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"Toast - the Mad Science"

With song titles like "Jam Sammich" and "Tude," you'd be right in assuming where Toast's jam loyalties lie. The quartet's concoction is akin to Spyro Gyra's jazz fusion blended on high with touches of electronica. The jams get off the ground... - Austin Chronicle - Audra Schroeder

"Local Band Q & A"

1. We heard a rumor that Toast was formed during a marathon session of
Carebears and not the good episodes, the later ones where they had all
of their 'cousins' which was total bullshit because a lion and a bear
can't be cousins. Lions aren't peaceful at all either, did they ever
watch the Thundercats or Voltrons? Oh, is that true?

Thats crazy how you found that out. Its true! We were watching episode #409 when we saw sunshine bear doing his magic deal and then it immediately came to mind that we should call our band ToasT. Strange things happen when you get down with the Carebears.

2. What is the most interesting thing about each band member? Of
course we actually mean embarrassing thing that was told to you in
complete confidence and that should never be revealed.

James moans and cries in his sleep, Brown shaves his chest, Russ never learned how to read, and Enzo thinks he's Superman in incognito.

3. What musicians inspired you? Please note that Motley Crue is not an
acceptable answer...ever..for anything. Even if your Jeopardy question
is "What band is named Motley Crue?"

Frank Zappa, Medeski Martin and Wood, Gojira, Bjork, Men at Work, GWAR, Antibalas, The Frogs, STS9, Particle, and that guy that rips up the bass on 6th st. Talk about a five string-facial!

4. Delorean or Kit from Knight Rider?

Delorean hands down. First of all Kit talks to much and is pretty annoying. What if you got in a argument with him? He could really fuck you up! If I had a Delorean I would go back in time to last week when I ate too much at Furr's and tell myself its not worth it.

5. So what do you do for fun outside of the band? Collect roadkill?
Re-enact the Grover Cleveland's non-consecutive white victory
election campaigns?

Russ stalks Alex Jones, Brown collects snakes, Enzo draws pictures of himself, and James leaves comments on Rachel Ray's blog.

6. Tell us about the new album. Was it inspired and written during a three day acid trip or was it more of a spiritual journey involving a cheetah and a sasquatch?

The new album was inspired by the fact that 2012 is coming and we better have something to trade for food since money will be useless.

7. your name from delicious toast or is it for a 'toast'? Or is it a toast with toast because you feel that's is something that should be done more often at weddings because wasting some of your precious blood alcohol level on champagne is a waste when there is an open bar with vodka and whiskey.

We prefer to leave it up to the imagination. Look, how many other bands have multiple meanings? What the hell is a White Snake or a Pink Floyd? It boggles my mind that these people made a living off these useless names. ToasT is in your face and straight to the point, and wont take up too much room on your body when you get our name tattooed on you.
- My Austin Life

"Album Review"

In releasing “The Mad Science,” ToasT has offered up a refined mix of funk, jazz, and jam that will please the discriminating lover of keyboards and guitar.
The quartet’s second album is sophisticated in places, with jazzy keyboard flourishes, while other tracks feature strong guitar and a raucous “jam” sensibility. The quartet spotlights the talents of James Pate on guitar and vocals, John Brown on bass and mandolin, Vincenzo Loechel on drums and percussion, while Russell Dobda complements the group with his spectacular work on keyboards and saxophones. The ensuing collaborations on this album are thoughtful, interesting, and showcase a wide variety of possible influences. Dobda’s keyboard work has sterling moments that invoke the spirit of Dave Brubeck and his West Coast “cool,” while horn arrangements on other tracks remind me of “Hot Rats” era Frank Zappa. The album is defined primarily by instrumental jams, but the vocals are solid and well-delivered, with Pate, Dobda, and Loechel all taking turns at the microphone stand. ToasT explores many different musical genres and a wide variety of subjects in the fourteen tracks on this album. The overall result is an intriguing snapshot and a well-produced studio effort.

“The Mad Science” begins with “Twilight Mischief,” a sonic instrumental defined by Pate’s exploratory guitar. “Tude,” which features guest musician Leah Zeger on violin, summons the spirit of Jean Luc Ponty-era Mahavishnu Orchestra, with caterwauling violin and solid grooves from the rhythm section. “Fro Sho” is punctuated by Dobda’s jazzy keyboard flourishes while guest musicians Tony Alexander and Lea Dobda accentuate the mix with tenor saxophone and trumpet. “The Dub” changes gears, offering an intriguing, carefree stroll through tropical waters until James Pate ratchets up the intensity with a blistering guitar solo. “Estudio” features yearning guitar and solid work from John Brown on bass. This sets the stage for “Jam Sammich,” a funky throw-down that spotlights saxophone and guitar in a feel-good jam reminiscent of old 70s television shows. “Blind Cat,” the first track with vocals, further demonstrates Pate’s prowess on guitar while “Shrinkage” and “Chrome” offer vocals reminiscent of David Bowie, King Crimson and other legendary acts of yesteryear. “The Joker” features lilting keyboard and a charming, playful sensibility that culminates with crunchy guitar and sampled maniacal laughter. The epic “Doc Marshall,” which clocks in at over 10 minutes long, closes the album. This song begins with nice interplay between guitar and saxophone, changes gears for one of Pate’s signature explorations on guitar before rumbling toward its conclusion.

ToasT, in presentating “The Mad Science,” displays a musically varied palette, showcasing jam, funk, and jazz sensibilities in this ambitious, lengthy album. The tracks on the album feature solid guitar work and significant contributions from all the respective members. However, I found the contribution of Russell Dobda on keyboards and saxophones to be the most compelling part of the album for me on a personal level. Chalk this up to personal preference or whatever, but I really enjoyed the jazzy flourishes that he added to the equation and found his work to be exceptional. However, James Pate’s talent with the guitar is prominently displayed throughout the album, and those tracks he shines on definitely deserve mention. His guitar work serves as a solid backbone for the entire album, and without that, the rest of the album might flounder. If you are looking for a solid “jam” album, and enjoy guitar, keys, and saxophone, ToasT might just be the appetizer you’re looking for.

- By J. Evan Wade
- Home Grown Music Network (Evan Wade)

"ToasT - Not Just For Breakfast Anymore?!"

Not Just For Breakfast Anymore?!

WORDS: bill bowman

Psychedelic, Funk, Jam Band, ToasT has been expanding the minds and eardrums of Texas for more than a decade. The original members of the band: James Pate, John Brown, and Enzo Loechel formed in El Paso while just in Middle School. In 2006, they were joined by Russell Dobda and the music has been sweet ever since.

Where did the name come from?
We were pretty much just hanging out and enjoying the finer things in life and randomly naming names. It took about two minutes and someone said TOAST! The name has stuck ever since.

Have you guys always been into music?
Ever since we popped out of our mommas! We all have strong musical backgrounds that stem from early exposure to music through choir, band, and our parents enjoying music. We’ve continued to peruse these urges throughout the years, and this has taken us through several musical identity crises, leading to bliss which we call ToasT these days.

What are your shows like?
Our shows are high energy, musically intense productions. If we don’t see booties shaking we are doing something wrong. It’s great to see when someone in the crowd slowly stands up off the chair, takes a sip from their tasty beverage, starts to feel the music, and forgets about all the crap that has ever happened to them.

What inspires the lyrics?
Like any art, the lyrics are open to interpretation. They usually come from deep within and for the most part, they do have hidden messages. If we were upfront with our lyrics we might as well write songs for the Jonas Brothers.

Where do you see ToasT going in the future?
Ideally, traveling around the world and not ever having to worry about a day job ever again. If we could do some positive things on a big scale I think we would have accomplished our mission.
- Study Breaks Magazine

"Radio Interview with KBAC Santa Fe's Toast N Jam"

A mid-summer tour promotion radio interview with Santa Fe's KBAC Toast N Jam.

"Radio interview on KOOP's Virtual Noise"

Album promotion with Austin's own Mark Boyden's Virtual Noise on KOOP (91.7)

- Mark Boyden

"Toast - The Mad Science. Album Review"

The Mad Science

The Mad Science is the first full length studio album for progressive fusion band Toast. Hailing from El Paso, Toast relocated to Austin in an attempt to expand its fan base and venue prospects. Consisting of James Pate on vocals, guitar and samples, Vincenzo Loechel on vocals and drums, and Russell Dobda on vocals, keyboards, and saxophone, Toast is notable for live improvisational performances. Guest musicians on the album are John Brown on bass and mandolin, Leah Zeger on violin, Tony Alexander on tenor saxophone, and Lea Dobda on trumpet. Appropriately, Toast is very similar and evocative of Los Angeles based jam band Particle.

The album is an experimental journey encompassing a multitude of schizophrenic tempo changes, unbridled improvisations and themes including politics and philosophy. The first track entitled “Twilight Mischief,” is a hushed instrumental jam charged with Afro-beat rhythms and sporadic guitar riffs. The almost seven-minute track allows the listener’s brain to wander through a world of melodic jazz progressions and unsullied rhythm. The third track, “FroSho,” begins with former president George W. Bush stating that the economy is in the “midst of a major financial crisis.” A prevalent theme included on the track points blame on Wall Street for the financial collapse. Impetuous squalls of saxophone, busy percussion, whirling keyboards and vertiginous guitar digressions echo throughout this blame game of a track.

“The Dub,” embraces a world feel with its reggae influenced riffs and ambient guitar which dabbles and drifts into a funnel of drone effects. The track’s foundation is titular to the title of the song in that “dub” is a form of re-mixed reggae music. “The Joker” is a quick paced string ditty that differs from any other tracks on the album exemplifying the fact that Toast embraces a maniac diversity. The Mad Science is a conglomeration of rigorous talent, psychedelic euphoria and jam-tastic funk.

The album’s cover art is a myriad of layered guitars, flowers and trees atop of what appears to be surgeon dressed in a suit holding a martini glass or upside down Erlenmeyer flask. The light colors are almost translucent and create the layered effect. The foldout portion of leaflet includes the lyrics of several of the songs.

4.5/5 Stars.

-Ashley Cass - Newsstreamz San Marcos


2004 - Disengaged From the Outside World
2007 - Live In Austin
2009 - The Mad Science (available at record stores and electronically everywhere, and ranked #11 in September/October 2009 Relix Magazine for " radio chart albums of 2009)



Toast experienced their early years in the multi-cultural city of El Paso, TX. It was there that Mike Majors, who also worked with the Mars Volta, produced their first album, "Disengaged From the Outside World". In order to expand their fan base and venue opportunities, Toast relocated to the heart of the live music capitol of the world, Austin, TX. Toast's progressive approach to musical experiences also takes full advantage of the on-stage space and often welcomes other art forms onto their set to share their improvised inspiration. They do no hesitate to make use of light synchronization and design, 3D visual projectors, on-stage theatrics, and live paintings. The audience can always expect a fresh and cultivating experience.

Moving audiences' with his "in the pocket" rhythmic melodies and double-slap funk bass riffs, John Brown (bass guitar/mandolin) lays the concrete for the band's musical foundation. James Pate (guitar/vocals/sampler) melts audiences' faces with his unbridled guitar mechanics and soulful artistry that employs guitar melodies and searching vocals to explore the depths of human emotion. As the driving rhythmic force and backbone of the band, Enzo Loechel (drums/vocals) gives the band an edge by incorporating a range of improvisational drumming techniques while maintaining an impeccable rhythm.

The newest member of this fearless foursome is Russell Dobda (keyboards/saxophone/vocals) who seals the stamp on Toast's fusion of eclectic sounds and creatively engineered live performances. On stage Russ is surrounded by various vintage, electronic, and acoustic keyboards, which allow him to layer the music with melodic chords and jazz progressions. In addition, his skillful saxophone playing provides for a more soulful sound. All band members contribute to the lyrics, which aim to identify universal themes and explore diverse subject matter such as science fiction, politics, and philosophical understandings.

Toast has shared the stage with a number of talented artists from different corners of the map including: Particle, Moving Matter, Antibalas Afro-Beat Orchestra, and Papa Mali, Let it go (Karl Denson, Tea leaf Green, Signal Path).