Toad the Wet Sprocket’s playlist
A milestone anniversary, a new album and a nationwide tour, Toad the Wet Sprocket has reason to live it up.
Twenty-five years ago a little band from Santa Barbara released an album called Fear.
That record became a breakthrough hit and after multiple releases, including 2015’s Architect of the Ruin, the celebrated album is still widely considered Toad’s greatest work.
“I know it meant a lot to people,” frontman Glen Phillips says of the band’s 1991 album. “There’s this bug-in-amber aspect to it. Decades later, I still enjoy playing those songs.”
Glen has been playing those songs a lot lately since the band set out on their 25th Anniversary tour that kicked off early this summer and will soon fade into mid-October.
Among the tracks on the set list are the singles off Fear “All I Want” and “Walk on the Ocean” which made the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart back then. These two tunes remain Toad staples and fan favorites, both enduring and timeless.
“A good song can continue to apply itself and isn’t lost in time. I’m glad we didn’t write 20 ‘I’m drunk and trying to get laid’ kind of songs,” Glen says.
“You hear some bands with members pushing 50 and their songs are all about being young and partying. That would be a hard set for me to play. Fortunately for us, most of our songs are about being sad and broken,” he laughs.
Carrying on with sick-at-heart and melancholy themes, Glen just released his first solo album in 10 years, Swallowed By the New, which came to be in the midst of his recent divorce.
Once the guys are through celebrating 25 years of Fear on the road, Glen will take his new record on tour for a series of acoustic performances into the winter season.
With all this touring going down, I asked Glen for a taste of a soundtrack made for his travels.
Evening Kitchen – Band of Horses
“That line, ‘And if you’re ever left with any doubt, what you live with and what you’ll do without.’ It’s a good, heartbreaking sad song, which I like.”
When You Know Why You’re Happy – Mary Margaret O’Hara
“I’ll go Canadian on you and add some Mary Margaret O’Hara here. I love the way she sings. She is like this creature in a garden discovering she has a voice.”
“I know, I know, this isn’t a song, it’s a podcast, but possibly the best thing on radio. I run every day, or at least every day that I can, and I listen to this podcast while I run. Music can get too complicated for me. I love Radiolab. It’s fascinating stuff.”
You’ll a Find a Way (Switch and Sinden Remix) – Santigold
“An awesome piece of work with incredible texture and tension.”
The Way It Will Be – Gillian Welch
“‘The Way It Will Be’ is just a perfect, beautiful song.”