Interviews

Q&A: Suede Dudes' Bryan Adams on Their Namesake & Being A Fanboy


New Times: We'll get more in-depth as we go, but I must ask, where does the name Suede Dudes come from? The word "suede" makes me think of the material, which is fuzzy but not particularly soft...At the risk of being corny, that's kind of like your music!

Bryan Adams: Haha, I wish we would have gone even that in depth with our name. To be completely honest the story of how we got our name is probably the least exciting. My grandpa, while overseas during World War II, met a beautiful Swedish woman named Alma. She was very into high fashion, working almost exclusively with leather.

After he was discharged he came back to the States with her, where they bought a farm. He primarily raised lamb for their skin (lamb skin is usually used to make suede). He and Alma made mainly gloves, but also made other articles of clothing such as slippers and wallets. His products were picked up by other farmers and ranchers, which back then were referred to as "Dudes."  After learning this information when I was a child I swore to myself that I'd name one of my bands that.

Now what really happened was that it was an off-the-cuff name that Bobby [Nolan] spewed out one day as a joke. I thought to myself, "Hmm, that actually sounds kinda cool," and we went with it... We say random shit sometimes.

Wow. I believed everything till the end. You recently posted on your Facebook about a string of bad luck...a blown amp, etc. Those stories are true, right?

Haha! I'm sure you did. Unfortunately, the equipment malfunction stories are all true. Since Suede Dudes has been around I have blown three bass amps. I either don't know what the hell I'm doing or I just like to play too loud! Will actually snapped a kick drum beater once. He likes to hit the drums like they're his archenemy.

A look at your Bandcamp led me to believe you released a full-length in May, a short EP a month later and now a new single. Can you tell me about the timeline of these releases? Aside from your new single, was everything conceived as a whole, or do you have a really fast turnover?

I started writing the first full-length by myself earlier this year, maybe somewhere around February. At the time I was really just writing songs. I wasn't thinking about how it could be a CD, or even playing these songs with other people. I had a Bandcamp, and as I wrote the songs I put them up. There were certain weeks where I was in my practice space (or what we like to call "the shed") four to five days in a row, just writing song after song. It was only after I started showing the tracks to my friends that the idea of making the songs a collection/forming a band was entertained. So I put out the first ten songs I wrote as a full-length, and then just continued writing.

The first ten songs were motivation for me to write the next EP. There are actually two extra cover tracks that we include on the CDs we sell at shows. However, if you visit our tumblr page you'll probably be able to find them posted on there somewhere. I kinda caved because I was proud of how the covers came out and I wanted more people to hear them. "Honey," which is our last single we put out, is finally Suede Dudes as a whole, writing songs together. That song, along with like six or seven more songs, are getting put out on a split cassette with our friends in Bonnet People. Radio-Active Records is putting it out!



[Check out their cover of The Ramones' "I Don't Wanna Be Learned" here and their cover of The Kinks' "You Still Want Me" here.]

I went and listened to the covers you did and I love them, especially the Kinks cover. To the average listener, The Kinks and The Ramones wouldn't be the first bands to come to mind when trying to determine your influences, but when you think about it, it does make sense -- pared-down and really punk stuff. What other musicians do you admire?

Thank you! I try to keep an open mind while writing songs. Sometimes it's nice to look up to your idols and be like "WWJD" (What Would Joey [Ramone] Do). I do that a lot with the people I look up to; look to them every once in a while for a little inspiration. Brian Wilson and Bob Dylan are by far my biggest heroes of all time. Their music still gives me tingles no matter how many times I've heard it. Not only that, but just their lives were and are so inspiring. Besides the top tier though, J. Robbins, Sonic Youth, and Nirvana always keep my blood flowing.

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Monica Uszerowicz