Why is it such a big deal that the Toadies are back? The band rose to fame in the 90â€™s when their debut album, Rubberneck, went platinum on the strength of two smash singles â€œPossum Kingdomâ€ and â€œTyler.â€ It then took a long seven years for their follow up album, Hell Below/Stars Above to be released. Shortly thereafter, bassist Lisa Umbarger quit the band. The remaining members played a few farewell shows, before going their separate ways. Vocalist Vaden Todd Lewis started a new band, The Burden Brothers, drummer Mark Reznicek began playing with Eleven Hundred Springs and guitarist Clark Vogeler moved to LA to start a career in film.
It wasnâ€™t until 2005 that the band got together again for a one off show on St Patrick’s Day in Dallas. In 2006, they reunited once more for a string of sold out shows in Dallas, Austin and Houston. Vogeler says, â€œThe fan response really surprised us all. I had no idea that people would show up in the numbers that they did. Clearly, people still wanna see a Toadies show.â€ Lewis adds â€œ After the first show, we started getting more offers for the Toads. I like to work. A lot. So we did a few more shows during my time off from the Burden Brothers. They turned out to be a gas. The stars have lined up for a few more shows now.â€ â€œExpect lots of rock. And maybe even new Toadies releases in the future. Whether that involves putting out some unreleased archival stuff, or even recording new material… who knows?â€ says Reznicek.
Letâ€™s face it; the music industry isn’t the same as it was 10-15 years ago. They just don’t make ’em like they used to. Remember when the rock/alternative scene was good? It was a long time ago, I know. Bands don’t sound like The Toadies, or The Pixies, or Nirvana, or the old Pearl Jam (before becoming political activists) anymore. Now we have to live with, and listen to generic crap rock, nu metal & American Idol rejects. Music needs redemption, dammit.
Vogeler says, â€œI’ve realized that trends in popular music come and go, but hardcore fans of a band stick around for the long run. The Hell Below era reminds me of what a struggle it can be for a band who just wants to record albums and tour. These days the band gives me a sense of optimism that perhaps we can play music on our terms.â€
What better reason for the Toadies to pick up their guitars and re-tune the strings?
The line-up for the Toadies’ December shows will include original members Vaden Todd Lewis (guitar, vocals), drummer Mark Reznicek, Clark Vogeler, the guitarist on the band’s Hell Below/Stars Above record, and Mark Hughes (bass) who played the last several Toadies shows after the departure of Lisa Umbarger.
Also, check out the new Toadies youtube channel and myspace video page. And be on the lookout for new merch online January 1, 2008.
12/27 Shreveport, LA – The Warehouse
12/28 New Orleans, LA – Tipitina’s