Joseph Williams's interview - October 2003
Joseph, the French fan site of TOTO is happy to introduce your
new album 'VERTIGO', and wishes to ask you some questions that
the fans - who have not forgotten your great participation
within TOTO - are wondering.
How did the meeting of the members of VERTIGO - which is at the origin of this new group - go off?
The Vertigo Project was the Idea of Frontiers records, Joey Carbone and Myself. It was a way to return to the kind of singing I used to do back in the 80's. It began with an offer to make a new solo album but morphed into a collection of outside original songs produced for me to take to my studio and record my own lead vocals. As I was not a writer, nor involved in the production of the tracks I thought it would be more honest to release it as a project "featuring Joseph Williams" rather than claiming it as my latest solo album!
After the several solo albums, is VERTIGO a simple passing album or the new group of the ex-TOTO?
Vertigo is technically not a new group. But should this project be a success, than maybe it could become something more permanent! I have an open mind!
VERTIGO is a group classified melodic-rock, we feel nevertheless the good influences of your passage in Toto and the albums "Fahrenheit" and "The Seventh One"?
I am glad it feels that way to you! To me it is very different! The song writing and production of the tracks sounds different to me than the TOTO guys!
You were on stage with TOTO for the 'twenty years tour' of the group, and you wrote the song "Mad About You" from the 'Mindfields' album. Are you still in touch with some members of the group?
Yeah! The small tour in 99' was a fantastic time. It was great to actually sing on stage with Bobby Kimball! Bobby and I became good friends long before that though! As you probably know we made two "West Coast Allstars"albums together along with Bill Champlin and Jason Scheff (of Chicago) . I am still very much in contact with the rest of the guys as well. They will always be brothers to me! I remain closest to Steve Porcaro who like myself is scoring film and TV. And I just talked to Lukather (via email) about 3 weeks ago regarding getting together soon. I don't see David Paich or Mike Porcaro as much as I would like. And of course the world will never feel totally right to me with Jeff Porcaro Gone! As to the question about "Mad About You"... During the twentieth anniversary tour, David Paich and I remembered a few songs we had written for what was to be a follow up to "The Seventh One". Since I was no longer a member of the band, those songs were never taken any farther than the "Demo" stage. David thought it would be cool to resurrect "Mad About You" for the "Mindfields" album and of course I agreed! Actually, I came into the studio and sang a reference vocal on the "Mad About You " track for Bobby Kimbal to learn and use to get some of his own (wonderful) ideas. I love the way it came out. And I am extremely gratified that it was included on that album!
Can we expect others participations with Toto and a possible return on stage?
You never know!
Which were the various ways of working between VERTIGO and TOTO?
TOTO was a complete BAND experience. An all consuming brotherhood. A group of guys living and working together to create and produce the best records we could. And produce the best concerts we could. it took every ounce of discipline and dedication to work with the very best and most serious musicians in the world. I believe my years with them yielded some wonderful music! I certainly grew form a boy into a man during my time with TOTO!
Vertigo was designed as a great collection of killer melodic rock songs, well produced and delivered in the style of the bands of the late 80's.
As I mentioned above, THIS FIRST Vertigo album is more of a "project" than a "band". But that could change if people want to hear more!
TOTO has never been famous in the United States, do you think that VERTIGO will be made a better welcome there or in other countries?
First off, TOTO is very popular in the U.S. Remember there initial successes was here at home! As for Vertigo? Who knows. You can never fore see how an album is going to be received. I am hopeful that it will make some noise here in the States (or anywhere else for that matter) but to be honest I am just glad to have been blessed enough to make The Vertigo album!.......... We'll see!
Do you follow the current rock? What are you listening by now? Which is your favorite CD, all style included, and in those of TOTO?
I still listen to my old favorite stuff.....BEATLES, LED ZEPPELIN, ELTON JOHN, CROWDED HOUSE, STEELY DAN, ETC. I love CHERYL CROW Lately!
What are the plans of VERTIGO and your future projects, other activities simultaneously with VERTIGO?
No concrete plans with Vertigo right now but we are talking about it! meanwhile I continue to compose for film an TV.
Can we expect a tour and some concerts after the release of the cd?
We're talking about that! I hope so! I would love to get back on the road. Especially Europe!
Jérôme CORDENOD & Nick BEST - TotoWeb.org Tous droits réservés. October 2003