5.17.2006

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:

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From: sutton
To: yuppiepunk@gmail.com
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.

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Related posts: A (Not So) Complete History of Band Tattoos | Rock Star Art Review | VH1’s Strange Pixelation Policies | Days of the Who?

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21 comments:

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think I read that the show wasn’t cancelled because of low ratings, but because of how expensive it was to produce. Can’t remember exactly where I saw that though.

  2. mondo retro says:

    thanks for this morning trip down memory lane! awesome post.

    p.s. harlow totally should’ve won.

  3. Casey says:

    I LOVED this show! So glad to hear someone else did. I randomly met Dominic (the former drummer from Flickerstick)at a small bar in Louisiana. I immediately recognized him from the show. He’s now in a new band called Mermaid’s Purse that is actually pretty good. (dumb name though)

  4. Ben says:

    I dont know what you’re talking about, but I loved Soulcracker and the songs they put out. They were the frontrunners to win unil the end, and I could have sworn they were the runners up, not Harlow.

  5. Dazzle says:

    the new season should totally NOT have bands with previous fame. that’s lame.
    ps: but anabel is still way hot

  6. Brian says:

    That show was amazing — easily my all-time favorite reality show. Thanks for the update!

  7. zak says:

    i think soul cracker got 2nd.

  8. Desertphreak says:

    SoulCracker was the runner-up and in my mind, should have won! They had the best energy of all the bands that participated. “Exceptionally Boring” – hardly! Flickerstick was a bunch of Tools and Harlow was nothing but a cat fight in waiting. I saw SoulCracker several times live before the VH1 production and they were a talented band no matter what this writer thinks. I must agree with one point, Sutton does have a bit of an ego! The band has since disbanded and in addition to the two new bands mentioned above, Ragsy is also out there with quite a few of the old SoulCracker members.

  9. smith says:

    Soulcracker was the runner-up, get ur facts right. Also they were the best band and should of won.

  10. Jeff says:

    If you think Soulcracker was the best band then you’re an idiot. That band was horrible.

  11. Sami says:

    The right band won, that’s all that matters.

  12. bran says:

    does anyone know if there is a “bands on the run” dvd series or anything like that? i’m looking for a xmas present for one of filckerstick’s biggest fan…

  13. PJ says:

    This show was pretty cool, though the bands weren’t. I’d say Flickerstick was just as much corporate alt-rock as Soulcracker, and the fact that I have to hear “Beautiful Today” at Buffalo Sabres games pisses me off. None of those bands were exceptionally good and I think putting out a “Where are they now?” version with older formerly established bands is no good.

    They should look for acts that would be willing to struggle and do the work…I can think of several right in my backyard.

  14. Jermaine says:

    Soulcracker was the runner-up. They also toured with The Warped Tour that year.

    Flickerstick didn’t do anything but make a really shitty video on Sony BMG’s dime.

    This blog sucks on all accounts.

  15. Richard says:

    PJ, for one, it’s called “Beautiful.” And why does it piss you off? Because Flickerstick is the best band ever?

  16. phuckmi420 says:

    flickerstick is the best band ever?? wow thats a pretty bold statement there richard. greater then pink floyd, elvis and the beatles???

  17. hellomoto says:

    You guys are all idiots. They should take your computers away.

  18. Suck My Kiss says:

    Great show. Love the loyalty some of these comments shows. Makes me laugh harder than listening to these bands talk about “Merch” sales; the chubby soulcracker dude say “check this out. blah blah blah”; josh dodes wear a logo’d panty on his head (what a musician!); harlow play to a loser in his hotel room; or the completely wasted flickerstick guys try to hold it together to listen to the show’s hosts run down the standings after each week of shows.

  19. New Day Rising says:

    EL DANGEROSO

    LIVES!

  20. Even Dagger says:

    Saw flickerstick the day after the final episode in Providence RI. They were fantastic. By far the best band. None of what I heard from Soulcracker on the show struck me like Flickersticks music did. Corey Kreig show a lot of David Gilmore influence. Too bad they never really took off. Via Con Dios El Dangeroso!

  21. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I loved that show and originally thought that Soulcracker should have won it. I say originally because the summer after the show aired I was lucky enough to see both bands live and while Soulcracker was great, Flickerstick was unbelievable live. I’m not exactly into the ethereal, indie rock stuff that they were doing, but damn did they put on a good show.