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Biding Time

Sep 21, 2009 Suckers Bookmark and Share

At the moment, Suckers’ single-named multi-instrumentalist Pan is making his way on a cold February night toward Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, where he’ll spend the next several hours rehearsing with his cohorts Quinn Walker, Austin Fisher, and Brian Aiken.

In some respects, this New York-based four piece has been in practice mode for several years. Aside from a few live shows in Boston and New Haven, Suckers have rarely ventured outside the borders of their borough. Certainly, it’s not the worst place to play-Suckers already have shared the stage with the likes of Yeasayer, Chairlift, and MGMT-but finally they are making preparations for what will be their first extended-date tour, in support of their self-titled debut EP.

“Early on we had recorded some really crappy demos and set them up on our MySpace, so there was always a little something,” Pan says. “But it wasn’t too much to go on. It took us a long time. We all really don’t have a lot of money so it took us a while to get some recordings down and I feel as though it’s hard to tour if you don’t have any music for people to listen to.

“Now we finally have something to show for all these years. I think it’s better that we’ve been playing so long because at this point we’re so comfortable playing with each other, and all the hard work is showing at this point. It comes across in the recordings.”

Recorded over the course of several days late last year with Yeasayer’s Anand Wilder producing and Chris Moore (TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) engineering, the Suckers EP is a four-song teaser of experimental pop music that takes the influence of David Bowie and gives it a more intimate sing-along atmosphere, utilizing vocal choruses, world percussion rhythms, shakers, and trumpet blasts. The variety is thanks to the group’s ability to alternate roles and responsibilities. “We’re all kind of multi-instrumentalists,” says Pan. “Everybody plays guitar and a keyboard and a bit of percussion and stuff. That way we can arrange the songs accordingly. If Brian has a really great keyboard part and he can’t really play drums at the same time then one of us can throw in a sample or play a tom and sometimes it’ll be a combination of the two. Every song the orchestrations are completely different.”

From the EP’s synth-rooted opening track, “Beach Queen,” to the slow-burning chamber pop and lyrical chanting of “It Gets Your Body Movin’” Pan says the band tries to give each song its own touch.

“In the end I feel like we’re all not really ridiculously gifted musicians,” he says. “We’re all more or less artists, so our approach to making music is more like you would a painting or a movie or something. It’s more about atmosphere and texture, and creating a certain kind of mood.”

While Pan says that a full-length debut is “in the distance right now,” the band looks forward to finally introducing themselves to listeners beyond the comfort of their home base. “I feel like we’ve got our shit together at this point,” says Pan with a pause. “Somewhat.”


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