Toad the Wet Sprocket – an interview with Glen Phillips
Barb WYEP’s Sunday Mix Host (WYEP): Hiya glen. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us at WYEP.
Glen Phillips (GP): My pleasure
WYEP: You’re doing some solo gigs before joining Toad the Wet Sprocket in Pittsburgh. How do you make the transition, literally overnight in this case, from a solo act to a group?
GP: I like the shift. It keeps me on my toes, and reminds me of what I enjoy about each style.
WYEP: You were on the Cayamo cruise in March with about 30 other singer-songwriters. As a performer on the cruise tell us about some of your experiences:
GP: Uhhh…There was a lot. My favorite moment was eating conch salad at Potter’s Cay in Nassau. The next was watching Shawn Colvin play. Or maybe Lyle Lovett.
WYEP: How did you stay awake during your 12:30 am show?
GP: I didn’t, really. I think I just managed to channel some kind of dreamstate into a weird extended narrative about zombies. There were supposedly a few songs in there, too.
WYEP: Vienna Teng joined you on stage one night, did you have the opportunity to sit in with any performers?
GP: Sadly, no. Saw some great music, though.
WYEP: During your final show, you did a song you wrote about being present when your father passed away. Can you tell us more about it?
GP: Not right now…It’s all in the song, though (Darkest Hour).
WYEP: Who was your favorite performer and/or favorite performance on the cruise?
GP: Hard to say. It was a pretty amazing collection.
Glen Phillips with Barb S. – Cayamo cruise, March 2009
WYEP: Luke Bulla joined you on the Cayamo cruise and is also a member of Works Progress Administration. As part of W.P.A. is this your first opportunity to perform at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival? It seems like it will be quite an experience with a “festivarian audience”.
GP: It’ll be great. I love playing with Luke and the rest of WPA. It’s the most fun I’ve had in ages, if not ever.
WYEP: What was the biggest crowd you ever played for with Toad the Wet Sprocket?
GP: Half a million or so, at the Capitol Mall in DC.
WYEP: Who were some of the memorable acts that Toad the Wet Sprocket played / co-billed with?
GP: My favorite opening act was Geggy Tah. The audience didn’t always get it, but I thought they were brilliant. Greg Kurstin (Geggy) recently produced the Lily Allen record and is also half of The Bird and The Bee.
WYEP: As a teenager, you achieved a lot of success with Toad the Wet Sprocket. What was that like, at that young age, to attain that level of fame?
GP: Probably not a good thing. It helps to foster unrealistic expectations and feelings of entitlement. It was also a lot of fun.
WYEP: Boxers or briefs? Another way of asking do you like performing as a solo act or with a group?
GP: Boxer briefs, of course. I like being in a band when it’s alive and passionate and full of mutual purpose. I like being solo when I’m alive and passionate and full of purpose.
WYEP: One thing people would be surprised to know about Toad the Wet Sprocket is????
GP: We are all aliens.
Barb S. – Sunday Mix Host