Time has been kind to Crash Test Dummies frontman Brad Roberts. His signature baritone — as heard on the smash 1993 hit “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” and recently used in the movies “Tag” and “The Spy Who Dumped Me” — sounds as rich and sonorous as ever. The band is on a reunion tour, celebrating the 25th anniversary of its landmark sophomore effort “God Shuffled His Feet.” The tour came about after Canadian and U.S. promoters got wind of a one-off outdoor concert original members played in their native Winnipeg in 2016. Roberts says, “They just started booking tours, and now here we are — back with bells on.”
When you first went on hiatus, you were looking for voiceover work. Did you find any?
As a matter of fact, no. I never got one callback. And I just couldn’t continue on with it, because it got to the point where I couldn’t have a life, since I had to be ready at any second to go uptown or downtown to do these things. It was like putting my life on hold. In one case, a potential employer said they loved my voice, but they detected a certain Canadian accent. “But with some training, we can help you get rid of that,” they told me. So instead I started working at the School of Rock in Manhattan, teaching guitar.
But you quit not long after. What then?
You know, I had a condition called restless leg syndrome, which is quite a wimpy-sounding term for something as devastating as it was. I just could not sleep, month after month after month. And it got to the point where the spasms in my legs were so ridIculous, I would be kneeing myself in the face every night while sleeping. So I had to figure out something to do, so I thought maybe doing yoga would help. And I really dove into it deep — I got a private teacher, so I wasn’t just mucking around, and I worked on that really hard for seven years, until I ended up getting a (yoga) teaching certificate, which was icing on the cake for me. So I taught for a while, until we decided to back on the road and I had to stop.
But you actually recorded an entire album of mantras? That must sound pretty ominous.
That’s right — I did. That came out of the yoga experiences. During teaching, I met this professor of comparative religions, and he taught Sanskrit and mantras, as well. He was really enlightening, and from his classes, I decided to set some mantras to music. And most mantras that get set to music over here are super mellow and super soothing, and a little on the hippie side. And you guessed right — mine are much more scary. And therefore that much more interesting.
IF YOU GO
Crash Test Dummies
Where: Chapel, 777 Valencia St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
Tickets: $42 to $44
Contact: (415) 551-5157, www.thechapelsf.com