Photo Credit (Above): Adrian Gomez
Will Pugh – lead vocals, bass guitar
Joseph Pepper – lead guitar
Nic Hudson – guitar
Kevin Sanders– drums
Early years, Chroma (2005)
The members of Cartel grew up in Rockdale County, Georgia, and Cartel was formed in late 2003 while they were attending Georgia State University. The band built a strong fan base and eventually was signed to The Militia Group an independent record company in Long Beach, California, releasing their EP The Ransom. The band released their first full-length album, Chroma, in September 2005. The pop punk album was powered by the melodic hits of “Say Anything (Else)” and “Honestly”.
The band grew in popularity putting them on Alternative Press’s 2005 list for “Bands You Need to Know”. They were also named Yahoo! Music’s winner in the March 2006 “Who’s Next” competition. In April 2006 Cartel signed with Epic Records, then from late 2006 until early 2007 they acted as touring support for New Found Glory with The Early November and Hit The Lights. Progressing from local shows, they kicked off a headlining tour featuring bands Cobra Starship, Boys Like Girls, Quietdrive, New Atlantic and Permanent Me.
The band continued, re-releasing their debut album Chroma under Epic Records. The new release is packaged with a live EP Live Dudes. After the re-release, “Say Anything (Else)” was featured in Madden 07 and their single “Honestly” became a hit when it was played on New York City’s hit music station, Z100. It was also featured in the 2006 film John Tucker Must Die.
The second, self-titled album, was recorded and produced all in an MTV experiment called Band in a Bubble that was sponsored by Dr. Pepper. The band had twenty days to write and produce a full-length album while inside a bubble-shaped construction. The experiment was viewable 24/7 by fans through twenty-three web cams sponsored by Dr. Pepper. The Band in a Bubble experiment was also a four-part mini-series on MTV. Cartel entered the bubble on May 24, 2007 and left twenty days later on June 12, 2007. Upon “breaking out” of the bubble the band put on a live concert featuring many of the new songs that had been recorded in the bubble. The complete album was released in August.
Cartel announced that they would be working on a new album during the summer of 2008. The group also announced their transition to Wind-up Records from their previous label Epic Records. The album saw the band continue their use of tight hooks and bass heavy tracks with “The Perfect Mistake”, “Retrograde” and “Cycles.” Their album Cycles was officially released on October 20, 2009. Their single “The Perfect Mistake” was featured in the pilot episode of The CW series Hellcats.
Following the release of Cycles, the band supported All Time Low, Boys Like Girls, Third Eye Blind, and LMFAO for part of The Bamboozle Roadshow 2010, along with numerous other supporting acts, including 3OH!3, Good Charlotte, Forever The Sickest Kids, and Simple Plan.
Collider and Chroma 10 Years Tour (2012-present)
On March 26, 2013, the band released their newest album titled Collider. The band’s premier album, Chroma, has sold over 250,000 copies since its release. And to celebrate this mega release, Cartel recently announced their 10 Year Anniversary Chroma tour with Hit The Lights (East Coast only), TEAM*, and Driver Friendly as support. The tour officially kicked off April 9th. In addition, the band announced their long-awaited band-approved edition of Chroma on vinyl via Field Day Records.
Copyright – Wikipedia (.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartel)