Discover Artists That Joined The IMAs: The Tosspints
Band Name: The Tosspints
Home Base: Saginaw, MI
Genre(s): Celtic Folk/Punk
Categories Entered: Album, Songs, Music Video: Indie/Alt Rock
Title of Work Submitted: Album: Have you Been Drinking?, Video: “Soldiers Heart”, Songs: “Our Last Breath” and “Blood or Whiskey”
Label: East Grand Record Company
Producer: Andy Reed
Artists Featured: Don Zuzula, Zak Zuzula, John Johnson
Instruments Featured: Bass, Drums, Guitar
What’s the story behind your band name?: It was originally a title to a Pogues song about a slovenly pig who is burned at the stake. We got our start as a Pogues tribute act, but never found our stride there. We started writing music shortly into our career and stuck with the moniker even though we’ve moved on from our old act.
Describe your sound: We hear “East Coast Punk” a lot, and are often described with hearing influences of the Celtic Punk mainstays. We try to keep folk elements in as prominently as possible, but we’re fast and aggressive. Lyrically we’re dark, but the tempo is pretty upbeat.
Who’s sitting in your audience?: The working class, drunks, punks, and people of all ages.
Favorite [press] quote about your music: “The Tosspints are a family of tough-as-nails, hard-drinking, hard-working, blue-collar Michiganders who play no-nonsense street-punk rock with an Irish twist. Their stage show is mean, gritty and super energetic. Imagine The Pogues if they had the energy and cacophony of Black Flag and you’re getting close.” -Chris Bentley, Buzzbin Magazine
The song(s) that changed your life and why: Firewater’s entire album The Golden Hour was a huge inspiration for me. It’s a relatively obscure, yet beautifully written album full of emotion, poetry, and real world experience. It’s presented in a way that is a fantastic blend of Folk and Rock that has been like a guidebook of how I can utilize different styles all on the same platform. Our albums are eclectic and cohesive at the same time because of this album and what it taught us about blending styles together.
Describe the first time you walked onstage: The first time was decades ago, in our teens. It was awkward, we were nervous and barely got through a set. Since then, we’ve put on a lot of shows, it seems like every time you’re in a new place, or you get to a different type of venue you’re playing your first show all over again. Our first Big Festival set in front of a couple thousand people, our opening show for Dropkick Murphy’s, our first time playing live on the radio, nothing really prepares you for the next big thing that comes up so in a lot of ways, we’re still hitting the stage for the first time. It’s good to be nervous though, the adrenaline rush you get from that is better than any drug you can buy.
Why did you submit to this year’s Independent Music Awards?: We wanted to see how we fare. Honestly, winning awards isn’t why we make music, we never think of ourselves as competitors, we’re just trying to have fun, and hope to sell some records to fund our music making endeavors. That being said though, we’ve submitted to other competitions and gotten great feedback. With the panel of people at the IMA’s it’s really exciting and interesting to think of who may give our music a listen and possibly critique us. We really just want to know what we’re doing wrong and what we’re doing right.
If you win and/or get nominated, how will you use your IMA honor to further your career?: It’s nice to have recognition for the work that you do. Everything that you do as a musician, every achievement you have becomes a part of your resume. Having something like an Independent Music Award on your resume is huge. We’re hoping that it unlocks a few doors that have otherwise been shut to us, or at least eases our transition into the next phase of our career.
Who is your musical hero & what would you like to learn from them?: There are a lot of musical heroes who can teach a lot of things. Joe Strummer has been an icon to performance, Eugene Hutz from Gogol Bordello is another one who can teach a lot about adding energy to a performance. Dave King from Flogging Molly has been a songwriting hero to me. He’s not sitting around writing meaningless stuff, he’s got a message and he’s been a tremendous inspiration for writing in allegory. Masking one meaning behind a more universally identifiable lyric creating a greater depth in the music.
Where can fans follow you/purchase your music?: Amazon, iTunes, bandcamp. Physical copies of our music and our vinyl records, along with music from a lot of other great bands, are available from East Grand Records at eastgrandrc.com.