1990s alt-rockers Toad the Wet Sprocket plays the Ogden Theatre this weekend, so we had a chat with Glen Philips to find out what we can expect…1
Yellow Scene: Do you like coming to Colorado?
Glen Phillips: Yes, absolutely. I have a daughter who’s going to CU Boulder now, so that’s what I’m most excited about. I haven’t seen her since she went out to college. I’m going to get to spend a few days in Denver, Aspen, see her place in Boulder and then bring her back for Thanksgiving. I’m definitely excited about this trip.
YS: Will she come to the show? Does she like seeing her dad on stage?
GP: Yeah. She’s good – she’s a nice supporter that way.
YS: You put out your first album since 1997 last year – any plans to record again?
GP: For the last few years, I did one single-mic recording that was maybe more of a recording experiment than anything else, but I haven’t done a proper solo album in years and there are a bunch of projects that I’m really amped to get back to now that the Toad touring is kind of winding down. This is our last bit of touring. We’ll do a summer tour and maybe a fall tour next year. But as far as keeping a record release cycle going, there’s no plans right now for that. But continuing to write new music – absolutely.
YS: Are you enjoying the full reunion?
GP: Yeah, it is fun. As with anything, by the end of the project you can be a little battle-fatigued. But I’m really proud of the record we did. I’m really proud of the way we came together. There were times when we were pretty fractured, so the fact that we were able to regroup and make a record that we all felt had a lot of heart, I think that was a great achievement. There were periods in which I would not have bet on us being able to do that. So I don’t know if it’s ‘last hurrah’ territory, but we are proud that we were able to make this work, all show up and be more on the same page. But this is a band we started in high school – we’re pretty different as adults. We all have curiosities and passions outside of the band. It’s all part of this balanced diet, and part of what made it work is the fact that we could look at Toad as a project and choose to do it, and choose to step in for a while then step back. For me, it’s really important to be able to do a variety of output. I’m very happy that we did this, and I’m just chomping at the bit to do other things.
YS: What are your plans for the set?
GP: Normally we just play side 2 of Abbey Road twice, all the way through (laughs). No, it’s a bunch of songs by Toad the Wet Sprocket. I never know how to answer that question. Some off the new album – having the new record has given us a lot of energy. But we also know there’s a legacy part of it, so playing the singles and the fan favorites from the album tracks. It’s a good blend of all of it, I think. We’re a the melancholy garage band. We’re the garage band with sad songs. We just get out there, bang it out and sing, and it sounds like four guys playing music. Some people want more backing tracks and lights, but that’s not really what we do. It’s a pretty straight-forward show.
YS: What’s next, after this tour?
GP: Usually we go to sleep after the show. Aside from that, I’m working on new songs, and doing a lot of co-writing. Right now, I’m very curious about what I’ll be doing a year from now. I really want to find out. There are a few concepts kicking around, and lots of people I’ve been waiting to have time to work with again. I’ll be doing a lot of traveling and writing. I wan to spend some time seeing friends in Nashville and Portland. Going to LA more, and writing as many songs as I can, enjoying the company of good people.
Toad the Wet Sprocket plays with Jonathan Kingham at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 22 at the Ogden Theatre; 935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver; 303-832-1874; $35-$40.