South Bay melodic punk group SuperSession kicked off the show on Friday Aug 1 at the VFW in Redondo Beach, CA. The trio was there in support of the band fIRED’s CD release, but also celebrated the debut of their own 3 song sampler, Urchin. By the Barricade was on hand to interview the guys and see what is coming up for the band. Learn all about SuperSession in the full interview transcript that follows.
Guitar/Vocals : Tony Cook
Bass : Curt Lane
Drums : Jason Bubba McMackin
By the Barricade: You guys have been musicians for a while. What inspired you to start down the punk rock path?
Tony Cook: Hermosa Beach, Redondo, South Bay bands growing up here, Descendents, Black Flag, of course. But actually my dad was the first one who bought me my first X album, Devo, Marley, Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, The Pretenders. That is what got me into music in the early 70’s. The Harder They Come is my favorite album.
Jason McMackin: Just being with my friends and the way I related with the music. Going through my younger years I was trying to find out who I was and the music said who I was in a lot of songs. “Coolidge” from the Descendents sticks out as a song I thought they were singing about me.
Curt Lane: Because you are such a cool guy!
Jason McMackin: Well, no. It’s about how he sees his reflection and the euphemism of it all. I was in a dark place at that time and music and my friends are what got me through. How it started is a funny story. I would just roadie and after we dropped everyone off, we would get drunk and play all night.
Jason McMackin: Then I picked up drumsticks and it was just a snowball from there. I don’t know how many years it was. I started late for my time and I was never technically trained so when I get to play with cool guys like these that know what they are doing, it’s pretty rad.
Curt Lane: Music has always been a part of my soul since I was a kid. Music drives me in my life and my goals. My dad listened to ELO and all of that 70’s stuff. He didn’t really play, my parents were not musical but I really related to music at an early age; I didn’t know what it was all about. I was into Black Flag when it came out and the Descendents of course but I ended up in a ska band when I was 18 called Out of Order. I didn’t even know how to play an instrument, but they just said, “It doesn’t matter just play bass, it’s the easiest instrument.” So I started playing bass with them and totally got into ska. I would say ska is my roots. But I love the sound that we make in this band. I feel it when I play and it has got to be the best band I have ever been in, especially with these two clowns (Tony and Jason). They are good guys.
By the Barricade: What keeps you going?
Tony Cook: When we play everytime, whether it’s practice or shows there is that thing like when you get goosebumps, hair stands up, whatever it can be, whatever touches you; that is what motivates me and always has. Just picking up the instrument and playing and writing, creating together with these guys is the best thing ever.
Jason McMackin: If I don’t play music, I go crazy so that is why I play in 3 bands.
By the Barricade: When you aren’t playing gigs what do you do?
Jason McMackin: I recondition RF Welders
Tony Cook: You know how you smell that weird odor in your house and it’s gas, so you call the gas company and some guy comes to your house to find the leak and shut your gas off? That’s me.
Jason McMackin: You could have just said you work at the gas company.
By the Barricade: No, it’s more fun to describe it.
Tony Cook: So, it’s ok to call the gas company. A lot of people are afraid that they will shut their gas off. We really don’t.
By the Barricade: What is the craziest thing that has happened at one of your shows or otherwise?
Tony Cook: What comes to my mind is that every time we recorded music, some crazy person shows up comes by. Every time we have done it, we record in Hermosa. The first time this dude showed up at about 3 in the morning and literally looked like he just walked out of the Regal Beagle from Three’s Company. He sat in our whole session with us. You know we are spending money to record and this guy keeps shouting, “Ya man! No! Turn that one! No turn that one!” At first you don’t know, but you end up just saying this is fucking rad. The next time some chick took a dump out in front of the door. The next morning we thought, “Oh, she was mad at us.”
Jason McMackin: My brother (Byron McMackin) plays in Pennywise, there are so many stories I cannot even pick one out. If you have all heard of Fletcher Dragge you can pick from a novel of stories. Stealing the security cart at Universal Studios and driving off into the sunset. I think that is the best one I have heard in a while. I think he ended up in the Jurassic Park thing that was all closed off and he said he passed out, woke up and didn’t know how it got there.
Curt Lane: At Fender’s Ballroom I don’t remember what show it was, a friend of mine did a stage dive and ended up on his back. He couldn’t feel his legs for like two hours. That freaked me out so I didn’t ever stage dive. It was gnarly.
By the Barricade: What is your song writing process like?
Tony Cook: I have contributed most of the stuff. I will show Curt some riffs and he’ll come up with some cool bass lines and we will just work off each other. Most of the time a melody comes to mind but lyrics are the hardest for me to write. I am not a lyricist so that is always been a struggle. Music kind of naturally comes and I will hear something out of it and then find something there and bring it to the guys and we will go from there.
By the Barricade: Do you have particular inspiration for lyrics?
Tony Cook: I always deal with personal stuff and it kind of relates to everyone. It is the working man, working woman’s struggle of trying to make it in today’s world. We also have some campy shit too that is whatever. Curt has one but he won’t tell me what it is about yet. It’s a secret.
Tony Cook: It is great stuff to write songs about.
Curt Lane: I agree, when I get the time, if I get the time.
At this point, Tony spontaneously bursts into a song, “When I get the time. I’d like to sit down and take a crap and write a song…”
By the Barricade: You just released the 3 song sampler, Urchin, tell us about that.
Tony Cook: We have a full album that is still in the mixing mastering process. But we got three pretty good gems that Darian Rundall, engineer/mixing guy/mastering guy, got us going with. We put it out a little sampler to say, “Hey, this is what is coming on the album so check it out.”
By the Barricade: Do you have a date for the album?
Tony Cook: Nothing in stone. As soon as we make a couple bucks to pay the guy to finish it. That’s where it is at. Probably a few months, maybe a fall release or whenever it happens.
By the Barricade: Anything else you would like to tell the readers of By the Barricade?
Tony Cook: We put this out on a friend of ours’ label called A.S.S. Records. American Surf Skate. It is a good friend of ours, Rob Fabio. He is putting together a bunch of South Bay bands to record and put out a compilation and we are going to do shows to support that. That is coming in the future with SuperSession, Special C, Imposters, all kinds of bands from this area that are on this to support the South Bay and what we are doing. Bring back the old SST days, of brothers in arms, let’s play, let’s do some shows, let’s put out stuff. East Coast has kind of died in the punk scene, D.C., up north is still happening and West Coast is still is still humping along. In the South Bay, Hermosa, Redondo there have been bands that have been playing and playing and never put the torch down. That is what we are striving to right now. Everyone get on board and knock this thing out of the park.