Toadies guitarist Clark Vogeler wasn't one of the original members of the band, but he's been in the group for seventeen years. That means he wasn't part of the group when the band released their landmark album Rubberneck. Still, Clark was a part of the same music scene in Texas when the Toadies were coming up and it's influenced the direction of the band that he's been in for more than seventeen years. Without that record the Toadies might not have ever become relevant, let alone a two decade mainstay in rock. Recently, Alternative Addiction talked with Vogeler about the Toadies' landmark album and the 20th anniversary reissue of the record that's slated to come out in April.
"The first time I heard it I felt like the band achieved something in the studio," said the Toadies guitarist referring to the first time he heard Rubberneck. "When I was in my previous band, we had played shows with them and they were a good band, but the sound of the band on that album was a magical combination of studio, producers, and the songs. It was a great raw debut and it set us up for everything after it. A band's first album is the most simplified statement that they can make. The band with that lineup showed us who they were on that album and they captured a lot of people's attention.
Toadies held an audience thanks to Rubberneck and in that audience Vogeler held a spot. It was him being a fan of the band and then later joining that brought about one of his fondest Toadies memories.
"When I joined the band I was pretty excited. Like a lot of Toadies fans, my favorite song is "Tyler." The first time I got to play that with the band for my first show, I got to play those notes at the start of that song and 3000 people erupted in the most massive caterwaul of screams I had ever heard. To be playing the instrument that sent people into that was a sensation I can't even describe. To be able to charge a huge roomful of people up like that, it's something that I haven't felt since the first time I did it," added the Toadies guitarist.
Because Vogeler was a fan of the group of the band before he joined, he's admirer of the two men who played guitar in the group before him. Toadies has had it's share of lineup changes, but the band still salutes a couple of their early guitarists because they helped shape the band's sound before they even made Rubberneck.
"Daryl Herbert, he was the guitar player for the band for three and a half years, he was the second guitar player," said Voegler discussing previous Toadies guitarists. "The first guitar player, was Charles Mooney and a lot of the Toadies' sound comes from him. If he didn't know how to play something technical he would make a bunch of noise - and it was awesome. He used the whammy bar. He brought all of the atonal whammy bar noise to the band's sound. It's kind of evolved and filtered from Charles to Daryl Herbert, to me. We have a lot of respect for both of those guys."
Vogeler is generous giving out credit where it's due in reference to the Toadies and what they've been able to do with Rubberneck, but he's also due some credit himself. Clark joined the group in 1996 and he's made some key contributions. Talking with Alternative Addiction, he reflected on what the band has gone through over the past two decades and where they're looking to do in the future.
"It's been up and down with labels and lineup changes with us, at least it had been. We broke up for a few years and then we got back together. Since we got back together in 2007, it's been the best time for the band. We do things on our own terms. We have a great time now. Not many bands can be around as long as Toadies have. It's unusual. It's been up and down but the good thing is that for years it's been up and we recovered from the stuff that went on in the 90s and I don't think anyone can keep us from doing what we want to do anymore. That's a great place to be for any musician."
Toadies Rubberneck 20th Anniversary reissue comes out on April 25th. The band will be doing a tour celebrating the album playing it from front to back. For tickets and more information you can head to TheToadies.com