Interview with Mike of Dangerous Toys; September 2005

Hailing from Austin Texas, Dangerous Toys along with their brand of sleazy Texas hard-rock, found themselves as the top drawl in the hard-rock scene around the states and around countries. With songs that hit heavy rotation on MTV's top 20, "Teasing Pleasing" and "Scared" won them popularity in the music world. I had the chance to interview Mike Watson, bassist of Dangerous Toys....

Q1. First off, just want to thank you for taking the time to do this. So thanks.

Dangerous Toys was an excellent band, that to me, stood out from all the other hard-rock acts around. What made Dangerous Toys different from all the other bands that flooded the gates of this scene?

A1. Well, there wasn't any bands like us from Texas on the scene so we wanted to bring something that didn't sound like West or East coast bands. Just straight forward, no bullshit rock that was a mix of all the stuff we liked to listen to and play.

Q2. With the bands debut cd, "Teasing Pleasing" and "Scared" were on heavy rotation, What was your reaction when you first saw and heard Dangerous Toys on music tv and radio?

A2. Extreme pride and joy! We felt honored to be getting recognition for something we loved doing.

Q3. To go with the questions about Dangerous Toys debut cd, Why wasn't "Queen of the Nile" ever put out as a single?...that has to be one of my fave songs and I always thought it would of been a hit as well.

A3. Thank you! It's a fave of mine as well. As for why it wasn't put out as a single... you would have to question the wisdom of the powers-that-be at Columbia Records at that time. We wanted to put out another single but they wanted us to put out a new album. If you ask me, that's when I started to see how insane the business side of music was.

Q4. With the bands 2nd album "Hellacious Acres", the sleazy hard-rock sound was still apparent with great songs "Gimme' No Lip" and "Line 'Em Up" put out as singles...One song I loved was the heart-felt ballad "Best Of Friends". On this album, Why did the band decide to cover "Feel Like Makin' Love"?

A4. I don't remember who in the band first suggested that song but it was one we all liked and felt natural. We had decided to do a cover on that album just for the hell of it and there were SO many choices of songs that we liked and we couldn't decide easily so we pretty much just picked that one and went for it.

Q5. As the 3rd album, "Pissed", was released...the music world was finding itself at a change...Was the song, "Pissed", written due to hard-rock fading out and all record labels not giving those bands the chance anymore because they were too busy jumping into the whole grunge bandwagon?

A5. Yeah, we were frustrated and fed up with the way Columbia had been dealing with us. We decided to part ways with them and go with a local and relativly new label called "Dos" records. We went in and recorded Pissed in less than a month and vented alot of our frustrations. There's alot of sardonic, don't-give-a-shit-anymore, humor on there as well (listen to "Oh Well, So What, Who Cares?" and you'll see what I mean).

Q6. Grunge came in with both fist punching and knocked hard-rock acts out for the count....Dangerous Toys released "The Rtist 4merly Known As Dangerous Toys", but we find you missing from the band. If you care to explain your reason for the departure, then do so...if it's a personal situation then feel free not to answer. Also, with this album, we find the band dabbling in the grunge style a bit...Fans were disappointed with the album, how do you feel about this release and was it a good move to do so?

A6. In answer to the first part of the question, no, I don't mind talking about why I left the band. I was honestly just getting so burned out! I didn't want to become one of those angry, bitter musicians who are getting on stage and going through the motions only because they don't know what else to do. I decided to go back to school for drafting and design and see where that would take me. I just had to redirect my passion for awhile.

As for the album "Rtist 4merly Known As...", I think the guys making the right move. I actually loved the album when I listened to it and felt a pang of jealousy that I hadn't been a part of it. I had always wanted to write some harder edged DT songs and here they were doing stuff that really appealed to me! I am honestly sorry that the fans had mixed reactions to it. I think it is a great album!

[Yeah, I loved the album too. It's showed that DT wasn't afraid to try a new direction.]

Q7. What was the highest point in Dangerous Toys' popularity in the music scene...and what state or country had the best fans?

A7. I had the best time being on tour with such great bands as The Cult, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper and Motorhead. These are guys we all respected and were fans of and suddenly we're hanging out and touring with them! As for the popularity thing, I really enjoyed talking to people that would be hanging around the club or venue hoping to meet the band and get an autograph. Not for an ego boost, but because I remembered being a fan and waiting for a chance to see or even meet the bands I admired. What I always got a kick out of when talking to a "fan" was seeing their face relax when they realized the guy they were talking to was just a regular guy who loved music just as much as they did and was happy and grateful.

Q8. So years passed, and I find Dangerous Toys doing reunion shows once a year and even playing Japan once again. How do you feel seeing people still packing the clubs who are still big fans of the band?

A8. Absolute awe and admiration!

Q9. When you're not playing with Dangerous Toys, you play for a rock cover band in Austin Texas called LC Rocks. I had the chance to catch you guys do a two set show, and found it a great time...What else do you do besides playing in these bands?

A9. I also play in a band called "Proof Of Life" with Mark Geary (DToys drummer), Cole Stanfield (lead vocals/guitar), and Duncan Eisenhaur (guitar-also plays in the band "Podunk"). By day I work at an architectural office that designs apartment projects. I do accessibility design for handicapped tenants. I enjoy it and find it rewarding.

Q10. Do you think that in the near future, the band will ever put out a new album?

A10. I really don't know. We'll see what the future holds. Weirder things have been known to happen, eh?

Q11. I bought the DVD, Live at the Redeye Fly, and the band sounds tighter than ever...Has the band ever thought of jumping on a tour such as Rock Never Stops or better yet, doing their own tour? I'm sure people would love to see Dangerous Toys again.

A11. Thanks for buying the DVD and for your comments on the show! Yes, that was alot of fun and very magical but I don't think any of us want to take it on the road for right now. But, like I said before, weirder things have happened.

Q12. Last question, What would you like to tell the people who are still very big fans of the band Dangerous Toys?

A12. Where do I begin?! The gratitude that all of us in Dangerous Toys feel for the people who stuck by us and "got" what we were doing is something I can't easily express in words. "Thank you" is such a miserably inept _expression for the honor and the admiration we feel towards you all!

[Once again Mike, Thank you for your time.]

Interviewed by Marcus Calzada

Visit the Dangerous Toys Website