Toad the Wet Sprocket. Photo: Rob Shanahan
By Laura Ferreiro
Toad the Wet Sprocket’s upbeat pop melodies garnered them a string of hits in the ’90s including “Walk on the Ocean” and “All I Want.” But dig a little deeper and you’ll find poignant, introspective lyrics and weighty themes that tackle some of life’s most enduring issues and questions. So it’s no surprise that such a thoughtful band supports many important social causes, ranging from protecting the environment to supporting research for rare diseases.
Now, as the chart-topping band hits the road to mark the 20th anniversary of their 1997 album Coil, Toad has teamed up with the Sierra Club, one of the most influential environmental non-profits in the U.S. Together they’re promoting the Ready for 100 campaign, which is a movement of people working to inspire leaders to embrace a world powered by 100% clean, renewable energy by the year 2050.
“We’re all big supporters of the Sierra Club,” lead singer Glen Phillips tells Music for Good. “It was an easy thing for us to all agree on as far as an initiative to support. It seemed like a no-brainer. We know that the old ways of doing business aren’t particularly good for the planet. The current administration is turning the clock back in terms of stewardship of the planet. We wanted to do our part keep the conversation rolling on how people can get involved locally to [affect positive change].”
Glen Philips. Photo: Ashtin Paige
The Ready for 100 campaign encourages people to act locally to lend their voices to pursuade mayors, CEOs, pastors, principals, civic and community leaders, parents and students to find renewable energy solutions. Renewable energy sources including solar and wind power have no carbon or greenhouse emissions, use resources that will never be depleted, and are not toxic to humans and the planet, unlike energy powered by fossil fuels including oil and coal that can be harmful to people and the Earth’s environment.
The partnership between Toad the Wet Sprocket and the Sierra Club will benefit the non-profit through fundraising, awareness raising and reaching fans directly at their concerts throughout North America. Phillips said that getting involved in this campaign is one way the band can help offset some of the negative impact that touring and personal buying habits can have on the environment.
“We use factory-made goods and go out [on tour] in a diesel-fueled bus,” he said. “To make up for some of the impact we’re having and help net good with what we’re doing, we wanted to get involved in the movement toward clean energy.”
Phillips, who comes from a socially engaged family – his mother and father were both scientists and his mother was a member of the League of Women Voters – said that they also want to do what they can to help foster a new generation of activists. “How do we encourage the younger generations to find their activism, from Gen X to the Millennials?” he asked. “Millennials are getting really involved on the local level. The more tools that are available to remind them of local action, the better. There’s a ripple effect.”
Meanwhile, Phillips was excited about the upcoming tour dates with his long-time bandmates, minus one member of their quartet. “Our drummer Randy [Guss] broke a couple of ribs, so we’ll have another drummer coming out,” Phillips said. “It’s the first time we’ll have someone else in the drum seat. It’s always been the four of us with the exception of maybe five shows ever.”
Toad the Wet Sprocket’s tour will hit cities across the U.S. this summer, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Tucson, Fort Lauderdale, Nashville, Austin, and Dallas. For a complete list of tour dates, click here.
In addition to attending a Toad the Wet Sprocket concert in a city near you, you can take action and join the global movement for 100 percent clean and renewable energy here.