TOTO - Official Website - TOTO Interviews

Out of the Blue

Back in 1999 Simon answered some questions regarding the release of his live album "Out of the Blue".
What's the motivation of releasing a live album to you? Do you see it as a special treat for the fans or is it something that's important to you personally?
Both. I think it is a shame that some of the best playing is only heard by the few hundred people at a gig and not by a wider audience. Also, as we play the music every night, the band gets tighter and we play the songs better and better. It is almost as though the studio record is the blue print of the song and the live version is the finished result. Musicians play better in front of an audience anyway.
How did you decide which songs were going to make it on this record?
That was hard but mostly it was based upon what wasn't on my previous live CD "Force Majeure" and then down to the individual performance. I had ten shows to pick each song from - the first requirement being audio quality. Sometimes you just get a show that sounded awful due to the acoustics of the venue. From there it is down to the performance as a whole and a fine balance between that and good audio quality.
Wasn't it difficult with all the TOTO commitments to find time to work on the live album? Did you have to edit many things or is it pretty much the material as you recorded it?
As it turned out it was difficult schedule wise as Mindfields took longer than we had anticipated - I just worked long hours. I did a couple of edits but for the most part the take is as it was recorded with a few repairs. Again it is finding a fine balance between mistakes and vibe. I probably worked too hard on it - but that's just me!
The album runs approximately 60 minutes, so there would have been space for some more songs. Is there a special reason why you didn't use up the space? Was it ever an option to you to even release a double CD with a complete concert?
That is more of a request by the record company but I have to say I think records are too long these days - I think an hour is quite enough. Also it would have taken much longer to have more material and therefore the cost of the production goes up etc. etc. There is a limit - and I am not working with Toto style budgets here. I would have liked to have put on a couple of other songs but I ran out of time.
When will the fans have a chance to see you on stage again as a solo artist?
I am writing material for a new album now and will hopefully record it end of this year/beginning of next. I would like to release it in spring 2000 and tour in the summer and fall.
Do you have any plans for a new studio album yet? If so, when will it happen and will it be with the same band that you've been working with for the past few years?
I answered that already without looking at this question - should be the same band with Melvin Lee Davis on Bass - if everyone is available!

© 1999