Toad the Wet Sprocket reunion a sign of better times

Sometimes life can get simpler as you get older.

After a decade or so of playing a limited run of summer dates every couple of years, Toad the Wet Sprocket finally announced it was officially reunited as a band. Then last year, the band released its first newly written and recorded material (New Constellation) since 1999, and its first full-length record since 1997's Coil.

How it all happened, founder/singer/guitarist Glen Phillips told The Beat, is that some things changed, and some things didn't.

"There were times when we'd get together and you could just tell then reuniting wasn't in the air. Sometimes I was the guy to not make it work -- at times we all had our own internal reasons," Phillips said.

"At a certain point it began to feel normal and we were enjoying it, and we felt like instead of doing five shows and then running away in a panic, we were OK with the idea of doing more shows and planning for the future."

It was when that planning began, Phillips explained, that the things that had changed began to surface, making it even more evident that it was going to work out.

"We broke out of our established roles, and that's probably what made (the full-on reunion) possible," he said.

"There are a lot of jobs (in a band) and no one wanted to do them. We were concerned about our feelings rather than the job."

Letting go of past struggles was made even easier when the need to separate the creative from the business was broached.

Phillips said being partners creatively made reshuffling business duties that much easier, and that the creative partnership has never changed. Making New Constellation, he said, was a comfortable process.

"There's a certain chemistry that Toad has that's almost automatic. When we start playing, it just sounds like Toad."

That sound is what has kept fans coming for 25 years, even through those times when the band couldn't keep it together.

"We're lucky to have been able to make a living as a band from our era that didn't stay together," Phillips said.

"We're glad to be touring with a new record, to have something to add to a conversation that had been kind of the same for 15-20 years. It's great to see people responding so well to the new stuff. We're having a lot of fun."

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