The name Vertical Horizon may not seem familiar at first, but their breakthrough single "Everything You Wanted" was a radio and MTV staple. Street sat down with VH drummer Joe Toth to get the inside track on what the band has been doing since fame headed their way and what to expect from their latest effort, Go.
The band found you while you were working at a music store. At the time, had drumming been something you planned on pursuing as a career?
I had gotten out of school and I had a degree in music education... I liked the teaching part but all the bureaucratic crap, I wasn't interested in, like faculty meetings and shit like that. So, I wanted to play, so I just went back to work for Borders.
What genre do you think VH falls under, if any?
I think all music falls under a genre, except for maybe Bjork, whom I love. I think VH's a pop rock band. You know, it's a rock band. You know we're playing rock music, but there's a lot of pop sensibility, like we're trying to write catchy choruses that you can sing along with and lyrics that speak to people... I mean I think that's why a song like "Everything You Want" was so big, because like everybody's lived that sort of. And so it's that kind of, people being able to relate to that kind of thing, I think, that helps make the music popular. And it's nice cause you know it's a quiet popularity like you wouldn't know who I was if I walked down the street and I like that, you know.
While you were making this new album, did you ever feel confined to keeping with a style that will be popular with mainstream audience, and not be very experimental?
The label went through a whole change in personnel so they weren't really even around when we were making the record so we just kind of went in and did our thing. And I guess if you were to say who do you lump yourselves in with, it would be with the Matchbox 20's of the world and stuff like that because that's where I think we sit on that same kind of pocket, but I listen to it, and it sounds like VH.
Do you have groupies?
I don't know if we have any groupie stories that you could print. You know, we're not like Motley Cre or anything like that -- for the most part everyone's well behaved, but there are funny stories I could tell you some other time.
There's not much we don't print.
We played a show somewhere and a guy came up and said, "Hey, I made a video for your song," and we were like, "OK, great, why don't you give it to us?" And he was like, "No, I want to show you. Can I come on the bus and show it to you?" And we figured it was just another plea to get on the bus, cause everyone wants to see a tour bus. This guy just wouldn't back down, so we were like, "All right, let's watch it." So we get on the bus and we pop the video in... and lo and behold we watch three and a half minutes of this guy like fucking his girlfriend while "Everything You Want" just plays in the background. And he was so proud. And at the end we were like, "Oh, that's really cool, man. We're gonna hang on to this," and he was like "No, no, no, I gotta take it. I just wanted to show you." True story.