Jason McMaster reveals how fast that Dangerous Toys came up with their band name
Dangerous Toys, Broken Teeth, Ignitor and new Dirty Looks frontman Jason McMaster was recently interviewed by Chuck Shute for the Chuck Shute Podcast.
In terms of how Dangerous Toys came up with their band name, McMaster indicated (as transcribed by Sleaze Roxx): “Yeah. I think that name came about, it’s very similar to way that my involvement with the group came about because they were looking to steal me. They knew me from Watchtower. I started moonlighting in the late eighties playing with other people and they knew that. It was mainly cover bands because at that point, Watchtower was not playing any covers. And if we did, it was side one of 2112 by Rush just as an encore. We were done with that. We were established and revered in the underground world and we’re trying to make records. We weren’t trying to make it per say. We just wanted to make great records and play music for the right reasons. And that’s important.
In a band that plays that kind of music, that’s pretty much your aspiration anyway, because ultimately you don’t think of selling a bunch of records when you’re playing in jazzy weird times and you’re sprinkling speed metal on top of Pink Floyd and Rush. So anyway, they came into my work. I was working at the pizza joint like you said, and they were like, ‘Hey dude! We know who you are. We’re losing our singer and we got these gigs and you know what we do.’ I’d seen Onyx couple of times. It’s like, ‘Yeah, you guys look like you’re having fun. Yeah, I’ll help you guys out till you find somebody permanent.’ And so they — look what happened. It blew up in their face. So I started working with them.
We played like two or three shows under the new name. I started rehearsing with them, learning a bunch of their cover songs and they had their own songs but I didn’t want to sing any of the old singer’s lyrics. I would think that the bass player, Mike Watson, you know — he had written a few songs already and I was like, ‘Well, we can just keep the songs that have your lyrics or we can keep the music you guys wrote and I’ll just write lyrics over.’ I think the first song I wrote with Dangerous Toys was called “Here Comes Trouble” and it did end up on the first record. So yeah, so the name of the band where we’re literally at a couple of rehearsals and the phone rings and it’s the booking agent.
Onyx was like the house band at the rock bar. In Austin [Texas], the premier rock bar was called The Back Room. It’s not around anymore of course, but it was world famous. You know, mid-level bands, headlining bands — everyone played there — The Ramones, Nazareth, Cheap Trick, Armored Saint, Anthrax, Mötorhead, you know, keep going. Pearl Jam. Before all of these bands became a global success, on their first US tours, they always played this sort of medium size rock bar called The Back Room and we were the house band there. So Onyx was the house band. Onyx was kind of the house band. It played almost every weekend and was always adding new material. Anyway, I go jam with them. We did a set together. The phone rings. We hadn’t even played a gig yet. ‘I heard you guys got Jason from Watchtower.’
‘Well, we can’t play under the name Onyx.’ He’s like, ‘Well, come up with a name. What are you going to call yourself? Hold the phone.’ Drummer’s holding the phone, ‘How are we going to call this band?’ And the guitar player’s over there. Scott‘s [Dalhover] over there noodling on his guitar and he goes, ‘How about? I don’t know. Bad Boys Make Dangerous Toys or something like that? And I’m like, ‘Just call it Dangerous Toys. Do that.’ And it’s me and Scott kind of just threw that name out. We weren’t even really thinking about it, but it was something that Scott said that made us really sort of agree with that. It was an accidental bad ass [laughs].”
You can listen to the entire interview with Jason McMaster on the Chuck Shute Podcast via Buzz Sprout‘s website.