Written and interviewed by Troy Burke
The Toadies released their first album Rubberneck back in 1989, and they haven’t slowed down since then. The legendary Texas band has been on tour playing in smaller dance halls across the state in support of their new album Heretics. The new album is more of an acoustic album with old songs reworked, which is something different for the Toadies. I got the chance to sit down with the drummer Mark Reznicek and he was kind enough to answer some questions.
Troy: My name is Troy from KTSW and I am here with–can you say your name for me?
Mark: Mark Reznicek.
M: The Toadies!
T: Nice. Thank you so much for being with me. Your latest album Heretics features a few new originals and some reworked songs. What made you guys want to make an album like this?
M: Every year we have this festival we put on called “Dia de los Toadies” and it’s like a two day thing and on the first night we do kind of–it started off as like just playing acoustic versions of our songs and then after we did that once or twice we said let’s switch it up and kind of rearrange the songs and make them different you know? So it would be like a more special event and more people kept asking when are you going to record an album in that style? So basically that’s what gave us the idea–kind of a recorded version of our sort of unplugged set that we play at Dia every year.
T: Yeah, I’ve heard of Dia de los Toadies, I’ve never made it all the way up to Dallas to see it but I heard it’s really nice.
M: Every once in awhile–well a few years ago we had it down here at Whitewater.
T: Down in New Braunfels?
M: Yeah, so we might move back down here at some point in the future. Hopefully you can check it out.
T: I think you guys did a really good job with “Heart of Glass”. You guys made it sound completely different, made it your own track. Who is the Blondie fan in the band and why did you decide to cover that one?
M: Well, Vaden our lead singer he’s got a daughter who I think is 12 years old now and she plays in a band and sings also and so since she started doing that he said he’s been paying more attention to like female singers or female-led bands. I think one day he picked her up from school and they were driving home and the Blondie song came on the air and he said he had never really listened to the lyrics before and it’s kind of a happy kind of a new wave disco song but the lyrics are kind of sad so he said what if we made the music fit the lyrics more? So I think he started playing it just solo, like every once in awhile he’ll do a solo acoustic gig and he played it that way a few times and I think we said hey let’s record that for the Toadies, that would be really cool so it worked out really cool.
T: It sounds great. Has the creative process changed over the years? If so what’s different and why?
M: I guess its changed like it seems like it–it’s pretty fluid. Sometimes Vaden will completely write a song, demo it and give it to us and we kind of figure out what we’re going to play with it. And then other times–like on this album the song “Queen of Scars” was just–there was like some down time while they were fixing one of the keyboards and Vaden just started noodling around on his guitar and I started playing along with him and it turned into that song. So sometimes we’ll write it all together and sometimes–you know? So it’s different, depends on the song.
T: I got one more for you. So Rubberneck came out before I was born–I’m 22 years old.
T: It slowly became one of my favorite albums to listen to as I was growing up. How does it feel to have fans of all age groups and what do you think that says about the legacy Toadies are leaving?
M: I think it’s really cool, we have noticed that people start bringing their younger siblings or their kids to shows. It feels really good knowing that we have such a hardcore fan base that they want to share it with their kids or their younger family members or whatever so it’s pretty awesome I think.
T: What’s your favorite thing to do when you get home from a long tour?
M: [laughs] Well I like to go visit all of my favorite restaurants around town. But mostly I like taking it easy in my easy chair, listen to Howard Stern and pet my cats and just decompress from road life and not be on a bus.
T: Not being on tour basically.
M: Basically. Back to real life.
T: I’m sure. Thanks for taking the time to sit down with me. I’m really looking forward to the show tonight.
M: Absolutely. Thanks!