Crash Test Dummies

Crash Test Dummies will be playing at the Musical Instrument Museum Friday, Aug. 12. (Crash Test Dummies/Submitted)

The limited Apple TV+ series “Black Bird” has become known for its clever use of retro hits.

Morphine’s “In Spite of Me,” The The’s “Dogs of Lust,” “Battle Flag” (Lo Fidelity All Stars Remix) by Pigeonhed, “Possession” by Sarah McLachlan and the Crash Test Dummies’ “Mmm Mmm Mmm” have all been resurrected.

Crash Test Dummies singer Brad Roberts is surprised about the placement in the show, a true story of convicted drug dealer Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton) who is offered his freedom in exchange for coaxing a confession out of suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser) and finding out where his victims are buried.

“I’m very lucky in that I wrote material that I’m still comfortable singing all these years later,” Roberts said about continuing to play the 30-year-old song live.

“Some songs change when they get older, and they don’t necessarily have the same views or same ideas. I can’t imagine being the Stones and singing about 16-year-olds now — whether I was the Stones or not. I’ve got all due respect for them, though.”

“Mmm Mmm Mmm” will be among the songs on the setlist when the Canadian band plays the Musical Instrument Museum at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12. 

“It’s quite an interesting sounding gig,” Roberts said about the MIM. “It’s not often that a gig has its own attractions like that. I’m looking forward to checking it out.”

These days, Crash Test Dummies play all the “big, old hits and other stuff as well.”

“I mean, the two or three hits we had,” Roberts said with his bass-baritone laugh. 

“Actually, we have more popular songs than two or three. I’m back on guitar after a long hiatus. I had a repetitive stress injury that I couldn’t get rid of. When I did, I vowed not to play the guitar again. But the electric doesn’t have the same ergonomic problems.”

Roberts has been working on a new Crash Test Dummies album and it’s inspired by his trip “back to school.”

“Well, it’s not literally ‘back to school,’” he said. “I’m now taking, for the first time in my life, classical piano lessons. It’s a lot of fun to go back and learn new things in an area I have expertise in.

“I went the whole 9 yards in terms of picking up a hobby while I couldn’t go out (during the pandemic). That’s really what occupied me most of my time — learning counterpoints and practicing piano and playing Bach. 

Since the pandemic, Crash Test Dummies have been touring the world. They recently returned from Europe.

“We have been doing a lot of touring ever since we were able to go on the road again,” Roberts said. “I don’t think Europe uses as much GMO food there. I don’t think they consume genetically modified organisms. The food just tasted better and the coffee in Europe … the espresso comes out as tar but in a good way. Steamed milk is beyond compare. It’s heaven over there.”

Crash Test Dummies with Carleton Stone

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12

WHERE: Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix

COST: Tickets start at $38.50 

INFO: 480-478-6000,