“If you can’t do this, get out of the business”. High praise from David Letterman that was well deserved after a wildly enthusiastic and energetic performance of ‘Gwan’ on The Late Show. High praise The Suffers, an award winning Gulf Coast Soul band from Houston, has become used too. From Letterman to NPR to Entertainment Weekly, everyone has taken note of the big noise this big band is making in the music industry. Featuring funky bass lines, a brass section that rivals any I’ve ever heard, and a singer with one of those give you goosebumps, make you do a double take kind of voices, The Suffers are guaranteed to have you moving your feet and wiping sweat from your brow. Their latest single, ‘I Think I Love You’ is now streaming on Spotify and multiple other streaming apps, and they have recently released a very impressive lineup for their “With A Little Help From Our Friends” benefit concert for Hurricane Harvey recovery. The lineup and more information on how to help with recovery can be found on The Suffers website and Facebook page. Charleston Pour House better have their dancing shoes on when The Suffers and Turkuaz take the stage on December 6. Kam Franklin, lead singer of The Suffers, took a few minutes the day after the Astro’s big World Series win to answer some questions from Jacob Boland of South Carolina Music Guide.
1. First off, thanks for taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to talk today, I know you probably had a long night celebrating the Astro’s World Series win. The first time I saw y’all, before you even played a note on NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series, I thought “Man they can barely fit the band in the room!”. Y’all are a big band with a big noise, how did you all find each other?
Yes! Go Astros!!!! We all played in bands in around the Houston punk/ska/reggae scene for years. It was one of those things where we kept saying, “We should all start a supergroup and just jam one of these days.” After about 10 years of promises, it finally happened.
2. I’ve seen y’all live so I know two things. Y’all are The Suffers. Y’all are from Houston. If you’re comfortable talking about it, what was it like to see the impact Hurricane Harvey had on the city?
It was devastating. A lot of people will never be able to go back to their homes. A lot of people are starting to rebuild. We are a strong city, and we will eventually move past this, but it’s going to be a while. The news could only show so much before the next big story overshadowed the destruction.
3. Houston is on top of the baseball world now, how did y’all celebrate the teams win?
There was a lot of open mouth sobbing, and lots of beer.
4. Y’all are beloved in your hometown, how does the Houston area influence your sound?
In every way. The people, the food, and the culture are a part of who we are, and that’s why we are so vocal about people knowing who we are and where we’re from.
5. Y’alls song “Make Some Room” is over 2 million plays on Spotify, what was the motivation or message behind that song?
It was written to celebrate the spouses of the band and everything they do. I’m single, but as a woman, I know what it feels like to feel unappreciated for the little things in a relationship. Their husbands are on the road with me 70 percent of the year. It’s tough, and it gets lonely, but these women are badasses. “Make Some Room” serves as a reminder to their husbands to handle their business and also make time (or some room!) for their wives.
6. A few folks in the Lowcountry were lucky enough to see y’all play Pour House and High Water in the past, but what should fans who haven’t seen The Suffers live expect?
Energy, sass, and brass.
7. Y’all were a crowd favorite at High Water last year (fingers crossed y’all will be back and in a better time slot!), what was your favorite part of the festival curated by Charleston’s own Shovels and Rope.
Definitely the food and the location. That park was so beautiful. Shovels and Rope are incredible people, and the fact that we were able to be a part of the first year of that festival meant so much to us.
8. What can fans expect from The Suffers in the near future?
We’re releasing the first single off of our upcoming record in the next few weeks, and we are about to head back to Europe next week. We’re also hosting a benefit show for victims of Hurricane Harvey on December 22nd at House Of Blues Houston. We are partnering up with Newport Folk Festival Presents to bring something really special to the city. Hopefully we raise enough money to help a lot of people.