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Hi dear Steve,
Thanx for giving this opportunity.
Since I’m a keyboard player, producer and sound egineer for more than 15 years and my musical roots go back to 70′s, I would like to ask you:
How was it being and working in a top analog studio in 70′s? How was the atmosphere and people around?
Not like today where every bedroom is a digital studio, landing and working in a top LA studio should had been quit magical and exciting in 70′s and not everyone had access to such recording quality and tools. I know it’s impossible to describe the whole vibe in a few sentences, but at least what you remember from good old days.
and finally I would like to thank you and all other legendary rock bands. We grew up, learned and lived with your music during post revolution years in Iran. You have plrenty of solid fans over here.
Shahram from Tehran
Hey there Shahram,
Cool question. You know at the time, I was constantly wanting to be able to record without the intense pressure that there would be recording synth parts in those days. Think about it. We’d be trying to perform a part at the same time as programing a part, at the same time as coming up with the arrangement of the part, at the same time as recording the part, etc, etc. It was crazy. The engineer would say “you keep changing the sound” . . . well of course, we were programing from scratch. Or he would say “what happened to the level when the part would suddenly be played faster and the attack was slow. on and on and on. It could be very frustrating the way we would try to do everything at once. I use to always beg guys like David Foster ” let me come in early before the artist or even engineer is there and show me what kind of parts and sounds we will need and I’ll do that in advance and be ready when everyone arrives or some variation on that theme. . . it never happened. When I finally got Toto to let me record by myself without everyone breathing down my neck making comments while I’m just figuring out what I want to do, we wound up with things like the solo section of Rosanna. Never ever would have happened if we did things the usual way.
Somewhere down the line though, after it became the norm and everyone had a studio in their bedroom, I began to look around and ask
“where is everybody” ?? I really missed bouncing ideas off of each other to name just one aspect that I was suddenly missing very much.
Working in the studios in those days were great, the way they all had these amazing maintenance departments with amazing techs that could fix anything and even sometimes make you a little black box so your synths would interface with each other. It was a cool time.
I could write a whole book based on your question, because I benefitted greatly from being able to have a home studio, and at the same time, I know what everybody who has one is missing. Take care, Steve
You’ve mentioned both here and in your excellent InsideMusicast interview that in your opinion “It’s a Feeling” wasn’t finished. I liked the music so much that I never noticed the lyric duplication until you mentioned it. How about finishing it up with a 2nd verse as a bonus track for your solo album? If the groove is tricky, you could even sample Jeff’s drums off the Toto IV multi-tracks (assuming you could get ahold of them). I love the understated groove and delicate balance between the verse and chorus melodies on that one. It’s a fine example of what sounds like a “Steve Porcaro song” to me. Nice to hear “Ready Or Not” being in a similar vein.
No one else seems to write like that.
Thanks Ross, Great ideas, but since we’ve started playing it live with Joseph Williams singing it, I’m starting to settle on the fact that maybe it was meant to be that way even though I’ve always struggled with it. Jeff plays so amazing on it. It IS a Steve Porcaro tune and there’s more on the way. Stay tuned, Steve
Hi Steve, hope all is well. I was just curious as to why you sang lead on TAKIN IT BACK and ITS A FEELING? Was it always your intention to do it or was it because Kimball or Paich wanted everyone to try and sing a lead vocal? Also, was it your original intention to sing lead on LEA before Joe Williams sang it? God Bless and please send Mike P much love from Glasgow Scotland. Peace. David.
I sang lead, because I didn’t think any of the other guys were a good fit for my type of record. I did do a finished lead vocal on Lea, but when Joe joined the band, I gave him a shot and he nailed it. I was soooooo relieved to have a singer in the band that could interpret my stuff the way I wanted it. Singing was always very difficult for me and something I’d never do in front of people. Thanks for the question. Hope this helps, Steve
I’m already back on the site, haha !
My question is about your contribution in an album that I really love: CHICAGO 16.
I think it’s a very strong, very consistent album.
If I remember well , you played (along with Paich and Lukather) in “Waiting for you to decide”, one of the best songs on the album.
Indeed, this song has a Toto feel, with horn sections of Chicago… so this is magical.
So…I wanted to know: how was this song written and composed, what was the role of Toto members in this song and how did it happen?
Did David Foster already compose all the mélodies, so you didn’t have to do much (except just some “finishes” or giving some advice), or did he just have a few chords and told you “You can do whatever you want” so it’s basically a Toto song with Chicago musicians, or did he had composed some parts of this song and let you create some other parts ?
For example, I find the bridge of this song has a David Paich style of composition (from “I still love you” to “I dont wanna know if you’ve been lying all this time”). Tell me all the story ! Thanks a lot !
I remember the tune “Waiting for you to Decide”, but I don’t remember who the writers besides David Foster were. I was just hired to program for David as usual in those days. The tracks were always done by the time I got to them. Sometimes he knew exactly what he wanted, other times, like on “Chains” (my favorite) I came up with the synth line at the end that they liked so much, they incorporated it into the horn arrangement. It was always a great, inspiring, creative environment. I loved working with Fos and Chicago. By the way, I also did quite a lot of work on Chicago 17 that went uncredited if I remember correctly. Take care, Steve P
I am a big fan and a composer/keyboard player! I have had many moments of inspiration listening to your own compositions and your work with Toto. Your texturing work by yourself or along with Paich is truly mindblowing!
My question is, have you ever heard of your LA brother Dam Funk? He is a modern funk musician out of Ladera Heights that gains a lot of inspiration from the LA scene from the mid 70s into the mid 80s. He also is a synthesizer nut like yourself! Here is a track that I think you will dig (If you have a moment to listen). He is signed to Stones Throw Records.
It is the boogie funk sound that I know you worked with when you worked with Quincy on the Brothers Johnson album Light Up the Night. Chill LA vibes. Love it! Do you remember anything about those sessions?
I finally just want to comment on For All Time (MJ). What a beautiful tune that would have been huge on Thriller!! I find myself humming the hook all the time.
Also, Sune, myself, and the rest of us in the Paich Porcaro Fan Club (Facebook) can’t wait to hear your new material! Like I said above, your work is very inspiring.
Best, be well, and I can’t wait to see you and Toto perform at Chastain Park in Atlanta August 14th (First Toto show, I’m 25)!
It’s all about texture for me!! Thanks for the link. I dig it.
I remember a lot about working with Quincy, George and Louis on the Brother’s albums. “Blam” was a blast too. We worked all night one time trying to make a deadline. It was a real turning point in my relationship with “Q”. I think he saw that night that I could play some cool stuff every now and then as oppose to being just a programmer.
Thanks for your kind words about “For All Time”. I never knew why they said that was a ‘Thriller’ out take. We recorded that around the time of the “Dangerous” album at Record One.
I can’t wait for you to hear my new stuff.
See you in Atlanta, take care, Steve
How are you doing ?
First of all: let me tell you I’m maybe the biggest Toto fan in France! I know by heart every single note and every single word, from Child’s anthem (first album) to “No end in sight” (Falling in between) !!
Professionnally I’m an architect and I also love playing piano and keyboards (I try to play at least 1 hour per day !)
I’ve always thought that music and architecture are somewhat connected.
Anyway…. I love the keyboards role in Toto, and always been especially “in love” with analog brass sound with oscillations (the best example would be the Yamaha CS80 in Africa). This sound is like watching a vast landscape, and it gives a song a warm and very atmospheric dimension.
I just wanted to say: Thank You for all those great records.
I won’t hesitate to come back to this website as soon as I have some questions…
All the best,
Aubin (Chartres, France)
Thanks for the kind words I’ve always wanted to be known as the “Rem Koolhass” of Rock !!! and yes, do come back when you have a question. Steve P
Im a great fan of your work and all the other guys from Toto, you guys truly are so important to the music of the last 35 years. Two questions :
1 On the liner notes of Toto you thank Peter Dunik’s Algorithm, what’s that ? (Im a keyboard noob)
2 What’s your favorite recordings as a session musician that you performed, and the most challeging ?
Thanks from Brasil !
Great question. First time I’ve ever been asked:
Peter Dunik is a mathematician who along with Ralph Dyck, another Canadian, (introduced to us by David Foster) invented the first and only “Sync Box” that could follow a live click track and/or conductor live. There was also a “tape mode”. Ralph worked very closely with David Paich and myself modifying our Polyfusion Modular system to be used with the Roland Micro-composer MC-8 which Ralph invented. I was obsessed with the possibilities of having an 8 channel digital sequencer. It was the reason we got such huge modular systems. It wasn’t about the synthesis, it was more about having “voices”. Before the Polyfusion, my MiniMoog or 2600 was a single voice and since I didn’t have 8 of any of those, Roger Linn designed a system that was essentially 8 MiniMoogs in a huge rack. And I had 2 of them!!! Anyway once I finally got all that happening and learned the MC-8 (not and easy task), the reality that I was in a band, whose drummer would not play to a click track . Nothing at all existed at the time. Ralph, who invented FSK (Frequency Shift Keying); the sync tone used to sync up multiple passes of the MC-8 or Linn Drum (they all used FSK then) came up with a design for a sync box that you could tap the tempo live not just to set the tempo, but to continuously update the tempo every quarter note (tap) in a very smooth fashion. There have been many devices since, but nothing does what my original sync box does as beautifully as it does. It was my secret weapon used on many many sessions. Ralph told me the only way he was able to pull it off was, a mathematician friend of his, Peter Dunik had come up with an algorithm that enabled him to pull it off. I think the first thing we used it on was “Gift With a Golden Gun” on Turn Back.
My favorite session? There’s been lots. The night we did “Dirty Laundry” with Don Henley was one, Doing “Human Nature” with Michael was a blast. Recording the live tape loops for “Lea” with my brother Jeff and some friends.
It was always challenging trying to do something no one had heard before. Hope that helps. Thanks for asking. Love to Brasil! Hope to come there soon, Steve
Thus the album credit.
Wow, great story Steve! You guys should make a “Classic Albuns” telling how those records were made.Thanks for the reply
Toto, along with Led Zeppelin, Rush and Little Feat(most underrated band ever) are my favorite bands
I’m in my early 30′s now and obviously I heard some Toto songs before, but I became a fan really when I started buying some LPs(Yeah, weird…but Im old school haha) that happened like 10 years ago. Still remember the expectation of getting that LPs and playing for the first time on my turntable. Hope you guys come here on the next tour. I saw Toto in 2007 november 12 day before my birthday, with Greg and Lee replacing…would be awesome to see you and Joseph now back !
I believe Lea was the first song I heard from Toto, It was a hit here in Brasil…still get airplays on Adult/Love radio stations.
Hope to see you in Brasil soon. I love that they still listen to Lea. Take care, Steve
First off, I’d like to say that Toto is my favorite band of all time. I am a 22 year old musician of the new generation who is reputable for playing metal and hard rock, but regardless, Never Enough Toto for me!
The Seventh One is one of my two favorite Toto albums, along with Fahrenheit. My question is, seeing as you were no longer a full-time member of the band at that time, how much involvement did you have with the writing/recording process of The Seventh One? Are there any particular songs or synth riffs you can point out specifically as your own playing?
Good question. Since I was no longer in the band, my songs were not considered, but I remember doing quite a bit of the synthesizer work with David. There were no hard feelings when I left so, it was never my intention to stop working in the studio, so I did as much as they asked me too. I also did the tour. Looking back at the titles, I remember pretty much doing the whole album. I just didn’t go nuts like I usually did, much to the bands relief. Hope that helps, Steve
Will there be a new TOTO album with new material? There are intense rumours that you’ll record a new effort during the next winter and, apparently, Steve Lukather confirmed it in an interview with a norwegian magazine. Please, tell me that this for real…
It seems to be for real. Thanks for your interest, Steve
How are you? I hope fine.
I just watched Toto on YT a gig at Bospop. And what is that device on your top keyboard on the left. I saw you using it on ‘Afraid of love’. Is it a midi controller of sort?
Next time Toto is playing in the Netherlands i will be there. The last time was on august 25, i couldnt because of my birthday.
Btw a week ago i bought the Yamaha CS-80V for my Receptor but i cannot connect my pc to the receptor and my cp doesn’t give sound. But i keep on stumbling to get it all going.
My thoughts go to you and youre family.
Niels, Good question.
That device enables me to set my stage balances in my monitors of the individual band members. It does not affect what you’re hearing out front. I can turn just David Paich, or just the drums up or down depending on the song without having to wave my arms at the monitor mixer on stage, pointing to different guys, and pointing up and down all night which use to be the case. Its a box made by Avid that works in conjunction with the monitor mixer we use made by the same company.
See you next time.
Sorry to hear about your tech-woes. Every time I start thinking I have the technology down, something new and irresistible comes along and I deal with the same kind of headaches you described. Hang in there and make friends with as many people as you can that are good with this stuff. I need a huge network of support to use this stuff. It’s just too hard to do it all yourself unless you have a lot of time on your hands. I don’t. I found out that I only have 50 years or so left to live!!!
Thanks for your kind words and thoughts, Steve
I posted awhile ago that I’ve been waiting 30 years for your solo album, and based on your response to Sune, I’m all the more excited (though I wish you’d sing more). The songs you’ve written for Toto are my favorites, and Young at Heart is right up there too. If you do post some songs in advance, where will they be? Impatiently waiting up in Idaho…
I’ve been having the time of my life working and finally finishing these songs. I really can’t wait to share them with people exactly like you. I think you’ll ‘get it’. I would love to sing my songs, but I’m a much better writer ( I hope ) then singer and I would never want to limit my writing to my vocal capabilities. I’m sure you wouldn’t want me to either. Having said that, I will be singing at least a couple. Thanks for your patience. Maybe I’ll post a couple rough mixes here for people like you, who truly give a shit. Take care, Steve
Are you related to “skinny “Porcaro he was a friend of my dad’s also a musician in hartford, ct. 1960′s?
Yes Skinny is my Dad. What’s your dad’s name? Steve
Hi Steve- Thinking about the person who saw you playing for Gary Wright on YouTube. I actually saw the Midnight Special episode when it aired! Anyway, the Toto website said you were touring with the band again. Knowing you’re a big fan of soft synths, are you using any on tour? What keys are you using? Whatever happened to the huge Polyfusion rig that made Rosanna sound incredible?
I’m using a lot of soft synths on tour. Mainly stock Logic plugins. Omnisphere. David uses Ivory for his piano sounds. The huge Polyfusions are doing very well thank you. They are well taken care of. Most is in storage. Some of it is being worked on and restored. Thanks for asking. Take care. Steve
First I’d like to thank the entire Porcaro family for their absolutely amazing contributions to music! I’ve watched quite a few videos on youtube (I haven’t had the luxury of experiencing Toto live yet as I’m only 17) and I have to say you’ve got one of the coolest stage presences ever! The most talented family in music! I’m sorry for your loss with Jeff and Mike having ALS. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all! Next time you see Mike tell him he’s my all-time favourite bass player and his groove is probably one of, if not the greatest in the history of music! Such a passionate, cool player! Inspires me to groove more.
I was wondering if there are any plans to release a Toto 35th anniversary dvd, as the current lineup sounds spectacular! Or even if you guys have some old footage of an 80s show lying around with all 3 Porcaro’s as a very special feature! The Rosanna keyboard solo is my favourite solo of all-time! I covered it with my band, (however I cheated and did the solo in sections cause I’m not a keyboardist haha). Check it out if you’d like! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErJNoePwlfE&list=UUaI61z221wcmdEFsn3t5TBA&index=25
Anyway, all the best and thanks for all the wonderful music! Come down to Australia sometime with Toto!
On behalf of the family, “You’re Welcome”. Thanks for all your kind words. I’ll tell Mike what you said.
I think they are going to release a DVD of the current line up. I believe there are some legal entanglements that are finally squared away and we are filming another show on this upcoming tour o stay tuned.
No footage laying around that I know of with what you asked. I checked your clip. It sounds great! Hope to see you soon in Australia. Steve
I have a question. What do you think about the younger generation being into jazz rock and music of that sort from the 70’s and 80’s? I’m 26, and that is the type of music I prefer. I don’t listen to much of today’s music. Toto is my favorite. I love your Steve Porcaro-y tracks like Human Nature. I also like your work with James Newton Howard (and Toto of course). I just found out you played with Gary Wright on Dreamweaver- I always loved that song ever since I was a kid! Someone told me you played with Pablo Cruise- did you??
I also want to say that I love your dancing around on stage in those old gig videos, and I really like the Emperor Ming outfit too! So please come to Colorado for the 35th anniversary tour! I have not yet gotten the opportunity to see you and Toto because I am from the wrong generation- so please
And I can’t wait for your solo album!
I think it’s great that the younger generation checks out music that isn’t just what’s in the current top 40. I think people find that music from different eras, can resonate with them for a million different reasons. For me, what I write is a weird cocktail of my favorite aspects of every thing I’ve ever heard, so you gotta think that maybe the more stuff, you listen to, the deeper the well is when your trying to find your own voice. That isn’t to say that we shouldn’t keep looking forward as well.
Thanks for your kind words about Toto and my songs. I toured with Gary Wright right out of high school to promote it, but did not play on the Dreamweaver record. Keys on that were played by Gary, David Foster, and Bobby Lyle. Yes I did play on two Pablo Cruise records.
I hope we come to Colorado very soon. I know we are doing some dates in the States this year with more to follow. Take care and thanks for your interest. Steve
You have done a great job with the Justified !Your work really adds to the greatness of the show. Please let me know
if the underscore music will be available!
Thanks so much. I don’t know if or when the underscore will be available. I’m getting lots of requests. Maybe they’ll let me release a “best of” Justified myself. Stay tuned and thanks for your interest. Steve
I’m a huge fan of Justified, one of the many reasons being its background score. It is definitely one of the best shows on tv right now. The reason I’m writing this to you is because there is this track that plays on every episode of justified.. I’ve shook heaven and earth of the internet to find it but have been unsuccessful. It is the tune which plays in the background when the ‘Previously on Justified’ sequence airs.. I would be eternally grateful if you could send me the details of the tune or a copy of it as an attachment to me. Y
Thanks for your kind words. Send me your address and I’ll try to get it to you. Take care.
Thanks a lot Steve! Really looking forward to listening to the track. My e-mail address is email@example.com Thanks again
Can you give me your mailing address? sp
I did it in the reply before. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org
What I was asking for was a mailing address, not an email address. The powers that be here at Musinq are going to implement a system where we can share stuff via a Musinq PO box. Also, I’m not able to post anything directly at this point. To you and everyone that has asked me for music, I want to grant your wishes, but please be patient while they get this in place. I can’t email you directly, so hang on and stay in touch, and thanks for your interest. Steve
I would start by saying that I love your work.the time of the toto … with all those beautiful songs … both marked my youth.And speaking of songs from that period … my taste was there.I can not really like these songs today … the same way he liked that period. So my question is more of a curiosity:
what do you think of music today?? ….. and another question: Have you ever been in Brazil along with toto …. (or even another time?).
to finish I mean also that I love the series Justified,.and I think that without the songs that make up … you would not be so excellent…
and if I can have the freedom to say that you are a lovely man and very charming … and I love his voice (a voice strong, but at the same time sweet and soft.)
hoping and waiting for a response from you, I wish you many beautiful things.
Thank you for your beautiful letter and kind words.
I am able to find music I like today, I just have to look harder. I think Adelle is amazing. I love the Muse. There also is a lot of music today that is hard to listen to. I try to avoid it if I can.
I’ve never been to Brazil. I had stopped touring for a very long time. I know Toto has been there at least a couple of times.I hope to come to Brazil very soon. it seems like an amazing country. So much amazing music.
If you like my music, look for my album one if these days soon. I’ve been working hard on it and I’m excited for my friends like you to hear it. I’m glad you’re enjoying Justified and thank you again for all of your well wishes. Steve
I came across this Youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCc7XJRDD74) from when you played with Gary Wright on the Midnight Special. You must have been just out of high school at the time. Feel free to answer any of these questions or just go freestyle on the topic.
How did you get linked up with Gary Wright? Was this your first big gig? What was your portable keyboard? What sticks in your mind about your playing days with Gary Wright? What kinds of synths and effects were used? (Sorry for all the questions. I feel like Mr. Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey if you know what I mean.)
Not quite out of High School. I got the gig with Gary before the second semester of my senior year started. There wasn’t even a discussion. I was going. My parents were very supportive. They knew not to even try to convince me not to go. I was truly living the dream. At that point in my life, I just wanted to be on the road with a band like my brothers were.
Jeff was with Steely Dan around that time, and Mike was out with Seals and Crofts.
After Gary finished recording the “Dreamweaver” album, he was putting a band together to tour and asked David Foster who played keyboards on the album if he could recommend someone who knew synths and could play. David recommended me. Something I’ll never forget. I had borrowed a friends Mini Moog and had marked the knobs where a good bass sound was. I didn’t know what I was doing. I went down to audition and as I was setting up at S.I.R. the rehearsal studio, Art Wood was bringing in his drums to audition as well. The second he set up his drums, I started playing a bass groove. He jumped right in, followed by Gary playing Fender Rhodes. It was just the 3 of us playing a funk groove. After about 15 minutes of that, as soon as we stopped, Gary said “You got the gig” to both of us. And that was that. Gary’s management and booking agents had a lot of clout and got us on all these huge stadium gigs like Day on the Green in Oakland and others. We did a run with Gentle Giant opening for Gary, followed by Peter Frampton, who we did a lot of with in those days, followed by Yes headlining. I was in Heaven.
Once we were on tour with Jethro Tull for a month. I never missed one of their shows. One night I was standing on the side of the stage, watching the forklifts take our gear off the stage after our opening set. I watched in horror as my beloved Mini Moog that my brother Mike bought for me when I got the gig, fall off the forklift and come crashing down on the cement at the bottom of the stage, not 20 feet from where I was standing. It’s beautiful pre-CBS wood casing was smashed to bits. It was salvaged and we put the keyboard in it’s own casing. Alan, our brilliant tech, rigged the cabling and I started wearing it around my neck like I’d seen Edgar Winter doing.
My rig in Gary’s band included two Mini Moogs, a Clavinet, later an Oberheim 4 voice. I also had an Echoplex which got used quite a bit. I think that was about it. I was mainly the “bass player”. Kenny Luper, a great gospel keyboard player who had played with Billy Preston was also in the original 4 man line up. Not at all and take good care. Steve
I am huge Justified fan and I know you are responsible for the scores found in the series and I would like to say, awesome job! I was wondering how I could find the score to download that is in season 1 episode 5 “The Lord of War and Thunder”, when Raylan visits his family graves. This score also plays again in the season 4 finale when Boyd breaks into his new home and stares out into the backyard. This piece is wonderful and I would love to be able to enjoy it whenever.
Thanks for the kind words! I’ve been getting asked a lot about My Justified underscore, and I would love nothing more than to share the cues with you, I just have to find out if it’s ok or if there’s some legal concerns. I still want to get stuff to people who really want it, I just have to figure out how best to do it without getting in trouble. check back with me soon if you don’t hear from me. By the way. Apparently I can’t get away with anything. You remembered that cue from the first season??? I would love for you to be able to listen to it whenever you want to. Stay close, Steve
I know i`m a bit boring,but just wanted to check is there any news regarding that ” Head over heels ” love theme – u said me to remind u in couple of weeks.
Best regards, Marco
I’m meeting with Randy next week and I’m going to work on him and see how I can get a copy. I might also try his engineer. He may have a copy. Stay tuned. sp
I am a friend of Jason Scheff and co-writer with Steve Cropper. I need to get you a copy of my new record.
I recorded it with Johnny Lee Schell, Tony Braunagel, Bob Glaub, Dean PArks, Doug Pettibone and Mike Finnigan.
I think I may have something you could use.
all the best michael oneill
253 229 0187
I’m so sorry for the glacial response. I would love to hear your record. Why don’t you send me link to wherever I can get it. take care, Steve
Hi Mr. Porcaro,
Hi, I’m a fan of the Justified serie released in french on Addik.tv in Quebec. We’re just a the end of the first season. But it’s quite appeling. I listened to the 11th episode and heard an piece just mellow and perfect.
For a second it remembered me of the short intro from “Play that game tonight” from Kansas.
Can you give me informations on this piece, and also tell me where and/or how I can find it please !
My very young son (3) was playing in the livingroom and was a little noisy, but stopped all he was doing when he heard it and looked at the screen like someone hypnotosed for the whle duration of the excerpt. I was so disrupted by his sudden fascination, that I just heard the music, caus my eyes were on him.
Tomorrow, I may be able to say at wich moment in that episode 11 it plays.
Thank’s and continue to furnish our days with music and happiness excerpt !
I’m glad you and your son are enjoying the Justified underscore. Off the top of my head, I have no idea what you’re talking about, but I’ll check into it. Take care, Steve
I think you’re doing a good job on the soundtrack of Justified! I’ve also been a fan of Toto for some years now. I saw you in Amsterdam with Toto in 2012.
Do you think that one day there’ll be a new Toto album? (Even though the band officially stopped)
Steve, I think I actually saw you on Justified in the season four premiere episode: http://www.vrds.nl/foto/steve-on-justified.jpg
That’s you isn’t it?
Sorry, it was 2011 I saw Toto in Amsterdam, not 2012. Time sure goes fast!
Tell me about it.
Thanks, I’m glad you’re enjoying Justified. I think that there just might be another Toto album one day soon. It’s just a rumor at this point. You did see me on the season 4 premiere. We were freezing. They shot that in the middle of the night. Thanks for asking and take care, Steve
As a longtime fan of your playing,sound design,and writing talent i would welcome your thoughts on the following point.
Was song writing to a formula ever a method used by the members of Toto ? An example is the bridge in Africa, and the Intro and chorus of Only The Children from The Seventh One. I am also wondering whether A River Flows In You by Yiruma was inspired by Africa, as this piece of music also uses the same chord progression as the two songs by Toto. They even have the same key.
How is the solo project going, and when can we expect a release date for your solo CD ?
first of all, you have to watch this:
that should answer some of your questions. I don’t think any of us ever used a specific “formula” when writing. Having said that, years and years of listening and playing and analyzing your favorite songs, you do have certain shapes and progressions you’ll go to more than once. A lot of songs have been written using I,IV,V chord changes many times over. Often by the same artists.
I’m not familiar with A River Flows In You so I couldn’t say if it was inspired by Africa.
The solo project goes slow but steady. Thanks for asking and I’ll keep everyone informed. Take care, Steve
I was wondering if the music that showed up originally for Gary’s death scene in Season 2 and that was used again last night for the scene where Ava hugs Ellen May is available anywhere? That’s probably my favorite score used for the show so far.
That’s for sure one of my favorite cues also. I see I’m not going to be able to get any re-used cues by you. Unfortunately it’s not available anywhere. I’ll see what I can do about getting it to you. Steve
Hi – I love the score for Justified. I haven’t been able to find it for purchase. Is it available? The soundtrack is good, but the score is AMAZING! I am enamored especially with the scoring in “Guy Walks Into a Bar”.
Any insight as to when a score will be released?
Congrats on all your fine work! Thank you!
Glad you’re digging the Justified score. Unfortunately the score is not available at this time. Please stay in touch and I’ll find out if I can get you “Guy Walks Into a Bar”. Take care, Steve
I´m a big fan………. love your work…… I´m a keyboardist too but as a hobbie now and I want to rec some songs of mine and I´m wondering if I can work with you on it???
Thanks for the kind words. Thanks for the offer to work with you on your songs, but I’m afraid I’m going to be quite busy for the foreseeable future. Thanks for asking and take care, Steve
I had listened to your song “Lea” for years on the radio as I was growing up and came across it recently through a friend’s music collection and fell in love with it all over again. Can you share with me the inspiration behind the song? I love the vocals especially.
Lea was a song I had written in High School, or at least it was started there. It took me a really long time to finish Lea. The form was always so weird. The bridge section use to happen twice and the song was always too long. Anyway, I had done a vocal that was excruciating to accomplish for me, but then Joe joined the band and did a much better job, while staying true to my original phrasing. David Paich arranged the vocal parts at the end of the song, on the fade.
The inspiration was the same as it ever was then, my first love from 8th grade Leesa. The name Lea was the name of my High School girlfriend Gena’s kid sister. I thought it sung really well. Hope that helps, Steve
I am a Justified fan but have to say that your introductory composition really makes the show. It leaves you wanting more!! Do you have more music like this and where can I get it?? I am in Australia so it may not be easy. I would love to have a whole album of that style. Brilliant!!
Kind regards, Jo Harrison
Glad you enjoy Justified. If by intoductory composition you mean the Main Title music that is not me. It’s called “Long Hard Times To Come” by Gangstagrass featuring T.O.N.E-Z
It’s available on iTunes. Hope that helps. Steve
some time ago i asked a question about recording an interview with you via skype or ichat? you agreed to do so, my personal skype is: harrysynth
and my personal email is email@example.com (please contact me so we can sort something out
I’ll contact you via email soon. Please be patient.
I was wondering if by chance you composed a song on the show Justified at the end of the episode ‘Debts and Accounts’ (Season 2 episode 10) playing during Ava and Boyd’s first kiss. I really love it and lots of people are trying to find out what this song could be. Here the sample of the song: http://www.watzatsong.com/en/name-that-tune/52134.html
Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!
Sorry for the slow response. Strangely enough “Justified” has been keeping me busy lately. That wasn’t a song but score at the end of the episode. That’s Marc Bonilla and myself . He plays all the guitars on the show and writes an occasional cue. Bad news is it’s not commercially available. Good news is, in gets a big reprise in an upcoming episode of Justified when Boyd and Ava have a huge moment. Take care, I hope that helps, Steve
I just read that TOTO will be part of the Yamaha anniversary concert that will be streaming live January 25 (tomorrow, as I write this), with Elton John as the headliner. Will you be performing with Toto at the show? If so, any comments will be appreciated.
Definitely getting back to you too slow on this one. Sorry. I’ve been swamped. Steve
I was watching videos on Youtube, and I happened upon “August Day” by Hall & Oates from the Along the Red Ledge album (1978). The comments said you played keyboard. There’s a very low pipe-organ type sound at the beginning, and at the end there is what seems like a harmonica solo, but one of the commenters said that’s you on the synth? What do you remember about the “August Day” sessions?
Hey Indy Steve,
Sorry for the slow response. I’ve just been listening to ‘Along the Red Ledge’. I remember those being really fun and challenging sessions. I can remember “It’s a Laugh”, “Melody for a Memory”, “Have I Been Away Too Long” and “Serious Music” like we did them yesterday. “August Day” I don’t think so. I’d love to take credit,the synths are great on it. If I did anything on it, I was programming for David Foster and/or Daryl. That one brought me back. Take care, Steve
I also wrote u on october 12th last year regarding ” Head over heels” movie orchestra love theme,u said u`ll ask Randy about it,but no response so far. Hope u`ll try to sort that out for me. Thanks and apologies from,
I’m still waiting to hear back from Mr. Randy Edelman. Hopefully I’ll hear from him soon. Check back in a couple weeks.
While looking for information about your upcoming solo album, which I can’t wait to listen to, I came across your question and answer site and couldn’t pass up such a wonderful opportunity.
Like Marlon, I really love your song “It’s a Feeling”. I especially like your vocal on that track. Will you be singing any or all the vocals on your upcoming album? I hope so!
My favorite Toto albums are the ones you were a part of. I was ecstatic that you came back to help on “Falling in Between”. One of my favorite tracks on that album is “King of the World” which Wikipedia credits you with sound design. Did you happen to perform keyboards and or come up with the keyboard melodies on that song as well? I hope you guys record something together again.
Thanks for all the kind words. It’s a Feeling has always brought up mixed feelings. The track had a great atmosphere (always important to me) in large part due to the strings recorded in London arranged by James Newton Howard. You can hear where it was recorded. How often can a Pop record say that anymore? It doesn’t get any cooler than that. But I never felt that song was finished. I had always intended to write a different second verse. I’d only sung the same verse as a place holder. . . I fell like I owe everybody one.
On the batch of songs I’m getting ready to put out, I’m singing one song for sure called “Ready or Not”, but I try to avoid singing because slows me down. It’s one of those things I’ve kinda had to let go of if I ever want to finish anything. I’d much rather have a great singer singing my songs. Even if it’s a Steve Porcaro album. Especially if it’s a Steve Porcaro album. I want it to be about getting my songs out there. It’s definitely not about me being the singer. When I write something that is a great fit for me I would definitely give it a go. But I usually write far outside of my range, and would hate to limit myself and my songs to my ability. Not that I don’t love and appreciate the fact you like my voice.
Besides their live albums, I’m pretty sure I’ve worked on every Toto album to some degree. My biggest contribution to “King of the World”, was that when the left me with the track to do synths on, I tried an edit on the entire track that was pretty severe and changed the form of the song, and they went for it. I did some keyboard parts but had nothing to do with the melodies. Luke , Paich and Bobby sang great on that. I’m sure we’ll record again. Take care, Steve
Love the songs you wrote for Toto and outside Toto. Especially songs like ‘It’s a Feeling’ or ‘Takin’ It Back’. It keeps me wondering why did you never release a solo album… Is there a chance, you will ever release an album of your own songs?
Thanks for your question and interest. See my response below to Sune. Thanks and take care, Steve
I’m a LONG time fan – since the beginning, really. ;o) Have been to at least 25 TOTO concerts and 10-12 Luke/Garfield/Karizma concerts. Consider myself a westcoast freak So much that I’ve founded a Porcaro & Paich Fan Club too yesterday at Facebook. Focusing on you and Paich – but also Jeff, Mike, TOTO or any good westcoast music, really. I’ll do my best ;o)
Stop by, if you like: https://www.facebook.com/groups/312662982186226/
My question is – like you’ve probably answered before… How far is your solo project? I read that you are planning to release your first solo record – maybe in 2013. YAY! Can you say anything about the content? Obviously, Steve P style, yes – but any info/news we fans can get already?
Thanks for 35 years of endless inspiration. I’m a keyboard player too. You’re a genious. Respect!
Best from Denmark!
Wow, I’m blown away. Thank you so much for your kind words and enthusiasm for my music, not to mention your support all these years for what my friends and I do. I’m humbled by what you put together on Facebook. I’m aware of how important it is in this day and age to take an active part in your internet presence. I’ve struggled with that in the past, and I’m trying to do better. So thanks for your help.
As to your question . . . Yes, I’ve been getting closer to finishing quite a number of songs. Some just need to be mixed, some just need a 3rd verse lyric, etc. etc. But I’m very close to putting together an album. I may release a few at a time on EPs. I haven’t signed anything yet as far as a record deal goes; my obligations with my TV show “Justified” and Toto have proved major distractions from getting finished, but I can tell you I’m on fire about it and am really looking forward to getting my music out there to everybody . . and on a regular basis. The great news for me is that I think I’ve been writing some of my best stuff ever. (If you like that kind of music) What can I tell you . . I’m a late bloomer in that department. It really makes me want to hurry up and get all the songs that I’ve been sitting on for years out there. I think if you like the few songs people have heard from me, you’ll love these. I call them “typical steve porcaro songs” and I’ve got a bunch of them and new ones keep on coming. I think life has caught up to me in a way that has finally gotten through to me just how short life is. What the hell am I waiting for? I’ve always had a lot of distractions, but I think I’ll be able to plow through them. I really can’t wait to tell you the truth to get this stuff out there and see what you think. Maybe I’ll post some rough versions of several tunes for a select few people and you could help me decide which ones I should finish first.
Thanks for all the interest and let’s keep in touch Okay? I may chime in on occasion on the Facebook site. Take care, Steve
Love your work on “Justified” and am wondering whether you will ever make your incedental scoring on this series more widely/freely available if that’s possible, given rights concerns?
EG S3Ep8 “Watching the Detectives” background scoring superlative and overall my sincerest compliments on how much your work just adds and brings to the series.
If you have further information as to similar sounds/materials of yours available – I’d love to hear from you.
Thank you for your kind words. That’s a good question about Justified. They just released a soundtrack album:
but that’s all songs that they’ve used on the show. There aren’t any plans right now to “officially” release any underscore. I always like to point out that Marc Bonilla plays all the guitars and other fretted instruments on the show and also writes a cue or two every now and then. He’s a dear friend and incredibly talented. “Watching The Detectives” was one of my favorites last year. I’m you liked it too.
Thanks so much in your interest in my music, and I’ll do my best to get more of it out there and let everyone know when. Take care, Steve
Forgive me if this post gets a little long…I’m a 19 music student who has played drums most of his life but recently all I’ve been doing is playing keys the past year. Could you shine a little light on what the “Lido” sessions were like with Boz? That solo is awesome…it seems simple enough BUT perfect for the song! Did you write that or was it written? Also, being a drummer I have to ask…is their a favorite Jeff story you would care to share? All of the Porcaro family are amazing players…Thanks and all the best!-nick
I was’t at any of the “Silk Degrees” sessions (the album that “Lido Shuffle” is on). I was touring with Gary Wright at that point. That was David Paich who played the solo on Lido and also co-wrote the song. One of my personal favorite Jeff stories is the morning I woke to the phone ringing. It was pouring rain that morning ,(which always puts me in a good mood) and it was my brother Jeff saying “Nice day to make a loop!” We were working on the “Fahrenheit” album and on my song “Lea”. I had done the demo with my trusty Linn LM-1 drum machine. Jeff and I often bumped heads when it came to technology, but on this particular day, we met in the middle and Jeff called Steve Jordan, Jim Keltner, and Lenny Castro (legends all) over to his home studio that day, set up in a circle, and created the two drum loops used on “Lea” it was an amazing day. Take care, Steve
Hi Steve, I’m a drummer and huge Jeff Porcaro fan! Needless to say he was so awesome! Is there any live Toto stuff with Jeff on DVD? Would love to see Toto live with Jeff. Thanks
That’s a great question. There’s nothing official that comes to mind. Check this out. .
Would welcome an answer from you as to whether it is possible to edit the heavy detuning on your B layer of TOTO OCTAVE BRASS from Spectrasonics. You stated that the sound source came from a virtual analog instrument.Was the sound source a Yamaha AN!X ? Lastly, you endorse Yamaha,Arturia, and Spectrasonics, does there exist a Steve Porcaro stock sound bank for any of these companies, if not, is it possible to purchase a stock sounds bank from you ?
I supplied a basic sound to Spectrasonics, and they programed “Toto Octave Brass”. I’m not as up on my Omnisphere programming as I should be, but off the top of my head I don’t know the answer to your question. Maybe someone at Spectrasonics can help you out. The sound source was Arturia’s Moog Modular V. A stock Steve Porcaro soundbank does not exist from any of the companies I endorse, and I’m not selling any at this point, but thanks for asking. Steve
Happy New Year!!! It was so nice to see you in Vegas back with Toto touring last year. Hope you are enjoying your “Chicago” sweatshirt. My question, are you and Toto going to come back to the states this year for the 35th anniversary tour? I hope so, looking forward to it….
Your fan from Chicago,
Thanks for the sweat shirt. It’s coming in handy right about now. Yes, Toto is planning on playing some dates in the States this year. They’re booking it as I type. Take care and hope to see you soon, Steve
I think of Human Nature as a masterpiece but I can’t help wondering what are these weird sounding notes I hear on the left channel?
I’m sorry to bother you with that but I have to know about those dissonant (toy xylophone?) overtones on the far left right after the intro and all through the song. How did that get in there? Am I hallucinating?
Thank you for the music.
Jerome. . .
Hmmmmm. Thanks for the kind words, but I must say I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about. After the intro is the verse on Human Nature. Is that where you are hearing dissonant toy xylophones? It’s a great idea, but one we didn’t come up with. Sorry I’m not being more help. Steve
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