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Supernova
Origin Costa Mesa, California
United States
Genres Punk rock
Pop punk
Geek rock
Years active 1989–present
Labels Amphetamine Reptile Records
Sympathy for the Record Industry
Associated acts Servotron
Man or Astro-man?
The Aquabats
Website Official website
Members
Art Mitchell
Dave "Nova" Collins
Courtney "Chainsaw" Pollock
Former members
Hayden "Hank" Thais (1989-1994)
Jodey Lawrence (1994-2008)

Supernova is an American pop punk band formed in 1989 in Costa Mesa, California. They've released three full-length albums, various singles and EPs, were part of the original Warped Tour in 1995 and are known for their song "Chewbacca", which was featured on the soundtrack to Kevin Smith's 1994 independent film Clerks.

Contents

Career

Supernova formed in 1987 by drummer Dave Collins, bassist Art Mitchell, and guitarist Hayden Thais. The band gained a following from their energetic and often wacky live performances, but it wasn't until 1992 that the band started releasing 7" singles on various indie labels, some of which went on to be major hits on college radio and with the indie music scene.

Supernova got significant exposure in 1994 when their song "Chewbacca" was featured in the smash hit indie movie Clerks. Later that year, however, Thais left the group, later to join two other sci-fi punk bands, Servotron and Man or Astro-Man?. He was replaced by Jodey Lawrence.

1996 saw the release of Supernova's first album, Ages 3 & Up, released on Amphetamine Reptile Records. A single, "Vitamins", was released, and received radio airplay. In conjunction with the album, Supernova produced a 25-minute television pilot starring themselves entitled Last In Space: A Show for Kids?, an adult-oriented children's show chronicling their adventures within their 'space van', complete with musical numbers. The show wasn't picked up, but copies were distributed on VHS and are still being sold at shows.

1998 saw the release of Supernova's second album Rox, which was followed by the 2001 compilation album Pop as a Weapon, which collected tracks from the band's earlier years that, up until then, had only been available on vinyl.

Since its inception in 1989, Supernova has toured with a variety of well-known acts, including The Buzzcocks, Dick Dale, The Presidents of the United States of America, The Supersuckers, The Aquabats, Reel Big Fish, and Boss Hog. The band also has been a part of the 1999 Warped Tour and the 2006 Bamboozle festival.

In 2003, OC Weekly named them #86 in their "129 Greatest OC Bands Ever" article. [1]

In 2007, the band experienced a resurgence in popularity when they appeared on the children's television show Yo Gabba Gabba!, the band playing their song "Up & Down" and Lawrence being featured in a segment playing guitar alongside The Aquabats' Eagle "Bones" Falconhawk. The band released a 7" single, "¡Diga Queso!", their first release in six years, and played the Warped Tour for their third time.

Jodey Lawrence left the band in August 2008. Courtney Pollock, formerly of The Aquabats, was recruited as a temporary replacement, but following his debut with the band, it was announced that Pollock would become a permanent member.

Throughout 2007, Supernova was working on a new album and wrote a number of new songs, with titles such as "Poodle" and "Whiffle Bat". Following Lawrence's departure, the band is planning on re-writing the album with Pollock.

Band Mythology

Supernova in spaceman regalia.

Not unlike later related bands Servotron, Man or Astro-Man?, The Phenomenauts, and the Aquabats Supernova is distinctive for its science-fiction inspired theatrics, including a (supposedly) fictitious backstory.

The origin of Supernova begins on the peaceful planet of Cynot 3, a distant planet inhabited by kind folk who spend their days relaxing and searching for aluminum foil. One day in 1989, Cynot 3's arch-nemeses, The Smarmies (creatures bent on destroying the world with good will & love), blow up the planet in a supernova, forcing the inhabitants to flee. Three native Cynotians, Art, Jo, and Dave, escape just in time in their rock n' roll-fueled spaceship and crash-land in Costa Mesa, California, where they decide to start their very own rock band.

At live shows, the band dresses in silver jumpsuits and custom-made space helmets. Tin foil remains a major part of the Supernova experience: fans are encouraged to wear foil accessories (most venues offer ticket discounts for those who do) and, at the insistence of the band, try to pelt the members in the face with foil balls.

Art's claim is that he has never been hit in the face ever even though he has been hit in what most would consider his face. When asked, Art explained his face is "anywhere I don't get hit." Dave and Jodey make no such claim.

"Rock Star" Dispute

In mid-2006, CBS launched the second season of their hit reality television show Rock Star, in which aspiring singers compete to become the lead singer of a featured band. The band created for the season, which included musicians Tommy Lee, Jason Newsted, and Gilby Clark, was to be named "Supernova".

On 27 June 2006, the former bandmembers of the Orange County Supernova band filed a lawsuit against CBS, Mark Burnett, and Rockstar Entertainment seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as trademark protection of the "Supernova" name and the destruction of all Rock Star materials bearing the name "Supernova". One of the primary pieces of evidence was a MySpace message from Rock Star producer Butch Walker in which he notes that the defendants had been informed of the existence of a prior band of the same name, but decided to proceed anyway.[1]

The defendants did not believe that the plaintiffs had exclusive and enforceable trademark rights to the band name "Supernova" for a number of reasons, including that the Orange County Supernova band had not performed for years, that they were not the only band who used the name "Supernova", and that their trademark rights had never been very strong.

On September 12, 2006, the judge ruled in favor of the original Supernova, granting their request for a preliminary injunction. The injunction kept the producers and musicians of Rock Star from performing, recording, or selling merchandise under the name "Supernova" pending the outcome of the lawsuit. As a result, the CBS band was simply renamed "Rock Star Supernova". The lawsuit was dropped soon thereafter.

Discography

Supernova performing live at The Glass House Record Store in Pomona, California.
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Albums

EPs

  • More Songs About Hair (1993, Oddessy Records)
  • Live at the Lava Room (1997, What Else Records)

Singles

Non-album tracks/compilations

  • "Chewbacca", Clerks: Music from the Motion Picture (1993, Sony Records)
  • "Math", AmRep Motors 1995 Models (1995, Amphetamine Reptile Records)
  • "Math", Tromeo and Juliet (Soundtrack) (1996, Oglio Records)
  • "Vitamins", Dr Marten's Capitol Records Music Sampler (1996, Capitol Records)
  • "Calling Hong Kong" Super Mixer: A Goldenrod Compilation (1996, Goldenrod Records)
  • "Gates of Steel", We Are Not Devo (1997, Glue Factory Records)
  • "Vitamins", AmRep Equipped (1997, Amphetamine Reptile Records)
  • "Sugar Coated Stucco", Dope-Guns-'N-Fucking in the Streets (1997, Amphetamine Reptile Records)

References

  1. ^ "Supernova Sue 'Rock Star: Supernova' Producers, Bandmembers", Chris Harris, MTV News, posted July 11, 2006, accessed July 18, 2006.

External links


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