Describing themselves as “not your average hip-hop”, Toad and the Stooligans is a hip-hop band out of Providence, Rhode Island. Formed by a group of high school friends, they bring influences from a variety of genres to hip-hop. In December, they released their single “TRAP SONG” as well as a music video for the song. These guys are certainly creative and different. Their hard work over the past few years seems to be paying off.

Q: How did you guys come up with the name Toad and the Stooligans?

A: Our vocalist (Mike Jencks) has always gone by the name Toad since he was a kid. He also goes by the rap name “ToadStool”. I believe our friend Sean actually suggested the name, but basically, it’s a mix of Mike’s nickname and a play on ToadStool and “hooligans”.

Q: On the band’s Facebook page, you say your music is “not your average hip-hop”. What do you mean by that?

A: We feel like we’re influenced by a lot of different music, and that shows in what we write and record. We aren’t just using a computer made beats as most modern hip-hop does. We take influences from 90s hip hop, jazz, funk, alternative, indie rock and whatever else, and then we apply those influences to a live band setting. It’s definitely not the norm. Also, we like saying it fast, like “nacho average hip hop”, because we love puns. And nachos.

Q: In December, you guys released the song “Trap Song” as well as a music video for it. What was the inspiration for the song and video?

A: “Trap Song” was our attempt at bringing the stylings of Trap music into a live band setting. We do the fast high hats and a lot of the ambient sounds. I think we based the music around a verse that Dan (Guitar / Vocals) had already written, which makes sense because it’s a very lyrically driven song. The video and its concept was created by Toad and it was based on his love for monster movies such as Godzilla. He designed the set out of cardboard boxes and we just all ran with it. We loved the idea and we’re really proud of how it came out for essentially doing it all ourselves.

Q: Where is “Trap Song” currently available?

A: You can stream “Trap Song” pretty much everywhere! The usual suspects like Spotify and Apple Music are probably the easiest way to go. If you want a fully immersive experience, we highly recommend watching the video on YouTube or over on our Facebook page!

Q: Does the band have any plans for more new music in 2019?

A: We are writing heavily at the moment, and have plans to release another standalone single before the year is out. Our hope is to have our next set of releases be a little different than the typical full-length album. You’ll have to wait and see what we mean by that, but there will be a lot more Stooligans material coming very soon.

Q: Do you guys have any upcoming shows or plans for touring this year?

A: Our first hometown show of the year will be in March at AS220 in Providence. Other than that, we are mostly just planning on doing some festival shows, a few hometown shows, and sparse weekender style touring. The focus this year is definitely more on writing and recording new material, but if you’re in the Northeast, you will have plenty of chances to catch us live!

Q: If you could put together a dream tour for Toad and the Stooligans, what bands would you include?

A: This one is a tough one because it’s really hard for us to identify bands we feel like we sound like. I think the big ones among us would be The Roots and Snarky Puppy, so let’s go with that.

Q: Since it is a new year now, do you have a favorite memory of the band from 2018?

A: I think our favorite memories were all the festival style shows we played in 2018. We played in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and in our hometown of Providence at outdoor festival environments and they were such a blast. We also played in an arcade bar in Providence, which was crazy. The place was packed and the energy was off the chain. Definitely looking forward to doing more of that in 2019!

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