Particle (band)

Particle (band)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Particle
Landscape = yes
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Los Angeles, California, USA
Genre = Rock
Progressive rock
Jam band
Years_active = 2000 - Present
Label =
Associated_acts =
Current_members = Eric Gould
Darren Pujalet
Steve Molitz
Past_members = Dave Simmons (deceased)
Charlie Hitchcock
Scott Metzger
Ben Combe

Particle is a jam band formed in Los Angeles in 2000. The original members were Dave Simmons (guitar), Steve Molitz (keyboard), Eric Gould (bass), and Darren Pujalet (drums). Simmons died shortly after the formation of the band due to a sudden illness. Guitarist Charlie Hitchcock joined shortly thereafter. Along with The Disco Biscuits and Sound Tribe Sector 9, the group was among the first to blend rock, jazz, funk, and electronica into the milieu of what has been dubbed "livetronica" (a subgenre of the jam band movement where live bands blend the structures of DJ-produced sequenced electronic music into a more traditional live band setting). Prior to 2006, the band's repertoire consisted entirely of instrumental material.

The group made a name for itself and built an enthusiastic fan base, known as Particle People, by performing energetic late-night sets at festivals such as Bonnaroo. Reliance on word of mouth from fans, rather than advertising, allowed this group to sell out venues such as the Bowery Ballroom in New York City before they finally released their much anticipated first album, "Launchpad", in early 2004. In April and May 2005 the group toured with former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart as Hydra; the tour received mixed reviews from many Deadheads who were unaccustomed to Particle's intense, electronic-based approach. Bassist Phil Lesh, also of the Grateful Dead, sat in with the band that summer.

Following their performance on the Xingolati Cruise in late 2005 the band dismissed Hitchcock from the group. This was a source of controversy in the months that followed, because the bands website stated that the departure was a mutual decision. Hitchcock, however, vehemently disagreed and went public by stating that he was summarily fired and was never able to overcome a "hired hand" stigma from the other bandmembers despite joining a mere six performances after the group's formation.

Replacing Hitchcock were Ben Combe and Scott Metzger on guitars and vocals. Their first performance with the group in February 2006 was recorded, filmed, and released as "Transformations: Live for the People" that July. Featuring guest appearances by experimental rap duo Blackalicious, Robby Krieger of The Doors, guitar hero Joe Satriani, and DJ Logic, the album showcased the band exploring vocal-based music as well as incorporating more overt rock and hip-hop influences.

In late July 2006 Scott Metzger had to leave Particle due to a family emergency that required his long-term attention.

In October 2007 Ben Combe announced his departure from Particle. Combe expressed a desire to move in a different musical direction than the rest of the band, and remains on friendly terms. A July 2008 side project, PUJA, fratured Combe and Darren Pujalet of Particle, as well as as well as Melvin Seals of The Jerry Garcia Band and Cristian Basso of Leo Nocentelli and Little Hercules.

As of August 2008, Particle's offical homepage lists Gould, Pujalet, and Molitz as the current members of Particle.



*"Transformations Live"
*"Launchpad" (March 23, 2004 USA)


*"The Track Inside" (February 3 2004 USA)
*"Launchpad" (November 9, 2004 USA)


* [ Vail Daily] , background
* [ Yahoo! Music] , background

External links

* [ Official Site]
* [ Particle Artist Page on Yahoo! Launch]
* [ Particle on Myspace]
* [ Unoffical fan page on Myspace]
* [ Earl Gardner's Photo Archive of the band]
* [ Band Photography by Valerie Levinsohn(Expand Your Element)]
* [ Live performance photos] : Bumbershoot, Seattle 04 Sep 06
* [ Charlie Hitchcock Returns] - KyndMusic June 2006
* [ Particle collection] at the Internet Archive's live music archive

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