no, Toad's bassist talks with writer Troy Carpenter
(Lux magazine, April 7, 1995)
Writer Troy Carpenter
phoned Toad the Wet Sprocket bassist March 28 to
talk about life on the road.
Troy: First, congratulations
on your upcoming wedding.
Dean: Hey, thanks!
T: Regarding the
"Fly From Heaven" video--I've heard it's been banned from
play on MTV and VH1. What exactly was the content that was deemed unshowable,
and how do you feel about it?
D: Well, I'm not
sure whether the video was banned because the content was
unshowable or whether, you know, MTV just has their priorities on playing
next Green Day video. We certainly didn't put anything in the video that
make it any more disturbing than a clip like, let's say, "Lightning
by Live. It's not any more disturbing than that, it's just--not to put
fine a point on it--they have friends at MTV, and we don't. That's just
of the way it is, you know?
T: Is there any particular
reason for such extensive, nonstop touring that you
guys have been doing since the release of _Dulcinea_? Are there plans
making for a live album?
D: Well, we have
been recording all of the shows on the tour ever since we
started, so yeah. We put out a little disc called _Five Live_ a few years
just as a promotional thing with some copies of the _fear_ album. So people
have been wondering when we might put out a full-length live disc, and
said, "Gosh, you know, we just have to get some material." So
we do these shows, we send the tapes back to California, we have a guy
who will listen to one show every day and hopefully tell us which parts
were good and catalog it all. And then we can hopefully go in and mix
it and come up with something that'll be really good. We've wanted to
put out a live record for a long time. We've always felt like something
a little different happens live with us--when we get in the same room
as our audience--just the vibe that gets going. We've been trying to capture
T: I've noticed that
there is a great deal of interaction between you and your
opening bands. Darius Rucker comes out, and I know you played a lot with
Gin Blossoms when you were touring with them. Do you choose your opening
D: Yeah. We usually
try to take out people that we like their music and know.
We knew the Gin Blossoms through a friend of ours in L.A. who was working
them and heard their record. (We) thought it was great, and we took them
on tour for about six months or so. And Hootie we met last year. But actually
we met them about three or four years ago when we played a show in their
hometown, and they came to see us and gave us a tape and said "Hey,
we're in this band--Hootie and the Blowfish--we're gonna be big someday,
and we want to do a tour with you someday." We were like, "OK,
great." But I think we told them that they had to choose a better
name, because "Toad the Wet Sprocket" and "Hootie and the
Blowfish"? You know.
T: That could be
D: Oh yeah. But later
on we met them last year and did one show with them in
Wisconsin. It went so well that we decided to set up a whole tour. And
since then, their record's just been soaring.
T: How do you see
the audiences at the shows now differing from, say, the
audiences before and during the rise of _fear_, your "breakthrough
D: It's actually
mellowed out a little bit. The crowds are still big, and
they're still into it, but we don't have as many people coming just because
they heard one song off the radio. I think most of the people who come
have realized that we've been doing this for a while and have at least
the records, probably, and know more than that one song. You know, back
the "All I Want" thing, and the rise of _fear_, we got a lot
of people who it
was all new to them except that one song, and they were waiting the whole
night for that one song. That's fine--that was a lot of people's introduction
to it. But that's been a definite change.
T: There has been
a theory that whether or not Glen wears shoes has a direct
effect on the quality of the show you do. What do you think about this?
D: Hogwash. That's
my one word answer. It has absolutely no bearing other than
if it's warm out and comfortable, he will probably not wear shoes. If
cold out, and if we're playing outside or if there's broken glass on the
stage, then he'll tend to wear shoes.
T: Along the lines
of B-sides, do you plan to record more studio B-sides or
keep putting out the live B-sides that have been the staple for _Dulcinea_?
D: See, these are
some of the live tracks that we recorded when we were first
thinking of doing a live record. Back on the last tour. So these are songs
that are live tracks that we're not playing every night, so they're little
teasers of things that people might have heard at the show but probably
didn't, like "Corporal Brown" and ... I forget what the other
T: I think you put
out "Know Me."
D: Well, we have
been playing those but not so much in the last couple of
months. I don't know. I think it was kind of Joe, who is our assistant.
this idea with the second single to put out two live B-sides from _Bread
Circus_ or ... what were the "Something's Always Wrong" B-sides?
T: I'm not sure.
D: I forget. Well,
he likes to group them by previous albums, so we have two
songs off of _Pale_, like "Don't Go Away" and "Corporal
Brown," but live, so
it kinda gives people a taste of what the _Pale_ album was about. And
maybe we'll put two live songs from _fear_ out. You know, it just kinda
a cool package.
T: Do you keep up
with the Toad Internet mailing list?
D: Yeah, we usually
download a digest of it and look through it. Our manager
is not really involved but he snoops around in there and sees how things
going. And yeah, we read it occasionally--sometimes it's pretty funny.
T: I thought you'd
like to know that there are people out there on the list
who have posted that, all this time, due to the writing on the cover of
_Dulcinea_, that the song "Stupid" was actually called "BigutZ
D: Yeah, so how stupid
do they feel now?
D: That in itself
has kinda come full circle, because when they realize that
it's just written backwards, they just go "Duh!"