TOTO - Official Website - Questions and Answers

David Paich

If you have any question regarding David, please read this page first to check if the answer is already printed here before writing in. The Q&A will be updated time after time.
Blu: Who or what inspired you for writing the wonderful songs 'Stranger in town', 'Holyanna' and 'Endless'?
David: Stranger In Town: I missed my flight coming back from London, and I wanted to write a song like John Lennon who had written strictly from a newspaper for one of his songs, so I picked up and English Newspaper and wrote almost the entire song from the front page, and then I went to page 2 or 3 for the rest while I was waiting for the next flight.

Holyanna: That was my sister and all of her girlfriends - who were occasionally my girlfriends. They all went to an all-girls catholic school and I wrote that from my experiences with them.

Endless: A Rod Stewart Disco song called Anticipation had just been released, and I had wished I had written it. Endless was me trying to do my own version of that song. Luke thinks I only wrote it to help get Fergie's vocals in tune, but that's not true.
Tina: Have you ever thought about writing a Rock Opera?
David: Yeah, I thought about it, and heard several that came out. But I don't know enough about the operatic form to the point that I think I could do a good enough job.
Tina: You have so cool jazzy instrumentals on some of your albums. So what about an album TOTO goes JAZZ or even SWING, with funky horns?
David: Sounds interesting. I thought we should do some kind of jazz album. I think we're good enough that we could do our own kind of jazz and play for the fun of it. Maybe some day.
Christian: I fell in love with your great cinematic solo spot from the Le Zenith October 1990 concert. Does this piece have a name or was it improvised? Please record this again (and longer!) sometime on an album!!!
David: Recalling kind of what I played, part of it came from improvisations, and part of it was orchestrated from other legitimate pieces. There was improvisational stuff done on the spot to make it interesting.
HG Wells: I saw that you used a while ago some 02R yamaha. Do you still use them ? Happy with them ? Will you switch to the new 02R 96 ?
David: Yes, I still use them. I have 2 at my house daisy chained together. I'm going to look for a new board for them right now. I'm very happy with them and I'll probably keep them, but I'm going to get the new 02R 96 board. I definitely need to get a bigger board. I would like to get the DMX 1000.
HG Wells: What do you think about all these virtual instrument and sampler ? Do you use halion, kontact, Esx24 ?? Have you tried Pro-53...
David: Yes I have a Pro-53. I haven't used it as much as I'd like to, but I kind of like to do "actual reality" like there's a piano there and I "actually" play it. But yes, I have messed around with them a little bit. I did the new Boz Scaggs album with them, and I've done some Toto stuff with it. Once I get home I'm going to look into the modeling because they're coming out with more complete synthesizers. I really would like to explore them more.
HG Wells: ...the spectrasonics plugins (atmosphere, trilogy) .. and that kind of stuff ? If yes, which of them are your favorite or will you buy them/use them? In august, korg will release the Wavestation, Polysix and the Mks20 as plugin. Will you switch to the plugin version of these instrument or you will always stay with the real instrument ?
David: I really have no rules about that. If it sounds good, I'll use it. I use anything and everything if it sounds good. If it sounds bad, I'll use it on RAP records.
HG Wells: I read you scored with steve P. 20 minutes of the soundtrack of XXX. Is these minutes are on the soundtrack CD ? (So i will buy it immediatly !!) and which track ? if not, maybe available on a Promo CD ?
David: I actually don't have a copy of the soundtrack yet, but I know we didn't get credit for what we did. We did about the last 20 minutes of the movie music.
HG Wells: On stage, is the Motif 8 used as a master keyboard controller AND sound module too, or you use it only as a master keyboard controller?
David: It's both.
HG Wells: Will you plan, one day, in an hypothetic future, to release a Piano solo album ?
David: Hypothetically, yes.
ncc1712: How do you usually find ideas for new songs? Is it happend to you yet, that you had an idea during a concert? The solos you play, are they planned and written or are they ideas you have just before playing? Do you sometimes play solos which are meant as complete, but never finished songs first?
David: I steal them.
Just kidding.
It's a combination of a lot of different things. It was almost like "baptism by fire." If I was first it was like, "Lights, David Paich" and I'd have to put it together. A lot of stuff with Steve Porcaro we would work out our improvisations. We would lock it in because you had to in those days with synthesizers. I would try and have some form with them because it's hard on mini-instruments to just be spontaneous and make it look easy. You have to plan it out a little bit to get around with the equipment.
But like I said, it's a combination of everything.
=========== End of last update April 30th, 2003 ==============
Jogi_Wimball: Would you mind telling us about your plans for 2003? Any projects that you know you will or wish to work on during this year etc?
David: I'm working on a few projects right now. I'd like to do an animated feature. I'm working on a few right now. I can't really talk about it though. But I want to do an animated musical, like for Disney. I also want to get more in to doing movies with my friend James Newton Howard, who is one of my best friends. He just finished Signs. Also, I'd like to work more with Hans Zimmer, who I've worked with before with Steve Porcaro. Also Randy Newman, Danny Elfman, Michael Kamen and James Horner. A long-time dream of mine is to do film composing and to utilize my song writing skills to create some movie themes.
Roy: What part of your work do you enjoy the most nowadays? Is it writing, recording, performing live, performing for other people, producing maybe...?
David: I think the chankering around the studio and working on film compositions is my favorite thing to do. I have a whole lot of new synthesizers and new samples. It's great and a lot of fun working in my studio at home because my family is right there. I'm almost pre-writing music for movies that haven't been made yet. It's a great thing because from the pre-writing to the recording really only takes an hour, you can hear it. It's much faster than recording an album because it's so boring and takes so much longer, because with an album, you're basically just recording something you've already created in your head. We've basically already moved on when we record an album. You have to do demos, and you have to do the recording, and it used to be fun, but when you've been doing it for so long it's more fun to do it very quickly. That's why I love playing live, like on tour. It's an instantaneous expression of what's inside.
Henning: Which musical dreams do you have? (musical things you would like to try)!
David: I definitely want to get more into composing film scores. And also, just to become a better musician. A better song writer, jazz pianist, better at lyrics, and just, doing films, which is a great medium for musicans like myself who want to get into orchestrations and working with large orchestras. Toto has played with orchestras at A Night of the Proms, where we adapted some of our songs for orchestra, and it was a great experience and I'd like to do more. And of course, the film Dune. We'll have to see. There are definitely many possibilities open for the future.
Henning: Which new or "newer" bands do you find have class and/or inspires you?
David: I don't know how new they are, but I really like Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Slip Knot. My daughter listens to a few I like, like a group called Kiddie. I like a group called Lincoln Park, and I love the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. They're one of my favorite bands, but I don't think they're really that new.
SkiTV: I've been a big fan since the beginning. I've listened to so much Toto over the years you guys are almost like family, so it was exciting for me to see one of the "people" you thanked on TTLG. You thank "Jesus my Savior". How did you come to know Christ and what does he mean to you?
David: I came to know Christ when I was very young. I was raised Catholic, baptised, confirmed was an alterboy, went to Catholic schools. My family is Catholic, my daughter goes to church every Sunday. My father was a big believer in the fact that there is a connection between music and God and that music is a gift that we are given. I definitely think that God has had a great influence on my writing. Some of the things that I have created, like Africa and Rosanna, are creations that only could hace come from God, as on my own, I do not believe I could have done it.
SkiTV: I always look forward to new Toto material, but it would be great to open up a CD of any of the Contemporary Christian artists and see in the liner notes (and hear in the music) some David Paich piano. Any chance that may happen? God bless and keep rockin'.
David: I've been thinking about that. Some people have contacted me and wanted to use for Christian music, songs like Rosanna, Hold the Line, but I'm not pushing it too fast. That's a slow movement. I have a little difficulty with the exploitation aspect, like when you're selling records. But I see it happening a lot more, and I'm certainly not against it. Nothing is impossible.
Brett: I was just wondering if you could cast your mind back to TOTO's beginnings and tell us how big a role your work with Boz Scaggs had in getting you, personally, noticed in the industry and what effect this had on getting TOTO off the ground.
David: It had a huge effect because Boz was already a star and working with him on the records and going on tour with him exposed us to the music industry and got us recognition from the record labels. In fact we were asked by the industry to make some demos and to form a band.
H.G. Wells: As an owner myself of a Motif 8 from yamaha like you, i want to know what do you think about the Action of the motif 8?
David: The action is very good, very piano like but of course not like a Grand Piano. It's much better than the Kx88. It's a little slower than the Kx88 so I had to get used to that.
H.G. Wells: Was is it difficult for you to not use anymore on tour the Kx88 action?
David: Not at all, it was like moving on from stoneage to modern age.
H.G. Wells: What are your favorite presets and which ones have you used on the actual tour?
David: I haven't really had time to check out the presets because I got the Motif 8 just prior to the tour so I had just time to have my personal settings programmed into the Motif 8. But I will definitely check out the presets when I have some time after this tour. So far I like the Wurlitzer and Hammond presets a lot.
Roy: Unlike other members of the band you don't have a personal homepage ( is directly linked to So my question is: How do you feel about the Internet in relation to your work? Does it have added value in promoting your music or do you use it often for getting into contact with other musicians or fans?
David: I'm a big believer in the internet. We've been using the technology for a long time. We've used computers to transfer data for a long time, Steve Porcaro and myself. I think the internet is great advertising, if it's used properly. There is a lot of plagiarism used on it, but I think they're going to get a handle on that eventually. The internet is like a new frontier for music. There are a lot of musicians out of work, compared to everyone else. For every musician you see working, there are probably 1000 who are out of work. They can use their ability with the internet. Also, I see a lot of kids using the internet for music. It allows things like distance to not interfere with young musicians possibly jamming together right over the internet. There are certainly a lot of positive things coming out of it.

I'm definitely working on a personal website. I will have one soon. I've acquired my name and all of that stuff, but for now it's in the works.
=========== End of last update February 24th, 2003 ==============