Toll mixes punk, Aerosmith

The Daily Iowan

Iowa City, Iowa

Tuesday, February 10, 1987

Toll mixes punk, Aerosmith
By Beth Lucht, Staff Writer

THE TOLL, a band described by singer/guitarist Brad Circone as “somewhere between romanticism and punk with a hell of a lot of Aerosmith,” will play tonight at Gabe’s, 330 E. Washington St.

The Toll is from Columbus, Ohio, and is in the middle of a monthlong tour.

The band recently recorded a demo tape produced by Tim Butler of the Psychedelic Furs.  Butler was hired by a “major recording label” to produce the demo, which is currently being considered by the company.

Butler spent his only free month the next two years with the band.  He basically lived with the group, according to Circone.  Butler went on the road with the Toll, attended their practices and immersed himself in their sound and personalities.

THE RESULTS, according to Circone, were worth it.

“He changed our lives,” said Circone.  At first the members of the group, who were fans of the Psychedelic Furs, were starstruck, but eventually they came to see Butler as a friend and as a peer.

“He saved us five years of sweat.  We learned new ways to record, new ways to wrote,” explained Circone.

The Toll formed two years ago and began as non-musicians.  “We didn’t want to go the societal route,” Circone said.  “We wanted to do something that reflected the humanism, intensity, and passion that we felt.”  Along with reflecting those feelings, the musicians also learned to play and matured musically.

Circone emphasized the group’s commitment to sincerity.  They refuse to play covers because “you’re violating the artist’s work.  You don’t know how they felt when they were writing that song and yet you’re playing their work and their emotion.”

Currently the Toll is a “working band,” living off money the group makes.

Circone, however, is not fond of living off of what he considers his art.  “It doesn’t seem right to sweat and stay skinny playing for people.  They pay their money and you live off it, but that’s not what it’s about.”