The new album from Toto inspired me to go back to one of the old interviews that I did with the band back in 1988 for inclusion on this blog. I reprinted this one in RETROFUTURE 4 in 2011, so it was not hard to find. Joseph Williams was the singer in the band at the time, as he is now again. So here´s a bit of nostalgia for you. Enjoy!
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What have you been up to since you were last here?
Steve / Well, there´s the new album, we have a few new babies at home, a new house…
On your new album you´re working with an outside producer for the first time. What made you take that step?
Joseph / We wanted to be able to concentrate on the creative side and just let somebody else take care of the technical.
David / For the first time really, we felt like artists in the studio. In the past, maybe 60% of our time was spent dealing with the sound. This was our first digital recording as well.
Joseph has done a couple of records now with the band, is a live album in the cards anytime soon?
Jeff / I know we said this the last time we were here as well, but I think we need another studio record before we record a live album.
David / “The Seventh One” was a great live album, until we did all the overdubs, ha ha…
Mike / We´ll actually record a live album, but it´s for the Japanese market.
Steve / Yeah, the Japanese market is very different to Europe and the US.
Which market is your strongest today?
David / If you add up all the sales for Europe combined, then this is probably our best market today.
Where is Steve Porcaro?
Joseph / In his room! He´s still touring with us but he wants his role in the band to be toned down a bit. He doesn´t like journalists!
I heard that Mike broke his arm in Germany on the last tour?
Mike / Yes, I fell off the stage in the dark and I broke my arm!
Jeff / I didn´t see it so we started the show and played seven songs with a bass player that was grinning with pain.
David / I felt bad when I found out about it because I told him to break a leg before the show, as you do for good luck, ha ha…
Are you alright with these long tours?
Steve / It can be hard. I miss my wife and my sons and my daughter a lot. My youngest son is taking his first steps right now and I´m not there to see it. You feel it the most in your hotel room in the middle of the night, staring at the ceiling feeling lonely. But then you feel happy again when you have another crowd in front of you.
How do you plan your time?
David / We look ahead about two years. We try to work for four to five month´s at a time, with a little time off for other things in between.
Many musicians hate making videos, how do you feel about them?
Joseph / I only hate the bad ones! We´ve made two for the new record, one for the US market and one for you with “Stop Loving You”. The record companies in Europe ignores our advice because they think they understand this market better that we do. We have to respect that.
David / Yes, we have one in Europe that has Joseph in the nude and one for the States in which he´s fully dressed, ha ha…
Do you have any favourite cities?
Jeff / Stockholm has always been good to us. London, Paris and Rotterdam as well.
David / It always snows when we´re here though. I hope to see the sun next visit.
The new record is longer than most?
David / Yes, it was actually hard to jam it all into the vinyl. We did it anyway because we didn´t want to be restricted by the standard norms. The CD version is even longer actually.
Did you record more songs that the ones we´ve got this time around?
Mike / We always record 15 songs at least and then we pick out nine or ten for the album.
David / Sometimes a song will appear on the next album, but that´s rare.
What´s going to happen with all these unreleased songs?
Jeff / That you´ll find out after we´ve all died in a plane crash. But seriously, a two hour record would not be a problem to put together.
What do you think about the future of the rock business?
Steve / I think that it´ll be just as big in 20 year´s time as it is now, I think I can guarantee that.
David / More and more kids learn to play inspired by their idols. I think we´ll see a lot of new talent in the next decade. Some of them might be very personal. Maybe there´s a new Beatles in the making as we speak?
Joseph / Or maybe there isn´t a new Beatles in the making… Tell them about your dream David…
David / I want to be the guy that you see dance behind Madonna!
Michael Eriksson (1988)
(No part of this interview may be quoted without permission)
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