“In my opinion, The Toasters are to ska in America the 1980s and beyond what The Specials were to ska in the U.K. in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and what the Skatalites were to ska in Jamaica in the 1960s. The Toasters were innovators, creators, shapers of the music, evolving it in a fresh direction, blending it with the cultural influences in a very American manner, and I mean that in a completely complimentary way. Just as Byron Lee & the Dragonaires brought professionalism and polish to ska, allowing others to benefit from the fruits of their labor, so too did the Toasters’ music allow numerous other bands to share in the spotlight of skill and success, many of whom have gone on to great heights. Upon the shoulders of giants. Oh, yeah, and they kick ass!”
The Toasters, are “Ska Pioneers” (Billboard magazine) and boldly go where no ska band has gone before. Having been compared to the Ramones, due to their longevity and adherence to core principles, the Toasters are held to be one of most influential ska bands out there. Their lean, mean ska machine has galvanized audiences and musicians alike with their embrace of the Jamaica-born pop music style that overwhelmed England in the 1960’s, migrated to America in the early 1980s, and went global in the 1990s. The hallmark Toasters sound sits at the nexus of Reggae, Jazz, Punk and Soul and is the musical equivalent of a brass knuckle-duster.
Formed in New York City by British guitarist/frontman Rob “Bucket” Hingley in 1981, the Toasters exploded onto the Lower East Side scene. Cutting their teeth with a residency at legendary clubs like CBGB and Danceteria, the band has defied gravity and industry skeptics alike by staying true to their original 2-Tone ska roots, whilst logging over 4000 globe-trotting live appearances.
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