TONTO is an electronic/soul/punk trio featuring Pretty Too Bad frontman Clayton Edward (Demasiado), with guitarist Brandon Like and Spencer Jaquay on drums.
When Pretty Too Bad went on hiatus in 2012, Clayton Edward was 26 years-old, working by day as a shop manager at Audio Design, a production services and music gear rental company near SDSU. “Being in a rock band,” he says, “is like being in a family. If everybody doesn’t contribute, it doesn’t work.”
TONTO emerged from songwriting sessions with Edward and Brandon Like. “I started writing songs with Brandon through a digital live audio interface called Ableton. We were writing stuff freeform, just letting it flow, and not thinking about genre.” The new music has good solid pop genetics, but it shimmers around the edges, mirage-like and vaporous.
TONTO took its name from the Lone Ranger’s sidekick in a 1940s radio and television series. “It’s almost like that movie The Dark Crystal, where everybody’s putting their energy into the crystal.” In the film, light and energy accumulates and flows through a crystal and out into another world. If that’s a lot to ask of a rock band, then Edward says this of the TONTO project: “It’s made music fun again.”
A three-song demo was released in summer 2012. “We’re focused on wanting to do only four or five shows a year here in San Diego, and getting out of town as much as possible.”