Sponge don’t look exactly as they did when they were at their ‘90s peak, but that’s common nowadays. Look at fellow ‘90s alt-rock brethren Fuel, Filter and Everclear; all that’s left from their heydays is their lead singer, Sponge included.
But better the lead singer—the de facto face of the group—than, say, the drummer, who’s generally a half a rung above the guitar tech on band masthead. And, like some other ‘90s bands, Sponge hasn’t rested on the laurels of their biggest hits, “Plowed” and “Molly.” Three years ago the quintet released its seventh studio album, Stop the Bleeding, and, according to singer Vinnie Dombroski, they’re “talking about doing another one.”
“People are interested to hear what [new stuff] we’re doing, without a doubt. They’ll sit there and patiently listen and then we’ll go play ‘Plowed.’”
“We certainly love to play new stuff,” Dombroski says. “I think people wonder when we come in to play a gig, are we gonna play the hits. Some bands just don’t wanna play the older songs or songs that people remember. People are interested to hear what [new stuff] we’re doing, without a doubt. They’ll sit there and patiently listen and then we’ll go play ‘Plowed.’”
Sponge celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, although it’s only Dombroski who’s left from their genesis. He remembers the good—opening for KISS at their first reunion show at Detroit’s Tiger Stadium, being part of 1995’s Lollapalooza and selling out New York’s now defunct Roseland Ballroom. “There’s been so many high points,” he says.
At the same time, he says, he remembers the bad: “Some of those times,” he says, “when you’re walking into that bowling alley-slash-nightclub and using a dressing room that’s some kind of small office that’s just completely smashed up and gutted. And the shows are not so well attended, but you keep on plodding on, making music.”
Sponge will tour this summer, likely with at least one other ‘90s act (Lit is a possibility).
“I look at the songs the same way,” Dombroski says. “It always seems contemporary to me. It always seems relevant to me. But from the outside eyes that’s a whole different story. It really is.”