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20. "Droga ku wydaniu nowego albumu"
The Road to the New Release
January 20th 2005: Setting the stage
After all the TOTO members have been writing separately new material for the upcoming new album, they will now start writing and recording together from February 7th, only interrupted by the various shows they are going to play this spring. As far as the direction the new album might take Luke says "Well it's early yet but we want to make this a group effort with some wilder more experimental stuff while still retaining the sound that people like from us. I am quite sure individual members will have some cool self written tunes as well as some of our classic collaborations with familiar names. We WILL see though. I got tunes, Bobby has tunes, Paich, Simon, and I think that Gregg may throw some stuff in with us as well as he is like a member now. Hopefully some Steve Porcaro." Bobby adds "It should be an exciting year for TOTO, and even more so for the fans of the band. We have promised (ourselves, at least) that we would make this CD one of our best efforts, or not release it until it is. That's quite a goal to set for yourself, but it's what we're up against."
February 8th 2005: Recording has started
TOTO have just started recording their new album yesterday and here's a firsthand update on what's going on with the band from Luke: "Well, yesterday was day 1 so we didn't really do much but get some sounds, talk about what we want to do and dig Simons new studio. We all have some great ideas and I think this is gonna be a good one but it's REAL early to tell exactly whats gonna go down. Dave was there and yes he IS going to be a major part of the record but I know that we are gonna bring Greg in as well. We are going GRADUALLY make the change as Dave's touring days are all but over fo many different reasons. Greg will be doing all our live dates as of now. Dave may show up at some of the LA dates, early yet but we'll see. Life in Toto world will be going strong as more and more USA dates are starting to come in. Maybe we might actually make a little headway here, again, early to tell. Today we are just gonna brush off the cobwebs for our Puerto Rico shows and when we start up next MON we will be seriously into the new record."
February 16th 2005: Two keyboard players
"Dave is working hard on the new CD, but is far too hemmed in with things to attend in LA to go out on the road for any stretch. We now have two permanent keyboard players and we love them both. Greg will also be working on the CD with us, so he will stay up on the current project as well as the former ones. Dave's position is so hard to replace, we've very fortunate indeed to have the likes of Greg Phillingaines to stand in his shoes. We're very proud of the fact we have a couple of the "best there is" keyboardists available to us. Come what may, it's not a losing situation by any means....................Bobby"
February 21st 2005: Finding the direction
Luke: "Well we are gonna make the record FIRST and then license as we own the masters then. We have alot of interest but they want to hear it first. No problem with us. The new stuff we are writing is really fresh and not just the 4 minute pop-rock stuff we have done. It's still VERY Toto but its also very experimental and progressive and aggressive. We have written 6 things we really dig and we are just doing polaroids of the stuff as we write it. Once we have 3 more weeks of steady writing we will scrutinize everything and only pick what we think is the very best stuff and then begin the recording process. It's been exciting and fun to write all new music and we think that you guys will be pleasantly surprised at what us old fuckers can still do! hahaha. Hoping for a personal best and anyone that thinks Toto is some pussy soft rock band will eat their words! hahaha. There is still VERY melodic stuff but the songs have alot more sections and are longer. It's very early yet but we have found a direction that we all dig alot. Everyone is contributing. Oh yeah, Paich is VERY involved in this record !!!! Greg has popped in and lent a hand and will be a part of the overall thing too. We want Steve P. to add his touches when it comes time so this will be, what we hope, a classic Toto record. I hope the record will come out in the Fall but it wont come out till we think its ready but sooner than later. There is already a major worlwide tour being booked for 2006. In the meantime we are gonna record alot and do weekends in the USA and a few gigs here and there to keep the chops up and keep the project funded. We want NO ONE telling us what to do or how to do it."
March 1st 2005: Steve Lukather chats about the new album
On February 27th our weekly chat on the Message Board was joined by a very special guest - Steve Lukather took the chance to personally chat with the fans and replied to lots of questions about the new album. The transcript of the chat can be found here.
March 8th 2005: Taking shape
"I'm at home writing lyrics at the moment. The band is in the studio finishing up some overdubs on one of the coolest songs I've every heard. I'm going to the studio in a while to show them what I have. It's really starting to take shape, and we're only at the starting gate with a full head of steam. Later.........................Bobby"
March 12th 2005: Writing and recording
Luke: "Well, we have 3 keeper trax that are really burnin! They are band written songs and we are cutting LIVE, no click trax, and Paich AND Greg are playin together LIVE as well the rest of us. This is real classic Toto stuff that stretches us out of the "pop" thing and more rock but with a groove and melodies that are killer. A few "muso" moments but not enough to annoy our old school fans. hahaha. I predict that this will be one of our finest moments as we are truly having so much fun. Simon has been enginnering and the new studio sounds KILLER! We have written 9 things so far and are gonna track those and then go back and bring in personal songs and still write as a band as its seems to have a style all its own and everyone is contributing alot to every piece of music we have written. It's especially cool to see Greg lighting a fire under our asses as he is so into it and it is so fresh that we are ALL digging WAY deeper for the compostions to be the best they can be. Nice havin 2 keyboards again ! When we are done with the trax Steve Porcaro will put his touches on everything all you keyboard freaks will be VERY happy! Still plenty of guitars though. haha. We are shooting to finish this record mid JUNE before we all go out touring and we are starting to book the NEW worldtour 2006."
March 14th 2005: The best time
Luke: "It's all really coming together and we are havin a great time recording. The best time I have had in years and it shows in the freshness of the new tunes and the way we are recording the record."
March 17th 2005: Not typical
Luke: "The record is coming along great. Some real cool stuff, some that is hard to play but worth the effort. This is NOT a "typical Toto" record at all."
March 21st 2005: Bobby Kimball chats about the new album
On March 20th Bobby Kimball was the special guest in our weekly chat on the Message Board. He took a lot of time to answer your questions, especially with regard to the new album. And then another surprise guest appeared... The transcript of the chat can be found here.
April 13th 2005: "Buttnugget"
Luke: "Well, the new record is REALLY coming along. We have 8 trax that we love and we are working on those for awhile to catch up. Lyrics, melodies, solo's and Overdubs so we get a picture of what we have and what we are missing. So far we are very happy with the direction and the few people that have heard the new stuff have been really digging it. My son Trev has been to alot of the sessions and he is really digging it. He would tell me the truth. Don't have real titles at this point as we are still writing lyrics so we have working titles like "Buttnugget" etc... hahahahaha. They will be replaced by REAL titles and words soon."
April 24th 2005: The best thing
Luke: "New record is REALLY REALLY comin out great! I think it will be the best thing we have done for many many years! It's fresh, melodic, groovin, experimental, lots of cool keyboard stuff as Dave AND Greg are playin on everything and Steve Porcaro and Lenny Castro will be on stuff soon. We are gonna have a few guests on it as well. Can't give too much on that yet but we will tell ya when we cut their parts and we are using for sure! haha Simon's studio is magic and it sounds unreal. Si is one HELL of an engineer! Phil Soussan came in and engineered for us while Simon went on his drum clinic tour and he was great to work with as always. We couldn't be having more fun and really and really stretching ourselves to do the best we can on every part or vocal or lyric etc.. We are throwing Album titles around. New WORKING title IS: "YOU ARE ONLY AS OLD AS THE GIRL YOU FEEL"
Think about it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA We will no doubt go thru 100's before we pick a serious one. "
May 25th 2005: The Michael Jordan of Keys
David: "The recording of the new record is going really well. We have 10 tracks so far, and we’re going back to the studio to cut another 5 tracks. Greg is doing fantastic - he’s the ultimate keyboard player to have in the band. He’s the best keyboardist I know; the Michael Jordan of keys. We’ve been working in Simon’s studio for the most part, but now the work is seeping over into Steve Porcaro’s and my studio. We’re really excited because this is a band-written album, and there’s some really interesting and fresh stuff that has a lot of edge to it."
May 27th 2005: Slower Phase
Bobby: "We're in the slower phase right now, the vocals, the sweetening of the tracks, the background vocals, and added sounds by other artist, i.e., Steve Porcaro and some surprise guests. It's going very well though. We'll still get it done on time, and it's coming along nicely."
June 16th 2005: The big interview
During their recording sessions for the new album, we caught up with the band in the studio over telephone to get all the latest scoop on the upcoming release. The transcript of the interview can be found here.
June 29th 2005: Nothing short of fantastic
Bobby: "The CD is coming along great, but everyone is a bit scattered at the moment doing a couple of other things. We'll be back at the Toto CD next week. Luke, as you know, is on tour, but everyone else will be in LA next week in the studio. We still have a ways to go on it, but what we have is nothing short of fantastic. We would like to record one or two more songs to pick from, but we have enough already for a CD. It will depend on everyone's time schedule as to how that goes."
July 9th 2005: All time high
Bobby: "Everyone has been participating on all levels. We're getting more in-depth with the vocal tracks now. Greg did some vocals on a new song yesterday, and Dave did a rough on a beautiful new ballad (we're not sure who will sing this one, possibly it will be a duet like Africa), but it's very emotional and profound. I'll be singing a song today, and later next month, I think we'll be bringing in Joseph Williams to do some things. It's a family vibe and we couldn't be happier about that. The fact that Steve Porcaro, David, and Greg are doing the keyboards, is in itself, an all time high for us. We're all putting our hearts into this one."
July 31th 2005: Falling In Between: The New Title
Luke: "The Album in now called "Falling In Between". Artwork is being designed as I write this. havent seen anything yet we hired some A level guys. Jeff Seidlik is doing the photos. He did BB King, Miles Davis, Dizzy etc..REAL classy adult cool looking photos, not us trying to be 20 year old "rock stars". VERY cool stuff. In case you are wondering what "Falling in Between" means..well first off its the lead track on the CD. It also describes our music as no one can put us in one box style wise, never have been able to. We have fallen in between the cracks as we play so many styles. This is what pisses critics off. Versatility. They want there "rock music" very simple a defined. 2 things which we are not. haha It also defines where we are at in terms of our lives. We are not young, yet we are not old yet either. Its a bit "artsy" but I really like it and its the only title that we all agreed on. Whoat normally happens is we sit around and come up with joke names and laugh our asses off and THEN finally deadlines happen and we must run with something. This title is relevant to where we are at. The record is really starting to take shape. We have been working on it for 8 months with a few more to go so you KNOW we are REALLY trying hard and working hard to make this our best yet musically speaking. Now we all know that radio will be tough but we have some interesting ideas on how to get past that which we will tell you about as we get closer to the release. We are sifting thru all the deals that have been offered and must say I am really impressed with the offers. Its nice to have a bidding war for us old guys. hahaha. Life is good and we are all very proud of our efforts here. Some of the stuff is ready for mixing which will be handles by our dear friend Steve Macmillan, Trevor Horns main man."
August 8th 2005: The Return of Joe Williams
Luke confirmed on Sunday in the Toto99.com Chat room that Joseph Williams will be performing a duet on the new record with Luke. According to Luke, "The track is perfect for Joe. It's a very Seventh One-era sound, of course modernized. We're really happy with the way it turned out." Luke also said that the band is now on the "downhill stretch" of the recording process, and they should be finished recording in a month or so.
More updates on the record: Greg Phillinganes and Luke are singing a song together. Their voices blend together VERY well. Steve Porcaro has made absolutely magical contributions to the record. Those people looking for the full keyboard sound that defines Toto -- it has returned. Steve personally developed and designed all of the keyboard sounds to get them perfect -- none of the preset stuff you find on most keyboards. David Paich as one lead vocal on the record on a song that he wrote. Lenny Castro is ALL OVER the record, and there's talk of possibly getting him to come out on tour with them.
August 24th 2005: Letting go of your firstborn
Simon: "Well, things have slowed up a bit due to the phase we are in. Vocals!!! Basically we are working on the lyrics to 2 songs which are the last 2 songs we cut. As soon as they are ready then we can record the vocals. Once the lead vocal is done we can do some background vocals and then other overdubs like Guitar and Keyboards. Very little to do otherwise. We had another great day with Lenny Castro yesterday so pretty much all the percussion is done unless I hear something then I'll just throw it on. I have some Pro Tools stuff to do - fine tuning and a little loop sound designing to do. Steve Porcaro is working on a couple more tracks with his magic and Steve MacMillan has started mixing the first song. We are now working on the artwork - looking at ideas and concepts and trying to get a direction that everyone loves and that works for the music. Hard to get everyone to agree as there are so many ways we can go - but it's all just a matter of time. All I can say is the record is sounding great and it's going to be interesting to hear what Steve Mac does now I have let it out of my hands (engineering wise). It's letting go of your firstborn!!"
September 13th 2005: Still a lot of work
Greg: "I’ve recorded a lot of vocals - major, major backing vocals. Luke and I have a great blend, and I didn’t realize this until we started recording the vocals, so now we sing together quite a bit. I also have a lead vocal on a track, which I recently finished the vocals on. In fact, this is my tune. But the writing overall has been a collaborative effort... I did some writing on "Let It Go" and the title track as well as others. It’s been a tremendous group effort from everyone. I’m glad the fans want to hear more vocals from me - they’ve been unbelievably gracious, which is really wonderful. I mean, replacing David Paich... But the fans have been really, really great. You know I’ve been a fan of the band from the beginning - Hold the Line did it for me. It had a very strong attitude! And now - I get to sing Africa, I mean, please! What’s not to love...? But I’ve definitely got a special place for Gypsy Train. I love the attitude on that track. ‘tude everywhere! The record is definitely not ready yet! We will serve no record before it’s time! We still have a lot of work to do, and it will be done when it’s done! We’re in really good shape though. We’re not behind the 8-ball or anything. In fact, we’ve just finished discussing the scheduling details for the last vocals and the rest of the keyboards. There was one time when I was scheduled to do a solo - my first one I believe - and EVERYONE was in the studio watching before I could even get the idea out. They were scrutinizing everything. There tends to be a bit of an anxiety when it comes to keyboard parts, so I had to tell them all to leave me the hell alone. But it’s great, because now I just tell David what I want to play, and that’s that. So now on the next solo, I’m going to kick them out of the studio! As far as a description of my future rig - what I’d like to do... I guess you will all have to be surprised. I’m getting my own rig... And it WILL be different. That’s all I’m going to say. Check it out in February."
September 15th 2005: Joseph Williams "kills"
Luke: "Joseph was in yesterday and killed it. A true classic Toto tune. The album is coming out great. Should be done in 4 weeks I HOPE! hahahaha."
September 20th 2005: Africa 2
Luke: "The Joseph Williams track is a song Me, Dave and Simon wrote called "Bottom of your soul". I did guitars on it yesterday and I think this might be a huge single, if there is one off this record. Could almost be like an Africa part 2. Bobby will add his voice and I have the other lead vocal on this so its like full on Toto. Steve P will no doubt be on this one as well so it could be a real Toto classic. A true Toto classic bro. Ya never know..it has radio written all over it, whether it gets played, well thats another thing. hahaha. The light is at the end of the tunnel. Cant wait to get this fucker DONE!!"
October 14th 2005: Tom Scott
Bobby: "Tom Scott ("Jazzman" himself) played on one of the tracks today. He was in very fine form, as usual. I hadn't seen Tom in a while (about a year), but he was one of the first musicians I met when I first came to LA about 30 years ago. It was great seeing and playing with him again."
October 23rd 2005: The New Cover Art!
TOTO have now finalized the album cover art for Falling In Between. While this is currently a "final" copy, please bear in mind that the ultimate release may have some changes.
November 1st 2005: Exclusive (P)review of "Falling In Between"
Although the entire record is not mixed yet, we had the chance to listen to 6 tracks currently in their "final" mix. But the work is far from done on any of them. However, to give you a first impression of what to expect, here is Webmaster Steve McVey's - of course totolly personal - review:
"HOLY SH*T! FAN-F*CKING-TASTIC.
While a truly subjective opinion, this record has lived up to its hype. It IS what Luke said it would be -- something totally different. I think it compares best to Mindfields, and before some of you groan, let me qualify that. THIS is the record many people were hoping for with Mindfields. I don't think Mindfields is a bad record by any stretch of the imagination, but Falling In Between is like the "aged wine" of Mindfields. In Mindfields, each track fit into a different genre of music -- Country Rock for No Love, Bluesy High Price of Hate, popy Cruel, ballad Last Love.... With Falling In Between, there's really no way to classify any one song. SECTIONS, but these individual tracks offer layer upon layer, and just when you think you've got it figured out, Toto rips the rug out from underneath you. This record is full of surprises and some truly inspiring stuff.
I'll go through each track individually and try and give you a preview.
FALLING IN BETWEEN: a REALLY cool title track. This track comes in around 4 minutes. A way cool song, there are elements of this track that almost sound "mid-eastern" particularly through the Chorus -- for whatever reason, I kept thinking of egyptian pyramids. I can't really explain why other than the tone and the instruments, but I think you may draw the wrong inferences from that. It's still very mainstream stuff -- guitar, piano, keys... but there's just a tiny element that gives the chorus the slightest eastern hint. Bobby handles the leads on this track, a very strong rhythm guitar from Luke in the background. Great organ and piano work here. Steve Porcaro adds some cool keyboards, and there's a long instrumental outro that really rounds this song out well.
DYING ON MY FEET: Coming in at a shade over 6 minutes, this is another Bobby vocal, some (but very little) shared with Luke. Cool guitar/piano combo throughout the verses. The highlight for me in this song is the instrumental break. You think you could guess where it's going, but this is one of the tracks that Toto really surprises -- TOTALLY awesome break, during this I know I would be up goin nuts during a live gig. I definitely got goosebumps when I heard it. The song outros with some help from the Chicago Horns, TOTALLY awesome and groovy -- really does well to round the song out.
BOTTOM OF YOUR SOUL: the much-anticipated return of Joe Williams......is nothing short of inspiring. When Luke first called this song Africa 2, I wasn't sure what to expect....but let me get to that in a bit. This song is without a doubt my favorite track that I've heard, so I've got a lot to say about it. So the track starts out with some heavy percussion from Lenny Castro -- Simon is very quiet throughout the beginning. The percussion reminds me a bit of Africa blended with I Will Remember -- steady, but far from simple. Some great, atmospheric keyboards from Steve Porcaro and some cool piano from Paich start out, with Luke on lead vocals. The song starts out very sad, very mellow, almost painful (sad-painful)..... and then the chorus hits, and we hear Joe giving a VERY strong vocal.... The Chorus is f*cking AMAZING. The song completely transforms into something that keeps the same nostalgic sadness but elevates into a hopeful tone, of someone who lost something important to them but finds solace and happyness in the memory of how good things were -- lyrics and musical tone match perfectly. There's a great keyboard/acousic/piano instrumental break in this song that adds to the atmosphere. The song ends in a fantastic vocal play, almost like tribal chants with Joe and Luke once again taking the lead. Do we have a song that will get some radio play here? Well, right now it's about 7 and a half minutes long, so we'll need a radio edit. Africa 2?? Well some history for me first.... I first heard Africa when I was either 2 or 3 years old, and ever since that moment, I've gotten goosebumps EVERY TIME I've heard it.....and it was the vocals, the phenomenal harmony in the chorus, that drew me to this band. My whole life, I've never found a song that has quite "moved" me like Africa. So when Luke called this track Africa 2, I was skeptical and excited at the same time. And god DAMN am I satisfied. Joe and Luke are f*cking AWESOME on this track. The chorus line/harmonies are exceptional. This song is FULL of emotion, of atmosphere, and I just CAN NOT get enough of it right now. While the verses feature mostly Lenny without Simon (who is very quiet, almost like Jeff, sitting back and letting the percussion drive the song) but on the Chorus, Simon explodes onto the scene -- rounded out with keys, guitar, piano..... It's SOOOO damn good. I wish I was a musician so I could really put it into terms for all of you to really "get it." But I am so damn happy with this song, that I just guess I can't form the words to properly express my feelings on it. I'm sure that when Will posts his thoughts he'll be able to articulate better than I can.
HOOKED: Very heavy bass/guitar track with Bobby on leads (some of Luke too). You can hear Paich a bit on very low vocals as well doubling with Luke and Bobby. Comes in a shade under 5 minutes, has a really pumping chorus track. Heavy organ rounds out the guitar and bass, and the Horns re-appear for a bit as while. There's some funky flute/piccolo action going on -- not sure if that's Stevie P working his magic or if they brough someone in.
A SIMPLE LIFE: 2 mins, 30 seconds.....and I can't begin to tell you how much this song leaves you wanting more. This is a very slow Luke ballad until the chorus explodes out of the speakers. Great acoustic work with piano... The chorus reminds me a bit of Better World with the loud ahhs....this song has a fantastic production. I heard it for the first time back in May and now hearing it in its "finished" (not really) state is truly awesome. This is the second obvious choice for a single -- mostly because it's MY second favorite song. ahahahhahahaha
TAINT YOUR WORLD: STOP THE PRESSES! We have the first official appears of the F-BOMB on one of Toto's releases! DO WE NEED A PARENTAL ADVISORY HERE? hahahahaha A VERY strong, rockin Bobby vocal. GREAT Chorus, excellent harmony, runs about 4 minutes. This is definitely a tune to get the crowd up and moving. Some great funky drums and guitar in the instrumental break and the song finally rounds out with a rocking Luke solo doubled over with keys..... REALLY cool tune.
And so.... those are the 6 tracks I've heard. I'm SOOOOO friggin jazzed right now and SOOO excited to hear the rest of this record. It's a winner folks. It's certainly exceeded my expectations, and the more I listen to it, the more I find to love. Trust me when I tell you that this record will take several listens -- I'm still finding little licks that are soooo friggin cool. The record shows Toto stretching their legs a lot -- they've gone all out.... and they deliver.
I hope you all dig it as much as I do."
December 20th 2005: Part Two: Exclusive (P)review of "Falling In Between"
Despite the fact that there are now reviews of Falling In Between all over (check out melodicrock.com for a fantastic preview from Andrew McNiece) here is the second part of webmaster Steve McVey's first impressions of the remaining tracks of Falling In Between:
I'm sitting here listening to Spiritual Man right now, guys and gals. And I'm quite honestly moved. MOVED. SPEECHLESS.
This is without a doubt TOTO's best work. This second half of the album features a lot more duet/triets??? than the other. This I like a lot, puts some great variety in even just one song. WAY COOL! And so:
KING OF THE WORLD: Bobby, David and Luke share the vocals here. The opening reminds me a bit of Carmen, especially when Paich opens the verse. A bit more guitar here during the verses, great harmony on the chorus.
LET IT GO: Greg vocal. and his influence is ALL OVER this track. This is much more soulful/R & B than anything else Toto has put out, but it is still distinctly Toto. I really like this track a lot. VERY Greg-ish. If you've heard Greg's solo stuff and like it, you will LOVE this track. I certainly do! What a great voice he has! So damn smooth! You can really hear what he and Luke were talking about with their "blend" on this track.
SPIRITUAL MAN: WOW. Definitely a stand out track. Paich, Bobby, and Greg sharing vocals. Opening drums reminiscent of Africa, only slower. Definitely a more religious message here -- lots of great choir-ish background vocals here. Simple and soft -- piano for the most part, fully a Paich tune.
NO END IN SIGHT: Luke and Bobby again..... this is another one of those tunes where they time signature jumps around. Really cool keys and guitar. Bobby is all over the refrain, which is more upbeat/timed than the verses which hold most of the odd time. GREAT vocals all around, also a standout track for Mike's bass.
Listening to this thing all the way through..... I'm declaring this record, hand's down, Toto's best effort to date. There isn't a SINGLE track on here that I dislike, nothing I would throw off as "filler" like most of the sh*t records that come out today. TOTO Strikes Back. Falling In Between... --- my a$$!!!
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