The vinyl masters have been cut on the lathe at half speed for maximum resolution, and then they are pressed on gram vinyl. We are thankful to have our fans still with us from the time these albums were both initially released to now, and I hope you enjoy these albums as much as I did remastering them.
Michael Tedder August 7, - 3: Ashtin Paige Tracking Down is a Stereogum franchise in which we talk to artists who have been out of the spotlight for a minute. Too earnest, too soft. Toad The Wet Sprocket, infamously named for a Monty Python sketch, broke up after their album Coil, and Phillips embarked on a solo career and bringing along a young John Mayer on one of his first tours.
We still thought of ourselves as an indie band. I think the pop success that happened after the fact was a surprise to us. We thought we were much more in this indie world, and radio changed a lot at that moment.
And I think the way it ended up was kind of a major surprise. But going into it we were just excited we got to actually take a month to make a record and live at a studio. Before that, had you just had to bang the albums out quickly? And basically, they were both played live with live lead vocals and like a couple of harmonies overdubbed.
But they were done as quickly and cheaply as was humanly possible. So string arrangements and overdubs and layers, it was really exciting for us to try to make that kind of a record. Like you said, is the year when things changed. Alternative rock was about to break big. But this all caught you by surprise. Yeah, and also the record companies were pretty flushed with cash. They gave us so much time to grow. In a way that would have never happened today.
Back in those days they let us grow at this tortoise pace. We completely lucked out in timing.
Did you notice a shift at the record label where they started picking up on the fact that people are really buying this college rock stuff? And did that lead to a little bit more of a push from the record label during the lifespan of that album? The videos were costing more than the album cost. When we finally put that out it was kind of a surprise how it took off. And once again, even then the radio formats were really different. They were calling it post-modern, post-pop, college music.
So the formats were really shifting quickly, and yeah, a lot changed really fast. And we benefited from that change. Yeah it was really weird — part of it was excitement and part of it was surprise. It was a really weird thing to happen to you. Uhh we mostly played it, but we were kind of jerks about it. We were deeply concerned that the right people liked us, and we lost our credibility. And so there was a lot of self sabotage in that too.
That song was also a hit. Did that reassure the band or did it just make you more popular and that was even weirder? They want a home run. An indie label is the place for you. Did you feel out of place? Yeah, there was so much emphasis put on edginess at that time.
It was kind of before Elliott Smith made it cool to be beautiful and sensitive again. I felt like we were against the trend. By not being edgy, we were actually kind of bucking the expectations of the time. Like what was wrong with being a little bit more low key and a little subtler? We were a little bit in between worlds and I think ultimately that maybe helped us in being able to be on all these different radio formats. Because, is it regular rock and roll? Is it college rock? You had songs on the Friends soundtrack, you were on the Empire Records soundtrack, you were featured on Doogie Howser, M.
Well that stuff was all Sony. And his break was that Sony Bravia commercial. Oh, I think I remember that. So fear did really well. Dulcinea was edgier, surprise. We really wanted Dulcineato be more representative of … we played shows for the fear record.
We did a lot of touring on that record, and so we were tighter as a live band, we wanted a record that we could reproduce live. So less overdubs, less layered, less dressing up and just a deeper representation of what we were as an actual band. I think, honestly, we wanted to be liked by critics more than we wanted to have hits. Can we be cool yet? No, it was pretty bad. There were some pretty scathing things. And cool is one thing. And so these days I feel pretty good about it all.
What do you remember while making it? Dean the bass player actually made a joke, like, we should be on Home Shopping Network. We found a director, we spent all this time writing up all the stuff on the chyron, we had a really great time working it out with the director.
And that was the one video where it felt like it was actually us and doing the thing we cared about and making a statement we really believed in and we thought it was hilarious. What inspired you to sing about that sort of thing? I grew up in reformed Judaism, but my dad was taking me to meditation courses.
So I had this Eastern thing and my knowledge of Christianity was mostly reading Apocrypha, I was really curious about early Christianity histories. This idea of the change of Christianity from this earlier very much more Jewish sect into what became the Catholic church, and that split from those who probably knew Jesus and were in that early time and how Christianity switched.
So I was fascinated with that from mostly a historical perspective. And I can live with that. And once again that idea of the continuity of the soul, it was just a fun thing to think about. Did these songs win you any fans from the youth group community or was the band still too secular to crossover there?
There are a lot of people who thought Toad was a Christian band, and some kids were allowed to listen to us who otherwise, if their parents had sat down and talked with me, they might have given it a second thought. So lots of different reactions to all that.
A lot of people read whatever they want into records. I think the strange part for me is looking back at these things and looking at my life now. I was in this band when I was a kid. My kids are the age I was now when I was doing this stuff. Your head is constantly being turned to your own past, which on the one hand can lead to a lot of great insight and on the other hand can maybe stunt growth or hold you back a little. You mentioned writing new songs.
Are you guys working on another album? Not at the moment. When the band took a break after Coil, what was going on? We had just collapsed under our own weight. We got together when I was a freshman in high school and they were all seniors and we were in theater together. Yeah, tons of shared history and a lot of mutual support but when we broke up we had a lot of issues.
There was all the stuff that every band goes through, mutual overlapping resentments and unspoken things that blow up and it was really hard. I did a thing on the band Belly last year and they kind of said the same thing. I got chewed out because the head of Sony was not at all pleased. And who knows… I figure you get the life you get, and your mistakes are all part of the lesson plan. What does your fan base look like these days? A lot like us in a certain way.
I feel like we managed to, even though we got on the radio and everything, we managed to keep a core following that really knew the deep cuts on the records.
And those are the people who are still around. And I feel proud that rather than trying to cater to that, we just kept being us, we found our own way through it. Yeah I agree too.
Is that still the case?
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Michael Tedder August 7, - 3: