Though they never became as popular as Nirvana or Pearl Jam, TAD were an important part of the grunge scene that began in the Pacific Northwest during the late ’80s. However, they haven’t been active in over 20 years, and frontman Tad Doyle has explained that they’ll likely never reunite again.
Doyle formed TAD in Seattle in 1988, and they were one of the first bands to sign with the iconic Sub Pop label, founded by Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman. They released an EP and two albums (God’s Balls and 8-Way Santa) through Sub Pop before signing with a major label and putting out Inhaler in 1993, however they were one of the groups that became overshadowed by the success of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains.
By the end of the decade, TAD had split.
Doyle started a few other musical projects throughout the 2000s, and performed with Soundgarden on behalf of Chris Cornell in 2009 during what was to be their first reunion show (the performance was appropriately nicknamed “Tadgarden”). A few years later, Doyle and original TAD guitarist Gary Thorstensen played a show in Seattle to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Sub Pop, which took place in July of 2013. But otherwise, they haven’t reunited since their dissolution in ’99.
“I think we’re done. I get a lot of people asking me, ‘How about a reunion?’ and all that. And I don’t think my heart and soul is in that space anymore,” Doyle recently told Audio Ink Radio. “That was a chunk of my life that I had, the things that I did in my life built up to that. And I’m a different person now, as far as my experiences and where I’ve been and my music that I wanna take my music.”
“I always wanna move forward, I don’t wanna move back. And I think that if we did a reunion or did some more TAD stuff, it would kind of ruin the legacy that we created for ourselves. That’s all,” he continued.
Doyle added that TAD would tour nine months out of the year, and that it became more of a job than a passion after a while because of the repetitiveness of the lifestyle.
“I didn’t ever want it to become a job. And at some point, if you just keep doing it over and over and over — as much as you love what you’re doing — it can become a job and it can become less than exciting. And I always want things to be exciting and at least fresh. So I don’t see any reason why we need to do a reunion or play shows.”
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The musician acknowledged that TAD never reached the level of mainstream popularity that some of the other grunge bands did, and admitted that he’s happy they didn’t, especially because some of their contemporaries couldn’t go anywhere in public without having the spotlight on them.
“Especially since I’ve lost over 110 pounds, I don’t think anybody would recognize me now. Plus I have gray hair, and I don’t color it,” Doyle said. “So, I’m happy being who I am, and I feel like I’ve enjoyed the success that I wanted to. Success is what you name it. So, I’m happy to be invisible. Let’s just leave it at that.”
Listen to the full interview below.