Toad the Wet Sprocket Celebrate the Anniversary of Their Biggest Albums by Making Some Small Changes (Exclusive)

TikTok really isn't Toad the Wet Sprocket's sort of thing

Published Time: 22.05.2024 - 10:31:05 Modified Time: 22.05.2024 - 10:31:05

TikTok really isn't Toad the Wet Sprocket's sort of thing.

"I don't think what we do translates well into 20 second clips," explains Toad the Wet Sprocket's Dean Dinning, 56, to PEOPLE in a recent interview. 

"And who we are doesn't either," adds frontman Glen Phillips, 53.

In fact, the multi-platinum selling alternative rock band who became legendary via hits such as "Fall Down," "Something’s Always Wrong" and "All I Want" seem to not even like social media all that much. "Social media feels powerful in the moment, but it just adds to the noise," says Phillips. "I've been trying more and more to aim for common ground like we used to be able to."

The trio of native Californians made up of Phillips, Dinning and Todd Nichols say they much preferred coming up during a much less tech-filled time, when the art of communication was far more primitive. 

"Left to our own promotional devices, no one would ever have known we exist," remarks Phillips. "We liked making posters. I remember going to the coffee shop and making posters for local gigs, but it didn't feel like promotion. It just felt like bad art, which I could totally swing."

Certainly, that bad art probably could be worth something these days, as Toad the Wet Sprocket find themselves toasting the 30th anniversary of their 1994 platinum-selling album Dulcinea, while also celebrating the fact that fans are still flocking to them not only to hear their music, but also to hear what they have to say.

"I don't know if anyone needs to hear what we have to say," says Phillips, disagreeing at the mere idea that the band has reached some sort of prophet status. "I used to think more along those lines that there was a responsibility of the artist to always be making social commentary. And I feel like a lot of that comes out through the songs anyway. I feel like these days, people need belonging more than they need preaching."

Nevertheless, sometimes the preacher can't help but preach.

"There's so much division at the same time, that it's hard not to talk about issues or spread a message because stuff feels important," adds Phillips. "So even though I'm trying to do less of it, I can't help myself, and I will occasionally make someone very angry in the audience." He pauses. "It doesn't take much these days."

"Everything is social commentary these days," adds Dinning. "We do kind of have to be careful and know where the line is. I think there's always degrees of where we're to push and where not to."

It’s a talent that they utilize even amongst each other, as the band continues to forge ahead together as one unit, eager to add to their already impressive legacy. 

"The band has been in such a better head space," says Phillips. "I think we have grown and are enjoying each other's company more. And so, that translates a lot better to the audience. They can feel that. And if we're not kind of stewing in our own juices on stage, we have the headroom to really take it in. And there's reciprocal energy to that. Everyone kind of feeds off each other."

Currently prepping to head out on dates with the likes of Counting Crows and Barenaked Ladies, the members of Toad the Wet Sprocket are also looking forward to feeding off the bands in which they find themselves sharing the stage with.

"I learned a lot from Barenaked Ladies on just how to be in a band and how to be with each other and how to lift people up," says Phillips. "You can get used to hiding in your own corner all the time, especially for a band who's been together forever. Not to say they don't have their ups and downs, but I just feel like they really try to protect each other in that way. They are really good role models on just how to be on the road."

And as they also get set to embark on a co-headlining summer tour with Gin Blossoms and special guest Vertical Horizon, the members of Toad the Wet Sprocket do feel age creeping in. 

And with age comes new worries.

"I recently got checked out for something in my sinuses that could have been a tumor, " mentions Phillips casually. "I don't have a brain tumor, which I'm really grateful for. But when -

mortality is right in front of me, I know what to do. If I have two years to live, I got to clean out the garage immediately. I just know what my to-do list is."

He lets out a laugh about the condition that just might mean that he has a deviated septum that might require a "nose job," but the emotions behind the words are palpable. 

"Most of my worries, which are about the distant future and the unknowability of the distant future, become irrelevant," Phillips continues. "I almost want a doctor every two years to tell me that I have two years to live just so that I can stay in that mode more often."

Toad the Wet Sprocket2024 tour dates are as follows, with tickets available here:

JUL 17 / DEL MAR, CA @ The Sound at Del Mar^

JUL 19-20 / NOVATO, CA @ HopMonk Tavern^

JUL 22 / PORTLAND, OR @ Revolution Hall^

JUL 23 / SEATTLE, WA @ Neptune Theatre^

JUL 25 / KALISPELL, MT @ Wachholz College Center^

JUL 26 / GREAT FALLS, MT @ The Newberry^

JUL 28 / FORT COLLINS, CO @ Washington’s^

AUG 1 / OSHKOSH, WI @ Waterfest at Riverside Park#

AUG 2 / OMAHA, NE @ The Astro Theater#      

AUG 3 / MANKATO, MN @ Vetter Stone Amphitheater# 

AUG 5 / GRAND RAPIDS, MI @ Meijer Gardens#

AUG 7 / CLEVELAND, OH @ Cain Park#

AUG 10 / PORTLAND, ME @ Thompson’s Point&

AUG 11 / LEWISTON, NY @ ARTPARK#

AUG 12 / DEERFIELD, MA @ Tree House Brewing^

AUG 13 / MEDFORD, MA @ Chevalier Theatre#

AUG 15 / BETHLEHEM, PA @ Wind Creek Event Center#

AUG 16 / CARY, NC @ Koka Booth Amphitheater#

AUG 17 / SUGAR HILL, GA @ The Bowl at Sugar Hill#

AUG 18 / HUBER HEIGHTS, OH @ Rose Music Center#

AUG 20 / RED BANK, NJ @ Count Basie Center for the Arts#

AUG 22 / SELBYVILLE, DE @ Freeman Arts Pavilion#

AUG 23 / MIDDLEFIELD, CT @ Powder Ridge Mountain Park#

AUG 24 / ESSEX JUNCTION, VT @ Champlain Valley Exposition#

AUG 30 / TEMECULA, CA @ South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

AUG 31 / COSTA MESA, CA @ The Pacific Amphitheater!

SEPT 16 / ​Cedar Rapids, IA @ McGrath Amphitheatre*

SEPT 17 / ​Moorhead, MN @ Bluestem Center for the Arts Amphitheater*

SEPT 18 / ​Lincoln, NE @ Pinewood Bowl Theater*

SEPT 20 / ​Albuquerque, NM @ Revel*

SEPT 21 / ​Colorado Springs, CO @ Sunset Amphitheater*

SEPT 22 / ​Vail, CO @ Gerald Ford Amphitheater*

SEPT 24​ / Tulsa, OK @ Tulsa Theater*

SEPT 25​ / Chesterfield, MO @ The Factory at The District*

SEPT 27​ / Pittsburgh, PA @ Rivers Casino Event Center*

SEPT 28​ / Charles Town, WV @ Hollywood Casino Event Center*

OCT 1​​ / Brookville, NY @ Tilles Center*

OCT 2/ Rochester, NY @ Kodak Center*

OCT 4​​ / French Lick, IN @ French Lick Resort*

OCT 5 / Evanston, IL @ Cahn Auditorium^

OCT 17 / ​​Columbia, SC @ Township Auditorium*

OCT 18​​ / Asheville, NC @ Thomas Wolfe Auditorium*

OCT 19 / ​​Augusta, GA @ Bell Auditorium*

OCT 21 / ​​Pompano Beach, FL @ Pompano Beach Amphitheater*

OCT 22 / ​​Ft. Myers, FL @ Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall*

OCT 23 / ​​Clearwater, FL @ The Sound at Coachman Park*

OCT 25 / ​​Macon, GA @ Macon City Auditorium*

OCT 26​​ / Biloxi, MS @ Beau Rivage Resort & Casino*

OCT 27​​ / Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium*

OCT 29 / ​​Ames, IA @ Stephens Auditorium*

OCT 30 / Rochester, MN @ Mayo Civic Center*

NOV 1​​ / Peoria, IL @ Peoria Civic Center Theater*

NOV 2​​ / Salina, KS @ The Stiefel Theater*

NOV 3​​ / Sioux Falls, SD @ Washington Pavilion*

NOV 6​​ / Duluth, MN @ Symphony Hall*

NOV 8​​ / Mt. Pleasant, MI @ Soaring Eagle Casino*

Key:

^TTWS Headlining date

#TTWS co-headlining with Gin Blossoms

& TTWS @ Guster’s On the Ocean Festival

! TTWS opening for Counting Crows

*TTWS opening for Barenaked Ladies

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