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Radio Feedback: Toad the Wet Sprocket Stalk Local DJ to Play Their Cassette

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Annie Reuter
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Toad the Wet Sprocket performs at Farm Aid. (credit: Maria Ives)

Toad the Wet Sprocket performs at Farm Aid. (credit: Maria Ives)

Welcome to Radio Feedback, Radio.com’s weekly feature where we ask artists to wax nostalgic on the first time they heard themselves on the radio.

It was the ’80s and cassettes were still a thing for the first time. A new band Toad the Wet Sprocket were determined to get their music on the radio any way they could. Every Sunday, their local radio station spotlighted new talent so the band took several trips to the studio to entice the DJs to play their music.

“We would knock on the back door and hand them our little cassette,” guitarist Todd Nichols told Radio.com before the band’s performance at this year’s Farm Aid. “It took about a few tries to get them to play it and then one night all of a sudden I heard a really loud hiss.”

“And that’s how we knew it was us,” bassist Dean Dinning admitted.

While the band can’t remember exactly which song it was, the feeling of hearing their music on the radio for the first time is something they’ll never forget.

“It was ‘Someone Hates You’ or it could have been ‘Pale Blue’ which ended up on our first record Bread & Circus,” Nichols said.

Played on a 44-track, things were much different in the ’80s than today, but the feeling of excitement is something every artist can relate to.

“My heart was just beating like crazy. Somehow I was thinking, ‘Man, I hope I don’t screw this up,'” Dinning said. “Like I had anything to do with what was going on.”

The band would go on to see major success throughout the 90s, and come to hear many of their songs on the radio including “Walk on the Ocean,” “All I Want,” “Something’s Always Wrong,” and “Fall Down.”

Toad the Wet Sprocket will release their first album in 16 years tomorrow (Oct. 15). The band raised money for New Constellation through a Kickstarter campaign and were shocked at the overwhelming amount of support they received from their fans.

“We started this ourselves. We were hoping to raise $50 grand and we raised $260 grand,” frontman Glen Phillips said.

The band hit their goal of $50K in just 20 hours and amassed over 6,000 people pledging.

“We actually let people download the album early,” Dinning said. “The biggest fans have already heard it and they love it.”

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