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Texas' Toadies Utter Final Croak
Just five months after the release of its second Interscope album, "Hell Below/Stars Above," Ft. Worth, Texas-based rock act the Toadies has split. Singer/guitarist Todd Lewis confirmed the split to tJust five months after the release of its second Interscope album, "Hell Below/Stars Above," Ft. Worth, Texas-based rock act the Toadies has split. Singer/guitarist Todd Lewis confirmed the split to the Dallas Observer, saying the band made the decision during its spring tour in support of the album, when founding bassist Lisa Umbarger said she was quitting.
"She's given a lot of reasons, but I haven't been able to make a whole lot of sense out of it," Lewis said. "You'd probably have to talk to her to figure it out, if you possibly could figure it out. She's going through a lot of life changes. I don't know how long she'd been thinking about it."
Public reception of "Hell Below/Stars Above" was less enthusiastic than expected, Lewis said. "The label was doing the usual label thing: 'If you don't sell X number within X number of days, then you suck,'" Lewis told the paper. "Especially these days; it's just so competitive. So that didn't help, I'm sure. But, you know, that would have gotten better eventually, or we would've done another record and it would have gotten better then. I really believe in this record. That's the shame of it. I was really looking forward to getting out and beating people over the head with it, to convince them how good it is, because I really, really believe in this record."
The band's 1994 debut album, "Rubberneck," peaked at No. 56 on The Billboard 200 more than a year after its release, and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for U.S. shipments of 1 million copies. Conversely, "Hell Below/Stars Above" debuted at No. 130 in April, and fell off chart the following week.
The group will play a handful of farewell dates around the state, including a Sept. 29 performance at Dallas' Bronco Bowl, in a KDGE Dallas-sponsored concert. Bassist Mark Hughes of the band Baboon will fill in for Umbarger.
In the wake of the split, guitarist Clark Vogeler (who replaced ousted original guitarist Darrell Herbert) intends to attend film school in Los Angeles, while drummer Mark Reznicek's plans are up in the air. Lewis told the Observer that he's been working on a side project for some time, "and I wanna get into different things. Who knows, jingles or whatever, just to keep my brain going and hopefully pay the bills or whatever."