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Interview:
Toad The Wet Sprocket looks for "different things" to do with reunion
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Nearly a decade into a reunion that's spawned one album (2013's) "New Constellation") and the new "Architect of the Ruin" EP, bassist Dean Dinning says Toad The Wet Sprocket's goal is "trying to do different things."

Recently that's included crowd-funding the "New Constellation" album and "playing the 90s card" on a package tour with Smash Mouth and Tonic, which were scoring radio hits alongside Toad's "All I Want," "Walk On the Ocean," "Fall Down" and "Something's Going On." It also means being comfortable with the band as a part-time concern, which more than anything else is keeping the quartet going.

"Everybody wants to do things outside of the band, and we don't want to spend the whole year on the road like we used to," says Dinning, 48, whose finance studies in college helped keep Toad fiscally solid during its early days. "We're all approach 50 now, so we have families and we need to be at home a lot. So with the band we can concentrate our time like we're doing this summer, go out and slam it really hard for six weeks, then everybody goes back to their lives and you're not constantly uprooting yourself."

Part of the challenge, Dinning acknowledges, is letting people know the group is still around after an initial split in July of 1998. Opening for Counting Crows last year, the bassist says, "A lot of people were saying, 'No way! Those guys are still doing it?' A lot of people had no idea."

The "New Constellation" album certainly helped spread the word, while "Architect of the Rain" features two brand new songs with four that were initially given exclusively to participants in the Kickstarter drive. Moving forward, Dinning expects the group to keep releasing new music -- however it feels like doing that.

"I hope we can turn what we're doing right now into a regular thing," Dinning explains. "If we want to go on the road we can go in the studio and record something new, however long we want it to be. If it's a six-song thing, great. If we want to reach back and record some forgotten thing, that'd be fine, too. it's all about songs right now, so we don't feel that same requirement to have a whole new album to support like we used to."

Toad The Wet Sprocket and Griffin House

7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 12.

The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor.

Tickets are $12.50.

Call 734-761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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