March (1): Toad The Wet Sprocket - New Constellation  Mar 5, 2020 16:14:48 GMT
Post by Slinger on Mar 5, 2020 16:14:48 GMT
|Rex Stardust, lead electric triangle with Toad the Wet Sprocket, has had to have an elbow removed following their recent successful worldwide tour of Finland. Flamboyant ambidextrous Rex apparently fell off the back of a motorcycle. "Fell off the back of a motorcyclist, most likely," quipped ace drummer Jumbo McClooney upon hearing of the accident. Plans are now afoot for a major tour of Iceland.|
As their first gig approached, the band still had not chosen a name. The members facetiously adopted "Toad the Wet Sprocket" after a Monty Python sketch because they thought it would be "hilarious." Vocalist Glen Phillips later called it "a joke that went on too long" and, according to their website, "it was probably meant to be temporary at the time." The name had been used once before, by a short-lived British blues band of the late 1970s that had appeared on the 1980 Metal for Muthas compilation, although the earlier band had long since split up when Philips and company formed their band.
Toad the Wet Sprocket was formed in 1986, with the members having known one another from San Marcos High School just outside Santa Barbara, California. Singer/songwriter and guitarist Glen Phillips was only 15, guitarist Todd Nichols and drummer Randy Guss were 19 (the other drummer, Steve Brown, was part of the band before it was truly formed) and bassist Dean Dinning was 20. The band's first public appearance was at an open-mic talent contest in September 1986. The band did not win.
Toad the Wet Sprocket's first album was released in 1989. Bread & Circus was self-financed through their label, Abe's Records. The album spawned the singles "Way Away" and "One Little Girl," which made the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart but received other little attention.
On March 22, 2013, it was announced via Toad the Wet Sprocket's Facebook page that recording of the new album had been completed. The album was produced and mixed by Mikal Blue at Revolver Studios in Thousand Oaks, California. On June 5, 2013, the band announced the first new single in 16 years on Rolling Stone's website titled "New Constellation". An album of the same name was released on the band's own Abe's Records on October 15, 2013. The band marketed the new album via the crowdsourcing website Kickstarter. The band initially set a fundraising goal of $50,000, expecting it to take about two months to raise that amount. Instead, fans contributed more than $50,000 in less than 20 hours. When the Kickstarter campaign finally came to a close, they raised a total of $264,762.
In 2014, Toad the Wet Sprocket resumed touring and opened a number of shows for Counting Crows. They showcased some of the new material from New Constellation, the Kickstarter-funded album, including "California Wasted" and the album's title track while playing a number of their earlier hits. During summer 2015, the band went on tour with fellow '90s acts Smash Mouth and Tonic. The band released an EP called Architect of the Ruin on June 16, 2015
In 2018, Toad the Wet Sprocket announced that they had reissued their albums fear and Dulcinea on a deluxe remastered vinyl LP available through their online store. The same year, they also released a limited deluxe 5-LP box set of coloured vinyl for their albums fear, Dulcinea and Acoustic Dance Party.
Eric Idle, the write and original performer of the "Toad The Wet Sprocket" sketch reflected on the band's name in a 1999 performance:
I once wrote a sketch about rock musicians, and I was trying to think of a name that would be so silly nobody would ever use it, or dream it could ever be used. So I wrote the words "Toad the Wet Sprocket." And a few years later, I was driving along the freeway in LA, and a song came on the radio, and the DJ said, "that was by Toad the Wet Sprocket," and I nearly drove off the freeway.
Toad The Wet Sprocket were never going to set the world on fire, but I've managed to accumulate three of their albums, this one from 2013, along with Bread and Circus, and Pale, from '89 and '90 respectively. They're all good, jangly, guitar-based power-pop. It's easy to see why they were paired with Counting Crows when they started touring again.