Back from the water - The Toadies return with full steam and new songs

Back from the water - The Toadies return with full steam and new songs

It would be somewhat of a fib to say the Toadies are back though they took a small break several years ago. The alternative rockers from Fort Worth have decided to return to the stage and bring along some new music with them.

Vocalist Todd Lewis, guitarist Clark Vogeler, drummer Mark Reznicek and bassist Doni Blair will return to Beaumont to play The Gig on Crockett Street on Wednesday, April 4 with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and can be purchased online at, any Florida Tans location in Southeast Texas and Guitar & Banjo Studio (4381 Calder Ave) in Beaumont. The show is restricted to ages 18 years and older.

The band formed in 1989 and released their first national recording Rubberneck in 1994 via Interscope Records and featured the hit singles “Possum King” and “Tyler” along with favorites “Mister Love,” “Backslider” and “I Come from the Water.” The album was an instant platinum seller and the band toured non-stop.

After the tour, they went into the studio and recorded Feeler but Interscope canned the album and the band grew frustrated and had to take a break. When they finally returned to the studio, Vogeler said they used some songs from that recording and created their second official major release, Hell Below/Stars Above in early 2001. It was then when longtime bassist Lisa Umbarger left the band.

During the hiatus, Lewis and Rev. Horton Heat drummer Taz Bentley formed the Burden Brothers, Reznicek joined a country act called Eleven Hundred Springs and Vogeler moved to California and went to film school.

The Toadies reunited for a show here and there, but then Lewis parted ways with his band and called him and Reznicek in August of 2007.

“He (Todd) started writing songs and said they sounded like the Toadies,” said Vogeler. “He told me and Rez he had these songs and wanted to know if we wanted to do an album. It was good timing.”

The band signed a deal with indie label Kirtland Records and recorded No Deliverance, which was released in August in 2008 followed by Feeler in 2010.

The Examiner spoke with Vogeler over the phone about the longevity of the band and plans for new music.

In a crazy music world, how have the Toadies been able to remain relevant?

I don’t know about the word relevant, because I’m not sure we are. I look around and there’s not a lot of bands who do loud guitar rock anymore. We keep doing what comes out of us naturally. In Texas, people do still like rock-and-roll as well as the big cities. It seems that even though the times have changed, people have stuck with us and we are very fortunate for that.

Some bands change their sound. Why has this band stayed true to its original sound?

That’s always first and foremost in our minds. The lucky thing about the way we play music is, when we start playing guitars and Todd starts singing it pretty much sounds like a Toadies song even though you may have never heard it before. We know not to bring in drum machines and keyboards. It’s pretty easy for us to stick to what the Toadies’ sound is.

Do bands need radio these days?

I think they need radio less and less and it’s really a good thing because radio has gotten worse and worse. The Internet has changed everything. Bands go from beginners to headlining tours in no time. Lana Del Rey played ‘Saturday Night Live’ before she released a record. There are dozens of bands like that. If you want to sell 500,000 albums, you are going to need it. It’s just a weird thing. On the Billboard album charts, you hardly ever see the rock albums. That doesn’t mean bands can’t still tour and have a good fan base and a career.

Any new material on the way?

We recorded six songs for an EP and just last week we decided to turn that into an album. We were set to release the EP in late May but we are going to ride the momentum into a full record. I would say the album will probably be out in August or September. We are playing four of the new six songs recorded on this tour and we think the fans will enjoy them.