Empty Exchange: THE SUEVES

In this modern age full of knowledge and wireless Internet it’s rare to find a band with a minimal paper trail, but THE SUEVES have achieved just that. What they lack in an E-presence they make up for, in abundance, at their live show. The no-frills trio has been ripping through the Chicago music scene for the last four years and are showing no signs of slowing down, which is good news for you if a unique blend of garage-rockabilly-surf-rock is something your into. I caught up with THE SUEVES for some beers and to exchange some short and sweet words.

ASHLEIGH DYE: I know you’re all Chicago transplants, but how did you guys meet?

ANDY MARTIN: School, commercial class. We had a class where we watched only commercials, it was awesome. I sold you adderall. Then we started jamming.

ROB PISKAC: I saw him tapping his thighs in class and asked him “Hey, do you play the drums?” and he said, “Yeah, want some Adderall?”

AD: How’d Joe get wrapped into the mix?

JOE SCHORGL: Well, I met Andy through Max, who used to be in the band. We got together in Andy’s basement and started playing, then Rob joined later.


AD: How does JOE & OTIS tie into this. Was it a project you had before THE SUEVES or is it just a comic strip?

JS: That’s a pretty sensitive question. I don’t really know who Otis is. Andy do you know who Otis is?

AM: I’m not Otis.

AD: How have you guys grown since you started THE SUEVES?

AM: OK, so we started as a three piece, then Rob joined the band and we were a four piece, then we lost a member now we’re a three piece again.


AD: What’s the songwriting process like?

JS: Recently we’ve been playing together and making stuff up on the spot. I used to come in with guitar parts and we’d all just kind of add something to it, then I’d spend a long time trying to out words into it.

AD: You guys have been playing with the same bands for a few years now. How have you seen the scene grow and change in that time?

JS: It’s different. There’s a lot more bands that seem to be doing things. I think that we are slightly more serious. We’ve always been a live band, we’d play any show. I remember the first time the Bottle got upset with us for playing a show a week before a show we had booked there and we just didn’t fucking get it. We were like, why do you care? Now I get it.

AM: Now we can rely more on ourselves as opposed to other people. In the past we’d always have to borrow a car or something. Now Joe has his van. We also were really lucky to have people recording our shows and stuff.

AD: Yeah, you guys have so many live videos, it’s nuts. Do you ask people to do that?

AM: No, never.

AD: The Knock Out comp was pretty gnarly. Got any other compilations in the works?

RP: Dogs vomiting.

AD: Out of all the places you’ve played, where is your favorite place to play in Chicago?

JS: Without sounding too cliche, I think I’d have to say the Empty Bottle. It was one of the first bigger shows we played, one of the first screen printed posters I made for a show here.

AD: Do you like to use THE SUEVES as an outlet for your illustrative background?

JS: I’ve always liked to combine the two. One frustration I’ve always had is that people always talk about art and music as if they are two separate things, which really isn’t the case.

AD: So, the name THE SUEVES comes from the name of a tribe you read about. What would your tribe M.O. be?

JS: “Why do a whole 360 when you could go 280.”


AD: You guys are pretty elusive on the net. Is that intentional?

JS: Not really, but  I do think things at their purest level should just speak for themselves. This is something I struggle with daily, what to fucking think of the internet. I’m learning how to let something speak for itself through the internet, but a live show should be a live show, and I don’t want to hear about your fucking band telling me I need to be there on the internet.

AD: What’s on the horizon for THE SUEVES? The last thing you released was in 2013, right? It’s 2015 now, guys.

JS: Yeah, we’ve got some top secret things in the works, we also have a 7” coming out with HoZac at the end of this month. It’s great, we got the test pressing and are each taking turns having it and listening to it. We’re just waiting for it to get made, waiting for that big brown box.



Words & photos by Ashleigh Dye

Drawing by Joe Schorgl

CATCH THE SUEVES FRIDAY NIGHT when they headline The Bottle with LALA LALA, THE FUNS and EARRING. It’s ONLY $5 to get in!

Posted February 25th, 2015

Categories Empty Exchange, This Week

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