1.Your solo album "Masquerade" was recently released. Did it turn out the way you wanted?
I was happier with the outcome than any other record I have done because I made all the decisions. I forgot some things because I had so much on my mind. I forgot the keyboards on Bleed. Stuff like that. We just got a new compressor in the studio when we remastered for Europe, and we over achieved with the compression a little. I still think I like the Europe version better. For the most part I am happy.
2. What do you expect from the solo record? Is it possible to tour with the material?
I would love to tour this record. I am doing some shows with it locally, now, but then it is time for Winger this summer.
3. The melodic rock fans are quite excited over the prospect of a Winger reunion. I understand there's a tour in the cards, what about an album?
Well, we are kinda hoping the tour will spark enough interest to generate a deal. I am sure Kip and I will write a bit on the road, so maybe in the fall.
4. Your early work with Brian McDonald is highly respected among the AOR fans, and "Desperate Business" is a collector's item. I heard it's being reissued soon. You also worked with Brian on his last album, and he mentioned having written songs with you. Do you think you will be working with him anytime soon?
I am actually doing his new record with him now. He just sends me the stuff, and I do it at home and send it back. He is a terrific writer and a hell of a guy. He is really letting me step out on this one. He is yin to my yang, and I wouldnít be surprised if we put a band together one day. I donít know if anyone knows, but Brian is a genius. IBM calls him when they have a problem. He is the smartest person with the highest IQ of anyone I have ever known.
5. What happened in the Dokken camp? Musical differences?
I guess that is what you are supposed to say. I really like Don, but I didnít like making a record with Don. We get along fine on the road, but in the studio it was tough. It was time to make a new record, and I knew Jeff might not be on board. That was one factor. Also, their label at the time were idiots. When they released Erase the Slate as a single to radio, I knew the label for some reason did not want the album to sell anymore. ďOneĒ was the obvious proven hit to release, so I lost faith in my dreams for the bands future. There are different people at the label now, so I hope for better support for those guys with Norum.
6. Dokken returned to the classic rock sound when you joined them. How much was it your influence and how much a natural progression based on the changes in music industry (grunge out, classic rock sound back somewhat, etc. you know what I mean...)
I guess I have to take credit for that. I was a big Dokken fan in the Under Lock and Key days, and the stuff they had when I got there was more like Shadowlife, which in my opinion sucked. I came in with some ideas that were more like the Dokken I used to love, and Mick and Jeff were really supportive of it.
7. Out of all the projects you've been involved with, which ones do you consider your favorite ones?
My favorite tour was when I went out with Jamie Walters on an acoustic thing in Europe. God, we should have been arrested in Amsterdam. It was a huge budget, first class all the way, and he and I partied the whole time. We were constantly surrounded with teenage girls. Musically, Winger will always be my first love.
8. Are the any albums that you'd rather not bring up (not "Desperate Business" I hope!)?
I did an album with Robert Schilling, which was the worst music I ever played on. Sometimes a will get mail or something and someone asks me about it and I just wish it would go away.
9. Here's an idea of the artwork for the "upcoming" Winger album (if there'll ever be any...): Kip standing in a Beavis&Butthead T-shirt throwing darts at a Lars Ulrich poster... How about it?
Yeah, classy! I think that would be a little bit like we are poor sports. No we actually have an idea to sell t shirts at our concerts with the exact artwork that was on Stuartís t shirt in the cartoon. Just Winger in Pencil. This way we can profit from something that took all our money away in the nineties.
10. Anything else you'd like to say to our readers? A website to plug? Fire away!
My site is www.rebbeach.com,
and we recently started to offer the demos of my fusion stuff from 94.
People are saying it is the best stuff I have ever done, and I am so
surprised. I canít keep them in stock! So check that out.
by Kimmo Toivonen,