Rock News

Original Sponge guitarist Mike Cross has died

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Mike Cross (second from left) with Sponge, c. 1996; Bob Berg/Getty Images

Mike Cross, the original guitarist for the ’90s alt-rock outfit Sponge, has died.

“It is with heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of Mike Cross,” reads a post on the Sponge Facebook page. “One of the musical architects and founding member of Sponge. His influence and talent will be missed.”

Cross was 57, according to Blabbermouth. The cause of death was not announced.

Cross co-founded Sponge in 1992 alongside his brother Tim Cross and vocalist Vinnie Dombroski after the three had played together in the Detroit band Loudhouse. Sponge released their debut album, Rotting Piñata, in 1994, which spawned rock and alternative radio hits in “Plowed” and “Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain).”

Sponge released two more albums, 1996’s Wax Ecstatic and 1999’s New Pop Sunday, before the Cross brothers left the group in 2000. The band has since released six more albums, with Dombroski as the sole remaining original member.

Cross, meanwhile, had recently started a new project called MC Roads. The band’s debut EP, No Nostalgia, was released just last September.

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