Toto drummer announces departure after 21 years

Toto drummer Simon Phillips has announced that he is leaving the band after 21 years to pursue a solo career and other interests.

Phillips released the following statement on his Facebook page Friday.

“I am deeply touched by this outpouring of expression…
… yes, it is true – after 21 years I have called my time with Toto.
Being a member of this band was a wonderful experience and I have learned so much. I greatly appreciate how Luke, Dave and Mike welcomed me at such a difficult time in the band’s career after Jeff’s passing. Together we recorded new albums, played concerts and continued the band’s legacy.

“I want to thank Toto fans around the World for embracing me, for their genuine enthusiasm and their love and support.

“Simon Phillips – Jan 24, 2014”

Founding member and guitarist Steve “Luke” Lukather writes, “He is still a dear friend and we wish him the very best and continued success.”

Keith Carlock will be joining the band as drummer in the wake of Phillips’ departure. He is best known for working with Steely Dan, Sting, James Taylor and John Mayer.

“I want to thank Toto fans around the World for embracing me, for their genuine enthusiasm and their love and support.”

The band formed in 1977 in Los Angeles by Lukather (guitars, vocals, keyboards), David Paich (keyboards, vocals), Steve Porcaro (keyboards, synthesizers, vocals) and Jeff Porcaro (drums, percussion). Phillips joined the band as drummer in 1992 after Porcaro passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack from atherosclerosis induced by cocaine use.

The band continued with Phillips until the band broke up briefly in 2008 before reuniting again in 2010. Toto celebrated it’s 35 anniversary in 2013 and plans to record a new studio album in early 2014. This will be the band’s first studio record since 2006’s Falling In Between.

In the meantime, the band will issue Toto 35th Anniversary: Live In Poland in late-spring or early summer on CD, DVD, Blu-ray and a deluxe package. Filmed on June 25, 2013 in Lodz, Poland, the offering captures the band in the midst of a standing-room-only European tour. The two-hour plus performance features the band’s hit stocked repertoire alongside other favorites.

This April, the band will embark to Japan for a seven show headlining arena tour that takes them through Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, Sendai and Sopporo.

This isn’t the only loss the band has had this week. In an unfortunate event, former vocalist Fergie Frederiksen died on January 18, 2014 after a long battle with liver cancer.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.

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