What Ever Became of the Bands on ‘Bands on the Run’?
Anyone remember the reality show “Bands on the Run,” the VH1 show that pitted four unsigned bands against each other in a quest for the almighty major label record deal? The show lasted only a single season, but was a favorite here at YuppiePunk World HQ. And while it may not have attracted the sizeable audience it deserved, it did manage to snag itself an Emmy nomination, so at least we weren’t alone in our admiration of the show. But have you ever wondered what became of the bands featured on the show? Wait, don’t answer that.
Denton, Texas-based alt rock band Flickerstick won the whole shebang and eventually snagged a deal with Epic records. Their debut album, “Welcoming Home the Astronauts” was released in November of 2001 to modest acclaim, but despite debuting on the Billboard Heatseekers chart at number 2, the album quickly disappeared from the charts. The band was released from their contract with Epic the following year. Flickerstick released a follow-up album in 2004 on hip Dallas indie Idol Records, and the band are still slogging it out on tour across the country. For the latest on the band, check out their website.
Harlow were the show’s runners up. They were an all-girl hard rock band from Los Angeles. Their singer, Amanda Rootes, was a member of a British band called Fluffy, who in the mid-90s were a semi-big deal, releasing a record on Capitol and touring with Marilyn Manson and the Foo Fighters. But despite the exposure the band gained from being on the show, they appear to be inactive these days. Their website reports that they made a record with ex-Germs / ex-Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear, though what became of that record we’re not exactly sure. Both Amanda and Chimene have frequently-updated blogs however, and you can sample some of the band’s old tunes here: “Mike Hunt” “Static Cling“
Soulcracker sounded like every other generic mid-90s radio-friendly rock band: exceptionally boring. They also had the biggest egos of all the bands on the show. This, of course, made them the show’s villains, but also terribly interesting to watch. The band is now defunct, but some of the members have resurfaced in the we’re-so-fucking-ironic-it-hurts Van Stone. Others formed Safety in 2003, and they sound like this.
The Josh Dodes Band were led by Josh Dodes (duh!), pianist extraordinaire, and the group were a sort of poor man’s Dave Matthews Band. They were way too nice for a rock & roll show like “Bands on the Run,” and way too bland to compete against the much louder bands featured on the show. The exposure helped the band land high-profile supporting gigs with acts like Avril Lavigne, Duncan Sheik and Pat Benatar, but the band wasn’t long for this world. Leader Josh Dodes has remained active in the music scene however, and is currently a member of Toby Lightman’s band. Lightman is a singer/songwriter signed to Atlantic who is currently doing a run of dates with James Blunt, Rob Thomas and Jewel. And no ladies, Dodes is not single. And yes, he is in fact, according to his bio, BBC (bald by choice).
For all you fans of the show, there may still be hope. Reality Blurred reported in March that VH1 is in production on a second season of the show, this time featuring more established acts like Enuff Z’Nuff and Bow Wow Wow. An earlier report also named Faster Pussycat as possible participants. Either option would be fantastic, and we’ll keep our collective fingers crossed that the network will make the right decision and decide to air this forgotten-about gem.
Update: Members of Soulcracker email YuppiePunk World HQ:
Date: Oct 29, 2006 10:58 AM
Subject: where is soulcracker?
wow you really ARE a punk. you should check out MY new band. www.ragsy.net www.myspace.com/ragsy
love and kisses,
sutton of the exceptionally boring soulcracker.