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Interview:
The 90s are part of Sponge's past, present and future
 

By GARY GRAFF
@graffonmusic, www.facebook.com/garygraffonmusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Vinnie Dombroski has no problem with Sponge's designation as a "90s band."

The Detroit rock group did, after all, have its greatest successes in that decade, with the gold-certified debut album "Rotting Pinata" and the Rock and Alternative hits "Plowed" and "Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain)." And Dombroski, who co-founded Sponge in 1991, thinks the staying power of those songs is no accident.

"We were doing a gig, and the opening band did nothing but 90s stuff," recalls Dombroski, 50, who also fronts the local bands Crud and the Orbitsuns. "Sitting in the dressing room and listening, we were like, 'You know what -- this is kind of cool. These songs are good.' It gave me a nice overview of what it is we were trying to do back then...this kind of cool swagger and really good songs.

"This whole 90s nostalgia thing is at its beginning, I think. Soundgarden's out there touring. Alice in Chains is out there doing stuff. It might turn into our time now."

Sponge will, in fact, be part of this year's Summerland Tour with 90s chart mates such as Everclear, Live and Filter, but the group's time for making new music has not ended. Dombroski and company will release the group's seventh album, "Stop the Bleeding," in mid-June, following the 2010 EP "Destroy the Boy." And he sounds a bit surprised that Sponge decided to take that route again

"There really wasn't any thought about making records anymore," Dombroski says. "It's a singles-drive world, and to sit and go, 'We're gonna make (an album)' and ramp it up like that again -- It seems crazy.

"But, y'know, we're still writing songs. You can't shut that off. So having accumulated a number of these tunes, we figured why not give it the ol' college try, and I'm glad we did. But we really had no plan to do (an album) again at all."

Sponge, Ty Stone, the Infatuations, the Mike Leslie Band and more perform at Rockin' For Julie on Saturday, May 18, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25, with proceeds going towards Detroit firefighter wife Julie Holt Legas' battle against Cerebellar Ataxia. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

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