Sponge (band)

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Sponge in 2008. From left to right: Kyle Neely, Billy Adams, Vinnie Dombroski, Andy Patalan, and Tim Krukowski.
Sponge in 2008. From left to right: Kyle Neely, Billy Adams, Vinnie Dombroski, Andy Patalan, and Tim Krukowski.
Background information
OriginDetroit, Michigan, U.S.
GenresAlternative rock, grunge, post-grunge, hard rock
Years active
  • 1992–2000
  • 2001–present
Associated acts
Past members

Sponge is an American rock band formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1992 by vocalist Vinnie Dombroski, guitarist Mike Cross, bassist Tim Cross, drummer Jimmy Paluzzi, and guitarist Joey Mazzola. Dombroski and the Cross brothers were founding members of the hard rock band Loudhouse, later joined by Mazzola at the end of the band's tenure. Sponge's discography includes eight studio albums, four live albums, and several charting singles. They are best known for their 1994 hit "Plowed" and their 1995 hit "Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain)".


Formation, Rotting Piñata, and Wax Ecstatic (1991–1998)[edit]

Vinnie Dombroski, Mike Cross, and Tim Cross were in a hard rock band called Loudhouse, fronted by vocalist Kenny Mugwump. They released one album and had a song appear on the soundtrack to the 1991 film Point Break. The band then recruited Joey Mazzola as a second guitarist. Shortly after, Mugwump decided to pursue a career in acting and directing, so Dombroski switched from drums to vocals and drummer Jimmy Paluzzi was recruited to round out the lineup. The band decided to start fresh and named themselves Sponge. They began working on new music and performed in bars and clubs; recognized for having a dual-guitar sound reminiscent of the MC5. Their debut album, Rotting Piñata, released in 1994 through Columbia Records, received heavy airplay on radio and MTV, and was certified gold by the RIAA. The two biggest singles from that album were "Plowed" and "Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain)". By the end of 1994, Charlie Grover had replaced Paluzzi on drums. Sponge went on tour with the band Live in 1995 as their opening act, and also performed at the music festivals Edgefest, X-Fest, Sunstroke (Ireland), and Pukkelpop (Belgium) that year.

On June 28, 1996, Sponge, along with Alice in Chains, opened for Kiss at Tiger Stadium in Detroit on their reunion tour. It was previously announced that Stone Temple Pilots would open the show, but had to cancel their performance due to vocalist Scott Weiland's issues related to substance abuse. The show was reported as having an attendance of almost 40,000 people. Sponge's second album, Wax Ecstatic, was released shortly after in 1996 and the first single, "Wax Ecstatic (To Sell Angelina)", received significant airplay on radio and MTV. Sponge also performed on the Lollapalooza festival tour that summer. The second single, "Have You Seen Mary", also received significant airplay and was included in the 1997 film Chasing Amy. Columbia was dissatisfied with the sales figures for Wax Ecstatic however, and dropped Sponge from the label once the album left the charts. Undaunted, the band continued making music while in search of a new label.

New Pop Sunday and lineup changes (1999–2002)[edit]

Sponge signed a new deal with Beyond Records and released their third album, New Pop Sunday, in 1999. The album was a departure from the grittier sound of their first two albums, featuring songs that were more pop rock in nature. The band also performed again at Edgefest and X-Fest that year. The new album attracted little commercial attention; however, "Live Here Without You" was nominated for the Outstanding National Single award by the Detroit Music Awards Foundation in 2000. Around this time, the Cross brothers had gotten tired of touring and left Sponge.[1] Charlie Grover also left shortly after and the band would take a brief hiatus. The remaining members (Mazzola and Dombroski) recruited Robby Graham on bass along with Paluzzi on drums to form the side project group Crud.[2]

In 2001, Dombroski joined the Seattle-based side project group Spys4Darwin, which recorded one EP and worked together into the following year. Around this time, Dombroski also began performing and recording music with the side project group The Orbitsuns. Dombroski and Mazzola then created a new solidified lineup of Sponge consisting of drummer Billy Adams, guitarist Kurt Marschke, and bassist Tim Krukowski.

For All the Drugs in the World, more lineup changes, and The Man (2003–2006)[edit]

Sponge released their fourth studio album, For All the Drugs in the World, in 2003 through Idol Records. Afterwards, Dombroski created a new lineup once again, this time without other founding member Mazzola, replaced by guitarist Andy Patalan, while Marschke was replaced by guitarist Kyle Neely. At this point, Dombroski became the only remaining original member of Sponge. The band released their fifth studio album, The Man, in 2005 through Idol Records. Both Crud and The Orbitsuns also released albums around this time. Sponge also released a promo album in 2005 titled Hard to Keep My Cool.

Galore Galore and Stop the Bleeding (2007–2014)[edit]

Sponge released their first official live album, Alive in Detroit, in 2007. It was also announced in November 2007 that the band would release their sixth studio album, Galore Galore, through their new label, Bellum Records. It contains songs from the promo Hard to Keep My Cool plus new tracks and was released on December 4, 2007. In 2009, former Sponge producer Tim Patalan replaced Krukowski on bass. The band then released the promo album titled Destroy the Boy. On February 21, 2012, Sponge opened for Guns N' Roses at The Fillmore Detroit during their tour that year. Sponge's seventh studio album, Stop the Bleeding, was released in 2013 and includes songs from Destroy the Boy plus new tracks. Sponge also performed on the Summerland festival tour that summer.

The Beer Sessions and original lineup reunion (2015–present)[edit]

Sponge continued recording new music and performed on the Summerland festival tour again in 2016. The band's eighth studio album, The Beer Sessions, was released on October 8, 2016 through Three One Three Records. In May 2018 at the annual Detroit Music Awards, the original lineup of Vinnie Dombroski, Mike Cross, Tim Cross, Jimmy Paluzzi, and Joey Mazzola reunited for one night only. This was the first time in 24 years that all of the original members performed on stage together.[3]

Sponge's original lineup in 2018. From left to right: Joey Mazzola, Tim Cross, Vinnie Dombroski, Jimmy Paluzzi, and Mike Cross.

The current lineup of Sponge announced tour dates in North America during the spring and summer of 2020. However, the shows were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim to reschedule them for a later date.

Band members[edit]

Current members

Former members
  • Joey Mazzola – guitar, backing vocals (1992–2000, 2001-2004)
  • Mike Cross – guitar (1992–2000)
  • Tim Cross – bass (1992–2000)
  • Jimmy Paluzzi – drums, backing vocals (1992–1994)
  • Charlie Grover – drums (1994–2000)
  • Kurt Marschke – guitar (2001–2004)
  • Tim Krukowski – bass (2001–2009)

Touring members
  • Jeff Hayes – bass (2013–present)



Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certification
US Heat
Rotting Piñata 58 4
Wax Ecstatic
  • Released: July 2, 1996
  • Label: Columbia
  • Formats: CD, CS, DL
New Pop Sunday
  • Released: April 13, 1999
  • Label: Beyond
  • Formats: CD, CS, DL
For All the Drugs in the World
  • Released: September 2, 2003
  • Label: Idol
  • Formats: CD, DL
The Man
  • Released: October 4, 2005
  • Label: Idol
  • Formats: CD, DL
Galore Galore
  • Released: December 4, 2007
  • Label: Bellum
  • Formats: CD, DL
Stop the Bleeding
  • Released: May 29, 2013
  • Label: Three One Three, The End
  • Formats: CD, DL
The Beer Sessions
  • Released: October 8, 2016
  • Label: Three One Three
  • Formats: CD, DL
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Alt.
US Main. Rock
"Neenah Menasha" 1994 Rotting Piñata
"Plowed" 41 5 9
"Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain)" 1995 55 3 11
"Rainin'" 34 18
"Wax Ecstatic (To Sell Angelina)" 1996 64 15 11 Wax Ecstatic
"Have You Seen Mary" 1996 7
"Live Here Without You" 1999 New Pop Sunday
"Treat Me Wrong" 2003 For All the Drugs in the World
"Leave This World"
"Unlucky" 2005 The Man
"Feels Like Love"
"Wasted" 2007 Galore Galore
"Hard to Keep My Cool"
"Come in from the Rain" 2013 Stop the Bleeding
"Destroy the Boy"
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Live and compilation albums[edit]

Year Title Label
1996 In Concert Westwood One radio
1996 Live from the Pit Global Satellite Network radio
1997 All Access: Sponge MediaAmerica Radio
1999 The Exclusive Sponge Sessions (live acoustic) Beyond
2000 Molly Sony Music
2007 Alive in Detroit Three One Three
2009 Hits & B Sides, Volume 1 Three One Three
2011 Hits & B Sides, Volume 2 Three One Three
2014 Deep Cuts Live Three One Three
2014 Rotting Alive Three One Three
2014 Playlist: The Very Best of Sponge Sony Music
2017 Wax Ecstatic Live Three One Three
2019 Demoed in Detroit 1997-98 Cleopatra

Soundtracks and other releases[edit]

Year Song Release
1995 "Seventeen" Mallrats soundtrack
"Isolation" Working Class Hero: A Tribute to John Lennon
"Go Speed Racer Go" Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits
1996 "All This and Nothing" The Craft soundtrack
"Christmas Day" O Come All Ye Faithful: Rock 4 Choice
1999 "Chameleon" The Musician's Choice, Volume 1
2012 "Plowed" Chasing Mavericks soundtrack

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sponge Biography at allmusic
  2. ^ "Sponge and Crud". MTV.com.
  3. ^ "Detroit Free Press". freep.com.
  4. ^ "Sponge Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  5. ^ "Sponge Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  6. ^ "Sponge Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  7. ^ "Sponge Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  8. ^ "Sponge Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved October 9, 2018.

External links[edit]