The Santa Barbara, CA, alternative rock quartet Sugarcult (singer/guitarist Tim Pagnotta, guitarist Marko DeSantis, bassist Airin Older, and original drummer Ben Davis (who was later replaced by Kenny Livingston) took their name from a moniker that lesbian neighbors who lived next door to the band called themselves. Forming in 1998, the band's first show (a trio at the time) was opening for Superdrag at a local club. It was here that they met DeSantis -- who'd previously played with such bands as the Ataris, Nerf Herder, and Swingin' Utters -- and he soon moved from audience to bandmember. Sugarcult debuted on Ultimatum in 2001 with Start Static and scored hits with the songs "Stuck in America" and "Bouncing Off the Walls." They jumped on the summer's Warped Tour for what should have been two weeks, but fan response was so positive, the band wound up staying for the entire two months. The DVD Action appeared in 2002; Davis exited the group the following year to be replaced by ex-Lefty drummer Kenny Livingston. Jumping to Fearless Records, the slightly darker Palm Trees and Power Lines followed in 2004 and peaked at number one on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart. Sugarcult issued the live CD/DVD Back to the Disaster a year later. The guys continued to hone their chops on the road; they earned a spot as openers for Green Day's American Idiot tour, took top billing on the 2005 Take Action Tour, and hit the main stages of festivals like Warped Tour, Japan's Summer Sonic Festival, and the U.K.'s Glastonbury, Reading, and Leeds festivals. Sugarcult's most focused effort to date, Lights Out, appeared in September 2006 on V2. ~ Greg Prato
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