In his rehearsal room / studio Raymond Herveille spent every day to study with the aim of controlling as many different styles which later proved necessary as a studio session drummer. In 1995 he was a guest of Joe Porcaro, where he studied as a guest student at the PIT to Los Angeles. Contact with Joe Porcaro has proved invaluable and has brought him a lot of experience.
This Toto Tribute Project is a collaboration of six musicians and a studio owner from The Netherlands, dedicated to Toto and the Porcaro family.
The musicians involved in this project are all big Toto fans and Toto’s music has been a huge influence throughout their own musical careers. Because of this, they feel very close to Toto and the Porcaro family and Jeff’s passing and Mike’s terrible illness made them want to stand up and do something for the greater good. So in the beginning of 2015, they started recording some of the great, but perhaps lesser known songs from the era when Jeff and Mike were still with us. When Mike passed away in March 2015 they were devastated, and with them all fans and anyone close to the Toto family. So they decided to make their tribute CD available for free. There is a small catch though. Should you have downloaded the music, and if you are reading this you did, all they ask is to make a voluntary donation to any A.L.S. foundation of your choice, or the Mike Porcaro Sweet Relief program (https://www.sweetrelief.org/program/mike-porcaro-fund ). No minimum amount needed, and no we will not check if you did it, it is the thought and gesture that counts. On behalf of everyone involved we thank you!
A Thousand Years
Drummer Raymond Herveille is the instigator and driving force behind this project. Here are some words from him:
” For me, spring of 2015 was a time of highs and lows. Toto releasing their killer new CD and on the other hand Mike’s untimely passing. You expect it to happen, but hearing this sad news kept me a state of deep mourning for a week. I guess I was not alone in that.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Porcaro family. How unfair is it to endure something like this for the second time. So we, as Toto Tribute Project, wish them all the strength they need. For us as musicians, it made it more and more clear just how much both Jeff and Mike have influenced us in our own musical careers. The songs we recorded have gotten an even bigger meaning because of this. Mike and Jeff : we miss you guys and there is not a day that goes by without thinking about you.
The Other Side
In the same month, Toto released their critically acclaimed new album: XIV. The album has gotten great reviews and Toto’s fan base seems to grow every year. And rightfully so. The band had not released a record in almost 10 years, so the expectations were high. But they delivered, and how! Once again it was confirmed that these guys have the ability to produce fresh ideas and new styles, setting a trend but still sound like ‘Toto’ after more than 35 years. As we speak, the band is on tour and selling out the biggest venues, proving my point. So here is a scoop: we as Toto Tribute Project would like to carry on and we are starting to think about which songs to do next. So yes, this project will probably not be a one off! That is, if you guys want us to continue. But I guess, well over 500 likes on facebook and well over 5000 plays on soundcloud; we have to. Thanks a lot everyone for your support!
He started the Toto tribute band and has been around for a while. They’ve published 5 Toto cover songs online: Mushanga, A Thousand Years, The Other Side, These Chains and Last Night. The man behind the drum kit, Raymond Herveille, is befriended with the Porcaro family. He had the opportunity to let David (Paich) hear the songs, who thought it was Toto themselves. But it wasn’t. So I started this interview after listening their tribute songs and I was blown away.
Raymond has got quite some stories to tell about his encounters with the Porcaro family.
Raymond, you’re a big Jeffrey fan. Please explain why he’s so important to you?
I heard “Girl goodbye” fort he first time when I was 15 years old and an active drummer already. The wonderful drumming, and the cymbal use especially, made me want to know who was the man behind the kit. I listened tot he rest of the album (Toto 1) and kept an interest in his work. Later on “Rosanna” and it’s amazing drum track followed and I was hooked forever!
How dit you get to meet Joe (Porcaro)?
Adams (Music Instruments) have been my sponsor since 1992. Their VP Frans Swinkels suggested to contact Joe when I was planning on going to LA back in ‘95. So once there I met the family and experienced their kindness and warmth immediately.
So you took Joe’s lessons?
That was the idea originally but it turned out he was more interested in me teaching him some licks, because my drumming reminded him of Jeffrey’s. I felt it was a huge compliment. A very surreal experience, haha.
They’re such warm and welcoming people. And they never even met me before! They know what life’s all about and live it accordingly.
Your tribute band has been around for some while now. And the songs you play are not among the easiest in Toto’s back catalogue. Such as Mushanga. Most people know Jeffrey’s instruction video and he makes it seem so simple. But it’s not, is it?
No, it’s not. The drum track is all about dynamics. After doing 5 recording takes I still wasn’t completely happy with the balance in the tom parts. But our producer and good friend Dirk Brouns (Maasland Studio) made it work in the mix so it comes very close to Jeffrey’s studio version.
“These chains” is also in your repertoire. It contains one my favourite Jeffrey shuffles. His shuffles, e.g. Rosanna’s, is one of the main reasons Jeffrey is so popular as a drummer. What’s your take on his shuffles?
You can get close to playing them like he did, but you’ll never reach perfection. It’s very challenging to keep the difference to a minimum.
What’s your ultimate Toto song to play the drums on?
Mushanga is definitely a favourite, but also Anna (Seventh one) comes to mind. We’re planning on recording another 5 Toto songs, but we haven’t decided on which ones yet. Anna is definitely an option.
In October you’re planning on hitting the studio with Christian Tolle, who collaborated with Luke before. How did you two get into contact?
We got introduced through Morris Adriaens, who does keyboards and vocals (The other side) on the Toto Tribute Project. I worked on that tribute too. Christian heard me play on that album.
According to Christian’s website you’ll be playing on 8 tracks. Luke will also be delivering his goods to his project. A dream come true?
Yes! When I heard Luke would be a part of this, I got so excited! He’s my all time hero and to realize that we’ll be on the same record together is just insane!
From the Christian Tolle‘s website: I have started to work on a new C.T.P. record (number 4 that is). And I am thrilled to be joined by Raymond Herveille on drums. Ray is one of the best drummers I have ever met and I am not kidding, he is up there with the best. My friend Dirk Brouns at Studio Maasland recorded Ray’s drumming for eight tunes already. A bit more to come and as I said, I have just started. Stay tuned.
How did you get to work with Bert Heerink (Vandenberg, Kayak)?
We got connnected through another guitarist, Joost Vergoossen. We were in Bert’s touring band in 2003.
The Toto Tribute Project band:
Drums & Vocals: Raymond Herveille
Percussion: Martin Verdonk
Bass: Roman Korolik
Guitars, Keyboards & Vocals: Morris Adriaens
Lead Vocals: Roger Damoiseaux (These Chains & A Thousand Years)
Lead Vocals: Maurice Saelmans (Last Night, Mushanga)
Lead Vocals: Morris Adriaens (The Other Side)
Don’t forget: when you download this, all we ask is to please make a voluntary donation to any A.L.S. foundation of your choice, or the Mike Porcaro Sweet Relief program (https://www.sweetrelief.org/program/mike-porcaro-fund). No minimum amount needed, and no we will not check if you did it, it is the thought and gesture that counts. On behalf of everyone involved we thank you!
We will supply downloads in both mp3 and uncompressed high quality wave formats.
Also make sure to read the included release notes; there is a little surprise in there, regarding the future of the Toto Tribute Project.
Some notes of thanks from Raymond, also go out to my colleagues who participated in this project.
Dirk Brouns engineered and produced the whole thing. He is an absolute sound wizard and totally manages to catch the sound and feel of the original recordings. Without his knowledge this project would not have been possible in the first place. Check out his studio: www.studiomaasland.nl
My big friend Morris Adriaens surprised me even the most, by offering to do all guitars and keyboards. I have known him for over 25 years, but I was amazed by his musical skills and attention to detail. O yes, and by the way, he also did lead vocals on The Other Side and backings on all songs. Morris, to me you are my alltime hero!
Furthermore I would like to thank the great Martin Verdonk (percussion), who took time out of his busy schedule to come to the studio and lay down his awesome percussion groove on our songs. He evened out all the creases I left behind haha! Martin: well done my hero!
Also a lot of thanks go out to my 2 colleagues Roger Damoiseaux and Maurice Saelmans who are on the road with me during the year. Both voices were perfect for the songs we wanted to do! Roger sang leads on ‘These Chains’ and ‘A Thousand Years’, Maurice did the same on ‘Last Night’ and ‘Mushanga’. Fantastic job guys!
A special word of thanks goes out to my bass hero Roman Korolik. This man I have also known for over 25 years and to my he was the go-to guy to get that signature Toto groove from that era. Thank you mate!
So. Again, thanks a lot for your support, comments, likes, tweets and whatnot, it means a lot to us. We hope to continue this for a long time.
Jeff and Mikey, lots of love for you and thank you for all the joy and happy notes you brought to our lives. We’d like to think both of you are up there jamming and grooving with the best now. This one is our modest tribute to you guys.”
Last but not least: Raymond recently joined another great Toto Tribute Project: Fanfields 2 started by Michael Riesenbeck.
Thank you Marc Vaessen for the translation!