Tommy Denander's Interview - April 2004
As agreed, here's our interview. First, Let us tell you that we really do appreciate your music, as well in your solo carrier as with Radioactive.
- Thanks a lot!!!!
I like your site a lot plus Joseph is one of my favorite singers in the world....plus a crazy dude:-).
Question 1: Can you introduce yourself in a few words ?
- I'm 36 years old and have been a professional musician since i was 14. I've appeared on more than 700 albums with 100's of big names including all Toto members!!!.
I live in Sweden with my dear girlfriend Cecilia and her wonderful 2 kids. We bought a house recently and i have my studio at home where i write, produce and play on about 70-80 albums each year!!!.
Question 2 : Do you belong to a regular band? Can you introduce your musicians ?
- I've been a member of many bands over the years, ATC, Cheers, Cool for cats, Talk Of The Town, Prisoner, Rainmaker etc but these days i only have my own project called Radioactive which isn't a band but my solo project where i get lots of big names to guest on the albums. On the first album called "Ceremony Of Innocence" i had Jeff Porcaro, Mike Porcaro, Steve Porcaro, David Hungate, David Paich, Bobby Kimball, Fergie Frederiksen and of course Joseph as well as guests plus a lot of other big names like David Foster, Dean Parks, Greg Phillinganes, Bruce Gaitsch, Fee Waybill, Jason Scheff etc.
Question 3 : What are your musical influences? Who are your favorite bands and musicians? Can we find the influence of Toto in your compositions ?
- I have a very wide range of influences, from Steely Dan, Toto, David Foster, Quincy Jones, Earth Wind and Fire to Kiss, Van Halen, Judas Priest, Whitesnake and so on.
But Toto has always been one of the biggest and you can definently hear their influence on me in my songs on many albums.
My favorite musicians are Jeff Porcaro, David Foster and Michael Landau.
Question 4: What do you think of present music (foreign and French ones) and the record compagnies ?
- There's a lot of crappy music these days but still a lot of good bands and artists like Norah Jones, The Rasmus and many others.
The big record companies have become such cowards and they only try to release the most secure and boring mainstream shit all the time, they don't have the guts to take chances as much as they used to do which has made the field of music very narrow and boring.
I'm not very familiar with how the french scene is today but i have done a lot of work for my good friend Frederic Slama and his AOR project and i also just played on a great album for a french project called Shadrane.
I know that you can find many of my releases at the Virgin mega store in Paris which is very cool to me and i will come to Paris in August so i guess i will find out more about everything then:-).
Question 5: What do you think of music downloadings via Internet and illegal copies ?
- I do it myself at times, but in all honesty almost only when i need a song for some kind of work related situation cause i hardly have time to listen to much music anyway plus the quality of MP3's suck compared to a real CD.
I know you can download most of my albums and i really don't care if people do that, those who are real fans will buy it cause they want the whole package in perfect quality and those who download probably wouldn't buy it anyway so i'm still happy that they get a chance to hear it.
The only problem is that the record business is really hurting from all the downloading and that will affect everybody more than they realize now!!!
Question 6: Do you plan to do a tour? How do you feel before going to the Eurovision (15/05/04) ?
- I will not tour in the near future but there are some ideas for the end of this year or early next year so we will see.
The Eurovision contest was a lot of fun, i've competed with my own songs in Sweden and Finland plus played guitar on a song in Norway.
Question 7: What do you remember of the recording of the album of Radioactive "Ceremony of Innocence" with all the former musicians of Toto ?
- I remember every second of it like it happend yesterday. Just to sit in Los Angeles with Jeff and Mike recording the basics live together was the coolest thing i've ever done.
And then to have almost all the other Toto members including David Hungate and of course all 3 real lead singers on the album was stunning.
Question 8: Can you tell us more about your last plan "DEACON STREET"? Why did you choose to put a cover of Toto ("Mad About You") on this album ?
- We did this album because i found a bunch of good songs that we hadn't used on anything and i thought they would be a cool album.
I spoke to some cool friends who all agreed to sing or play on it and we recorded it rather quick.
We needed an extra song and i also wanted my old buddy Geir Ronning to sing on it but he was available at the time so i decided to use this cover of Mad about you that he and i recorded very quickly in one afternoon a couple of years ago.
Geir sang this song on a demo recording with Toto some years ago and we both like the song a lot, i made the music in about 2-3 hours and he sang the whole song in just one first take!!!!
Question 9: Do you have anecdotes with Joseph Williams and Toto ?
- I met Toto in 1987 and got to travel some with them on their tours in Europe and Joe and i became sort of friends.
I felt really bad for him during the 7th One tour cause his voice was sooooo bad (due to his won problems of course) but everybody was angry or disapointed at the situation cause the tour before for Fahrenheit had been so amazing and they all wanted this tour to be the best ever!!!.
Joe really wanted to do his best but knew it didn't sound good at all most nights and i remember a couple of nights where he came to me after the show and asked "how did i sound today...was it ok or very bad?".....i could see how sad he was.
We spoke on the phone a few times over the years and he's always been a very nice guy to me.
Question 10: According to you, who can form the perfect 'Dream Team' band of the West Coast ?
- Jeff Porcaro on drums, David Foster on keyboards, Michael Landau on guitars, Nathan East on bass and a vocal trio with Michael McDonald, Steve Perry and Joseph.
Thank you for sparing us a few minutes of your time. All the best and good luck for the Eurovision !
- My pleasure, thanks for a great site and your support!!!!
Jérôme CORDENOD & Nick BEST
TotoWeb.org Tous droits réservés. Avril 2004.