Detroit alt-rockers Sponge may have enjoyed their best days in the '90s thanks to the Rotting Piñata album, but frontman Vinnie Dombroski has kept them breathing, releasing quality material, since then. They've seen a resurgence of late thanks to a heap of praise from Howard Stern, and they play the Whisky this week, so we chatted with Dombroski about it all…
L.A. WEEKLY: Things have gone a little wild, haven't they? What happened with the whole Howard Stern thing?
VINNIE DOMBROSKI: Things for Sponge have been good! There seems to be a new interest for the '90s/'90s music. Howard Stern has been very vocal about his appreciation for the song “Plowed.” His producer Steve Brandano has reached out to us on several occasions inquiring about the possibility of the band dropping by the studio. We finally made it happen in January. Playing on The Howard Stern Show is a big deal. He has such a loyal audience.
It's been three years since The Beer Sessions— any sign of new material?
YES! We're always working on new material. We just released an album on the Cleopatra label. It's called Demoed In Detroit. It's a collection of previously unreleased songs demoed for the New Pop album that didn't make the cut in 1997 and 1998. We are also releasing a single on the same label called “I Got An Uber and a Fifth.”
Do you enjoy coming to L.A.? Any cool memories?
Yes, we still get a kick outta coming to L.A. The folks at the Whisky treat us so good. They take great care of us and the production rocks. Every time we walk into the building I still think about Morrison standing on that stage or Van Halen, Motely Crue. That never gets old.
What can we expect from the Whisky set this time?
We're focusing on the Rotting Piñata album for the most part. However we will bring out other older tracks like “Cowboy Eyes” and tear through songs from the whole catalog.
What next for the band after these shows? Anything going on with Crud [Dombroski's industrial-metal project] or Orbitsuns [his cow-punk outfit]?
Sponge has a ton of dates throughout the rest of the year. The Orbitsuns are always raising hell! Crud will play a couple of shows this year. It's looking like we will do a celebration of the 13th anniversary of the release of Devil At The Wheel. Perhaps re-release the CD with an additional three or four new songs. Call it Obscura Ablurra.
Sponge plays with Venrez, Cinematica, Blue Midnight, Koda and Blacksky Nectar at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 24 at the Whisky A Go-Go.