Toadies performing at the White Rabbit in San Antonio, Texas.
|Origin||Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.|
|Members||Vaden Todd Lewis|
|Past members||Charles Mooney III|
Toadies are an American rock band formed in 1989 in Fort Worth, Texas, best known for the song "Possum Kingdom". The band's classic lineup consisted of Vaden Todd Lewis (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Lisa Umbarger (bass guitar), Darrel Herbert (lead guitar), and Mark Reznicek (drums). It formed in 1989 and disbanded in 2001 after Umbarger left the group. The band reformed and released the album No Deliverance in 2008. In 2010, they re-released the album Feeler with Kirtland Records (the album's original release had been denied by Interscope in 1997). The band's most recent album, The Lower Side of Uptown, was released in September 2017.
Early years, Rubberneck, and commercial breakthrough (1989–1996)
Toadies began in 1989 in Fort Worth, Texas. It recorded a few cassette self-releases and an E.P. titled Pleather before signing to Interscope Records. Its first full-length album Rubberneck was released in the summer of 1994. Featuring a sound described as "distinctly grunge" and "distinctly Texan", Rubberneck included six singles, "Possum Kingdom", "Mister Love", "Away", "Tyler", "Backslider" and "I Come From the Water". "Backslider" can be heard in the film Black Sheep. "Possum Kingdom" would later become a playable track in the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero II.
Toadies toured extensively throughout the 1990s supporting Rubberneck, opening for artists such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, White Zombie, Bush, and The Butthole Surfers. The band also headlined and co-headlined tours with acts such as Supersuckers, and The Reverend Horton Heat. Toadies were a regular act at the festivals Edgefest in Dallas, and Buzzfest in Houston during these years.
Feeler sessions, Hell Below/Stars Above, and breakup (1997–2002)
The band entered the studio in 1997 to record new tracks for a second album, Feeler. Interscope Records did not approve the finished product, and rejected its 1998 release. In 2000, they went back to the studio, salvaged some of the songs from the Feeler sessions, and released their second full-length album Hell Below/Stars Above in the spring of 2001. Portland-based musician Elliott Smith performed piano backup for the title track.
Hell Below/Stars Above was not promoted by Interscope, and saw poor sales. The band toured in the spring and summer of 2001 in support of the new album, until bassist Lisa Umbarger unexpectedly resigned from the band in July 2001. Umbarger told the Dallas Observer that she resigned after realizing that Interscope Records was not going to promote the band. Vaden Todd Lewis decided to break up the band rather than continue without her, a decision which "stunned" Umbarger. The band played a few farewell shows later that summer, with Mark Hughes filling in for Umbarger, before parting ways.
Shortly after the break-up, a live album, Best of Toadies: Live from Paradise, was released. It was recorded earlier in 2001 at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, MA. The album was released through Interscope Records, but Kirtland Records later picked up the band's back catalogue.
No Deliverance, Feeler release, and Play.Rock.Music (2006–2013)
Toadies reformed for a reunion show on March 11, 2006, headlining the Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day parade concert. In March 2007, they embarked on a mini-tour, playing dates in Austin, Houston, and Dallas. The final show of the mini-tour was recorded and released as the live album Rock Show.
Toadies performed at Lollapalooza on August 2, 2008, Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival on May 16, 2009 and May 18, 2013, and Austin City Limits Music Festival on October 4, 2009. In addition, on August 31, 2008, the Toadies headlined the inaugural Dia De Los Toadies, an annual Texas music festival organized by and featuring the band.
In June 2010 it was announced that Feeler, the follow-up album to Rubberneck that was shelved by Interscope, would finally be seeing a release. Vaden Todd Lewis was quoted as saying: "Since there are unfinished versions floating around on the Internet, it is important to us that people hear it as we meant it to be." The band was unable to obtain the original 1997 Feeler masters from Interscope, and re-recorded the album in 2010. The album was released on July 20, 2010.
The band's fifth album, Play.Rock.Music, was released July 31, 2012 on Kirtland Records. A promotional video for the track, "Summer of the Strange," can be viewed on Clark Vogeler's YouTube channel.
Rubberneck 20th-anniversary reissue and tour (2014)
On January 7, 2014, the Toadies announced via its Facebook page that its Rubberneck album would be reissued by Kirtland Records with five previously-unreleased bonus tracks. The announcement also revealed plans for a nationwide Rubberneck 20-year anniversary tour, featuring the Toadies playing the entire Rubberneck album "front to back", with supporting acts Supersuckers and Battleme. The tour ended in September 2014 with a final Rubberneck start to finish performance, followed by performances of the band's more recent songs, at the seventh annual Dia De Los Toadies festival in Fort Worth.
Heretics and Summerland Tour (2015)
In January 2015, Everclear announced its fourth annual multi-city Summerland Tour via Twitter. The 2015 Summerland Tour featured Everclear and Toadies, as well as alt-rock bands American Hi-Fi and Fuel.
In June 2015, Toadies announced that its eighth album, Heretics, would be released September 18. The album "re-imagines and reinterprets" several Toadies songs such as "Possum Kingdom" and "Backslider," and featured two new songs and a cover of Blondie's 1979 single "Heart of Glass". The Toadies also launched a new tour to promote Heretics in the fall of 2015, with the tour starting at the eighth annual Dia De Los Toadies music festival in September 2015.
The Lower Side Of Uptown and Tour (2017)
The Toadies released its ninth album, The Lower Side Of Uptown on September 8, 2017 via Kirtland Records. On September 6, 2017, band members kicked off their fall tour with Local H in Denton, Texas.
- Rubberneck (1994)
- Hell Below/Stars Above (2001)
- No Deliverance (2008)
- Feeler (2010)
- Play.Rock.Music (2012)
- Heretics (2015)
- The Lower Side of Uptown (2017)
- "Texas band Toadies ready for anniversary tour". The Daily Californian. March 22, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
Few would argue that Rubberneck is the most influential album of the ‘90s, but it is distinctly grunge, and it is distinctly Texan.
- "Toadies Break Sophomore Jinx -- With A Little Help From Nirvana". Sun-Sentinel. August 10, 2001. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
- Rashbaum, Alyssa (June 22, 2004). "The Burden Brothers' Key To Success: Stop Trying". MTV. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
Lewis had left his mark on the early 1990s grunge scene with the Toadies, but the group broke up in 2001 after recording only two studio albums.
- Torreano, Bradley. "Burden Brothers Biography". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
The Toadies were one of the hotter prospects in the major label grunge wars of the early/mid-1990s, but their lengthy waits between albums and internal dissention eventually broke apart the band after the release of their 2001 album.
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- "At long last, Toadies' 'Feelers' sees the light of day". The Austin American-Statesman. August 17, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
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- Freedman, Pete (May 1, 2008). "The Toadies Are Launching Something Of An Annual Festival, It Seems". Dallas Observer. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
- "Toadies - Summer of the Strange (unofficial video)". YouTube. April 8, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
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- "The Toadies' Best Album Is Getting Reissued: What's the Band's Legacy Now?". Dallas Observer. January 8, 2014. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
- "The Toadies - Timeline Photos". Facebook. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
- Rushing, Brenna (September 14, 2014). "Toadies blow out the sound system at Fort Worth rock fest". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
- "Everclear, Toadies, American Hi-Fi and Fuel to Play Summerland 2015". anthemstatus.com. January 22, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
- Wilonsky, Robert (June 29, 2015). "Your first sneak peek at the Toadies' "bizarre" new record, "Heretics," featuring new takes on old favorites". GuideLive. The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
- Kellmurray, Beth (August 26, 2015). "Toadies Debut New Song, 'In the Belly of the Whale' + Announce U.S. Tour". Diffuser.fm. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
- Mikeal, Brandon (September 14, 2015). "Dia De Los Toadies Brought Together Generations of Dallas-Fort Worth Rock". Dallas Observer. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
- "The Toadies-Timeline Photo". Facebook. Retrieved February 7, 2018.