Decade welcomes back The Toll

The Pitt News

Friday, April 3, 1987

The Decade welcomes back The Toll

Concert Preview: The Toll Tonight at The Decade

By Mike Hunt

The Toll isn’t the kind of band whose audiences sing along with the vocalist.  That’s because no one would know what words to sing – Brad Circone, the band’s singer, creates the lyrics as he goes along.

“I improvise the lyrics night after night.  I don’t use any cheat sheets.  It’s more fair to the audience – it’s unjust to play the same show every night,” commented Circone.

Yet, the band uses the same chorus and the same hooks each performance.

The Toll’s unique performances caught the eye of Psychedelic Furs member Tim Butler.  Butler offered to produce The Toll’s first album.

“We were playing at CBGBs in New York, and Butler’s wife Debbie saw us.  We loaded her down with three or four different demo tapes, and Tim offered to produce us,” Circone said.

Butler rook time off from the Furs to get to know The Toll.  He lived with the four band-members in their Columbus, Ohio apartment for three weeks, so he could get a feel for their mood.  “We got a gig at The Ritz in New York, and Butler was egoless enough that he stood with the rest of the audience,” said Circone.

Circone said that Butler watched to catch the energy of a live Toll performance on record.  Like many bands inspired by the great punk explosion of 1977, Circone said that the band members got the guts to pick up a guitar after hearing hardcore.

“But we don’t sound like a hardcore band.  We try not to sound like anybody.  I like to think we’re a modern-day Doors.  We don’t sound like them.  But just as Doors tried to break through the barriers of society, The Toll is trying to make people realize their dreams,” Circone admitted.