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Dec. 10, 2022

Interview with Glen Phillips of TOAD The Wet Sprocket

We had the pleasure of interviewing Glen Phillips of Toad The We Sprocket from The Twisted Wool Lounge at the historic Woolworth Theatre in Nashville!

During his years as lead singer and main songwriter of Toad the Wet Sprocket, Glen Phillips...


We had the pleasure of interviewing Glen Phillips of Toad The We Sprocket from The Twisted Wool Lounge at the historic Woolworth Theatre in Nashville!

During his years as lead singer and main songwriter of Toad the Wet Sprocket, Glen Phillips helped to create the band’s elegant folk/pop sound with honest, introspective lyrics that forged a close bond with their fans. When Toad went on hiatus, he launched a solo career with Abulum, and stayed busy collaborating with other artists on various projects including Mutual Admiration Society, with members of Nickel Creek and Remote Tree Children, an experimental outing with John Morgan Askew.

Phillips’ previous solo record, Swallowed by the New, was a post-divorce outing about grief, while There Is So Much Here finds Phillips writing love songs again focusing on gratitude, beauty and staying present. “Looking at this batch of songs, I realized I’d turned a corner. I noticed that I was in a state of being that wasn’t all about loss. Things felt doable and hopeful again. There’s no pure happy ending - the world is a mess, the future is uncertain - but I started to internalize poet Mary Oliver’s words: ‘Attention is the beginning of devotion.’ I’m paying better attention. I’m getting more devoted.”

The 11 tracks on the album move between quiet love songs and outright rockers that consider the multi-faceted meanings hidden in our everyday lives. “Stone Throat” is a midtempo rocker that looks at a couple in a new relationship, trying to find the balance between desire and responsibility, or as Phillips sings, “trying to find the balance, between the sacred and the street.” There’s a hint of new wave ska in the rhythm of “I Was a Riot,” a song that casts a compassionate eye on the end of a relationship. “The arrangement nods to Joe Jackson’s Look Sharp,” Phillips says. “Graham Maby is one of the greatest bass players of all time, so we had him in mind when laying down the bass part.” 

The COVID lockdown-inspired “The Sound of Drinking,” is an appreciation of the familiar things in life, like drinking a glass of water on your back porch. Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek) plays soft acoustic guitar and Glen sighs a lyric of gratitude for simple pleasures.

“Call The Moondust” is the most metaphysical song in the set. There’s a dash of secular gospel in Depper’s piano, and ambient effects that suggest the vastness of the cosmos. Phillips delivers an emotional performance over a tense arrangement that hints at the wonders of the universe. “The beauty of life is in its mystery,” Phillips states. “If we think we have an answer, we’re deluding ourselves. My dad was a physicist and was reading about string theory on his death bed. He found God in all those extra folded dimensions, and left this world with a sense of wonder. I hope I can do the same.”

Ultimately, as Phillips reflects on the album, he shares: “This is an album about showing up for what is and letting it be enough.”

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