|Origin||Austin, Texas, United States|
|Genres||Hard rock, glam metal, Southern rock, Southern metal|
|Labels||Columbia, DOS, DMZ, EMP Label Group|
|Associated acts||Watchtower, Broken Teeth, Gähdzilla Motor Company, Evil United, Ignitor, Dirty Looks, Salty Dog|
|Past members||Tim Trembley|
Dangerous Toys is an Austin, Texas-based rock band with often humorous lyrics. Founded in 1987, Dangerous Toys released four full-length albums and one live album before unofficially disbanding at the turn of the millennium.
Their major-label debut, Dangerous Toys, was released in May 1989, and featured the singles "Teas'n, Pleas'n" and "Scared". The album was certified gold by the RIAA in 1994. In 2006, "Teas'n, Pleas'n" was covered by Shadows Fall on their compilation album Fallout from the War, featuring guest vocals from Toys' vocalist Jason McMaster. Although Dangerous Toys continue to perform live to this day, the band has not released any new material since 1995.
Early days and first two albums (1987–1991)
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 after a publishing representative had signed them to a deal in March at South-By-Southwest. 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, Motörhead and Metal Church folded after 10 weeks as the summer's biggest flop. Soon after, the band was dropped from CBS.
Lineup changes and two more albums (1992–1998)
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 Erie, Pennsylvania, 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.
Later years (1999–present)
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, Jokerville, and 99 Crimes. Lidel is also a music instructor who trains future would-be guitar rockstars. Drummer Mark Geary and bassist Mike Watson record and perform in an Austin-based heavy metal band called Proof Of Life.
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. The band was also rumored to be working on a new album during this period, but nothing has come out of it.
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.
In 2017, it was announced that Dangerous Toys had signed a deal with EMP Label Group, the label of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson to reissue remastered versions of several of the band's catalog releases including Pissed, The R*tist 4*merly Known as Dangerous Toys, and XX: Live. Pissed was re-released on September 8, 2017 on Vinyl LP, Picture Disc, and CD.
Though not a full-time ongoing band, Dangerous Toys is still active as of 2018, performing at least one live show every year. McMaster has stated in interviews that there are currently no plans to release new material under the Dangerous Toys name, although they have not completely ruled it out.
- Jason McMaster - lead vocals (1987–present), bass guitar (1995–2001)
- Paul Lidel - rhythm guitar (1994–present)
- Scott Dalhover - lead 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||—||—||—|
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