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Cartel is a five-member Americanmarker alternative rock band from Conyers, Georgiamarker that formed in 2003. The band is best known for their track "Honestly", from their 2005 album Chroma, and for their appearance on MTV's Band in a Bubble.

The current members of the band include vocalist/guitarist Will Pugh, lead guitarist Joseph Pepper, guitarist Nic Hudson, bassist Jeff Lett, and drummer Kevin Sanders. Their third album, Cycles, was released on October 20, 2009.


Early years, Chroma (2005)

The five band members of Cartel grew up in Rockdale County, Georgiamarker, and Cartel was formed in college while they were attending Georgia State Universitymarker. Eventually the band got signed to The Militia Group an independent record company in Long Beach, California, releasing their EP The Ransom. It was around this time that personal differences between Andy Lee and the rest of the band came to a head, and he was replaced as guitarist by band friend Nic Hudson. With their new lineup, the band released their first full length album, Chroma, in 2005.

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 in late 2006 till early 2007 they began touring as support for New Found Glory with The Early November and Hit The Lights. After some local shows, they kicked off a headlining tour featuring bands Cobra Starship, Boys Like Girls, Quietdrive, New Atlantic and Permanent ME. On June 8, 2006, Ryan Roberts, the band's bass player, decided to leave the band, though the band said it was an "amicable" breakup. An old friend of the band, Jeff Lett, joined as a replacement for Roberts.

The band continued, re-releasing their debut album Chroma under Epic Records, which is packaged with a live EP, Live Dudes.

Cartel (2007)

The second album, self-titled, was recorded and produced all in an MTV experiment called Band in a Bubble and was sponsored by Dr. Pepper. The band had to complete a full length album all inside a building shaped as a bubble in twenty days, all while being watched by their fans 24/7 using twenty-three web cams; Dr. Pepper selected twenty-three cameras to coincide with its promotion of twenty-three flavors in its soft drink. The Band in a Bubble experiment was also a four part mini-series on MTV. They entered the bubble on May 24, 2007 and left twenty days later on June 12, 2007. Upon “breaking out” of the bubble the band had to put on a live concert featuring many of their new songs. The same day they “broke out” the single “Lose It” was released on iTunes and Napster.

Cycles (2008-2009)

Cartel announced that they would be working on a new album during the summer of 2008 with Wind-up Records rather than Epic Records. The band also mentioned “I think we've written or entertained the idea of about 30 songs at this point”, and of those thirty songs "The Perfect Mistake" is confirmed to be on the album. Will Pugh said in an interview the third album would be coming out in the spring or summer of 2009. In May 2009, the band stated that they were in the writing and recording stage, and that fans could expect an album in early fall. On July 8, the band announced that the album would be called Cycles. The album's first single is "Let's Go", which was released digitally on July 28, 2009.

On August 25, 2009 the band announced the track listing for the album; Cycles, which was released on October 20, 2009 through Wind-Up Records. On September 6, "The Perfect Mistake" was released for digital download. The album's pre-order on iTunes also included a special, bonus song other wise unavailable titled "In No Hurry."



  • Ryan Roberts – Bass (2003-2006)
  • Andy Lee – Guitar (2003-2004)

Will Pugh

Will Pugh (born May 4, 1984 in Conyersmarker, Georgiamarker) is the lead singer of the band. Pugh met the other four members of Cartel as a student at Heritage High School.After graduating from Heritage, Pugh spent a year at Georgia State Universitymarker in Atlanta, then transferred to the University of Georgiamarker in Athens for his sophomore year of college. He left UGA after the 2003-04 school year to record and promote his band's first full-length album, Chroma. Drummer Kevin Sanders and guitarist Nic Hudson had been friends since 3rd grade, but it was not until the high school years when Pugh, Hudson, and Sanders teamed with guitarist Joseph Pepper to form the original core of Cartel. In 2008, he married longtime girlfriend, Caitlin. An avid golfer, Pugh plays when he has a free moment with bandmates Kevin Sanders and Nic Hudson, and also follows the career of professional golfer Tiger Woods.





Non-album tracks

External links


  1. Billboard profile for "Honestly"
  2. Maholo profile for Cartel
  3. New Music Reviews page for Cycles
  5. iLike page for The Ransom EP
  6. SPIN review for Chroma
  7. Yahoo! Music band bio for Cartel
  8. Who's Next? winner page for March 2006
  9. Ticketing page for New Found Glory
  11. 100XR Cartel Bio
  12.,0,7380682.story Baltimore Sun interview with Will Pugh
  13. Discogs page/review for Live Dudes
  14. MTV's Band in a Bubble
  15. Billboard article on Cartel's "Band in a Bubble"
  16. Napster page for Lose It
  17. Melodic news item for Cycles
  18. Imeem profile for Cartel
  19. All Around Philly entry for Cycles
  20. Let's Go Amazon page
  21. Melodic news article for Cartel joining Wind-Up Records
  22. Cartel MySpace blog release for The Perfect Mistake digital download
  24. Alternate Press interview with Will Pugh
  25. Alt Press "Ready to Pop" interview with Cartel
  26. Student Entertainment Events
  27. Belfiore Bridal company blog for Will Pugh/Caitlin Walther
  28. AOL Teens Interview with Cartel
  29. Mammoth Press Interview with Cartel

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