Toad the Wet Sprocket

The fact is, you may know songs from Toad the Wet Sprocket and not even realize it.
“A lot of people don’t put together the band name and the songs,” bassist Dean Dinning recently told the Deseret News. “They’ll be at a show and go, ‘Oh, YOU’RE the guys who play that one.'”
Since their debut album in 1989, the Santa Barbara quartet that took their band name from a Monty Python skit have gone from being college radio darlings to having mainstream success.
After their 1997 release Coil, which included the singles “Come Down” and “Whatever I Fear,” Toad called it quits. Lead singer Glen Phillips dove into his solo career while drummer Randy Guss, guitarist Todd Nichols, and for a brief time Dinning, did their own project, Lapdog.
In 2002 and again in 2006, the four childhood friends got back together for brief Toad reunions which continued on and off for several years, including a couple of tour stops in Utah.
“We started going out a little more every year,” Dinning said.
Then in December of 2010, the band announced on their website that they all considered themselves back in Toad the Wet Sprocket full time.
“We had decided that it was time to get back together as a band again for real,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot of the kinks out the last couple of years. I think we’ve all come to an understanding of what we’ve built and what’s valuable about it. The chemistry of four people playing together. The actual playing of four people who learned how to play with each other. We all can look around on stage and say that person there is a vital building block of this band we created and it wouldn’t be the same without them.”
Toad is already working on new material for a new studio album. In the meantime, they’re touring this summer and will kick off United Concert’s first summer season at the freshly remodeled Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake City.
The band also released a new greatest hits package in April. But rather than using the old recordings of their best known songs, many of which they don’t own, Toad re-recorded their own music.
“Half the songs are pretty substantially different from the original albums. We updated the sound,” Dinning said.
Part of the reason for re-recording their songs was because the band felt there was a big disparity between what the songs sounded like on the album and what people were hearing live in recent years.
The other reason was the band, who formed while all the members were in high school, doesn’t have licensing or publishing rights to any of their songs after the first two albums.
“It’s having control over your destiny,” Dinning said. “I’m not really in control of what people have access of what I’ve created. We haven’t had control over what’s out there. Now for the first time we do.”
Dinning said he would check iTunes and only see a portion of their catalog available, or receive emails from fans outside the U.S. who couldn’t find certain singles. Now, he said the band has control over getting their music to fans.
Toad the Wet Sprocket has found mainstream success in songs like, “All I Want,” “Fall Down,” “Something’s Always Wrong” and “Good Intentions.”
“It is a gift to have that many songs people know and love,” Dinning said. “A lot of people don’t realize we’re the band that does those songs.”
Not knowing Toad songs doesn’t seem to be a problem in Salt Lake where the band has found big success for many years.
“We’ve gone over really well in Salt Lake City. We’re the kind of band that works there.”
One of Dinning’s touring memories of Salt Lake was in 1995 when after playing a large number of shows that year, the Utah show was the only one where a group of fans baked cookies for the band.
Doors for Toad’s concert on Thursday open at 6 p.m. Opening act Matt Wertz goes on stage at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at Smith’s Tix or will be available at the venue on the day of the show.

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