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35th Anniversary Tour - Live in Poland
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wywiady > wywiad 08
08. Wywiad z Toto - podczas ich europejskiej letniej trasy festiwalowej w 2002r.What can you tell us about the new record deal?
Simon: It's EMI / CMC.
Luke: Actually we had a meeting at Midtfyns festival with the two guys who brought this project to EMI worldwide. They heard the record and they really believed in it. They said it's the record that we should be making and they thought they could get us a hit record. They're very excited about the whole thing and we got along very well. Their enthusiasm was really refreshing after being with the same company for 25 years which just put out records out because they had to.
Are there any new things that the fans can expect from the new record company? Are there any plans for a DVD?
Luke: There's a DVD deal built into the contract. We are gonna film and record for a release. Probably on the fall or beginning of next year tour.
Bobby: It's being worked out.
Simon: It's fairly new for us. In 25 years with Sony we built up a lot of friends and there are certain things you kind of don't need to do or say because it's been there for so long. We're kind of starting from scratch now. Every country we go to we have a load of new people to meet. It's kind of a little bit at a time. First thing is get this record done, get it out, and then we move on to the next thing. We've got a lot of new names to learn.
Luke: But that's a great thing, we needed some new blood. In some territories we had a great relationship with Sony's people and the rest... I ran into the guy from Sweden, as soon as we left the label they put out yet another Best of record which sold 50,000 copies in Sweden which is a gold record. Now they couldn't do that while we were on the label for our new record. What's up? The same guys. I mean how many times can you buy "Hold the line"? I appreciate it, don't get me wrong. That maybe had something to do subconsciously with why we chose to do this kind of record. People know the songs but there are new arrangements to this songs that sound very Toto. When you hear the record you'll go "Now I get it!". Cause reading about it and thinking "Hm, these songs, how are they gonna do that?", it may not make as much sense as when you're listening to the songs.
You're playing three songs of the new record at the concerts...
Luke: Yes, and we're getting great response from the crowds.
The fans are already very enthusiastic even if they haven't heard it yet...
Luke: The younger fans are not going to know some of these songs. They are gonna think that we wrote these songs. The people who are our own age, they'll go "Wow!" But the fans be the judge. We're actually very proud of the record.
Mike: Very happy with it.
That's the most important thing that you guys are happy with it.
Luke: If we don't like it then how do we expect anybody else to like it.
Mike:We're confident that our friends and fans will like it. This is a different kind of record from Toto.
Bobby: I think with the single too we'll have even a new audience because it has a bit of rapping on it and James Ingram came and there's some sax on it. It's got something for new listeners, a younger public.
Are you planning to add some more of the new songs to the setlist for fall?
Luke: We'll have a brandnew setlist for fall, a longer show. More of the new album and maybe something from every single record as it´s the 25th anniversary. We're obligated to play the hits. Everybody wants to hear them.
Bobby: Which keeps us excited about doing them too.
Luke: We're trying to re-arrange some of the old songs, we have a great new arrangement of "I won't hold you back", we modernized it now that we kind of had a hit record which somebody else did. So actually we're getting a much younger audience. 15 year old kids who know the lyrics of all the songs, that's great.
Simon: It's fantastic.
Do you have any plans for additional legs of the tour maybe next year?
Luke: Oh yes.
Maybe going to some countries you haven't played before?
Mike: I don't know about that.
For example, we received many e-mails from fans in the UK who asked why you're not playing there.
Mike: We will this winter.
Bobby: As a matter of fact the rapper on our new single has got a pretty big listening audience in England. So we're gonna do a dance mix with him and lend itself more to the British crowd.
So the British fans can expect a Toto show?
Simon: Yes, in the new year.
Luke: There's a lot of places we're not gonna be, we can't do it all at one time. There's only so many days in a week.
Mike: We're gonna be touring through the next year the way things are looking. And if the record does make some noise then we'll really be locked in. They're already talking about bringing us back to Scandinavia, back to Europe, not once but two times next year, maybe three times, South Africa, the US...
Luke: We trying to break back into our own market. We have a new agent, booking us some very interesting gigs.
What about playing Canada?
Luke: We have the same problem with Canada as with the United States. No promoters want to pay some money to get us up there. Now we have a new label, we may have different support. We'd love to come to Canada. I'm supposed to play in Canada with Jeff Healey in August. One show, he invited me to sit in with his band and play.
So it's mainly a problem of promoters and offers...
Mike: That's right.
Luke: Sony Canada didn't want to have anything to do with us, same with the United States. We got dissed. If they don't press the promoters we can't go.
Simon: It's expensive to go gigging.
Especially with a big stage show...
Luke: Even with a small stage show it's expensive. You have to pay hotels, plane tickets, crew, equipment, busses...
Bobby: ...Shipping. We got special equipment that we use too, that's one of the things. A lot of bands go out and they can use any backline, but we have really specialized equipment that we have to bring with us.
Luke: We could go play on rented Marshalls, rented drum set, rented bass, it would be OK. But we actually care about the sound and that's all we got going.
Simon: And also, the audience would be disappointed. A lot of people want to see and hear what we do.
Luke: I did scale down my rig.
Bobby: I wear mine.
What are your plans for the next years? Have you already talked about what you'll do after the tour, it's going to take you into 2003?
Luke: We're just getting started! I hope so.
Bobby: A lot depends on how well the record does in certain markets.
Mike: And how the offer come in. If people are interested it still is the best outlet for all of us.
Luke: We're one of the last bands where touring is the only way to see us. We're the ultimate alternative band. You like us, you find out about as and you come see us play live. You see a really great live band. That's what we do best.
A lot of fans are a little concerned if there will be another record with original material?
Mike: Of course.
Bobby: This is our 25 anniversary departure.
Mike: Let's put it this way. We had planned on coming over and doing some touring this summer, States, Europe in fall, and if we did an original album, it would take a year and a half in the process. Time to write the tunes, to pick the tunes, to do this, to do that. This was the quickest way for us to get a product to the promoters for promotion and to get ourselves in front of the people.
Bobby: And all these songs were for sure hits, so we're just adding those to the hits that we had.
Luke: And also we had no record label to fond it. So we funded this ourselves and made a licensing deal with EMI / CMC. We did it at Simon's house. He was the engineer.
Bobby: This was pretty much an experiment.
Luke: Yeah, we just said let's do it like the old days when we were kids.
Bobby: We did it in Simon's garage.
Luke: My amps were in Simon's garage.
Simon: It was in the whole house.
Luke: We took over the whole house.
Bobby: I was in the master bath, actually.
Luke: No roadies, no technicians.
Mike: Just the five of us.
Luke: Simon was the MVP on this one, the most valuable player. He worked really hard, he really knocked out great sounds.
Bobby: Something I have never seen in the band too, it's everybody sang background vocals in one microphone at the same time. Wish we had that one video.
So which guest musicians do you have on the record?
Simon: There's James Ingram, Tippa Irie, Monet, Ellis Hall...
Luke: Davey Johnstone and Nigel Olsen from Elton John, they sang on "Burn down the mission".
Simon: Walt Fowler and Brandon Fields on horns.
Luke: Lenny Castro and Steve Porcaro. He probably played more on this record than all the Toto records combined. [Laughter] We gave him the stuff and left him alone instead of looking over his shoulder. And he came back with some amazing things. He's really much a part of this. It's just that he's not gonna be touring cause he's doing film songs, but he was definitely a member of the band during this album.
Was it difficult to pick the songs for the album?
Bobby: There were a lot to pick from...
Simon: Each of us had ideas and if somebody brought a song and everybody else did go like "Yeah, it's kind of cool" we started working on it. And we spent maybe a couple of hours on it and if it's gonna work, it worked.
Luke: There was a huge list of songs before we actually started doing it. Everybody came here with a stack of CDs, and over the weekend we went home to hang with our family and friends and said to everyone "Hey, bring us some CDs over". We were looking for some stuff off the beaten path, that hasn't been cut a million times.
Simon: Most of the time if somebody made a suggestion they did have in their mind a way of doing it. "Sunshine of your love" I sang the guys "Here's my ideas" and it worked. [To Luke] And you came up with "Could you be loved".
Luke: My wife thought that was amazing. She has a great selection of weird material. I thought Bob Marley would be great. Us doing a reggae song but our own way. So I brought it in and everybody got inspired by the arrangement. That's really how it pretty much came together. Bobba sat down and started playing "Burn down the mission" [Luke plays "air" keyboard], singing his ass off and we thought we gotta cut that one.
Simon: I think every song was cut live.
Mike: It was.
Simon: We would put a loop together, some sounds, two or three takes, that was it.
Luke: Modernized it a little bit... We had fun doing it and you can hear it on the record. And Steve McMillan mixed it, all but one song Simon mixed, he's Trevor Horn's guy and he brought some interesting remixes, he added things in the mix, changed the arrangements, did some weird stuff and we listened and said we'd never would have thought of that.
Simon: Most of the tracks were pretty live and very quick and even the vocals were very quick as well. A lot of background vocals were done straight after the backing track. Because everybody had the ideas.
Luke: "Let's keep the vibe", you know what I mean.
Bobby: That's the "everybody around the microphone" thing.
Will there be any bonus tracks for any countries?
Mike: Because everybody would want one. It's a nightmare.
In the past there were always bonus tracks for Japan...
Simon: There's a reason for that, it's called "imports". In Japan you used to buy an import cheaper than the Japanese CDs. What has happened was that all those main companies formed import labels. And people like Sony and Pioneer and more they imported themselves and sold them in import shops which they ran. That's kind of bullshit really. What they should do in Japan is not to charge as much for a CD. It's just a corporate game.
Mike: We always hated doing that.
Luke: For us it felt like picking one fanbase who gets more than anybody else. That's not fair. Everybody pays the money and wants to hear the music. You're not going to buy a CD twice for one song.
Bobby: The record label was causing us to have to do that. Now we don't have that, we own the label.
Mike: There was always pressure from outside.
Simon: Remember, making this record we had no record company. We were the A&R department so we decided how it is. And we're licensing to them. So take it or leave it.
Luke: We get a better royalty rate and we kept control of everything that we do. And we work with people now, with the EMI / CMC people, that really like our band. It's not like "Oh god, here they come again, what are they going to do this time? Who wants to take care of them this time?" [Laughter] We're a new act as opposed to an act that's been on the same label for 25 years, taken for granted.
So you really have some support this time?
Luke: I hope so.
Mike: We feel that we're gonna have it. Let's wait and see, all of us will see it at the same time.
Luke: I'm interested to see how all the territories will do. We know the ones where we will immediately do well, but there are harder ones I'm interested to see what goes on. All the English speaking countries.
Mike: We have high hopes.
Luke: It's a matter of marketing and touring, the two things. Marketing and us being there doing the promotion and then come see the show.
Bobby: We're gonna have to do our promotion this time, it's not like somebody is telling us you have to go and do this promotion. We want to. We're gonna create promotion for ourselves as opposed to how it's always been.
Luke: EMI are making TV commercials. They have already committed to make a TV commercial. That's the best way. Promote the shows and the album. Sony hasn't made a commitment like that.
Question from Goodluke: Are you going to use the sword again in the future?
Mike: We remain open. For an album cover you mean, as a logo? Sure.
Luke: There were actually a few around of them that were pretty good.
Bobby: Actually we did some photos, some shots with the sword on them.
Mike: Right now we're looking at other things but I mean the sword could come back one day. For package or this or that.
Luke: It has always remained as some sort of a logo, it's like a trademark.
Bobby: You'll see it in the darkest places. [Laughter] We did a lot of photos.
Luke: It's not like we're not gonna do it again. There's just no need to do it every time.
Question from Bart: How do you pick the singles?
Luke: In this case we were lucky because everyone agreed right away. And it became real obvious what the first single should be, and that's "Could you be loved", a Bob Marley song. It's just the record turned out great, it's very current sounding, you could play it right next to anything that's on the TOP 40 right now. Also it still sounds like us. But in a different sort of way. It's just a great song. It's a sing along party song. It sounds like a hit, it already was a hit. In the past sometimes with original material they always put out the ballads all the time. It was important to us that we had an uptempo groove on the single to re-establish ourselves in the radio community. The second single is going to be hard to pick. You guys tell us after listening to the album!
In the past you sometimes had different singles in different countries, so that was a record company decision?
Luke: We have more control of our career now. We handed them a finished product like "Here's our record, do you like it?"
Question from Moodido: Which of all the tours you have done is most special to you?
Luke: They're all special.
Mike: I couldn't pick a favorite.
Luke: We have fun right now, new material, new vibe. It's always a new challenge. There has been highpoint shows I would say. Like the first time we sold out Bercy. Oberhausen last time we sold out. Over sold it out. Remember when we did Birmingham, the NEC. That was a big blow. It was a surprise, we thought me might not do so good and it was fantastic. Great moments, going to new territories...
Simon: Mexico City.
Luke: That was great with Eric Clapton last October. 50,000 people.
Bobby: Actually on billboard it was one of the highest grossing concerts of the year.
Luke: We start to sneak back in through the backdoor.
Simon: Even when we played Mexico the year before we did a 10,000 seater there which we sold out.
If you think back at a complete tour, was the last tour with Jeff very special, or the first tour with Simon, or maybe the IV tour after the big success?
Mike: For me, I have to say, each tour is unique, individual, and we approach each tour with the same verve as we did the last. They have all been my favorites.
Luke: That's like "Mike, who do you like in the band better? [Laughter] Me, Simon, Bobby or Dave?" So you see it's hard.
Question from Sarlic: Do you remember hearing yourself for the very first time on the radio? What was it like?
Bobby: I was asleep, I had my alarm clock set for noon because we were gonna do something in the studio, some promo and when the alarm came on there was the radio and "Hold The Line" was playing. And my room was totally black and I was looking for the telephone and I called Paich and I heard him scream, he was living over there with his girlfriend and he was screaming around and falling over trying to get to the radio.
Luke: I remember one of you guys called me. I actually sat there in my first house by myself a little tear in my eye "Wow, we're on the radio in LA, man", it was a great feeling. And then, all through the years, that feeling, whenever you hear yourself on the radio is the coolest feeling anyway. Even if it's in the middle of the night a classic rock station or whatever it is. Old videos, it's a nice feeling. Looking forward to getting that feeling again. I'll really get excited when this record gets released. It will be the most exciting time. After all these years, to get another one. A big one.
Question from Bart: How did you feel when you had your first number one hit?
Luke: I always feel better after my number two myself.
Mike: Prefer number two!
Luke: Prefer number two, man, I like it. Goes the distance. But it's a great feeling. It's winning a lottery. That's what it feels like. It's like your first orgasm... with someone else. [Laughter] At least we're adult.
Question from Tina: Which TOTO album is your personal favorite and why?
Luke: I can't... It's like "Which one is your favorite child?" We put our heart and soul in every one of them, and at the time when you finish the project you think that's the best work we can do. But then there's a new goal the next time.
So your heart is always with the current project?
Mike: Of course it is.
Simon: It has to. Otherwise you wouldn't do it, you wouldn't finish it.
Bobby: I know several of us were walking around talking to each other during the recording of this album saying that this is probably the best project.
Luke: I think it's amongst our best work by far. The only confusing thing to our fans would be the fact that we didn't write any of the songs.
Question from Tina: Is there any TOTO album which you would like to re-arrange?
Bobby: It's like re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
Luke: Maybe remix, I'd like to remix some of the older records, fidelity wise it would be great. Like the first TOTO album, the sound is not really very good. Over the years, it's really flat sounding.
Bobby: Technology is different.
Luke: It was 25 years ago. We did the TOTO IV album in 5.1. A DVD coming out on Sony again.
Simon: There also has to be a good reason to do it. It takes time and costs money to do so you need a very good reason to remix.
Sony still has the right to publish your old records over and over again?
Luke: They keep putting out those Greatest Hits records every year.
Mike: They own all the records we did with them.
And they own them forever?
Luke: We get royalties.
But you could never release your old records on another label?
Mike: We would have to buy them.
Simon: Or re-record them.
Luke: We could re-record our greatest hits with new arrangements.
So they only own the rights for exactly these recordings? If you re-recorded the songs you could release them on another label?
Bobby: They only own the masters.
Mike: In fact we talked about maybe re-recording some of the old hits so that we can have them to license, movies, commercials. So they don't go to Sony, they come right to us.
Luke: Sony has made enough money of us.
Mike: Why let them make any more money.
Bobby: The rap version of "Rosanna".
Mike: We could even do the record identical as long as we re-record it.
Luke: Most bands our age are doing that because then you own 100% of them.
The TOTO IV album is still selling strong...
Luke: Our catalog still sells very well and Sony pays us royalties every quarter.
Question from Luke Skywalker: How do you feel about the fact that other musicians are using your songs, like Roger Sanchez etc?
Luke: I think it's cool. It's always flattering if somebody cuts a song of yours.
Mike: It shows the song has become a standard of sorts and that's a great feeling for any writer.
Luke: And we get paid. For sitting on the couch. "Oh, look at this check!".
Do they have to ask your permission to do that?
Luke: No. Once the song is recorded on a record and released everybody can cover it. They just have to pay.
Bobby: If they take a part of the original recording as a sample they have to ask for permission.
Luke: The have to get Sony's permission. We could say no, but if Sony smells money, they're gonna do it. We were moaning a little bit about the Elvis Costello song we did. We know that he doesn't like us that much. And especially when you hear my impression of Elvis Costello. But it's a great song and we didn't make fun of it.
Bobby: They'll find out in the end that you did it better than him.
Luke: It's a great song, great lyrics and we were playing a great version of it. I have no idea what he's gonna think when he hears it. Maybe like "I don't want these guys cutting my song" but I don't think there's anything he can do.
Mike: He can't.
Question from Looking Glass: How did the various songwriting partnerships come into place? Was there any concern when you started writing with co-writers outside the band?
Luke: Everybody writes songs, by themselves, within the band, or maybe with a friend who came over that day. If it's a good song we play it for the guys and it's a group effort...
Mike: We're always concerned about the song. It doesn't matter necessarily the combination of people who've been writing it, outside the band or within the band. If the whole band feels strong about the song then we're all confident in our chances...
Luke: It's democratic, everybody gets a vote, if everybody loves the song, right, if somebody doesn't, let's go right over.
How do you usually write the songs, do you get together in groups or is everybody just bringing some ideas...
Simon: Various ways.
Bobby: Every song is its own animal.
Luke: Somebody brings in a riff, somebody brings in an 8 bar phrase, somebody brings in lyrics or a finished song or part of it. Every way.
Bobby: Could start from a title, could start from a riff.
Now we have a question for Dave but he's not here yet...
Luke: We'll answer for David.
Question from edcetera: When you're playing Rosanna live...
Simon: Timing is everything.
We just have a question for you, Dave...
Dave: The answer is "Yes".
When you're playing Rosanna live do you or JJ play the mid keyboard solo live or do you use samples or sequencing?
Dave: JJ plays all the solos and I just smile and wave...
Dave: I play 90% of the keyboards live and JJ is responsible for the stuff that we pre-recorded, that we can't play live, like some vocals or some horns.
Question from Dave Warner: If you were given the chance to go back and live one full day over in your life, what day would you choose and why?
Luke: Jesus, that's a heavy one.
Dave: The day I was born because I love being spanked.
Mike: I couldn't pick a day.
Luke: I wanna relive the day of my death, over and over again, so I will live forever.
Bobby: Could we change anything or just experience it again? I wouldn't mind experiencing the Grammys in 1983 again. Pretty incredible day.
Simon: Actually I do... I just thought... With this band, 1997. Johannesburg, the beginning of "Stop Loving You". I would just love to hear that sound again, it was the most incredible sound you've ever heard. I would give anything to just hear that once more.
Luke: Panning back and seeing David's reaction when hearing that sound while playing the keyboards.
Dave: He's referring to my death, so you got my birth and that was my death. I died several times.
What was so special about this sound?
Luke: It was a whole bunch of sounds that were separate from each other, there was supposed to be one note at a time or a sample...
Mike: On one song or another song.
Luke: Like a whole setlist of songs. And we played the chord and everything came out at once. It was just an amazing sound.
Mike: Every sample came out at once.
Luke: Every horn riff, and everything. All at once.
Luke: And Dave just couldn't make it stop.
Question from Dave Warner: If you could be someone else for one week, who would you want to be?
Dave: I'd like to live a week as Ricky Martin for a week...
Luke: Are you sure about that?
Dave: Just to experience something with the boys. Yeah, yeah.
Mike: Good answer Dave.
Luke: Wow, I don't really know what to say, that's deep. That's very divine.
Dave: Why, wasn't that an appropriate hip answer? I could have said Elton John, the experience would be the same.
Luke: There are a lot of people I would like to experience being but I can't pick any particular one.
Dave: I'm gonna change mine. I'd like to be Oscar Peterson for one day just to know what it's like to be able to play like that. I guess that's more the answer you're looking for.
Simon: Michael Schumacher. The way he drives, whether you like him or not, can't take it away from him. The winning, it's just pure one-mindedness. It's incredible, that amount of concentration. Just to experience a brain that's so clear like that. Amazing.
Bobby: Albert Einstein. I would love to understand some of that shit.
Question from edcetera: In the video for "Goodbye Elenore" it sounds like you're playing live...
Luke: We are playing live. That was live, that was not the record.
Dave: That whole album was live.
Luke: The whole video shoot was live.
Dave: Oh yeah, the video shoot... True. That was the whole point of that. I didn't know anybody ever saw this video.
Luke: Yeah, have you seen it? I haven't seen it.
Bobby: I have a copy of it.
Luke: I'd love to see that one day and remember...
Question from SEANRY: For David - About the latest Boz Scaggs record - DIG. It would be very nice if you could give us some comments about your job as producer and musician on this record.
Dave: Well, I functioned as a musician and producer. It was kind of a collaborative thing of myself, Boz and Danny Kortchmar. Boz wrote all the lyrics and Danny and I did a lot of the music. But we got to play on it, it was almost like making demos and then we released the album. I got to play a lot of the keyboards, Danny played a little bit guitar, Steve played some guitar on it. It was very fun, we did it on pro tools, we did it in my house, Danny's studio and Boz' studio. And it was a pet project I did outside of TOTO and I'm very proud of it. I think it's one of Boz' best efforts.
Bobby: The only tragic thing about it was the release date.
Question from Elly: Who played piano on "I won't hold you back"?
Luke: David Paich.
Dave: I played on it. But I was playing note for note pretty much. Steve Lukather, when he writes ballads, he composes his piano parts, it's actually a part of the song itself, so I played it as close to his original concept as possible.
Question from Xavier: Is it true that Mike did background vocals on the TOTO IV tour when he replaced David Hungate and why did he stop doing that?
Mike: For a short while. Simply, as soon as we started adding some extra musicians which were guys who were legitimate background singers I backed away. I don't consider myself a singer. Once I didn't have to handle that part of this job on stage I was more than happy to just back off and just play bass and concentrate on the grooves and stuff.
Simon, did you ever do background vocals live on tour?
Simon: Not live.
Luke: He did some on the new record.
Simon: I sang actually on "Mindfields". "Better World", the choir. But live, no. I once did that in 1984 with Mike Oldfield, wasn't very successful. Had to write the lyrics every day, my roadie had to write the lyrics on the new snare drum head.
Luke: Now you understand.
Mike: Now it all makes sense.
Luke: I'm playing the most complex musical passages, but I'm screwing the lyrics up all the time. I'm not stupid, it's just a brain tick.
Question from Tina: What do you think about musical collaborations with other musicians for your own songs. I'm thinking about the fantastic "Africa" version with Family Factor from Johannesburg.
Luke: Miles Davis was a high point. When we played with Miles, that was pretty cool. We had a lot of cool guests on our records.
But you don't have detailed plans for having special guests on the next record?
Dave: Those things would come up, we welcome things like that because we're musicians. Any chance to do collaborations, because before we formed TOTO we were all about collaborative efforts, I think that's what makes music fresh. We brought James Ingram in, on the Bob Marley song we have a rapper Tippa Irie singing on it with us.
Mike: But as far as a collaboration like TOTO with Herbie Hanckock doing a whole record, I don't think so. Maybe a track, that is possible.
Question from Dave Warner: Have any of you thought that maybe having another name other than TOTO may have made a difference in you career?
Luke: Absolutely! From day one! Okay?!
Mike: Now we were just talking about that earlier. If somebody would put this record out on the airwaves without the name TOTO behind they'd probably get a lot more favorable reaction from other people.
Luke: They would merely not put us in a current league as far as put us on the radio. If they would put in on the radio without saying it's us and having people call in and see what they thought of it, we'd get a whole lot different reaction. There's a good stigma and a bad stigma. Some people love the band, some people hate the band. Because we're older there's also another stigma cause we're considered a classic rock group.
Mike: In fact we may change our name here, that's one of the things we're considering, right David?
Dave: Yes, some time, don't be shocked if we unname our band.
Question from Marco for Dave...
Luke: The divine Dave...
Has Dave drawn his inspiration to write Spanish Steps of Rome from a real event?
Dave: I was in Rome when I wrote that. I got inspired. I was staying in this tiny hotel right above the steps and it was just one of the things, it all came to me. I wrote the lyrics, I didn't write the music. I wrote all the lyrics down before I did it. I was moved by creativity and good Lord and it came up. Rome inspired me.
Question from Sarlic about the Dune era: What was it really like working with David Lynch? Did he ever approach you again to do a score for him?
Dave: David Lynch was a very interesting person to work with.
Luke: I was a big fan. I was very excited when I found out that we would be working with David Lynch. I've been following his films for years. I've seen many of them several times. That was an interesting project. That movie was so bad that it's funny. Musically speaking David worked very hard on it. It wasn't really a great representation of what we originally intended the music to be. But it was a great, interesting fun thing. David Lynch is a great guy, very interesting character.
Dave: It ended up being a cult film back in the States. It was originally to be directed by Ridley Scott when we got involved and they changed to David Lynch. David Lynch liked everything, he said "Low and slow", so he had taken most of the score in the movie in half speed. It was a very dark experience but in a very laughable way, so we were big fans of David Lynch, we loved it. After us he discovered Angelo Badalamenti who did all the rest of his music here so that's kind of what happened. But I would like to work with David another time.
Would you like to do another movie score in the future?
Dave: Sure. I've been working on some in the States, I just finished working on "Triple X" with Vin Diesel, working with Steve Porcaro. I don't know about TOTO doing one together, it would be great for us to do so, if the right material came up, but that's so hard.
Luke: It's really difficult to write movie music with six guys, you don't need that many cooks. I honestly prefer writing and playing the music that I hear, without having to listen to a director or a producer who doesn't play music telling me my music stakes or something like that. I did this TV thing that fell flat in its face and I was dealing with these people... You need to have a special personality to want to get along with people like that and not punch them right in their fucking face. You're writing great stuff for them and giving them exactly what they want and they say "No, that's not what I meant! I need it back tomorrow because we're under a deadline!"
Mike: It's a ridiculous way of working.
Luke: It's hard. My hats off to Dave, Steve and the guys like James Newton Howard and all our friends that are doing this on a regular basis and having a really amazing career. But I'd rather do my own small weird records, have fun and do TOTO.
Dave: There's a movie coming out called "Signs" that James Newton Howard just did for M. Night Shyamalan, the director, and what you're hearing is the 37th version that James did.
Luke: See that's what I mean, and James is on top of the game.
Question from Simon80: Why did you never record a live album in the 80s?
Dave: There must have been...
Luke: There are tapes, there's Live at Budokan in 1982...
Bobby: That's true.
But they were never released as a record...
Luke: Maybe we thought the performance was not as good.
Dave: We probably held them back.
Luke: You never know. With technology being the way it is you could fix a couple of little things and still keep remaining the performance. Sometimes they recorded a whole show and the guy who mixed the sound did a really bad mix or a bad sound...
Mike: Or the guy who recorded the sound didn't even put it on tape...
Luke: Somebody didn't record the bass for the whole show or something like that. Or half of the background vocals didn't get to tape. So that's why we wouldn't put it out. It's not that it would suck, it's just... "That was a great night I just wish the lead vocal was on it".
Question from Sarlic: I was reading somewhere that Africa was almost not included on the TOTO IV tracklist because you were so sick of it after working so long and hard on it. Is that correct?
Dave: I don't know about so sick of it, but at the time the album was pretty much done and it was kind of an extra cut. I brought it in and started working on it with Jeff. It was probably the beginning of a solo album and not starting on the TOTO thing here. But in those days we had vinyl and we had over 40 minutes of music already on the record and that's why it was like we had to put something else off. Also it was so much different than the rest of the TOTO stuff, until it was finished and everybody heard it and said "Yeah, this is kind of interesting".
Mike: I think it's a classic example of you really don't know what you have until it gets out there.
Many thanks to TOTO