On November 16, 2016 Toadstool’s Nicklas Waroff and Kevin Van Walk met with guitarist Chris Rorrer to run through some ideas for their upcoming performance at The Space. This was to be Chris’s debut with the duo and although Chris had worked with Kevin in other projects, he had never performed with Toadstool. A group of musicians like Toadstool, specializing in improvisation, spontaneous composition, and the sonic experimentation that such extemporaneous pursuits yield are not generally concerned with the niceties and formalities of proper rehearsals. Not a single note, motif, or head has ever been written down when these gentlemen come together. But the evening’s “rehearsal” was more about connecting personally, spiritually and of course artistically; the musical equivalent of meeting for drinks to acquaint one another. The mic was turned on for the chance to document any possible moments of inspiration without any explicit desire to “record an album.” For over an hour the trio played non-stop, uttering not a single word until the band simply needed a break; Nicklas with his extreme breath exertion was red-faced like a saxophone/clarinet-blowing tomato head, ready to explode; Chris and Kevin all sweaty and breathless from assaulting their respective instruments looked as though they had stepped from the mosh pit of a thrash metal show. Bathroom urinals beckoned, and then the band convened to an adjacent recreation room for a few minutes of ping pong, Kevin versus Chris and Nicklas. After twenty minutes with zero semblance of ping-pong ability, the trio thought a better use of time would be to reconvene to the studio. Kevin began singing an improvised ditty about a long-lost romantic interest named Suzy and the band launched into their last tune of the evening.
When the recordings were reviewed it was realized that more than “jamming” or “getting to know one another” had occurred. Meaningful music had been made, sans previous meetings, or other bothersome preconceived notions of expectation. The guiding spirit of truth and transparency and willing ignorance to ego became manifested in these sonic journeys over the course of 1.5 hours. That may sound like alot of lofty, artsy BS, but it’s what happened. We hope you can feel that connectivity when you listen. . .