybe bad outtakes or demos that they did not want to be released but were leaked in some way would probably be out there too. If I could say to a fan why download my stuff from their site (takes from a bad recording session or maybe just a song I don’t think deserves my band name to be attached to) when you can download and sample straight from the source at MY site, do you really think most fans would ignore me?
Anyway, I think it’s a great idea. Coincidentally it lines up with my new sample CD idea. More bands need to do this.
I know it’s tough to follow up free music, but there’s more to know.
I guess this kind of ties into the free music thing. I was on Amazon looking at Supersuckers albums (specifically looking for LPs because I want to start getting into records instead of CDs) and couldn’t find what I was looking for so I headed over to supersuckers.com and on the home page there was a huge section of sales. As of this writing, CDs are only $8.00, if you buy any LP you’ll get the Supersuckers Christmas 10” for free, if you spend more than $10.00 you’ll get the Must’ve Been High Demos CD for free, all Get It Together shirts are $10.00, if you spend $20.00 you can get the 20th Anniversary Show CD for $5.00 and if you spend $30.00 you can get their new album Get It Together for $1.00.
Those are pretty great deals. I wonder if they’re cumulative. If I spend thirty bucks on LPs, am I going to get the Christmas album, the demo CD, Get It Together for $1.00 and the Anniversary show for $5.00? If so that would be pretty cool.
But moving ON!
While I haven’t tried reaching out and contacting the band, I do feel like you can get to know them a bit from their site. You have blog posts from the road, video responses from Eddie to fan questions, tour dates, and random videos.
There are also random fan club member photos which is pretty cool. It almost gives a feeling of one big hangout for friends.
Not only that, but the music itself is accessible. When I looked on Amazon someone had made a list including the Supersuckers entitled “real music for real people” and that is a great description. You always hear that Bruce Springsteen was the voice of the blue collar worker or the normal man, and the Boss is awesome, but I don’t feel a connection to his music like I do to the Supersuckers’. Perhaps it’s a generational thing.
All in all, while they do make great music, they’ve also done a bunch of things to give fans and music listeners in general something they can get behind. I feel more inclined to buy music and merchandise from them because they have a feel of a local band that you WANT to support, that you want to go out of your way to support and that’s awesome. I strongly believe that any band in the world, while they may dream of being the biggest thing since Elvis or the Beatles still wants to inspire that sense of dedication from fans and not lose touch with the people that would bring them to that bigger stage.
If YOU haven’t heard of the Supersuckers and like rock and roll, visit their site, download the songs and listen to them. They’re under the tab “Free Music and Downloads.” Let me know what you think.
And if you’re a band, this is the site to go to when you want to see how it’s done.