Thursday, April 19, 2012

Toadies— On The Tour Path

Toadies are kicking off the new year right by announcing plans to release the first of two new EPs as well as a jaunt across the country opening for Social Distortion starting in April. The EP, entitled PLAY.ROCK.MUSIC. to be released May 8th was recorded at The Bubble in Austin and produced by Chris "Frenchie" Smith. The writing of the EP was hot off the heels of last year’s Dia De Los Toadies (The 4th annual!) The festival last year was the most successful yet— two days and the strongest Texas line up they've ever had including The Sword, Black Angels and Ume. The 5th Dia De Los Toadies is slated for Labor Day Weekend later this year. Front man Vaden Todd Lewis on the new songs "It was fun experimenting with some new sounds and variations for this EP. This is some of the strangest and catchiest stuff I've ever written." Guitarist Clark Vogeler elaborates on the EP "I'm anxious for people to hear the new tunes. The new EP definitely still sounds like Toadies, but the way Todd writes and the way we play has continued to evolve.

The lyrics that Todd wrote for this record are some of his best while the overall delivery vocally and musically show more teeth than usual. This is also the first time that we've had Doni Blair play bass on a record and he's just a machine, so I think this record sounds more like a band than the previous couple. He goes on to talk about a collaboration with The Honeybear Horns brass section on the EP” "I love the horns that The Honeybear Horns brought to Rattler's Revival. I was worried that it might sound out-of-step with what we do, but we were all pleased to hear that horns sound right at home in the mix. I can't wait for those guys to join us live at some point." Drummer Mark Reznicek adds "The new stuff might be the most rockin' set since we did Rubberneck." 

"There's a certain uneasiness to the Toadies," says Vaden Todd Lewis, succinctly and accurately describing his band— quite a trick. The Texas band is, at its core, just a raw, commanding rock band. Imagine an ebony sphere with a corona that radiates impossibly darker, and a brilliant circular sliver of light around that. It's nebulous, but strangely distinct— and, shall we say incorrect. Or, as Lewis says, "wrong."

"Things are done a little askew [in the Toadies]," he says, searching for the right words. "There's just something wrong with it that's just really cool...and unique in a slightly uncomfortable way."

This sick, twisted essence was first exemplified on the band's 1994 debut, Rubberneck (Interscope). An intense, swirling vortex of guitar rock built around Lewis's "wrong" songs— like the smash single Possum Kingdom, subject to as much speculation as what's in the Pulp Fiction briefcase, it rocketed to platinum status on the strength of that and two other singles, Tyler and Away. Its success was due to the Toadies' organic sound and all encompassing style.

Upon the EPs release the Toadies will take their show out on the road, hand picked to open for Social Distortion. "The Toadies haven't toured as opener in over 15 years. I couldn't think of a better better band to tour with (short of ZZ Top or AC/DC). I'm looking forward to playing some of these bigger venues we haven't played before and hitting a few cities in Canada that I've never been to. It will be interesting to play 45 minute sets compared to the 90 minutes we usually do. It will be like get in, rock them hard, then get out, all by 10:00!"  —Guitarist Clark Vogeler

With lots of new news to announce, Toadies have had a change of plans regarding their upcoming release PLAY.ROCK.MUSIC, originally slated as an EP release for May. The band will now release a full length with the same title on July 31st via Kirtland Records. The change stemmed from the vibe during the recording session says vocalist Vaden Todd Lewis: "The plan was just to record some demos with (producer) Frenchie Smith. It went so well we decided to compile the songs into an EP. But then we were having such a good time, we decided to keep the ball rolling and make a full-length record. A lot of this material was written on the fly in the studio. It was a very exciting and scary process."