A few days ago we received an email from The Toads, asking us to give them a listen after they discovered 50thirdand3rd by reading our post about another band from Portland , The Cry. As I build this post I’m about halfway through my second listen and I’m glad I jumped on the chance to do a Meet The Band with them. Let’s start by saying I enjoy lyrics that are honest, well written, funny, sarcastic, biting , and relevant to what the band is experiencing. It’s refreshing to listen to a band that’s just writing about what is going on with their lives and their thoughts about it all. When you write tracks like “You Had A Baby” , “You’re Gonna Die / I Have Fun” and “Every Woman Has A Man” , people will listen because we all have had these thoughts about that certain someone ,or that place or time in our lives. these guys are just audacious enough to put pen to paper and bring live to expression of thoughts. That is some cool stuff indeed , not to mention that the band is tight , they sound to me like they have been together for a long time, dig the harmonies, drums out front and killer licks and I would bet it would be a blast to catch them live. So don’t let anyone tell you that todays music isn’t what it used to be , shake that person by the shoulders and let them know that there are plenty of bands worth their precious time and energy and they can start to give a shit by listening to …The Toads
for those unfamiliar with your bands history, can you tell us all how you all met up and decided to start a band ?
Matt K: We met in a chat room of love. When it became clear we weren’t romantically compatible, the conversation shifted to music, and it became evident we should all get together and start a musical relationship.
Mitch G: When three toads all live near the same lilypad it just makes sense to start a rock-n-roll group.
Matt D: I could tell you our history, but really there is really only the Toads and in retrospect there only ever was the Toads. Matt and Mitch and I were put on this earth to Toad and Toad alone, and nothing else matters. We never started this band, we are this band. Just look into the eyes of that toad on the cover of our album, and you’ll know everything you need to know.
who would you list as your musical influence?.
Matt D: It’s never very conscious, you just write songs and that becomes your sound, and maybe later you’re like, oh yeah, i swiped that from the Pixies, or Dick Cheney, or whatever.
Mitch G: Anything catchy but at the same time complicated.
Matt K: P. Diddy, mostly back when he was known as Puff Daddy.
what’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you as a band since you started up?
Matt D: One of the coolest things is when a stranger reaches out to you out of nowhere because they found your music and like it and they want to help spread the word. But equally cool is just meeting all these other awesome bands… Off the top of my head I can list Daisy Deaths, Garanzuay, Rilla, Kulululu, LeRoy Jerome and the Professionals, Kings & Vagabonds, Husky Boys, the Critical Shakes, Garlic Man & Chikn, the Snakebites… all great and very different-sounding Northwestern bands we’ve played with and who everyone should check out…
Matt K: Many cool things. The coolest to me is just meeting new people, especially people making music/art.
Mitch G: A woman painted a toad for us, it now hangs in our studio space. Honestly anyone coming to our shows or talking to/about us is great, so each and every thing that’s happened since we started has been cool for me.
what are your hopes and dreams as a band for the next few years.
Matt D: Our main goal is to quit our jobs eventually and support ourselves entirely through music. It’s not just for fun or as a form of social life, even though it’s certainly both of those, but I want this to be a career.
Matt K: To quit our jobs and fully enter the music world.
Mitch G: To be one of the few bands that can not only survive but thrive off music alone. Not talking about fame because fame is lame, but recognition of talent and the respect from your fellow artists would also be nice.
what are some of your favorite albums from the past few years?
Matt K: Daisy Deaths – Black and White EP
Garlic Man Chikn – Creature Hole
Kings and Vagabonds – From the Grave
Matt D: I don’t listen to much big-name contemporary music, if that’s what you guys mean; like Matt I’m most excited about the stuff our friends are making. Rilla has a new album coming out that is going to be really tight… They recorded it with Martin Vandepas, who also recorded our album.
Mitch G: In terms of bigger names, Father John Misty’s last two albums, Unknown Mortal Orchestra has put out great stuff, latest being Multi-Love, and Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly is a masterpiece along with D’Angelo’s Black Messiah.
Do you see any real use for social media , or is it all just a pain in the ass to keep with?
Matt D: Social media is really my window into the music scene. On Facebook I can see what shows friends are going to, what the bands are up to, etc. Without it I think I’d have a lot less of a sense of what’s going on.
Matt K: Social media is key for spreading the Toad Experience.
Mitch G: My only uses for it are for show promotion and fan accessibility. But if it’s good to The Toads, it’s fine by me.
Do you pay attention to reviews or comments from people about your music or do you just turn that noise off.
Matt K: Yes, we pay close attention to all feedback. We have only had one proper review by Marissa Abruzzini at Tour Worthy, which was a very nice and in-depth evaluation. We have friends that come and see us play, but other than that, there isn’t much “noise” to speak of. We probably get the most feedback from other bands we’ve played with, as they’re usually a captive audience.
Matt D: This one guy posted a really weird picture on our album release announcement. It was a person photoshopped so his face is in his chest. I have no idea what it was supposed to mean.
Mitch G: If you have something to say, come say it to my Toad-y face.
If you could tour anywhere in the world , where would you want to go.
Matt D: Everywhere. I want Toad music played in the bushlands of Africa, in the hills of Patagonia, on the bleak central Asian steppes… I want it in the jungles of Vietnam and in the sheep fields of the Falkland Islands… everywhere…
Matt K: Everywhere and anywhere.
Mitch G: Maybe inside a terrarium for a bunch of toads, see what they think.
Can music save the mortal soul or is just a good backbeat to your life.
Matt K: Science has proven again and again that yes, music can save the mortal soul.
Matt D: I think music can be a path to salvation, and in the mean time it’s lots of fun…. so it’s a win-win.
Mitch G: It saved mine, does that count?
Any last thoughts for your fans
Matt D: come to our shows!!!! this is punk rock so even when we play bad it’s still good.
Matt K: Thank you for paying attention. Stay tuned for more Toad entertainment. The Toad Train never stops.
Mitch G: Don’t be afraid to rock out and dance at a Toads show. Someone always has to be the first one to shake their tailfeather, why not you? Oh, and WE LOVE YOU ALL
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outstanding interview!!!!!! i love the Toads for many reasons…music, personalities, the good looks!