ALL DAY SUCKER
DRAWING ON A COLORFUL HISTORY
ON THE ROCK SCENE IN LOS ANGELES,
THE WITTY, MUSICALLY ECLECTIC
DUO FASHIONS A NEW AND SOPHISTICATED,
MELODIC ROCK-DRIVEN ‘CALIFORNIA SOUND’ ON
ITS ODE TO ‘THE BIG PRETEND’
Morty Coyle (Vocals), AKA Celebrity DJ ‘DJ Morty,
And Jordan Summers (Keys) Found
Early Success—And Two Major Label Deals—As
The 90s Pop/Rock Band The iMPOSTERS And
Have Licensed Tracks To CBS’ “Swingtown,” MTV’s
“Laguna Beach,” “The Hills,” “The Real World” and
If you’ve always wondered how bands get their clever monikers, check out the way things went down in 2006, when lifelong friends and musical compadres Morty Coyle and Jordan Summers—collectively known as All Day Sucker–decided to start writing and recording again after a several year hiatus.
They couldn’t go back to calling themselves iMPOSTERS, the name they had while playing on Los Angeles’ thriving club scene in the late 80s and 90s, when they scored major label deals with Elektra and Interscope. Elvis Costello was using it for his backup band.
Some time earlier, they nearly gave away “All Day Sucker,” the name they ultimately chose, to reflect the refreshing, sophisticated and melodic new “California Sound” they were after. “It was the title of a Stevie Wonder song that we thought would be a great name for our next project,” says Summers. “At the same time, we were friends with Maroon 5, who were originally known as Kara’s Flowers—but they didn’t like their name. All of us jammed at Canter’s Kibitz Room, and a lot of us still do. We told them to use All Day Sucker, but they told us to use it. It went back and forth for a while until we settled on our respective names.”
Former Maroon 5 drummer Ryan Dusick is a huge fan: “All Day Sucker plays soulful pop music, classic grooves with a velvety voice singing cleverly ironic lyrics. I’ve seen them play about fifty times and I still want more!” Actor/comedian Andy Dick is also on board: “All Day Sucker’s ‘Worst Case Scenario’ makes me wanna shake my ass.” And Kelly Osbourne says, “I f***ing love them!”
Part adoring valentine, part cleverly biting commentary on their hometown, All Day Sucker’s new album The Big Pretend is a full length bona fide concept album written by Coyle and Summers that shows their pride in L.A. even as it pokes fun at the occasional ridiculousness and idiosyncrasies of a city where everyone has some connection to the film industry. Produced by Noah Shain (Orson, As Tall As Lions, Endless Hallway) and released on the duo’s label Trademark Entertainment/big WOW music, the set is an inspired twist on the sounds of the classic rock era reinvented for modern ears, drawn from influences ranging from ELO and Elvis Costello to The Eagles and Elton John—and that’s just the E’s!
You can watch their video for “The Picture (That Took Me)” at by clicking here.
“On one hand, Jordan and I began writing songs at 16 at University High and are fiercely loyal to our hometown, which we think is unfairly maligned by people who live in other cities who don’t really understand life here,” says Coyle, aka DJ Morty, a longtime celebrity DJ who is intimate with the city’s high brow social scene after over a decade hosting and spinning for Paris Hilton, Eva Longoria, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro and the cast of “Friends.”
“We feel like we get a bad rap, but that doesn’t prevent us from talking about things we don’t like. New York is called the Big Apple, but L.A. doesn’t have a nickname, but maybe it does now. ‘The Big Pretend’ is a tongue in cheek reference to the industry, which everyone seems to be on the periphery of here, if they’re not actually working in it. It’s like growing up around a façade, where they’re filming everywhere and every landmark is co-opted into a film set. The lifestyle is fake, but there are salt of the earth people who migrate from other parts of the U.S. for the weather. It’s got its peccadilloes, but this is home and this is cool.”
Slices of “home” include “Santa Ana,” a song that uses those infamously hot, fire friendly winds as a metaphor for that moment in a relationship when you just want the fighting to stop and you might even pray to a saint to keep the peace; “Nobody Somewhere,” about people’s ambitions turned illusions when they go from being a big fish in a small pond into the primordial soup of L.A. where there are only small fish trying to survive; and “Beverly Park,” All Day Sucker’s “Strawberry Fields”/”Penny Lane” moment, a bittersweet lament about a famous amusement park they fondly remember from childhood, which is now the site of the Beverly Center. Speaking of which, the celeb quotient was high on All Day Sucker’s 2004 self-titled debut, which was produced by Evan Frankfort (Pete Yorn, The Wallflowers, Liz Phair) and Warren Huart (The Fray, Better Than Ezra, Matisyahu) and featured such notable guest performers as Susanna Hoffs (Bangles), Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray) and Monique Powell (Save Ferris), actor/musician Esai Morales and one of the Spazmatics.
Between their first project and The Big Pretend, the duo backed singer/songwriter Jordan Zevon (son of the late rocker Warren Zevon) on his critically acclaimed debut album Insides Out. Summers co-wrote, co-produced and played keyboards and Coyle appeared on backing vocals and co-wrote several tracks. One of these songs, “Home,” a touching love song to Warren, won Best Song in the pop category and Grand Prize in the prestigious U.S.A. Songwriting Competition.
Summers and Jordan Zevon do several shows around the country every year for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. Warren Zevon died of mesothelioma, a form of cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos; Jordan is now an international spokesperson for the disease. When he and Summers perform, they do songs by Jordan, All Day Sucker and Warren Zevon.
All Day Sucker has also licensed their songs to many feature films and TV shows, including CBS’ “Swingtown,” MTV’s “Laguna Beach,” “The Hills,” “Breaking Bonaduce,” “Carmen & Dave: Till Death Do Us Part,” “Road Rules,” “The Real World,” “Road Rules/Real World Challenge,” ABC’s “Making The Band,” “The Dating Experiment,” HBO’s “The Immortals,” Disney’s “Z Games” and the feature films “Spent” (Regent Entertainment) and “Matters of Consequence” (Besy Picture/New Orleans Film Festival).
A little time traveling might be in order to fully grasp how fully entrenched Coyle and Summers have been in the musical culture of Los Angeles. Trends came and went but the classic pop band the two formed in high school which evolved into the iMPOSTERS had a timeless quality that made them a fixture on Sunset Strip for over a dedade. You name it, they played it or had a residency there: Roxy, Whiskey, Roxbury, Peanuts, Sunset Social Club, Opium Den and The Viper Room, where they did a two year Sunday night residency in the mid-90s.
In a time long before DIY indie bands were the norm and every hot act was out there praying for a major label deal, the iMPOSTERS scored two—an early one with Elektra and later with Interscope. Both ended without a record being released, but the band still developed a huge local following, also jamming—as Coyle and Summers still do today—at The Kibitz Room with likeminded bands (originally including the Free Wheelers and The Wallflowers, who along with Coyle and Summers founded the room’s Tuesday Jam in the 90s.) Between the breakup of the iMPOSTERS and the duo’s resurrection as All Day Sucker, Summers wrote a short film, produced a feature and delved into film scoring. Coyle amped up his work as DJ Morty and formed a band called Men Without Sex, playing everywhere from the Playboy Mansion to the Sundance Film Festival. In January 2009, All Day Sucker resurrected the Jam Night last year with Rami Jaffe of The Wallflowers and Foo Fighters.
Summers wanted in on the action, sat in with Men Without Sex for the Playboy Mansion show and then joined the band. Soon he and Coyle were writing songs again and planning their emergence as All Day Sucker. “As much as we love performing and recording, the thing we love to do more than anything else is songwriting,” says Coyle. “The high of a single show fades quickly but if you write a great song, it endures forever. With All Day Sucker, we’re re-creating the sounds we grew up with, reconnecting with the ghosts we grew up around, the places we haunted and the places that have haunted us. As an ode to L.A., The Big Pretend takes you on a joyride from the golden age of Rudolph Valentino through the California roach clip Laurel Canyon era to the 80s on the Strip when the club scene was destroyed to the later collapse of the music industry. We like to say it’s a journey that little girls don’t know but men understand. We’ve been there and lived to sing bright, cinematic songs about it.”