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INTERVIEW: Glen Phillips

Photo Cred: Chris Orwig

Glen Phillips is a singer/songwriter legend. Phillips started Toad the Wet Sprocket in 1986, when he was just 15. Toad toured extensively for ten years and gained a cult-like following (in the good way) in the process. In 2001, Phillips released his first solo album, Abulum, (which is one of my favorite albums of all-time - BTW). And since has released 11 solo albums and continues to tour solo and with Toad the Wet Sprocket!

Recently, Glen Phillips dove into the joys and sorrows of everyday life with help from Dave Depper (Death Cab For Cutie), Ji Tanzer (Blue Cranes) and John Morgan Askew with the album, There Is So Much Here.

 On Friday, January 27th Glen Phillips will be playing Ludlow Garage! I was over the moon to chat with one of my favorite musicians prior to the show!

CincyMusic: First of all, congratulations on the new album! We are excited to see you in Cincinnati again.

 Glen Phillips: Thank you! Looking forward to coming back.

CM: As I understand There Is So Much Here was inspired and written during COVID lock down, besides writing this album, what were some positives that you experienced during and since then?

 GP: I moved in with my now fiancee during covid. It was the longest I’d been home in decades. I’d spent a number of years post-divorce running from place to place and lockdown allowed me to relearn how to be in one place and notice the little things.

CM: I last saw you back in August for The Last Summer on Earth tour (finally - after 3 cancelations?!). How does a large tour such as that one compare to when you tour solo? Which do you prefer, or it is nice to be able to experience both?

 GP: I love both. The bigger tours are really easy and fun - I mostly get to just show up and play the show. It’s good for me to tour solo because I have to take care of all the little details, and it helps me to remember how hard everyone works to make the big shows happen. I like the spontaneousness of playing solo, but I really appreciate the energy and musicianship of the band. It helps to have both.

CM: Over the years, you have collaborated with quite a few talented musicians. Who have been some of your favorites?

 GP: Getting to play with Nickel Creek was my steepest learning curve and probably also the most fun I’ve ever had on a stage. They really helped to turn my life around at a time where I was low on hope. They gave me back a love of music and faith in humanity. So…that.

CM: What can fans expect at Ludlow Garage?

 GP: Clowns, balloons. Lots of smoke and fire effects. Or just a bunch of songs sung competently. Some Toad, some solo. My good friend Jonathan Kingham is opening and accompanying me and he’s a delight to be on the road with. We always have a great time together.

CM: What is next? Any news you care to share?

 GP: More records, more tours….not too much specific at the moment.


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