Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Bob Hamel: Drums, Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) | Matt Johnson: Bass guitar, Drums, Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric), Saxophone | Sutton Althisar: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric), Vocals | A.P. Murray: Bass guitar, Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) | Josh Milo Bonnin: Bass guitar, Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric), Vocals | Beastie Ulery: Vocals | Ramsey Fauset: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) | Alex Tipton: Keyboards

Genre: Blues & Soul, Funk, Reggae & Ska, Rock

RIYL: Sublime, Fishbone, DEVO, Oingo Boingo, 311, My Bloody Valentine, Harlow, Flickerstick, the Josh Dodes Band, Primal Scream, the Church

No shows scheduled | Post a show | View show history

Synoposis

Inception: San Diego, 1993

Influences: The Police, Ween, Jimmy Eat World, Weezer, Kings X, Van Halen, Poncho Sanchez, Green Day, the Ataris, Def Leppard, The Beastie Boys, Kool Keith, the Smiths, Boston, 2 Short, the Vandals, Tenacious D, the Millwaulkees, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Praxis, Warsaw, Honey Bucket,

Background:

San Diego hard-rock quintet Soulcracker was founded in 1993 at Northern Arizona University by Sutton Althisar and Josh Milo Bonnin. The group was filled out by Bob Hamel and bassist Matt Johnson (Wallflowers, Blues Gangsters, Cardiac Kidz). When Bonnin quit, Hamel took up the drumsticks. A.P. Murray joined on bass and guitar, while Beastie Ulery became the lead singer.

Their debut 5.5. was released in 1995, and they relocated to Ocean Beach in San Diego the following year. A live album, Beyond Seven, was released in 1998, followed by Nowhere Fast in 1999. After recording an EP with James Saez of Social Distortion, they spent 2000 and 2001 touring.

On April 2, 2001, VH1 debuted a competitive reality TV show called Bands on the Run. The concept was to have four unsigned bands compete for a prize package that included $150,000 in cash, equipment, a showcase before industry execs, and a professionally produced music video to be aired on VH1. Of the four competing bands was Soulcracker.

Bands on the Run made us more successful,” says drummer Bob Hamel. “We got tons of radio play and played sold-out shows across the country.”

In addition to the national attention Soulcracker enjoyed as a result of being on Bands on the Run, the show also handed Soulcracker one of the most blatant screw-overs in the history of reality TV.

“Because of the business I’m in,” says Hamel, who is a visual-effects producer for the Vampire Diaries, “I periodically run into crew members from Bands on the Run. They always tell me it was fixed.... We lost because we were supposed to lose, and looking back, I feel so good about that.”

In a nutshell, BOTR was a touring competition, during which the four bands would travel from city to city and try to earn money by selling tickets and merchandise. The band with the most money by the end of the 15-week, 11-city tour would win the prize package. The finals came down to Soulcracker and a pretty-boy pop-rock band from Dallas called Flickerstick.

“Flickerstick was a radio-friendly, mainstream rock band,” says Hamel. “But we were all over the place, musically, and cast as the bad guys, which is funny because Bands on the Run was just this game show we were trying to win...we had no idea that anyone could [be made] to look bad or good on a show like this.”

Going into the final episode, Soulcracker was ahead by over $3000. However, the producers arbitrarily added a $5000 purse to the winner of a battle-of-the-bands event, rendering the first 14 weeks of the contest meaningless. In a turn of events that many observers deemed as “highly suspicious,” Flickerstick won the battle, the purse, and, consequently, the contest.

“Whether or not it was fixed,” says Hamel, “the show opened many doors for all of us. We toured the country, made some good money, and got to be rock stars for a year.”

After the TV show, they made one last record, At Last For You, before splitting in 2003. Sutton Althisar formed the band Ragsy. Bob Hamel and latterday guitarist Ramsey Fauset formed Safety. A.P. Murray started writing songs for TV shows and joined Darlings of the Day, while Beastie Ulery began directing short films.

The band reunited briefly in 2010. The original lineup again convened to play Winstons on July 30, 2011, with Matt Johnson (who left the band before the TV competition), Sutton Althisar, Josh Milo Bonnin, Ramsey Fauset, Bob Hamel, A.P. Murray, Alex Tipton, and Beastie Ulery.

Discography

Comments
1

Also, don't forget that VH1 decided that, unlike previously stated, the Battle of the Bands on Bands on The Run would suddenly have "industry people" voting along with the fans. Originally it was just going to be the fans voting, and they threw in the "industry people" to guarantee that Flickerstick would win. If I recall correctly, each fan vote was worth exactly half of an "industry" vote.

We tuned in on the second episode, and I told my wife the exact order the bands would be voted off of the show, it was that fracking obvious.

Good to hear that Soulcracker is still playing, I had thought they broke up. Keep up the good work guys! I've been watching since the time Sutton got buck naked on the stage at the Monte V in Flag. You're still one of my favorite bands.

Dec. 31, 2012

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close