Not long ago, Tad Doyle became obsessed with NASA's Jet Propulsion Web site (www.jpl.nasa.gov). The site includes a collection of photographs of the cosmos, things we can't see with our naked eye down here on Earth. "It was really inspiring," he says. "I was like, 'Wow, I'm really small.' It felt good, y'know. I thought, it's time to make some big music again." For years Doyle was a local rock iconstill is, in many ways. But when he was singing and playing guitar in the band TAD, he was a larger-than-life character. Doyle is a big man, and the music he made with TAD was steamroller-heavy. With crushing riffs and caveman growls, TAD was a bit too raw to race up the charts as some of their grunge peers did (though it could be argued they were ahead of their time, given the success of later bands like Korn). In all their marketing genius, TAD's label, Sub Pop, turned them into a caricature of sorts, making unsuspecting suburbanites think psychotic Northwest lumberjacks had formed a band after listening to Black Sabbath in the woods. Doyle played along, but the reality was the opposite.
To continue reading this feature, please click here. Photo courtesy Renee McMahon.
Fri., April 24, 9 p.m., 2009