Gumball (band)

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Background information
OriginUnited States
GenresAlternative rock, post-punk, grunge
Years active1990–1994
LabelsColumbia, Primo Scree, Paperhouse
MembersDon Fleming
Jay Spiegel
Eric Vermillion
Malcolm Riviera (d. 2023)

Gumball was an American rock band formed in New York City in 1990. The original lineup consisted of Don Fleming (vocals and guitar), Eric Vermillion (vocals, bass), and Jay Spiegel (drums).[1][2] In 1992, a fourth member was added, Malcolm Riviera (guitar, keyboards) who had previously played with Fleming and Spiegel in the Velvet Monkeys.[3]


After Fleming and Spiegel's group B.A.L.L. broke up in 1990, the duo briefly joined Dinosaur Jr. and released one single on the Sub Pop label. The two left Dinosaur Jr. shortly after the release of the single. Jay Spiegel approached his friend Eric Vermillion, a member of Camp Hill, PA's The Stump Wizards, about playing with the two. Vemillion agreed and subsequently quit The Stump Wizards. After less than a week's rehearsal, the new trio played its first show and Gumball was born.

The fall of 1990 found Gumball in the studio, and their first release came out shortly thereafter on the Paperhouse/Sire label in England. The release was a 12 inch EP with the songs "All the Time"/"Yellow Pants"/"Gettysburg".

Gumball soon found itself with a record deal with New York City's Caroline Records.[3] They recorded and released the album Special Kiss and embarked on a tour with Mudhoney, Sonic Youth, and other similar American indie bands of the early 1990s.[4]

In 1991, Gumball was approached by Columbia Records A&R man Jim Dunbar about signing to the label for a two-album contract. Soon thereafter, the deal was signed and Gumball immediately re-entered the studio and began recording their major label debut, Super Tasty. The sessions were done in Wisconsin with producer Butch Vig, who earlier engineered Nirvana's major label debut Nevermind.

Although Gumball recorded Super Tasty as a trio, fourth member (and longtime musical associate) Malcolm Riviera joined the band shortly after the album's release. The foursome began rehearsing and in early 1993 toured in support of the album.

After a tour of the U.S., Europe, and Japan, Gumball returned to the studio in the fall of 1993 to record their second album for Columbia, Revolution on Ice. The album was released by Columbia/Sony in 1994 and the band toured in support of it throughout that year.

Columbia exercised its option to drop Gumball from its roster after low sales from Revolution on Ice. The band released a live CD on their own label in late 1994 called Tokyo Encore, but by early 1995 the band had decided to call it quits rather than begin shopping for another label.

In early August 2023, the band announced through social media that Riviera, keyboardist and guitarist for the band, died the previous weekend in July.[5]

Band members[edit]

  • Don Fleming – (guitar, vocals)
  • Eric Vermillion – (bass)
  • Jay Spiegel – (drums)
  • Malcolm Riviera – (keyboard, guitar) (died July, 2023)



Title Release date Label
Special Kiss 1991 Primo Scree
Super Tasty 1993 Columbia
Revolution on Ice 1994 Columbia
Tokyo Encore 1994 T.E.C. Tones


The Damage Done 1993 Columbia
Wisconsin Hayride 1992 Columbia


Year Title Album Label
1990 "All The Time" Special Kiss Paperhouse
1991 "Sonic Youth / Gumball / Laughing Hyenas / These Immortal Souls: Sub Pop Singles Club No. 121" Subpop
1991 "This Town" Special Kiss Paperhouse
1991 "Light Shines Through" Paperhouse/Waterfront Recordings
1992 "Girl Don't Tell Me/ Strawberry Fields Forever" Get Hip Recordings
1992 "New Rose" Wisconsin Hayride Columbia
1993 "Accelerator" Super Tasty Columbia
1993 "The Damage Done" Super Tasty Columbia
1993 "Real Gone Deal" Super Tasty Columbia
1994 "Nights on Fire" Revolution on Ice Columbia
1994 "Whatcha Gonna Do" Revolution on Ice Columbia

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Director
1992 "New Rose" Dave Markey
1993 "Accelerator" Dave Markey
1993 "The Damage Done" Dave Markey
1993 "Real Gone Deal" Casey Niccoli
1994 "Revolution on the Rocks" Dave Markey


  1. ^ Miller, Eric T. (July 4, 2011). "Q&A with Don Fleming". Magnet. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  2. ^ Mervis, Scott (April 20, 2017). "Gumball, FOOD bassist takes the lead in The Full Counts, and new music from Spinning Jenny". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Gill, J. Doug (August 5, 1994). "The years in Washington's punk underground pay off for Gumball". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  4. ^ Penner, John (November 2, 1990). "Mudhoney: Sweethearts of Grunge Guitar : Rock: Gritty Seattle garage band carries a reputation as the Next Big Thing. They open for Sonic Youth on Saturday at UCI's Crawford Hall". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  5. ^

External links[edit]