It’s been 26 years since the Toadies started playing rock music in Fort Worth, Texas. Through lineup changes, shelved albums, member departures, band break-ups, one-off reunions and full-on reformations, the Toadies are an act that has experienced nearly everything.
After bursting onto the national scene in 1994 with their breakthrough Rubberneck album, which begat their signature single “Possum Kingdom,” the successful follow-up single “Away” and the immense fan favorite “Tyler,” the Toadies returned to the studio in 1998 with the pressure of trying to match their first album’s success. That success didn’t translate to label support when the Toadies submitted their second album, Feeler. Perhaps aptly, things in general just went wrong. “We got approval for a record,” says aden Todd Lewis, “and somewhere in the process of handing over the masters to get mixed, it got unapproved. So we went back to the drawing board.” Eventually some of the Feeler tracks made it onto Hell Below/Stars Above — a sophomore of fering that came seven years after Rubberneck. Disappointed and dejected, the band dissolved just a few months after that album’s release.
Coming out of the Toadies, Lewis, guitarist Clark Vogeler and drummer Mark Reznicek were disillusioned. Vogeler went to work as a film editor being nominated for 3 Emmy Awards, Rez hooked up with the country-western band Eleven Hundred Springs. Lewis initially thought, “Fuck this whole business. I’m gettin’ out. I just wanted to do anything else.” Toadies fans stuck with them though, often inquiring as to the band’s activities. Says Lewis, “People just asked me “So, what are you doin’ now?”
Soon it occurred to him that music was all he wanted to do. “I’m a musician. That’s what I do, and I’m not happy not doing it.” Meanwhile, “Possum Kingdom” never left the airwaves, enjoying constant rotation at major modern rock stations. Fans clamored for a Toadies reunion. “The band never went all the way away,” says Lewis.