Sucked Out

Album: Regretfully Yours (1996)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Sucked Out" is about the abusive and soulless aspects of the music industry. Ironically, the song now stands as an epitaph for the band Superdrag, who were eventually done in by those very same forces.

    The song opens with a verse about being used and tossed aside by music executives.

    Look around could it bring somebody down
    If I never made a sound again?
    In your eyes you've already spread my thighs
    And you're rocking to the next big thing


    The timing is interesting because when the song was written, Superdrag were on a distinctly upward trajectory; there didn't seem to be any obvious reason for frontman/songwriter John Davis to have these feelings. It's almost like he had a premonition and recorded it.
  • The song wasn't on the original tracklist for the Regretfully Yours album. Davis had no idea it would prove so significant to his or his band's histories.

    Superdrag had already finished recording the album and gone home for a couple weeks of downtime. Davis wrote some songs, put a few on a cassette, and sent then to Elektra. One of these songs was "Sucked Out."

    In 2014, Davis explained to Vice that he sent the cassette partially as a joke and partially as a gesture to the executives that he was willing to work hard for success. That decision changed everything for him and the band... for a little while.

    Upon getting the cassette, Elektra immediately amped up the budget for the album. They wanted to do a music videos. They wanted to push promotion. They wanted to put some muscle behind "Sucked Out" and land a hit song. They got what they wanted.

    "Sucked Out" was a success. It hit #17 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and was an MTV "Buzz Clip," a mainline to the era's youth culture.

    The song's success gave every indication that the band was in store for some very big things. The executives and artists alike were excited. Top-of-the-marquee status seemed inevitable.

    Fate and Davis' stubborn sense of artistic integrity intervened.

    Elektra wanted another record, but they wanted one full of radio-friendly singles like "Sucked Out." Davis had other things in other mind. Using a generous recording budget, he and Superdrag put together Head Trip in Every Key. The album was acclaimed for its artistic merit but was decidedly not radio friendly.

    As quickly as they rose, Superdrag faded, and Elektra dropped them.

    The band fought on valiantly, recording with smaller labels (mainly Darla Records and Arena Rock Recording Co.), but never again sniffed the kind of commercial success they had with "Sucked Out." They petered out, reunited, and officially called it quits around 2014. Davis and Superdrag guitarist Brandon Fisher formed band called The Lees Of Memory, and bassist Tom Pappas moved on to play with Flesh Vehicle and Bobby Bare, Jr.

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