Before moving to Raleigh, David Simmons gazed at the void. "I was doing lots of pills, smoking coke and meth, snorting heroin, and drinking on top of that," he recalls.
Simmons got clean since leaving Portland, Ore., two years ago. Indeed, he's now celebrating his ninth release as The Infamous Sugar, his ridiculous one-man-act of raving lyricism and garage-soul irreverence. The Pink Album, his first for new label Punk Kitty, includes a dozen organ blasts lined with profane irreverence.
"The closest thing to my lyrics is Lenny Bruce," Simmons reckons. "For some reason, I can't write a serious song. Even if I'm talking about a serious issue, it comes out comical."
Back in Portland, he had a proper band. They recorded and mastered an album (never released) before Simmons hit bottom and relocated to Raleigh, where he backed himself with a drum machine before pairing with Kelly Holland (Cry of Love, Crush). He still uses it live where it's nothing but Sugar, but Holland and others do lend their hand to the recording of sublimely decadent odes such as "Caveman Smokin' AK-47" and "Sloppy Drunk."
What can you say? Sugar writes what he knows. The Infamous Sugar plays with the Bleeding Hearts at Kings Saturday, Oct. 6. The free show starts at 10 p.m. —Chris Parker