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Not your typical jam band (they have just as many disco and electronica influences as anything else), Particle started in 2000 in Los Angeles with keyboardist Steve Molitz, drummer Darren Pujalet, bassist Eric Gould, and guitarist Dave Simmons. Tragically, Simmons died just two months after the band started, but Particle found his replacement in Charlie Hitchcock. Gaining fans from the pure energy of their live show, Particle released their debut album, Launchpad, in 2004. The next year Hitchcock left the band, and Scott Metzger and Ben Combe took his place on guitar, also bringing in vocals -- a new addition for the group. Particle celebrated their first-ever performance with the new lineup by recording it and releasing its highlights (along with pieces from another show) as Transformations Live for the People in 2006. ~ Marisa Brown