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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Interview with Toto's David Paich 2012 - Part 2

Exclusive Interview with Toto's David Paich 2012
Part 2
David Paich - Keyoboard player extroadinaire!
So, I hope you enjoyed the the first part of our exclusive interview.
It was great talking with David Paich, some real eye opening stuff and a real view into the music maker's life.
The man is a musical genius, whose endless talents never cease to amaze me.

Before we get into this part, I wanted to share with you that when David and I spoke last weekend, he eluded to the fact that in 2013, the band do plan to go out on a US tour and cover a lot more areas in the States, than they currently are doing, right now.
That for me, made me feel good and if you, like me, also feel deprived of Toto's great music, fans can be happy in the knowledge that we should not have to wait, too much longer to see these talented guys once again.

Anyway,I know you don't want to read me going on and making you wait any longer for the secong part of the interview David and I did, so without further ado, here you go!

Picking things up again here, where David continues to talk about Toto re-branding themselves in the USA.

Over to you again David!

Part 2
David: Just want to do a few things and then that way, we might be able to get our visibility back up here and hopefully you know, a come back to the States here and share our music with people here a little bit.
In the next three years, we want to re-brand ourselves, some radio show events and like said, some TV show stuff, more media coverage and we know we have to do, so that’s in our ‘three – five year plan’ you know?

AW: Well, Doc (McGhee) has certainly got some clout there’s no question about that, I mean the guy’s …

David: We’re working on it, thanks for the positive support you know.

AW: No, no, absolutely, because I mean …

David: Hold on for one second please. – Ed: David gets another call coming in.

AW: Yeah, sure.

David: OK.

AW: Cool, alright so I’m trying to think where were we? Yeah, it would be great to see you guys out there again over here for sure …

David: Yeah

AW: You know Doc McGhee? He’s got so many big names signed to him, so …

David: … And he’s one of those guys that’s on that Irving Azoff level, you know what I mean?

AW: Right, absolutely.

David: … Where they make things happen and it’s just good merchandizing wise and everything. It’s just fresh.
It became time for us to make a move and get with a guy named James Blades (Jacks son – Night Ranger) who works out of Doc McGhee but we met with him too.
All this, just to get some young blood in here, it’s just time for a …
To get a young blood injection into our band here and to just try to do some PBS and some Storytellers and stuff and try and a …

AW: Absolutely

David: Try and rekindle our career here in the States, you know?

AW: Yeah, go for it! That’s what I say because … I mean, so many people have been doing the Storytellers, you know?

David: Yeah, you know we have … We do have stories to tell and we have music and we’re in the music community so, I think that Toto’s a unique band with a unique past to it. You know what I mean? That we could… If we make the right moves here, we may get some visibility and get some love from our homies here in the States.

AW: For sure, yeah for sure, but I mean you’ve got an impressive history of session work behind you obviously David and I mean so much more, that never seems to end and so much material with Toto, that you know …
I mean, could you ever have imagined that it would go on for this long? I mean, seriously?

David: I never did, I never did. You know I mean, we thought … We always thought, well we’d do this and when it ended we’d go back doing session work or do whatever, but never imagined I’d be working with the … Two years ago, I was asked to sing “Africa” on stage and when they introduced Nelson Mandela and gave him the Lifetime Achievement Award at the United Nations. You know?

AW: Yeah

David: … And I’m starting to do United Nations work for presenting their films and do stuff like that so … Working with firemen, doing the LAPD and Firemen fundraisers and just when you can give back to your community it really sinks in that you … That it’s gone beyond just playing high school dances and stuff.

AW: Oh sure.

David: You get to that level so much, it’s very rewarding and fulfilling and satisfying.

AW: Absolutely and I mean you even did the Olympics, the summer Olympics.

David: We did do the Olympics!
You know, I was working on … Speaking of the Olympics, something with Mike Oldfield but it’s not going to happen now because they want all Brits only!
Its top secret in England, but Danny Boyle is directing the Olympics … No one knows about it.

Ed’s note: Well, obviously not anymore as it’s all done now, at the time I wrap this up!


David: I’m talking to you because you’re no longer … You’re a “Yank” now, OK? You know?
You’re an American now, so I get to talk to you like that.

AW: Well, (Laughing) the accent slips from time to time and I fall into, as you’ve no doubt noticed …

David: (Laughing)

AW: … But I try to remember my English'ness! (Laughing)

David: Absolutely, absolutely.

AW: As Stuart (Smith) certainly held on to his very well, so there’s no doubt there.

David: Absolutely man, I love Stu!

AW: Yeah.

David: He’s great, he always comes to my Christmas parties, is always very, just giving and stuff like that. I love Stuart.

AW: Yeah I saw a fun jam on YouTube … You still there David?

David: Yeah.

AW: Yeah? Sorry I thought I’d lost something.
Yeah I saw the fun jam that you guys did on YouTube with 'Africa' I thought that was quite fun!

David: Oh Yeah? Oh what was it?

AW: Yeah (Laughing)

David: What did we do?
Did he put something on YouTube?

AW: Yeah he did …

David: Well listen, where were we? At his house …?

AW: It was a Christmas party somewhere; I thought it might have been your house or was it Joe’s?

David: Oh really?

AW: Joe Retta (The Sweet, Heaven and Earth) …?

David: I’m gonna have to spank him for that one!

AW: (Laughing)

David: He’s not supposed to put that on YouTube. Bad Stu, bad Stu … (Laughing)

AW: Yeah it’s probably ‘cos when I was talking to Howard (Leese) about you know, this Stuart thing he said yeah, Stuart’s a great guy I just wish he’d bloody pay me!

David: Yeah exactly!

AW: (Both laughing)

David: Yeah he’s such a great guy you go like, I don’t care, you know, just be Stuart! You know?

AW: He is a nice guy though, yeah …

David: So let me ask you a question, here’s a real loaded question right here.
Only because my wife’s birthday is like …, tomorrow and she’s out of town and I still have to do some shopping ...


David:  If we don’t have just a couple minutes more to do … If we have a bunch, like another good twenty minutes, what I’d like to do is break this up and stop for a second here ‘cos I’ve got to do some shopping.


David: And then I could call you back and we could finish or if it’s just five minutes we can finish it now.

AW: Well …

David: I don’t want to rush you, ‘cos I want to do a good interview for you, you know what I mean?

Ed's note: So tell me folks, is it a good interview?

AW: Right, well I understand what you’re saying ...

David: How much more do you think you have to do?

AW: Well you know I could probably try and wrap it up in about five, ten minutes tops. Would that work?

David: Sure.

AW: Yeah?

David: Hold on for one … I’ll tell you what, let me … Do me a favour … Call me back in two minutes ‘cos I’ve got to make a call.

AW: Yeah no problem David. Yep. Bye.

Above image is copyright © Marco Cometto.

At this point, shame on me as I had planned on keeping it to about five or ten minutes, but bless 'im, David can talk a bit too! LOL!
Anyway ... 
Phone rings …

David: We’re good.

AW: We’re good?
Good thank you sir. Oh my wife is heading on out, she’s got her sisters just come over and everything.
She’s heading out tonight and I’ve got the kids.

David: How long have you been married?

AW: I’ve been married to her since 2003 so I came over, met her over here.
She’s a keyboard player actually.

David: Really?

AW: Yeah.

David: Oh great!

AW: Yeah, she ...

David: Fabulous. Do you have kids?

AW: We got two kids. We got a six year old girl and a five year old son, who will soon be seven and six respectively.

David: Oh fantastic!
Our girl …, I’ll tell you … The little girl is going to be fun about 13 or 14. I have a 23 year old, yeah, she’s gonna get abducted by aliens and then they’ll return her when she’s about 17 … OK?!
(Both laughing)
I’ll just tell you that much.

AW: (Laughing) Oh man, oh crazy.

David: It’s all good. It’s all good. They’re the best.

AW: Yeah

David: Kids are the best!

AW: They are, you know I’ve got a stepson back in England as well who is actually he’s 24 now, so I mean I raised him for a few years, but a …

David: Yeah?

AW: Anyway yeah so I mean both Luke (Steve Lukather) and yourself actually most of the guys from Toto have an impressive resume and I spoke to Luke a few years back as well and I guess well …, it is endless!
The list that you’ve got, as you wrote in the song right? - 'Endless'
I mean, do you have a specific piece of work that has meant more to you than anything else for any reason and not necessarily Toto, or not?

David:  You know, people ask that … 'Africa' has been a real milestone song to me. 'Africa' and 'Rosanna,' I would say are really important.  'Rosanna' because it was … It was …. We were at a point where they said, ‘Can you guys … Are you like a one hit band?  Can you actually … or was that a fluke? Or can you guys do more hits? … Records?’
…. And you know, that was kinda getting probably ….
We were gonna have a problem carrying on with our contract with CBS

AW: Right.

David: So they were like, you can have one more chance here to do this so I put everything I had into 'Rosanna' and I got very lucky with that song here, and I thought it was … The song turned out pretty good, you know?

AW: Oh yeah.

David: … And 'Africa 'and I liked too and then there are songs you know that like on our last album our ‘F.I.B.’ album. “Falling In Between.”

AW: Yeah.

David: I’m starting to write lyric driven, story driven songs more.

AW: Right.

David: Where I’m writing the lyrics first and then writing the music, kind of after and getting more into the song.
I wrote a song called ‘Spiritual Man.’

AW: Yeah.

David: That I’ll probably I’m the most happy with that of any song I’ve ever written. It’s not a great song, I mean, it doesn’t have a chorus.
It doesn’t have a bridge, but for once I got something lyrically right. You know what I mean?

AW: Right.

David: Like when I listen to Paul Simon records.

AW: Sure.

David: So I listen to very good lyrics. I finally got something I can actually listen to and not wince at and go, you know those lyrics are just meaningless and whatever, you know?  That is something that is halfway decent. So, there were a couple of songs on that record one is called “King of The World”

AW: Right

David: A couple things, I’ve finally started to get happy with some of the songs I’m writing and I have some songs I’ve written in the past couple years they are not out yet but…


David: I’m kind of honing my, starting to really hone my song writing craft into becoming a better song writer.

AW: (Laughing)

David: And not just putting out ‘Hold the Line's’ and these little rock ditties where the choruses get repeated, you know? So a…

AW: (Both laughing)

David: So you can laugh, ‘cos you know what, I’m just being blatantly honest with you right now, you know?!

AW: (Laughing)
I mean …, how can you say that after all these years David?
I mean all that stuff you’ve written?!

David: I can! Hey it’s been good to me, I love it all. You know what I mean? It’s all rock and roll I don’t have to make excuses for it.
You know? Rock and roll doesn’t have to be an intellectual or esoteric. You know what I mean?

AW: Oh man.

David: It’s just fun, fun, fun, you know?

AW: Yeah.

David: I love it.

AW: Yeah.

David: I truly love it!

Photo - Steve Lukather and David Paich - Toto
AW: No, I saw the ‘Falling in Between tour,’ you guys played here and Greg obviously filled in for you when Toto played.
When the band played Detroit … 

David: Yeah.

AW: And that was a great night it was a lot of fun. It was a smaller theater and everything. It was Royal Oak Music Theater.

David: Yeah.

AW: It was still a great night. I wish you’d been there …

David: That was a great show! I saw the film on it that they made.

AW: Yeah?

David: … And it was … That was a great unit. I mean if you could have a unit play, perform stuff now, I know what people …
When people cover a song and they’re not in a band, I know what they mean, what they feel like, you just sit back and you go like, ‘Wow! That’s unbelievable!’ what they did to it, you know what I mean?

AW: Yeah.

David: So I just applaud them you know?

AW: It was very cool, but I’m very buzzed obviously about the band, with everything you said to me at the start with the band and so on, but will there be a new Toto album?

David: I very much doubt that … I think we’ve said all we’ve said, done all we wanted to do with Toto on the ‘F.I.B.’ album.  There may be a Public Broadcast, a PBS album. We may get back together where we may do a thing, where we bring in lots of people and do some of our hits with. I have some thoughts on maybe trying to do some stuff with Chicago.


David: I’d like to do a Chicago / Toto thing, where we do some original material together, but right now there is no more Toto albums in the making.


David: We’re going to be touring and I will be very shocked, pleasantly surprised, but shocked if Toto does another album because the ‘F.I.B.’ album was really the end of our recording, the way I see Toto doing it, with that unit, with Mike (Porcaro) and everybody you know.

AW: Right.

David: Then we start changing the band context too much, you know? Nothing’s impossible, you may see a record come out that has some old, unreleased Toto material on it. We may release some stuff that we’ve cut in the past that we feature some new artist on or feature Chicago or bring some young artist in on but I’m just talking to you kind of off the record here …

AW: No, no, no, I understand that …, but you know it’s funny you say Chicago I think the two of you guys touring together would be a sweet idea, that would be.

David: We’re looking at trying to push that together here, they’ve come to our gigs, we’ve gone to theirs, we’ve known them for years, I’ve had them play on … (James) Pankow is a dear friend, I’ve had him play on ‘Rosanna’ he played on ‘The Seventh One’ and at one point we were trying to get …. Earth Wind and Fire and Chicago were touring and we were trying to get Toto in there, getting those three bands together on the same bill, which would’ve been fabulous …

AW: Wow!

David: We’re trying to get something with us and Chicago touring the States …

AW: That would be a great show …

David: Which would be a great bill, because we’d integrate our music together, you know what I mean?

AW: Yeah …

David: That would be a real fun show.

AW: Yeah, it would be ….

David: I’d buy tickets for that show! (Both laughing)
I don’t know if you ever caught the Earth Wind and Fire / Chicago tour …?

AW: I did not but I would imagine it was …

David: If you haven’t, do yourself a treat and get the DVD and just check out the last thirty minutes when Chicago comes on and they just both play … I thought they were going to like play just one song or something, but they integrated like about a half hour of material, so they had like a huge brass section, two bass players and both bands and it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve heard in my life.

AW: Wow, I can imagine!

David: It’s really kick ass, you know?!

AW: Wow! Cool! Yeah, I’ll have to find that then! Search that one out for sure.
So anyway, so now I know you’re helping out Stuart (Smith) on the Heaven and Earth album on one track. Will it be more than that or probably just the one …?

David: Well, so far … (Laughs) I work at a snail’s pace dude!
I said ‘Stu, this ballad needs some strings on it …’ So what I do with my band is that means, ‘OK I’m going to get a hold of you, when I want to put some strings on it!’ you know … (Laughs).
So I start putting them down and Stu calls me every day, ‘Are they done yet?’ ‘Are they done yet?’ ‘Are they done yet?!’ I say,’ Stu, I going work on them here, ‘cos I’m busy but I’ll call you back.’ So I’m putting strings on one ballad that I heard them do and then he asked me if I’d maybe write something for the record.
So maybe I might with his singer Joe, me, Joe and Stu may get in my room and pen something together, which I’d like to do very much.

AW: Cool!

David Paich - Side stage!

David: Yeah, I’d like to write a song for this album and hopefully that will happen you know?

AW: Yeah, that’ll be fun.

David: I just need to learn … Well, as long as I get it done before the album is released if you know what I mean, as I work at a snail’s pace sometimes, they have to give me a deadline so I can go, ‘Ok, I’ll get it done.’ Otherwise I find a bunch of other things to do, you know?

AW: (Laughing) Yeah … Well, Stuart and I chat from time to time and he was saying to me that – At the time of the interview. – that they had got five tracks down for sure …

David: Yeah and they’re great ones, they’re really good!
Actually there’s one that is not up to par … I can tell you this right now.
There’s four incredible ones …


David: … And one of them, I told them it’s not quite up to par with the rest of them, but they’re really on the right track with this album right here. The sounds are great and the singing’s great and I have high hopes for them on this one, I do …

AW: Yeah and Howard (Leese) told me the same thing and Joe (Retta) … In actual fact I had a brief chat with Joe just the other day in trying to set up an interview with Joe and both Joe and I have busy weekends …
Trouble is with my day job, it’s tough for me to an interview with anyone during the week, so that’s why I have to do the interviews on the weekends.

David: Yeah, right, right, right …

AW: So Joe and I are supposed to be talking soon as well.

David: Oh great, yeah he’s a character, he came to my party too, he’s a real character, entertaining guy …
Great singer though too.

AW: Yeah, well I actually spent the day with them when Sweet played here.

David: You did, did ya and you survived a day with him huh?! (Both laughing)

AW: Yeah, they were quite something, I gotta tell you, but no it was good one, cool day.
OK, well I know you said about the Grammy’s coming up this week, I mean anything you can share or elaborate on there?

David: Well, I can share you this part, Music cares which is part of the of the Grammy’s honours person of the year, every year and this year they’re honouring Paul McCartney. Which I luckily enough, got a dream gig. Tommy LiPuma who’s the musical director for it, who just produced Paul’s album, I’ve known him for years and he asked me to be musical coordinator on it.
So what’ll happen is Paul … There’s going to be about an hour’s show with artists honouring Paul with songs and then Paul’s going to do about forty five minutes after that, with his band and a couple of cuts from his new album.


David: But I’ve been able to just sit back and go, Let me see, let me just go through all the Beatles stuff, all of Paul’s songs and see … I mean all these artists are calling to be a part of it …
The artists we turned away …, it’s unbelievable! I mean, you could just choke a horse!
You just can’t believe it! I mean, everybody I mean everybody wanted to be involved and you know, I wanted to do ‘Oh Darlin’’ with Don Henley and Paul, his lists ..!
We had all these great things set up and he was like … ‘Paul doesn’t want like those people on, so we ended up with like Neil Young and Foo Fighters and … The people we end up with that I’m disappointed … I mean as I said like Neil Young, Foo Fighters, James Taylor …, I mean all these great people but the people that didn’t make the cut it was like … Unbelievable!
So it’s been really fun because they like bringing people in at the last minute and Duane Eddy wanted to be on and I found a song for him to do, ‘And I Love Her,’ so I might actually get to play on the show.

AW: Oh really?

David: Yeah, with him and it’s fun just matching these people up with the songs …

AW: I’m sure …

David: … because I’m a McCartney aficionado and I mean I love Paul McCartney I just think he’s like the talent of the century, you know what I mean?

AW: Right …

David: One of those kinds of things …

  AW: Yeah an you know what? John Lennon, bless him RIP and George (Harrison)  too, but Paul, you know, his sound always appealed to me more and I don’t know why it was, but there you go

David: Yeah, well he was the guy that … And I know George Martin and he’s going to be there too and I worked with George and I asked George when I was working with him, ‘So like, who did what on all these records …’ – Laughs – ‘And who’s making the records from Sgt. Peppers …?’ He went, ‘Me and Paul …’ George told me this …, that he and Paul pretty much made all the records from Sgt. Peppers on …

AW: Wow …!

David: You know, when everybody else was pretty much flittering around being the Beatles … And they’re great guys!
George Harrison, he was a lovely guy and he was very talented, same as Lennon but I think Paul and George were the brains, you know the real record makers behind all that …

AW: The real crux of it all?

David: You know, as you heard, Paul just kept going, you know what I mean?

AW: Exactly! I loved Wings, I did I thought Wings were fantastic, I really did.

David: Well look at ‘Live and Let Die’ and stuff …
You know some of those things, just real influential you know?

AW: Yeah, big time!
Well, anyway, just to wrap things up, what next for David Paich?

David: What’s next for me? I just got asked – This is kind of off the record - but I just got asked Tommy LiPuma may produce Leon Russell, who’s been my hero for years and I may get to arrange some of the string arrangements for that record.


David: Again this year, I’m doing a couple of Police / Firemen fundraisers up … I’m doing one for the Oakland Fire Department in June and in August we’re heading back out to Europe on the road. So we’ll be in Europe, we might go to South America … We might do a couple of dates in the States before we leave for that. We might do one in Denver in May – Ed's note: Sorry folks, I know it’s already passed. – it’s called ‘Day of Rock,’ it’s for children, there’s a children’s organization, you can find it on Google, I’ll send you some stuff on it …

AW: Yeah, please do …
Ed: Didn't see it ... :(

David: Other than that, right now my mind is a blank … I know I’m doing one or two other things, but I can’t think of any of them as you just asked me right now …. – I laugh – and I’m just going to be writing and getting ready to do some new Toto stuff and helping to guide my daughter, through helping her to get through getting her teaching credentials and stuff you know.

AW: Ah, right …

David: Maybe we’ll do a follow up call for this, you know what I mean?

AW: Yeah, OK … Fair enough.

David: I’ll send anything else I think of, OK?

AW: Yeah, please do David, please do, thank you.

David: Well thanks a lot Alun.

AW: No, thank you, I appreciate your time and very best of luck with everything and …

David: I’ll have to keep this going, because I’m trying to get back and start doing interviews and trying to get our press back up, especially because it’s the United States here you know?

AW: Sure, sure …

David: I think anybody from Detroit can’t be all that bad! (Both laugh)
If you’re from Detroit, you’ve got to be happening man!
Detroit’s where it’s at!

AW: Right … It’s funny …

David: Just don’t walk around Eight Mile at night time, alright?!
I’ll tell you a funny story before you leave.

AW: Yeah? OK …

David: We went to see Pink, you know I told you about all that?

AW: Yeah, yeah … with Lenny Kravitz ..

David: Yeah. Well, we went to see Pink with James Ingram, well at the end of Lenny’s show, he has this Lenny money, it’s this little printed fake paper money, it comes down like confetti, it’s like a party and it has his picture on it and it’s going all over the floor. So James Ingram is standing next to me and James is such a funny guy and you know who James Ingram is right?

AW: Yeah, yeah …

David: Well he starts picking it up and putting it in his wallet (I’m laughing), well me and Steve Trudell, Trudells boy, he comes from Eight Mile area right, like Eminem and all those cats, right.
Well we go down to a Seven Eleven and James starts trying to buy lottery tickets.
He asks for a lottery ticket and he tries to pay for them with this fake money – Ed’s note: I’m dying here! – and we’re just being hilarious and we’re acting like we’re in a movie, so we’re so out of hand here, I won’t tell you all the rest of the shit that happened …But anyway, I’ll leave it at that …
Alun, thank you so much and take care, thank your wife for letting you call a total stranger on a Saturday …

AW: No problem …

David: I’d love to hear her play keys sometime, you know?

AW: Oh, she’s awesome, she rocks! She plays like my idol, well one of my idols, Jon Lord … I mean I love Jon Lord. (RIP)

David: Oh, I love Jon Lord, I love Deep Purple, I have a Deep Purple switch on my Hammond organ!
I call it my Jon Lord switch. It just shoves it to overdrive you know?
Oh, well good for her man.

AW: Yeah, we jam in the basement, I’m a drummer, so we jam down in the basement.

David: Oh cool. Excellent!

AW: Yeah, it is …

David: Well, I’ll be talking to you, keep in touch!

AW: OK and if you think of anything you want plugged, feel free to send something my way.
If you just want to post a couple of notes on the site, then I’ll happily do it David.

David: Fabulous! If you talk to Stu, tell him the strings will be done for his song very soon! (Both laughing!)
Bye Alun.

AW: Bye David, take care.

Toto live in Vienne, France August 4th 2012, yes really!

Once again, my sincere thanks to David Paich, his family, Toto, Stuart Smith, Jennifer Freed (McGhee Entertainment) and LeeAnn Hoffman.
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