The Road to the new album.
January 19th 2005
Update from Luke
We JUST had a meeting on
Mon and we have a plan to start writing and recording Feb 7th and will work all thru Feb and most of march and then do a few
USA dates to get the chops up and record some more, go out for 4 days, come back until we are done!
Direction ? Well it's
early yet but we want to make this a group effort, write 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.
for now mate
February 8th 2005 Update
Well, yesterday was day 1 so we didnt 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
its 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 for 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.
Thats all for now mate.
February 13th 2005
Update from Bobby
The show in Puerto Rico went very well. The
press had rave reviews about it, so it looks like we'll be going back there as soon as the new CD is done. Our promoter likes
the band and is a real Toto fan.
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.
February 16th 2005
Update from Luke
We have been busy in the studio. We are taking
this CD REALLY seriously. Wrote a way cool piece with the band yesterday. The cherry has been popped. hahaha
Dig ya later
February 20th 2005
Update from Luke
So far we
are writing within the band but I have some stuff with Randy [Goodrum] already done, Paich has tunes etc... The music is way
different than the typical Toto record so outside writers will be used sparingly. We dont want to keep running the same course
although dont be surprised if we bring in some help with the lyrics as we have in the past. The best will make the record
no matter who writes it but so far we as a band and what WE have been writing is kicking some major *** and we are excited
like little kids again.
Thanks it for now
February 20th 2005 Update from Luke
Well we are gonna make the record FIRST and the 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. Its still VERY Toto but its also very experimental and progressive and agressive. 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. Its been
exciting and fun to write all new music and we think that you guys will be pleasantly surprised at what us old ****ers 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 we have found a direction that we all dig alot. Everyone is contributing.
Oh yeah, Paich is VERY involved in this record!!!! I read a little of what people are saying in the nagative as far as
Dave not touring. No one said Dave will NEVER tour with us, just for the most part he needs to stay home for PERSONAL reasons.
No one should start trying to guess why as they dont know. It is NOT my place to air Daves personal life! The rest of us LOVE
touring and Dave is slowin up a bit. He will ALWAYS be an integeral part of the band !!! 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 worldwide 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.
So, for the people that think Toto is dead without Dave on the road 24/7...sorry. Thats life and we know we can pull
it off and have proven that time and again. Perhaps those are the same people that Think Fergie was Toto. What can I say ?
Have a good one. Its pissing rain in LA but there is a fire goin and life is good
March 9th 2005 Update from Luke
Got 3 trax
so far. 2 killer classics and one jam we did for fun. We will inter-sperce little jams in between tunes ala Pink Floyd IF
we think they are cool. Not alot, but a few gems caught on tape in between takes. NO rules this time bro and we are havin
a GREAT time!!!
March 12th 2005 Update from 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 streches 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.
T predict that this will be 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 ***es as he is so into it and it is so
fresh that we are ALL digging WAY deeper for the compositions 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
March 14th 2005 Update from Luke
It's all really comin 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 16th 2005 Update from Luke
The record is comin 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.
April 2nd 2005 Update from Luke
Luke: Lots to do yet but its is really good and we are proud so far. Got more KILLER trax this week. I must say this
is one of our best on many levels. I cant wait to send ya a taste down the line
April 12th 2005 Update from 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.
Dont have real titles at this point as we are still writing lyrics so we have working titles "Buttnugget" etc... hahahahaha
They will be replaced by REAL titles and words soon.
Thats all for now.
April 24th 2005 Update from Luke
New record is REALLY REALLY comin out great! I think it will be the best thing we have done for many many years! Its
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. Cant give too much on that yet but we
will tell ya when we cut their parts and we are using for sure! haha
Simons 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
Phil Soussan came in and engineering for us while Simon went on his dum clinic tour and he was great to work with as
We couldn't be having more fun and really and really streching 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 COLD AS THE GIRL YOU FEEL"
Think about it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
We will no doubt go thru 100's before we pick a serious one.
May 28th 2005 Update
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 edge to it.
June 7th 2005 Update
"I am sure a lot of you are curious as to what we've been up to these last few months so here's a short update.
My studio was ready for use in the first week of February this year and apart from a couple of sessions to "beta test" things
the band were the first to come in to record. Everybody really dug the vibe and the sound and we started writing and playing
simultaneously. Dave brought in his 9' Baldwin piano and his Hammond organ - so together with my kit and Luke's rig we have
quite a lot of gear set-up and ready to record.
Everything is being recorded to Pro Tools HD at 96k sample rate and
is all sounding wonderful. The new music is really energetic, live and inspired. I think we are managing to capture the live
sound of the band. Everyone is contributing to the compositions and we are excited about the new material.
take a long time to make a record with all the different aspects involved so here we are in our 15th week of recording and
over half of it completed. Another update will come as we get into mixing. Regards-SP"
June 15th 2005 Update
10 tracks laid down, just cut the 10th yesterday.... They're cutting another
and taking a break till August.
Falling In Between
Dying On MY Feet
Taint Your World
No End In Sight
And a few other untitled songs.
NO CHICK-NAMED song. From Luke: "We're going to
start writing about men."
July 8th 2005 Update
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.
I hope you are well and keep in tough................Bobby
July 31th 2005 Update
The Album is 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 firstoff 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 we are at in termsof 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 ***es 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 pastthat 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.
have a great day and we will catch up soon
August 7th 2005 Update
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."
Like 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.
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 present 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 on ttour
August 23rd 2005 Update
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
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 Casto 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 an 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 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!!
Regards - SP
September 2nd 2005
Update from Luke
No, we have not done the tune yet. Finishing
Lyrics. The song title is "Bottom of your soul" written by the band, alot of Paich and Me in there but a group effort. Beautiful
world groove with a fantastic melodic vibe. There will be ALOT of vocals on this one but we want to feature Joe. Hopefully
in the next couple of weeks depending on his schedule and ours. We leave NYC tommorow, doing some east coast dates, back on
MON and then not leaving till this ****er is DONE!
God Bless New Orleans!
September 12th 2005
Update from 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 unbelievable
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. Ther 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
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
Interview from Will Minting with Mike Porcaro & Steve Lukather
We hear that Falling In Between is very much a "band-written album". Mike, which songs were you most heavily involved with?
I was involved in most of the songs written for this album. Dave brought in an essentially finished song as did Luke. The
rest all started with an initial idea, which was then embellished on by the band. The end result being a representation of
where the "band" is at in 2005.
Will: What bass guitars, EFX and amps have you been using on the
new album? Do you write on the bass, or do you play guitar or keyboards when you're writing?
I've been playing a G&L L2500 bass and a 4 string bass by Sugi on most of the record. I also used a Hofner and Peavey
on the record. And of course my favorite "F" bass saw some action also. Most of my contributions to the writing of this record
were conceived on the bass guitar.
Will: Luke, did you exclusively use your Music Man guitars
or did you dig out some of your vintage Les Pauls and Fenders? Which acoustic guitars have you used?
Music Man all the way. I just love the way they feel and sound. I still have all the vintage stuff but I get everything I
need out of MY guitars. MM is the best! Ovation/Adams acoustics. they are the best and I love working with the company. I
have LOTS of guitars . haha
Will: Is your recording set-up the same as your live rig, or have
you used different amps and effects?
Well, I use my live rig most of the time. I used Simons little Marshall on a few things, and my son Trevor’s Marshall
4/12 JCM on a few things. He has a really good one.
Will: Did you record your parts "dry" and add EFX at the desk?
dry and various EFX separately to have control.
Will: Did you use any new gear recording this
Luke: Yeah, got a few new pedals here and there. The ISP sub woofer system on a few things,
Radial tonebone distortion pedal, Xotic pedals.. cool stuff plus all the Bradshaw stuff and some stuff from the console. I
am looking forward to hearing what our mixer Steve Macmillan brings to the guitar sounds!
Mike, how do you approach writing a bass line to gel the complex instrumentation? Is it all feel or more structured than that?
It's a combination of both, but I essentially just try to feel the bass line. I let the tune tell me what the bass line should
Will: Are there any particular influences, guitarists or bands, which influenced you this
year whilst writing and recording "Falling in Between"?
Luke: I am influenced by EVERYTHING I hear.
The new stuff is a bit more "prog-rock" in places but with OUR groove to it . We are a product of out collective influences.
I've been listening to mostly older CD's lately. Donny Hathaway's "Extensions Of A Man" and Marvin Gaye tunes in general have
been on my playlist recently.
Will: Luke, you played keyboards on a couple of tracks on the album.
Do you have your own keyboard set up at home or do you just use what Paich, Greg and Stevie P have in the studio? How often
do you practice the piano?
Luke: I did indeed. I have a Yamaha 9 foot grand piano in my living
room in LA and that’s all I need. I don’t practice as much as used to. I spend more time practicing guitar. I
will never get that down. hahaha
Will: Do you have a demo facility at home to put down ideas?
Yeah, a shi tty cassette player. If it doesn’t sound good with just piano or acoustic guitar than it sucks anyway. WHY
do demos? Most of the time they feel better than the final for me. Lets just make the record once! haha
Do any of the other guys in the band play guitar at all - not on the album, but for fun?
Not really. If they did I would love it if they did a part on the record.
Will: Can you give
us an insight into routines/anecdotes about the new album sessions?
Luke: We have it down after almost 30 years. We speak our own language and have our own humour
that very, very few people get and we are ALWAYS roasting each other. If you didn’t know you would think we hated each
other. Hahahaha. Simon is the king of tea and biscuits. We eat at the same 2 lunch places everyday. Hahaha. As you get older
routine is cool. Ya don’t have to think about bullshi t ...just the new music of the day.
I must say, that I've had an absolute blast making this record. It's been intimate, fun and challenging. With the addition
of Greg Phillinganes, new musical energy has been breathed into the mix of things and this has been a blessing and shot in
the arm for Toto.
Will: Mike, you used to sing backing vocals, live at least. Aren't you tempted
to help fill out those rich vocal harmonies?
Mike; I'm more than happy to concentrate on playing
bass and leaving the vocals to Tony and others.
Will: A lot of fans ask about your side projects,
such as "The Porcaro Brothers" and your occasional live appearances as "Mike Porcaro & Friends". Whilst you'll clearly
be busy with Toto with the new album release and world tour from February 2006, do you have any plans to progress "solo" projects
in the future?
Mike: Let's see what happens this next year!
© Will Minting,
September 16th 2005
Update from Joseph
Just a quick note to tell you that yesterday
I spent about 4 1/2 hours recording vocals for TOTO!!!! And boy was it fun!
The song I worked on is brilliant. It's
a "very Dave" composition with an amazing groove and ......Well that's all I will say....Wouldn't want to spoil the suprise.
Suffice it to say it's a real and rare privilege
to appear on this one. The session was fantastic....Lots of laughs, lots of ideas and virtually no stress. Just a hang with
family. Anyway, I can't wait for everyone to hear it.... Very exciting for me!
September 16th 2005
Update from Luke
We DID have a blast. Joe is in better form than
he was when we hired him in 1986! He sang his *** of! Its 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.
Joe was so ****ing funny and we have alot of
it on film for the Network.
This will not be the last time we work together
for sure! My face hurt from laughing, Joe doing impressions of Paich singing Africa and then morphing into Frank Sinatra singing
Africa. I think we have it all on film. My face hurt from laughing at the end of the day and the vocals are just awesome.
Many many harmonies. Think the end of Lea on
steroids and then some.
Have a great weekend
October 21th 2005 Impression
from F.I.B. sessions by Will Minting
A few of you have asked about my trip to LA a couple of weeks ago, so here's
Sharon and I had the privilege of being invited to hear the finishing touches of the new Toto album being
recorded at Simon Phillips new studio. I ended up spending 3 days at the studio, and had a fantastic time and a lot of hard
By good fortune, on the first day that I was at the studio, Luke, Bobby, Dave, Mike, Simon, Greg and Steve
Porcaro were all there and listening to recently recorded overdubs and the first few mixes by Steve Macmillan. The banter
in the studio is relentless, ranging from mild piss-taking to the obscene! "That's just WRONG!" hahahaha. At his request,
I'd brought Custard Cremes and Milk Chocolate Digestive biscuits for Simon but whilst his back was turned Greg ended up scoffing
one large packet by himself! hahaha. Needless to say, Simon made sure that the biscuit stash was hidden from Dave! hahaha.
Simon at the helm on the recording console, and Dave directing proceedings, Greg and Luke recorded an amazing solo section
to one song but I won't spoil the surprise by saying any more about the tracks. We also watched Bobby recording vocals on
a couple of tracks, and Greg recorded some backing vocals. The following day, Bobby was travelling to Germany to perform a
show and Greg was travelling to Las Vegas. Steve Porcaro came in to play a couple of tracks he had been working on at his
studio. The sessions that day were being filmed for the Toto Network, more information on that will be forthcoming soon.
the second day, I watched Luke record a couple of guitar solos, and Luke also recorded vocals and Dave recorded backing vocals.
I had lunch with the guys and then went outside in the sun with Mike, where he told us all about his hopes for the Toto Network.
our final day at Simon's studio, we were played more tracks and listened to move vocals and overdubs being recorded, and over
lunch, the guys discussed their hopes for the new record contract with Frontiers. Mike shot some film for the Toto Network
archives. Dave and I progressed the interview which we started in May. It'll be an epic by the time it's done!
our 10 day stay in LA, we were also invited to Joseph Williams studio, and went out to lunch with him. It was surreal driving
to the restaurant, with Joseph in the passenger seat singing along to Only the Children on my hire car CD player! Joseph was
on great form and it was really cool to meet him. Joseph told us how thrilled he was to have had the opportunity of recording
some vocals on the album. By all accounts, I get the impression that Toto fans may not yet have seen the last of Joseph!
in the week I'd been invited to Bob Bradshaw's studio where Luke, Oskar and Bob were mixing the EL GRUPO LIVE CD. Another
great experience - and a privilege to be asked to write an exclusive preview of the new EL GRUPO LIVE CD. We also went out
to dinner with Steve Weingart, his wife Renee and Joey Heredia, to Steve's favourite Mexican restaurant. Both Joey and Steve
gave me copies of their CD's (Live in LA and Life Times vol.1) and invited us back to their houses. As they'd both been out
of town on tours in recent weeks, I played them the first mastered copy of the EL GRUPO LIVE CD which Oskar Cartaya had given
me earlier that day. Joey showed us his fab new studio where he's recently been recording with Michael Ruff.
invited me to his gig at the Baked Potato, and Luke and I went to see Will Lee's show with Oz Noy and Anton Fig at the Baked
Potato on another night. By prior arrangement, I did an interview with Will Lee about his Los Lobotomys recollections and
other Toto memories. Will Lee revealed that he had been invited to join Toto in 1977! I had a drink with Jeff Babko at the
Baked Potato and arranged to do an interview with him in the near future. Luke took us out to dinner on my birthday, with
Oskar and Bob Bradshaw, to a fantastic Italian restaurant, where Luke has his own Arrabiata dish on the menu! Luke had arranged
for a birthday cake to be brought to the table and after they sang Happy Birthday I asked the guys if they could arrange for
some decent singers next time! hahaha.
Other than some relaxation by the hotel pool and a visit to friends in San Luis
Obispo, it was an action packed 10 days, and the memories of my time in the studio watching Toto recording their album will
remain with me for a long time! I did take some photographs of the guys recording, which I may post in the future.
I sit writing this, I'm listening to some "Early Roughs" mixes of Falling in Between. I really LOVE it...it's exceeded all
my expectations and may well become my favourite Toto album. But as I've been asked to draft the CD Liner Notes for Falling
in Between, I'll save my comments for then. Whether the Liner Notes materialise on the new album sleeve remains to be seen
but it's an honour to have been asked anyway.
|photo by Will Minting
|photo by Will Minting
|photo by Will Minting
|Simon Phillips & David Paich
|photo by Will Minting
|David Paich & Simon Phillips
|photo by Will Minting
|Steve Lukather & Simon Phillips
|photo by Will Minting
|Steve Lukather & Simon Phillips
|photo by Will Minting
|photo by Will Minting
|photo by Will Minting
|photo by Will Minting
|Will Minting & Joseph Williams
|photo by Will Minting
October 31th 2005 Exclusive
review of 6 tracks from F.I.B. by Stephen M. McVey Jr.
So, as many of you know, the past several days I've been in New York
City to see Luke and his El Grupo gig. I don't plan on talking about that too much -- there's only so many ways I can say
"inspired" "untopable" and "amazing" when talking about Luke's playing. He's one of the greatest living guitar players ---
I don't think there's anyone who could honestly dispute this with a straight face. But -- a great trip, a great hang, some
fantastic memories, and just more evidence that Luke truly has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know. THE MAN.
Saturday Morning, I got a phone call from Luke to come down to his room to collect a copy of a certain release
that we have all been avidly following the progress on -- writing, recording, mixing, etc. Yes, yes, yes, Falling In Between.
I don't think my feet touched the ground more than 2 or 3 times on my way back up to my room to give this gem a listen.
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.
The entire record is not mixed yet. What we have (and that
we hope to offer clips of on the website soon) are 6 tracks currently in their "final" mix. But the work is far from done
on any of them. The 6 tracks are:
Falling In Between
Dying On My Feet
Bottom of Your Soul
Taint Your World
I'll go through each track individually and try and give you a preview.
IN BETWEEN: a REALLY cool title track. This trakc comes in around 4 minutes. A way cool song, tere 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hopefully we'll have clips up at somepoint in the near future for you all.
November 21st 2005
Update from Luke
I wasn't supposed to be here (Europe with El
Grupo) before the Toto Record was finished. And the Toto record is supposed to be done by now but we went over because we
wanted to spend the time and make it great. But you know, all the recording is done. Dave and I lived through 6 or 7 mixes,
and they're still sending me mixes and I'm making notes. Simon is listening from China as well. You know, the schedule's all
fucked up. The story of our lives! Hahah But you know, it's almost done. It's coming along. Everything's really coming together.
Many of the tracks have turned out better than what I expected. I already know what it's going to sound like - as long as
Paich doesn't fuck it up!
We spent like 9 months making this record, and it was a 99% band-written record. We knew
there was great expectations from the fans. You know, the last record was a fun little record, but we got complaints that
we couldn't write our own songs, you know. Mindfields was cool, but it wasn't great. And now of course we have Greg Phillinganes
in the band, whose brought new life to song writing and intensity. Steve Porcaro came back and was very involved in the record.
We even had Joseph Williams come back and sing with us! Lenny Castro was there as well. The sessions were just really inspiring,
and it was just a lot of fun to work with everyone again. We did it all in Simon's new studio, and he did a great job cutting
the tracks. We're very proud of it, and I think it's our best work in many, many years. So far the reaction we've been getting
is "Holy shit, that's you guys?" And that's the desired reaction. We're not trying to write hit singles. We're trying to write
music that we will be proud of and dig to listen to ourselves. We've listened to the criticisms and read them on various message
boards and people sending mean personal emails and shit. Some of it is very valid! So we DO pay attention! Not the mean shit!
Joe (Williams)... we've always had the utmost respect for Joseph, so we asked him if he wanted to come in and record
a tune with us. The fans have always been saying to bring Joseph back, and Bobby loved the idea. He came in for one day, and
he had some brillian ideas for harmonies, and he sang his balls off! We had a lot of laughs talking about the old days. I
definitely see us working together again, definitely! Not at this very moment, as he's got a great TV and Film career and
prefers to hang at home. But we've discussed it. He'd love to come out and do a show or two. Maybe for our 30th Anniversary
we'll drag out Joe and Steve Porcaro and make a DVD for old times' sake. We'll see what happens. But we'll definitely work
together again. With both of them! Steve (Porcaro) and Joe definitely. On whatever project, in whatever capacity, cuz I love
them both! Steve is fucking brilliant man!
To be honest, this is not a flashy guitar record! You know I wrote some
really cool rifs and stuff that I think are not typical, but I'm not going crazy. I let the keyboards shine. That was one
of the complaints we'd read - "where are the keyboards?" So here they are, we're giving them to you! I mean, I have some cool
moments, but it's just not about me shredding on guitar. That's why I have El Grupo. In Toto I'm doing what's right for the
compositions. My solo on Dying On My Feet was one take, and everyone just loved it. We tried to keep it loose for when we
play it live. You know, we just sat in a room and played it. It isn't pro-tooled out. Pro-tools is great when you're recording
vocals for edits and copying, but we'd rather sit in a room and play to get a take. You know, vocals were Dave, Greg, Bobby,
and I. Steve McMillan is doing a great job mixing. And we've got a really cool, different cover. It's nothing like anything
we've done. We were going to go back to sword-world, but I said that I thought it was time to move on. And we've got some
great photos. Pamela Springsteen, Bruce's sister, she did all of our black and white portraits. We look like old jazz musicians!
There's no point in us wearing skulls and pretending we're rockstars anymore. You know, there are these aging rockstars that
still think they can fit into the spandex and tight shirts.... we decided to leave that shit behind!
For the new tour
we're putting together a wholee new system, new technology. Screens all over the place. I haven't seen the diagrams yet, but
I'm really excited about it. We'll do about a month of rehearsals in LA, we'll do a couple of real low-key shows in California
to try out the setlist and see how the set is working. Then we'll go to London to do some production rehearsals at Hammersmith
- the Apollo. And then we're off! And we WILL be back! This is only the first leg. We'll do 3 legs. The first leg is the big
cities. We'll do a festival leg in the summer, and then we'll come back in the fall for all the places we missed. And we'll
also do the US, Asia, like Japan and Singapore. Unless the planet blows up by then! It's a bit intense watching CNN recently.
December 6th 2005
Update from Luke
Doing the last fixes today and it gets shipped
to the record company tonight. FINALLY finished!
Besides: Toto will be back in Europe for many more shows this coming
year. The first leg is just major cities and then we will be back in summer and fall. See ya there.
December 7th 2005
Frontiers Records press release
Release date in the whole of Europe and Australia
has been set on February the 10th 2006. Domestic releases have been finalized in Japan (on King Records), South Korea (on
Pony Canyon Records) and Russia (on IronD Records) with more deals to be announced in Eastern Asia, South America and South
The album release will be anticipated during January 2006 by the launch on all radios of the single Bottom
of your soul a song which - in the words of David Paich - is Toto’s “PRAYER FOR PEACE”... and
that features Joseph Williams singing in duet with Steve Lukather.
December 20th 2005
Part two (P)review of F.I.B. by Stephen M. McVey Jr.
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:
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.
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.
Falling In Between... --- my a$$!!!
January 2nd 2006 Review
by Will Minting
TOTO - FALLING IN BETWEEN
Will Minting, December 2005
One word keeps
coming to mind every time I listen to each track on Falling In Between: Magnificent. No question, this is my favourite
Toto album, despite 25 years hardcore appreciation of their musical excellence. Yet this has been the most challenging review
I’ve ever tried to write - there‘s just so much to enthuse about. Falling In Between is everything I ever hoped
the band would achieve beyond their commercial successes two decades ago. Toto have absolutely excelled themselves this time.
I've been listening to so-called rough mixes (which weren't very rough at all) since May 2005 and even had the privilege
of witnessing many of the tracks being overdubbed at the studio in early October 2005. Over recent months, I'd grown familiar
with the tunes and grooves but nothing prepared me for the arrival of the final mastered CD a few weeks ago. Friends and other
fans had been pressing me for reviews and reactions to the album but I've wanted to really "live" with the album, so that
I could try to do it the justice it completely deserves.
Falling In Between is oustanding in every aspect; from probably
Toto’s s richest production ever through an array of the classiest sounds to the impeccable vocal performances, and
the abundance of musical brilliance which exceeds any expectations that I might have had. It’s compelling listening
and there’s so much to enjoy. Stylistically, Falling In Between is completely incomparable to anything that Toto have
recorded before. Toto have never lacked experience or intelligence in their albums but Falling In Between seems to take on
a new level of musical maturity. This album is vintage Toto.
The genius is also in the breadth of material; I would
venture to suggest that this is probably Toto's most diverse album to date. I've never been one to indulge in lyrical content
but it's clear that these outpourings are deeply considered and intelligent musings. The real test of a truly great
album is it's longevity; whether the melodies and production stand the test of time, long beyond the initial "awe" when the
great pleasure of familiarising oneself with the CD subsides. There are probably more concealed nuances in this new Toto album
than even their most polished work of the last 28 years. One of the greatest facets of Toto for me has always been that I
discover a nugget of brilliance every time I listen closely; there are truckloads of those moments on Falling In Between,
just waiting to be found and enjoyed.
This album rocks HARD. It's very soulful. It's catchy. It's progressive, in places,
yet it sounds timeless. It's a musical feast to challenge even the most schooled ears. And that's why Falling In Between could
become a classic album; it's absolutely deserving of the best promotional campaign. Am I saying that this album is "better"
than even Toto IV or The Seventh One? Yes. It's the ultimate display of their collective genius.
In the following review
of each track, I've included some "out takes" from the band's CD track notes, which were written in November 2005. The album
is due for release in Japan in late January 2006 and in Europe and other territories from 10 February 2006. The Falling In
Between world tour kicks off in London on 25 February 2006.
Falling In Between
The title track is a Led Zep-esque
masterpiece with Indian/Arabian type influences, the verse riff being reminiscent of "Kashmir". Bobby and Greg handle the
lead vocals, with very heavy guitar riffing throughout, interspersed with massive keyboard flourishes. The latter half of
the song is pure, unashamed instrumental indulgence. Truly awesome.
Simon: This is essentially a band written song
but Luke sparked it off with his killer riffs. Bobby came up with the first melody and Greg the second melody. We all added
parts to it and it evolved into what you hear now.
Dying on My Feet
song of many sections! Bobby's lead vocals and the Chicago Horns powerful injections are particularly notable. A song of many
sections and featuring an oustanding Luke "Kid Charlemagne-esque" solo.
Simon: Another band written song put together
section by section and in fact this was the demo track - it just had such a good groove. I particularly love Bobby's vocal
performance on this one - exploiting a slightly lower range of his voice. Jim Pankow from Chicago wrote a killer brass arrangement
on the outro and a very cool solo from Luke - probably my favourite on the album.
Bottom of Your Soul
first single. A wonderful and haunting track, reminscent of “Africa”, and with a huge production. A hypnotic percussion
loop coupled with melancholic lyrics about the humanitarian aftermath of world tragedies. Stunning vocal performances by both
Luke and Joseph Williams and a truckload of hypnotic chants add to the plethora of textures. Pure Toto.
sang the verses and we had Joseph Williams come back and did a duet with me. Its classic Toto and very "Seventh One" sounding
style wise with a 2006 twist to it. Lenny [Castro] is on this as well. Greg and I did the acoustic solo section live together
which was cool. You were there!
King of the World
A fab mid tempo rocker which reminds me a little of
Isolation-era Toto, especially with Paich’s vocals in the verses. Luke and Bobby also sing. Sure to be a live favourite
of the future.
Paich: It's about the fall of Enron, as told from three perspectives. One, being the "man on the
street”(narrating); two, being a low level worker and the third being the “Big Dog” exec. In addition to
the band, Steve Porcaro played a major role with creative editing, intros and dazzling effects. Jason Scheff from "Chicago"
also lent a hand on vocal harmonies.
A prog masterpiece and loaded with cool hooks! Mike Porcaro’s
incredible touch and tone and his interplay with Luke and Simon really make this track groove. Steve Porcaro’s genius
comes to the fore once again, before the track smoulders over Luke’s rasping guitar riff. A great Bobby lead vocal performance
too - check out his (subliminal or otherwise) nod to Dire Straits “Money for Nothing” on the line “we love
our MP3’s”. James Torme and Trevor Lukather augmented the backing vocals on this track, and Ian Anderson of Jethro
Tull added his inimitable rock flute timbres to the mix. Hooked is already one of my all-time Toto favourites.
I had written the chorus a while back and played it to Luke and Mike. They came up with the verse which really work well.
Dave made some harmonic changes to the overall piece and then I came up with the bridge section. Dave wrote some great lyrics.
This was inspired by Led Zeppelin.
Probably one of Luke's finest ballads of all time; An ethereal effected
piano sound underpins Luke's melancholic vocal performance, building to a huge and cleverly arranged chorus.
One of the things I always look forward to on a Toto album - a gorgeous ballad from Steve Lukather. These kind of songs flow
out of him like a pure spring. Awesome! This one is short and sweet with a lovely chorus with that "wall" of background "oohs
and aahs" as the backdrop.
Taint Your World
No doubt that this track will be an instant Live favourite.
I LOVE this track. The first time I heard this, Luke sat me down in the studio mixing desk chair, whacked up the volume and
as the opening riff blasted out, I beamed from ear to ear. THIS is what I used to hope Toto would have recorded 20 years ago.
The riff and groove are blantantly Van Halen-esque, in the “Hot for Teacher” mould.
Greg: I always felt
this is the kind of song that Luke just had to get “out of his system.” It’s definitely NOT for the faint
of heart, and I’m gonna enjoy hitting it live. This is one of the reasons why I love being in this band!
Greg’s debut lead vocal performance. A funky and soulful “Jake to the Bone with vocals”. Greg’s
vocals fit seamlessly into the Toto sound but his keyboard touch certainly adds a funkier dimension when required.
We cut this with Greg Phillinganes - and he also had a hand in the writing. He sings the lead and there are some really intricate
Magnificent, a true Paich classic. A gospel song, featuring Dave, Bobby,
Luke & Greg on vocals. Builds up to one of the coolest tenor sax solos (Tom Scott) I've ever heard.
tune. I love the way the guys pass the vocal around on this one. Simple and few chord changes played to great effect.
End In Sight
My favourite on the album. THIS track is what I really love about Toto. The time changes, the syncopation,
the subtle riffs, the progressions, the dynamics. I really love the instrumental version I have of this track but Luke &
Bobby’s vocal performances are exceptional. To me, this track is genius.
Simon: This was one of the last songs
we wrote - I think it took about an hour to compose and then we cut it live - a couple of takes - and that's it. Bobby delivers
another killer vocal on this one.
The Reeferman [Bonus Cut for Japan Release]
A whacky be-bop
groove featuring a trumpet solo by Roy Hargrove!
Luke: This is a live jam written by basically me and Dave but as
it’s a jam I guess its a band tune. Dave had this riff and Si started playin the be bop groove and I wrote a melody
on the spot. After we heard it back we dug it ang got jazz legend Roy Hargrove to play trumpet on it. Its a Miles "Bi tches
Brew" kind of a thing. Very short piece but cool. You wouldn’t hear this on an other "70's-80's bands record that for
sure! Its a "bonus cut" kinda thing but we dig it. It’s a bookend to "Don’t Stop me Now" from Fahrenheit with
us and Miles back in 1986.
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