Puppets, Ducks, and Crows

A Conversation with Matt Sucich

August 19, 2021 by Traci Turner
Last week, OC Music News attended the Counting Crows concert in Nashville and we were so impressed by show opener Matt Sucich, we had to find out more about him before the tour hits California.
Often headliners of shows are tucked away in their tour bus during the supporting acts, but Counting Crows front-man Adam Duritz introduced the openers AND stayed in the wings to watch their performances. Duritz’s support shows the tour is not just a “we HAVE to tour with these jerks!” situation, and the camaraderie is visible at the show and on social media.
Sucich was accompanied by steel guitarist/guitarist Cameron Mitchell, and the extreme heat did not dull his performance or charming personality. While singing one of his newest songs, Sucich told the crowd Duritz sings on several songs on his new CD, “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself,” confirming the friendship is legit.
Matt Sucich (pronounced Sue-sitch) is a singer-songwriter from New York who can often be found with his adorable dog Mabel and sporting a Jets cap. Sucich was inspired to write “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself” last year, not just due to the pandemic, but also “eternally being hard on myself,” he told us. “It’s still something I struggle with, but I felt like in the time that I was writing that, we were all going through some shit, and I felt like it was just a worthy message.”
When we asked how he became a musician, he told us, “Being around friends with instruments and that one-upmanship, and competition of being a teenager with those kind of friends and those kind of relationships.” He continued, “I just kind of fell in love with playing guitar and it just snowballed from there. Suddenly you’re writing lyrics and you write a bunch of bad songs for a really long time, and then one day you write a good one. It’s constantly impressing yourself or constantly finding a new joy in the greater thing.”
Of course, Sucich found himself in the same place as every other musician last year: NOT touring. He was able to use the time to work on songs he had not used on his previous album, “Thousand Dollar Dinners.” “I had written a couple of them that were skeletons at the time,” he explained. “Then once we were all sort of trapped in our homes, I addressed those skeletons. I kind of put some meat on the bones.” In the months that followed, he wrote additional songs for the record, self-editing and paring down. “When I think a song is a real piece of crap, I stop. I just put it aside. Obviously I mean a bad song to me. Some people might find the ones that I released bad, and that’s fine,” he laughed.
Joined by his producer Jeff Fettig, Sucich was able to work in the studio last summer and did what many others did; work with other musicians remotely. While Sucich performed more instruments than he usually does, he was able to call in his bandmates for individual sessions of recording to solidify the tracks. 
But then, Sucich caught the attention of Adam Duritz which led to Duritz singing on several tracks. “Oh, that was wonderful! At that point, we were all healthy and safe, and we went over to his house, just Jeff and I with a couple of microphones, and he tracked that for us. That was the cherry on top,” he said. Duritz’s call came just in time. Sucich had already released a single (“See You Soon”) off the upcoming album, but they were able to include him. “We found the time and that was a very celebratory moment for me,” Sucich explained, “because not only was it the end of the tracking for that record, but it was also with one of my all-time favorite voices and lyricists. On MY songs. What a thrill!”

Duritz ended up doing not just one song, but three. After Sucich suggested “Make Peace” and “New Normal” to Duritz, Duritz asked to add one more, “I Don’t.” “On our way to go to record, I get a text from him: ‘Hey, I have a part I’ve been singing all morning. This part for “I Don’t.” Would you mind if I did that one, too?,’” he told us. “I was like, ‘Of course, you could sing on that, why would I mind?’ And that turned out to be my favorite of his performances, because you get the iconic Duritz, that iconic voice in that song. It really comes through.”
As if that wasn’t enough excitement, Duritz also asked Sucich to join The Butter Miracle Tour. He calls it a “very pleasant surprise,” and the social media posts show the fun and enjoyment for all the artists. “I think social media does a really good job of painting that picture for everybody,” he explained, “but it’s very true in this instance. I’m having the time of my life.”
In addition to Duritz, Sucich has several creative people surrounding him. While there is an adorable duck with a backpack in the video for “I Don’t,” his video for “See You Soon” features puppets and comedy courtesy of former Tonight Show writers/producers Mike DiCenzo and John Haskell. “I think the puppet was supposed to be the star of the show. I was very rarely going to be in it,” he described. “The first shot we got for the day is the opening shot where I’m walking under the marquee. In that moment, we were like, ‘No, what’s funny about this is that the puppet thinks Matt is an absolute idiot.’” It worked, but I mean that in the nicest way possible!
With all these talented people in Matt Sucich’s corner, plus his own musical talents, we expect to see more from him in the future. The Butter Miracle Tour is covering the entire US and it includes several stops in CA. Sucich will also play Hotel Café in Los Angeles on September 9th with other Butter Miracle Tour opener, Sean Barna. These two are definitely worth checking out!


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