A conversation on Lake View Dr. between Craig and Brooks, about getting together to drink a few beverages and play some music, was the first step. Recruiting fellow neighbors, Tom and Jeremiah was next, and a call to Shaun from Brooks was the final.
Initially meeting in Tom's basement, the band has since moved to a regular practice facility.
All members participate in song selection and each gets the following two things:
1. A franchise song - gets to pick a song that they want to play and each other member must agree to play it.
2. A veto - gets 1 veto for a song, and this veto can eliminate any song from the play-set, except for franchise songs.
We play what we want to play. If you like it great, if not T.S., there are no refunds. Other than this there are not many rules.
Each member of Toast contributes/writes their part to each song. So, all Toast songs are written by Toast.
- Brooks Martin
- Craig Lars Larsen
- Jeremiah Longnecker
- Shaun Courbat
- Tom Kremer
Brooks was born to a musical family in Waverly, Iowa. His grandfather was a travelling Jazz singer, drummer and piano player during the depression. His mother sang for the church choir and his aunt was a professional singer. Brooks currently lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa and is an entrepreneur by day. His musical influences include Oscar Peterson, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, The Sex Pistols, Metallica, Stone Temple Pilots, Green Day, and Nirvana.
Brooks' favorite part of being a member of Toast is the song writing process. To him there is no greater feeling than coming up with an original song that makes the cut with all five band members. We all have a picky ear, so when that happens it's a rush.
Want a little peek into his head... then check out:
Craig Lars Larsen
Raised in a small town during the 70's and 80's, Lars spent much of his early childhood dressing up as Gene Simmons with makeup, spikes, and fake blood, pretending to rock the world. In the early 80's, Lars picked up a beginners drum set which he beat beyond recognition while playing along with great hair bands such as Whitesnake, Motley Crue, and AC/DC. Lars attended his first concert at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, where Joan Jett and the Blackhearts rocked the house during the "I Love Rock-n-Roll" tour. Things would never be the same. His next concert proved to be one of the best he had ever witnessed. Taking the stage in Des Moines were Night Ranger, Accept, Ted Nugent, Motley Crue, and Ozzy Osbourne. Lars proclaimed himself as Ozzy's biggest fan.
One of his rock highlights took place in the early '90's when he was invited to a party with an unannounced live band. Quiet Riot played for a very small crowd of approximately 100 people. He's still not sure how the building remains standing since the foundation seemed to be shaking all night long.
Interesting Lars quote: "Writing music is easy. Just listen to all those voices in your head, and write down the good stuff." He claims that there is no better feeling than performing a song for an audience that you wrote while lying in bed one night, and watching their response.
Not a minute has passed where Lars' head has not been filled with music, dreaming of rockin the stage. At age 38, he realized that he may have missed his prime, but the passion still burns just as strong. There comes a time when you realize that if it all ends, you may have denied yourself the one thing that God had truly designed you to do. He's gonna rock like there's "No Tomorrow".
On lead vocals and seldom-used keyboards is Cedar Falls native Jeremiah Longnecker. The youngest of six children, he grew up in a family full of musical talent.
Easily the largest influence was his older brother, Jim, who has played in clubs across the country in his three decades of entertainment. His father still strums the guitar and sings for church services in Arkansas.
Jeremiah's favorite band is Rush but Toast does not possess anyone near the talent level of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson or Neal Pert to cover the Canadian trio's music. Other favorite artists (that also don't appear on the set list) are Elton John, Journey Styx, Duran Duran and Kansas.
A big fan of ballads, Toast appeases him a couple time each show by slowing it down a little. Before playing with Toast, most of his public musical appearances have been at weddings or funerals.
The last time he played in a band was when he was in junior high, performing such classics as "Stray Cat Strut" by the Stray Cats, "White Wedding" by Billy Idol and "World of Fantasy" by Triumph.
Almost born a sweetheart, Toast bassist, Shaun Courbat emerged on the scene nine minutes before Valentine's Day in 1974. A natural, inborn curiosity led to a childhood full of seeking and exploring which has continued to this day.
His first musical influence was his Grandma Devee and her brother Warren's recording's of folk songs. The influence wasn't so much musical, but more that DeVee & her siblings would get together to play and record music…
His dad's 8-tracks of The Beach Boys and especially the Doobie Brothers, China Grove completed the soundtrack of his youth.
Every Breath You Take was the first record he ever owned, a vinyl 45 purchased when he was 10 with his allowance for taking out and burning the garbage.
Fast forward to the release of Oliver Stone's movie, The Doors. This changed everything for Shaun
His musical influences are:
- Pink Floyd
- The Beatles
- The Grateful Dead
- Stone Temple Pilots
A Self-taught bassist, his style is a blend of the songs that he likes and hack-type experimentation...
Tom Kremer (Drums) was born and raised in Eastern Iowa. Growing up in the 80's, his musical foundation was built with 80's hair band rock. He cut his teeth on the drums in a High School Band with a group of friends, and has been playing ever since.
Early influences were bands that played in-your-face rock such as: Kiss, AC/DC, Aerosmith and Van Halen. Throw in some Poison, Motley Crue, Cinderella and Guns n Roses and you've created a rocker for life!
Now, with musical interests from Alternative and Punk Rock to Classic Rock and Modern Music, Tom brings an ecclectic style of rock to ignite the sounds of Toast.