Glen Phillips’ voice rises an octave when he mentions Toad the Wet Sprocket. The vocalist-guitarist of the band with the unwieldy name is thrilled that the group came back for a reunion tour two years ago.
Things have gone so well that the act is working on a new album. “We’re very excited about that,” Phillips said. “It could be out later this year and that will be something since we haven’t made an album in 16 years.”
Even though Phillips is ecstatic about his band’s reformation, he can’t help but go back on the road by his lonesome. Phillips, who will perform Saturday at the Tin Angel, is perhaps most at home on solo tours.
“That might have something to do with the fact that it’s what I’ve done for the last 15 years,” Phillips said while calling from his Santa Barbara home. “I’m ready to go out there and look at 40 different songs posted on the floor and just feel the room and see where I go. That’s the kind of stuff I like. I enjoy living in the moment. Phillips solo and Toad the Wet Sprocket songs are earnest, reflective and sometimes sweet slices of innocuous pop-rock.
Toad the Wet Sprocket enjoyed considerable success during the ‘90s. The band had a number of hits such as ‘All I Want’ and ‘Walk on the Ocean.’
“It was great having hits,” Phillips said. “But every critic who loved the bands we loved, hated us. It was agony in some ways. We didn’t get as much respect as I thought we deserved. We were a major label band that did what we wanted. We had autonomy. We were always an organic band and there are a lot of bands today that aren’t that way. I think that’s why Jack White and the Black Keys are so popular. They play great raw rock and people are drawn to it and they don’t know why. They want that primal rock. They want to experience musicians, who can actually play their instruments.”
After playing some solo dates, it’s time for Phillips to focus on his band, which isn’t quite the same as it was during its hey day.
“We’re not on a major label,” Phillips said. “We’re all in our 40s and I’m not the road dog I once was. But the cool thing is that we’re still playing out and recording. That’s what I want to do.”
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