Toto's David Paich talks 'Rosanna', 'Thriller' and 'Forgotten Toys.'

David Paich has been keyboard player, vocalist and songwriter for Toto for the last 4 decades. He's composed some of their biggest hits including, 'Rosanna' and 'Africa', alongside writing for other artists and playing on the most successful album of all time. He's been so much in demand that he's only just released his first solo record 'Forgotten Toys'. We talked to David about his new album and being an in-demand session musician and possibly going country.

Photo: Alessandro Solca

PHOTOGROUPIE: Congratulations on your first solo album. What made you take the plunge?

DAVID PAICH: I had a lot of encouragement and nudging and prodding from my two bandmates, Steve Lukather and Joseph Williams, who were working on their solo records. So they didn't want to let me get off scot-free and sit around doing nothing. So they forced me, they bullied me into doing a record and I'm glad that I did because I get an immense, immense amount of satisfaction from it. I had Joseph Williams, co-producer on it with me and help me frame the odds and ends and dust off the old pieces of songs. It was kind of a musical puzzle we had to put together.

PHOTOGROUPIE: With the exception of 'All The Tears That Shine', were all the songs that were they especially written for the album or ideas you've had around for a while?

DAVID PAICH: They were little pieces that I've had for a while, but they weren't specifically written for this album here. I just started to collect them and put them together to see what pieces fit with what. The only one that had been written a while back, was 'All the Tears That Shine', which I recorded on Toto XIV. But I was not happy with my vocal performance. So I wanted the co-writer, Mike Sherwood, who passed away this last year, by the way. He sang an incredible vocal on it, and I wanted everybody to be able to hear that.

PHOTOGROUPIE: You're a big fan of the Rolling Stones and 'Queen Charade' sounds a little bit like a homage to them as well. Was that so?

DAVID PAICH: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. About four years ago, I got the chance to work on Keith Richards' solo record. I got to play an overdub and Steve Jordan was producing it, he's coincidental, the current drummer with the Rolling Stones, who played on 'Queen Charade'. He hired me to come in and play and work with Keith, and I got to meet him and he had his arm around me singing. We had a grand old time, and it was definitely a pinch-me moment. I'll have to cross that off my bucket list.

PHOTOGROUPIE: I've got a friend who says they're just a pub pop band that got lucky. So you've got to have the final word on this.