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Jason McMaster performing with Dangerous Toys in Austin, Texas at the Red Eyed Fly on December 4, 2010. Photo by Katie Rockerazzi.
|Origin||Austin, Texas, USA|
|Genres||Hard rock, glam metal, heavy metal, southern rock|
|Labels||Columbia, DOS, DMZ|
Gähdzilla Motor Company
|Past members||Tim Trembley
Dangerous Toys is an Austin, Texas-based hard rock band with often humorous lyrics. Founded in 1987, Dangerous Toys put out four full-length albums and one live album before unofficially disbanding at the turn of the millennium.
Their major label debut, Dangerous Toys, released in May, 1989, featured the singles "Teas'n, Pleas'n" and "Scared". The album was certified as a Gold Record by RIAA in 1994. In 2006 "Teas'n, Pleas'n" was covered by Shadows Fall (Atlantic Records) on their B-Sides LP Fallout from the War, featuring guest vocals from Toys' vocalist Jason McMaster.
Dangerous Toys was formed in October 1987. Jason McMaster, singer for Watchtower, was invited by Tim Trembley to join his band, Onyxx, as singer. Onyxx included Scott Dalhover (guitar), Mark Geary (drums) and Mike Watson (bass).
In 1988, now calling themselves Dangerous Toys, the band was signed to Columbia Records. Soon afterwards Tim Trembley left the band, and they were without a second guitarist. On their eponymous debut album, produced by Max Norman (Megadeth, Ozzy Osbourne) Scott Dalhover played all the guitar tracks. Shortly before its release, guitarist Danny Aaron joined. Though he did not play on the album, he appears on the back cover.
The track Demon Bell (The Ballad Of Horace Pinker) appeared on the soundtrack for the 1989 Wes Craven movie Shocker.
In 1991, their second album, Hellacious Acres, was released. It was produced by Roy Thomas Baker, who had produced albums for several major rock artists (The Cars, Queen, Journey). Acres featured the singles "Sticks And Stones" and "Line 'Em Up." Unfortunately, neither song charted as a hit, the album sold poorly, and the 1991 summer tour with Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, and Motörhead folded after 10 weeks as the summer's biggest flop. Soon after, the band was dropped from CBS.
Changing With The Times
In 1992, Danny Aaron left the band, and was replaced by Kevin Fowler. Fowler never played on a Dangerous Toys album, but he did tour with the band - performing in over 200 live shows during 1993. In January, 1994, Paul Lidel of Dirty Looks., a hard rock band from San Francisco, replaced Fowler.
The third Dangerous Toys album, Pissed (DMZ/Dos/Antones [USA], Bullet Proof [Europe]. 1994), was full of pent up anger, bile, and venom. The band's lyrics and attitude became harsher, and the music had a darker tone, with song titles like "Loser" and "Hard Luck Champion."
In 1994, just after they finished recording the Pissed album, bassist Mike Watson was replaced by Michael Hannon from Salty Dog (Geffen). Hannon toured with the band, performing in over 200 shows during 1994 and 1995.
After touring, Hannon left, so Jason McMaster played bass in addition to doing lead vocals. The band considered changing their name, but stuck with Dangerous Toys, even poking fun at their name on the title of their fourth (and final) studio album to date; The R-tist 4-merly Known as Dangerous Toys (DMZ/Dos/Antones. 1995). The humor backfired: fan reaction was not favorable, and the album barely sold.
In 1999 Dangerous Toys released a live album, Vitamins and Crash Helmets Tour-Live Greatest Hits (Deadline/Cleopatra). After that, band activity slowed.
Singer Jason McMaster performs in various Austin-based rock-bands, including Sad Wings, Capricorn USA, and Broken Teeth a band formed in 1999, with Dangerous Toys guitarist Paul Lidel. Lidel left Broken Teeth in 2006, and now writes and performs with Adrenaline Factor. Lidel is also a music instructor who trains future would be guitar-rock stars. Drummer Mark Geary and bassist Mike Watson record and perform in an Austin-based heavy metal band called Proof Of Life.
Though not a full-time ongoing band, Dangerous Toys still regroup and perform at least one live show every year.
In 2001, they played a few shows in their hometown of Austin, Texas and in Tokyo, Japan, rejoined by their original bassist, Mike Watson. They reunited for another set of live shows in Austin and Tokyo during February, 2003, Austin in May, 2005, and at Bat Fest (an annual Austin event) with Rhino Bucket in September, 2006. Portions of the 2006 show were recorded, and initially intended for release as XX, a 20 year career retrospective CD/DVD. The XX project was postponed indefinitely in mid-2007.
In 2007, Dangerous Toys recorded a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's hit song Simple Man for An All Star Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd, (Deadline/Cleopatra). Also in 2007, they performed an unannounced short set at the end of a show featuring the members current bands (Adrenaline Factor, Proof of Life and Broken Teeth).
In March 2012, McMaster married photographer Kate Patten in a private ceremony in West Hollywood, CA.
- Jason McMaster - lead vocals (1987-present), bass guitar (1995-2001)
- Paul Lidel - lead guitar (1994-present)
- Scott Dalhover - rhythm guitar (1987-present)
- Mike Watson - bass guitar (1987-1994; 2001-present)
- Mark Geary - drums (1987-present)
- Tim Trembly - lead guitar (1987-1988)
- Danny Aaron - lead guitar (1989-1992)
- Kevin Fowler - lead guitar (1992-1994)
- Michael Hannon - bass guitar (1994-1995)
|Year||Title||Label||Billboard Album Chart
|Weeks On Chart||RIAA
|1994||Pissed||DOS Records (1994)
|1995||The R*tist 4*merly Known as Dangerous Toys||DMZ Records||none||none||---|
Hits & Compilations
- The Ultimate Dangerous Toys - Sleaze Metal Kings from Texas (2004 Deadline)
- Jason McMaster official site
- Interview with Jason McMaster regarding Dangerous Toys, his new band Broken Teeth and the music industry on Anarchy Music
- Allmusic Entry for Dangerous Toys.
- Historical Interview w/ Dangerous Toys vocalist Jason McMaster
- Zimmermann, Curtis. "allmusic (((Dangerous Toys > Overview)))". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
- RIAA 'Dangerous Toys'
- The Austin Chronicle article (Toy Story) December 8, 1995
- Review of 20th Anniversary show
- Brian Lynch Photos Flickr
- Brian Lynch Photo Gallery - 20th Anniversary show in Austin, TX
- Dangerous Toys - Charts Allmusic.com
- RIAA 'Dangerous Toys' RIAA Gold Albums