Modern rockers Sponge have toured nonstop since their hits “Plowed.” “Molly/16 Candles,” and “Have You Seen Mary” dominated MTV and commercial rock airwaves in the late 90’s. Now, in 2018 the Detroit 5-piece will bring fans something new to their hit-filled live sets. Sponge will be “Under the Influence,” covering tracks by the band’s greatest influences – including David Bowie, Iggy Pop, The Psychedelic Furs – and “all the artists/groups that made us wanna do what we do,” explains Sponge’s lead singer (and founding member) Vinnie Dombroski.
Performing songs from these iconic artists like “Lust for Life” and “Crap Out” (Iggy Pop), “Panic In Detroit, “Life on Mars” and “The Jean Genie” (David Bowie) and “Sister Europe” and “All the Money Wants” (Psychedelic Furs), Sponge will seamlessly interject their own songs influenced by said artists throughout the set including “Wax Ecstatic,” “Silence is Their Drug” and “Death of a Drag Queen.”
“We won’t be drunk or high” – but we will be under the influence of our influences on stage!” enthuses Dombroski
Sponge toured with Iggy Pop as part of the 1997 “Roar Tour”. Pop recently spoke about touring with Sponge in “GQ” magazine when he was interviewed alongside celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. Pop recalled, “I did the tour, but the audiences were there for a band called Sponge!” “having shared the stage with Iggy was like the college education I never had,” says Dombroski “also sharing a stage with your hero is a mind bender……after that your nerves are galvanized”.
Sponge also toured with Psychedelic Furs spin off band “Love Spit Love,” which lead to the Furs lead singer Richard Butler contributing vocals to the song “I am Anastasia” featured on Sponge’s sophomore CD Wax Ecstatic. “ Richard is a bad ass. When I first saw him perform he seemed like the bastard offspring of David Bowie and Johnny Rotten” explains Dombroski.
Of Wax Ecstatic and Bowie, Dombroski says, “No doubt that record would not have been made if it weren’t for David Bowie’s influence. We wanted to conjure up the vibe of Bowie’s Diamond Dogs era and do something glam”. Wax Ecstatic was even mixed by Tim Palmer, who has many Bowie credits to his name. The record embodied androgynous elements in the songs ‘Drag Queens of Memphis’ and ‘Death of a Drag Queen,” that track in particular conjuring the essence of “Sweet Thing” by Bowie.”
While Sponge never toured with Bowie, Dombroski did meet the pioneering artist at a meet and greet in Phoenix after Bowie’s show with Nine Inch Nails. “It was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen,” Dombroski affirms.
To date, Sponge has released eight studio albums, most recently, The Beer Sessions which was unleashed in 2016.
“Even though we are always recording new original songs, the thought of getting back into the studio and making a full album just doesn’t seem fun at the moment. We want to do something unexpected and be “under the Influence!” says Dombroski.
Catch Sponge Live and “Under the Influence at these shows (more dates to be added):
3-09-18 Rochaus, West Dundee, IL
3-10-18 Chicago Pub, Coldwater, MI
3-17-18 The Red Dot, Wauwatosa, WI
3-22-18 Crafthouse Stage & Grill, Pittsburgh, PA
3-23-18 Blackthorn 51, Elmhurst, NY
3-24-18 Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge, Annapolis, MD