Soulcracker

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Soulcracker's career can be divided into two main phases: before VH1 and after VH1. Before the band's television exposure, the California group wasn't exactly lighting the world on fire, despite more…
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Soulcracker's career can be divided into two main phases: before VH1 and after VH1. Before the band's television exposure, the California group wasn't exactly lighting the world on fire, despite more than half a dozen years of plugging away at the craft of music. When the video network featured the group on its Bands on the Run series during the summer of 2001, interest in Soulcracker increased greatly and life immediately changed for the better. The group's website began to log more than a million visitors monthly. Soulcracker's original five members went on to entertain an audience of 2,000 during the San Diego Music Awards. Subscribers to the band's mailing list number more than 20,000. But Soulcracker's experience with VH1 wasn't a totally upbeat encounter. Even with all the positive effects that resulted from the group's appearance on the reality series, some negativity managed to creep in, as well.

The Bands on the Run competition pitted the San Diego-based group against three others: New York's Josh Dodes Band, the Dallas-based Flickerstick, and Harlow, a fellow California group out of Los Angeles. Up for grabs were prizes that weren't too shabby, including a music video, 50,000 dollars cash, and equipment valued at 100,000 dollars. Soulcracker was the frontrunner throughout most of the series, but, in the end, Flickerstick walked off with the prizes and went on to ink a contract with Epic Records. Controversy surrounded the methods employed by VH1 to tally a winner. In the end, members of second-place Soulcracker remained gentlemen of rock. They were gracious, despite getting trounced and losing their substantial lead in the competition under what some allege were questionable rules. In interviews, the musicians maintained that they were "thankful." The exposure the band received from the program was the kind of publicity you just can't buy.

Soulcracker is since doing okay with its independently released recordings, put out by Large Marge Records. Still, live shows can bring hecklers out of the woodwork, thanks to the VH1 appearance. The band went on to put together a demo of five numbers, working with producer James Saez. Saez has worked with Porno for Pyros, Social Distortion, and Mike Ness. Originally the band included lead vocalists Sutton Althisar and Brian Ulery, aka Beastie; AP Murray on bass and vocals; Bob Hamel on drums and vocals; and Ramsey Fauset on guitar and vocals. In addition to singing, Althisar also plays guitar. The band was established in Arizona in 1994, but settled in San Diego five years later. Ulery left the band in 2001, and Soulcracker down-sized to a four-piece outfit.