Steve Lukather (July 2005): "We now can say it officially: the title of the new Toto record will be Falling in between. Artsy and cool sounding and it defines us musically as falling in between styles and falling in between being young and old... It 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, hahaha. It also defines where we are at in terms of our lives. We are not young, yet we are not old yet either. Falling in between is also the lead track on the record. I think its more a 'Pink Floyd esque' title myself and thats what we are goin for... Believe me this hasn't been easy to get 7 people to agree on a title."
Lukather in July: "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."
So far the band have 10 tracks in the can, very rough on the mixes, no EQ or EFX. The tentative song titles are:
Falling in between,
Hooked, (Ian Anderson on flute)
Dying on my feet,
Taint your world,
Simple life, ('Lukather' ballad)
Hopsing (final title: Let it go),
New fucking S. (final title: No end in sight),
Ordinary man (final title: Spiritual man),
Reefer man (beebop Toto style).
The overall sound of the album is fresh and new and alternating different styles, from prog rock to old school Toto. Lukather: "I think having Steve Porcaro put his magic synth work on the stuff gave it an old school yet fresh toto sound to it. It wasn't really thought out but yet we wanted it to be like that."
In the first week of August 2005 Lukather confirmed that he will do a duet with Joseph Williams: "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 will also do a duet with Greg Phillinganes as their voices blend together very well. David Paich has one lead vocal on the record on a song that he wrote.
Lukather in August: "The new album is a labour of love. It's 7 months in and we are working VERY hard on it. January release and world tour starts in February. Its not the "same old same old" at all. We are digging deep and we know there are high expectations as some feel we have not done anything relevant in awhile. Mindfields was a start and a reunion with Bobby. I see the flaws but there was some good stuff as well, depending if you like us or not, hahaha... BUT, now that we have been playing live and living and breathing the concept of doing something that we feel is living up to our potential... well it feels good and we are really trying as hard as we can."
Lukather in October: "Falling in between is artsy and cool sounding and it defines us musically as falling in between styles and falling in between being young and old... It 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, hahaha. It also defines where we are at in terms of our lives. We are not young, yet we are not old yet either. Falling in between is also the lead track on the record. I think its more a 'Pink Floyd esque' title myself and thats what we are goin for…I think having Steve Porcaro put his magic synth work on the stuff gave it an old school yet fresh toto sound to it. It wasn't really thought out but yet we wanted it to be like that."
Lukather in October: "Its not the "same old same old" at all. We are digging deep and we know there are high expectations as some feel we have not done anything relevant in awhile. Mindfields was a start and a reunion with Bobby. I see the flaws but there was some good stuff as well, depending if you like us or not, hahaha... BUT, now that we have been playing live and living and breathing the concept of doing something that we feel is living up to our potential... well it feels good and we are really trying as hard as we can. If this is the last record we ever make (it won’t be, I hope), I can walk away knowing we threw DOWN the best we got. I hope the fans will all enjoy and appreciate the love and passion that went into making Falling in between."
Lukather: "Frontiers Records (that will release the new record), that's belief! WAY better than fucking Sony Records who we made 250 MILLION dollars for! Not even a "reach-around" after 25 years. Fuck them, hahaha. For real. Shit, if we counted records we did outside of Toto JUST for Sony, forget about all the other labels, we could own the fucking place. Hahaha BUT... I digress... As for being "Dated"… well, yeah we are dated. I am gonna be 48 Friday and I am the youngest guy in the band. We have spent over 8 months and OUR $$ and time on our own to TRY and do our personal best for you and US. Now, having said that I know whatever we do someone will not dig it and others will."
Steve Lukather in 2005 (musicstreetjournal.com): "Frontiers offered up twice what everybody else did. They gave us complete control. They gave us everything we wanted. It's a license deal, which means we own it at the end of 5 years. They love the band. They really wanted us, really bad. They put together a marketing promotion plan as well as huge dollars up front. They wanted it really bad. They understand how to sell this kind of music. We're much better off being on an indie label like that than being on a big label where we got buried. We still sell a lot of records under the wire but Sony did nothing for us towards the last 10 years of our career with them. They keep making lots of money off us [with greatest hits]. We have no control over that. They own the masters. They put these cheesy record covers out and every one of those records sells at least a half a million. But they give us a reduced royalty rate because it's repackaged. So we get fucked anyway. We haven't been on a label in a long time. When we put out a new record, we haven't put out a new record of original material in almost 10 years, they put something else out to compete with us. How many times can a person buy a record that has Rosanna and Africa on it? Those songs have been good to me; bought me a couple of houses. But come on. We have hundreds of other songs. This is our 18th studio album."
Lukather in November 2005 (toto99.com): "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."
Lukather on December 6th: "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."
Frontiers Records press release (December 7th 2005): "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 Africa.
The album was released in the USA on April 18th 2006.
The album release has been anticipated during January 2006 by the launch on all radios of the (promo) 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." The single contains a Radio Edit (where the guitar & piano solo was cut) and the Album Version.
In Holland the single Bottom of your soul was released as an official single on February 4th, as Frontiers Records was listening to the special whish of the Toto Headlines, the Dutch Toto fanclub (FR CD 279).
For the most important radio stations and dj's in Holland, Steve Lukather recorded a series of promotional clips during the El Grupo tour in November 2005 at the office of slagman.com in Hengelo, Holland.
Arend Slagman, Stevelukather.com, July 31st 2005/February 17th 2006