Sponge Talks 25th Anniversary, Getting Love From Howard Stern, and Thanks Fans for Supporting "Rotting Piñata"
Detroit’s Sponge makes their way to Port Chester on Friday, June 28 to honor the 25th anniversary of their iconic album, Rotting Piñata, which features hits like “Plowed,” “Molly (16 Candles)” and “Wax Ecstatic (To Sell Angelina).” After its release, the album skyrocketed to the top of the charts, becoming one of the most loved albums of the mid-1990s. Together with 107.1 The Peak, Garcia's is psyched to honor the band and the music with an intimate show! Singer Vinnie Dombroski spoke with us in an exclusive interview about the highly-anticipated celebration!
1. “Rotting Piñata” was released in 1994, marking Sponge’s first album release and leading you to where you are today. 25 years later, what has changed and what has stayed the same for Sponge? After all these years, what keeps you inspired and what keeps you doing what you do?
The business of music has changed. The old model of major labels, MTV, and alt radio doesn’t exist. Getting in the van and playing the shows hasn’t. We’re operating the way we used to when we started by getting into the studio on our own time and driving around the country. No manager, no business manager, no label. However, the fans are still with us. They’re always one Instagram away.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1EPARDdTbw
2. Listeners of “The Howard Stern Show” on Sirius XM are well aware of Stern's love for your rock hit, “Plowed." Just a few months ago you were invited to perform on his show in the studio. Perfect timing to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Rotting Piñata”! How did fans react to that recent performance on Stern? What has been your relationship with the legendary radio personality over the years?
Our old fans were over the top about the Stern visit. I think we made some new fans too! Howard is such a groundbreaker at radio and to have him speak about Plowed is mind boggling. For the last couple of years Howard’s producer Steve Brandano has been reaching out to me about coming on the show. Schedule wise we could never work it out. Finally we said let’s just hop in the van and go. They treated us like kings. Production was top notch and happy hour after the show was superb!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L65NNh6vJ_Q
3. “Rotting Piñata” was the first of eight studio albums. How has it played into the creation of your latest music? Have you taken inspiration from it? Are their concepts that you wanted to or didn’t want to return to later in your career? How has your writing process changed since its release?
With the most recent album The Beer Sessions, we came full circle right back to the old style Sponge which was very raw and not over thought. By the 3rd Sponge album we had gotten away from the immediacy of the process by trading it in for a more thought out style which proved to be less fruitful. The Beer Session album also featured videos we made in studio with our favorite Michigan brewers. AWESOME!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_834Xzz7eQ
4. “Rotting Piñata” proved to be a pivotal album by marking the beginning of your career as well as producing the hit singles, “Plowed” and “Molly.” How has the message behind the songs from the album changed in your eyes from the year it was released to 25 years later? Are there songs that no longer resonate with where the band is now?
Yes those songs resonate more than ever. Although most of the album is pretty dark and that’s a tough place to be for too long, we never write set lists for the shows. However no matter where we are we still get requests for Molly, Raining in my House, Drowning, Miles, Fields, Giants, and of course, Plowed.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf4YYOc72wQ
5. Fans of Sponge have been rocking out to “Rotting Piñata” for 25 years now. What would you like to say to the fans that have been listening and supporting you for all of these years?
We’re always thrilled to see the fans come out after all these years as it keeps us on our toes to want to represent the music the best we can every night. And for the fact we’re not as pretty as we used to be, we love them even more for coming out to the shows!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Mvh5c9A8rg