When Monty Python’s Eric Idle created the fictional band “Toad the Wet Sprocket” for the program “Rutland Weekend Television” in 1975, he never dreamed that anyone would actually use such a silly name. Fast forward to 1986, when four California teens adopted the moniker as a joke for their first gig at a Goleta, CA watering hole called The Shack.
Against all odds, the joke became permanent. Toad the Wet Sprocket has been touring ever since with all four original members: lead singer Glen Phillips, guitarist Todd Nichols, bassist Dean Dinning, and drummer Randy Guss. From 1989-1998, they made 5 studio albums, which combined, sold over four million copies, had five major radio hits, and won over audiences across North America and Europe.
After breaking up in 1998, Toad would get together sporadically to play shows on a casual basis, but their hardcore fans never gave up hope for a new album. After successful tours in 2006-2010, the band finally decided to put the last piece of the puzzle in place, and committed to working together on new music. They also decided to update their classic catalog, and created a new Greatest Hits album All You Want, which came out in 2011.
Toad the Wet Sprocket fans can look forward to a new release and extensive tour in 2013-14.
We got the chance to speak with Toad the Wet Sprocket about their upcoming show and this is what they had to say…
Toad the Wet Sprocket has reunited and has a new album coming out, what and who encouraged you guys to get back together?
We put all this work into this thing way back when and a lot of people like it. Whenever I play a solo show people come up to me after it and let me know they love that we got back together. A couple years ago we got back together and it just seemed like a band again. It was fun and it seemed like everyone had put the history behind them and were able to enjoy it and be grateful to be there. Once we were able to do that it was simple to make a record. It was a natural progression; we broke up for whatever reasons…everybody always says creative differences.
Can you tell us anything about the new album? Do you have a date that it’s going to be released? Is it a lot different from your other albums?
Well, we’re starting a kick-starter campaign on June 1st just to help it get released. It’s already recorded and we’re mastering it this Friday but getting a record out is a whole other thing. We are kick starting it at the top of August but I think people will have it digitally before then. It’s a cool record, it was fun to go in and write songs for Toad. That’s one thing I’ve never done before. When we were a band before I didn’t have any solo shows so everything I wrote was for the Toad world so it was fun to go back and be in a rock band. There are 3 singers and 2 guitars, trying to write stuff that would be fun to play live with a little more energy and excitement. It was cool to look at Toad as a project and now our only outlet.
What are you most looking forward to about touring together again?
I think playing the new songs is the best thing for me. We’ve added a couple new songs in the past few years but since there’s been no new record I think we are excited that there is new material to go out there and play and expose people to. Nobody wants to feel that they’re living in the past.
I’m sure you guys have had hundreds of awesome memories together but can you think of one thing as a band that will always be one of your favorite memories like a venue, place, or crowd?
I don’t know. We have played a lot of shows. The moments I look for is when everyone is into it and enjoying themselves. When the crowd is really listening and the band is getting along and on the same page. I just kind of live for the moments on stage where you’re not actually feeling like your doing anything and it’s just the music that’s happening and individuals just kind of disappear.
Are you expecting to see a lot of crazy fans on this tour?
We don’t really have crazy fans; people who have stuck with us are pretty low key. They know we are one of them and I think that means a lot. We were that band they could have been in, we’re not David Bowie, we’re not a rock and roll god from another planet, we’re just normal.
Would you say that’s how you connect with a crowd by just putting yourself on their level?
Yeah, we’re not artificially inflating ourselves above their level. We’re from the same planet as everybody else and certain groups of people really appreciate that and have been really loyal to us because of it.
Do you guys have any pre-show rituals?
No, the fist pump is about it. We’re kind of minimalists.
Is there anything else that fans can expect from this tour?
New songs are the main part of it. Same old guys, the band is the four of us that have been playing since ’86. It’s an independent record and we wanted to be able to put it out how we wanted to put it out directly to the people who care most about it. So if people could check it out on kick-starter on June 1st we’d really appreciate it.
Don’t forget to enter for the chance to WIN tickets to see them perform Saturday, July 13th at the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater.
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