Morris Adriaens (Netherlands - Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals, Production)
Can you tell us a little about yourself, your musical past, current or upcoming projects?
Sure! As a teenager growing up in the late 70's and 80's, I was fascinated with all the great music that came out in that era. Back then, I would scour all the local record stores to check out new stuff that was out, and discover bands I’d never even heard of before. Just by looking at the album covers and checking all the studio musicians that were playing on it.
In those days I was heavily into Southern Rock and (Hard)rock, which later developed into AOR and Toto (still my favorite band). As I got older I also learned to appreciate the essential classics (Hendrix, Beatles, Zep etc...) and found myself discovering prog rock, jazz, fusion and such.
I started playing guitar in my early teens. Since it was clear to me that I wanted to attend a professional music school, I figured a second skill would be elementary. So I also started playing piano and synths, started playing guitar in various bands and learned to sing. Still learning btw ;-). I played in various cover bands and original bands for over 25 years and learned the tricks of the trade and the rules of the road. Too many stories to share here ;-)
Nowadays I am more focused on the recording side of things. I have my own little studio and I collaborate with other studios on a regular basis. So I have been very fortunate to be able to record together with some great acts from all over the world, being it playing guitars, keyboards or doing vocals. I also like to produce other acts now and then, and currently I am working on my first solo cd (finally). My web site:
Yes, although a bit out of date: http://madriaens.wixsite.com/morris (Will update soon)
How did you end up with the Fanfields project?
To be honest, I don’t really remember haha! I think Michael and I met online because I had just finished a CD for “Toto Tribute Project” , in which we recorded a couple of Toto songs, coincidently also for the good cause. I didn’t even know Michael was setting up a similar project, but on a world wide scale. Great minds think alike, no? Eventually 4 songs of our Toto Tribute Project would end up as bonus tracks for the Fanfields cd and iTunes release. Great stuff!
How did you experience the project?
It was a great experience! Very humbling too, to be able to work with all these fantastic musicians from all over the world. I’ll admit it took some time, since I did keyboards, guitars, vocals and producing duties. In the 11 tracks I’m involved in, I found that working online has its challenges too. Sending tracks and parts back and forth, finding recording facilities, dealing with creative differences, it had a bit of a learning curve so to say. But it was great to experience this, and considering that everyone put in their time and effort for free, to support the good cause, is just awesome. For me, it all culminated into meeting some of the guys and girls in person for the CD presentation. We played some of the songs live to celebrate the CD release. What an epic night that was! I made a lot of new good friends here and I’m very grateful for that. I’m still in regular contact with some and new ideas and creative juices are already flowing for new projects!
What does TOTO mean to you?
Musically? Everything. Every Toto member has had such a big impact on the west coast music scene, it’s unbelievable. With all the session work each member did, outside of Toto, they have put such a huge mark on the music of that era. I think that is still an underestimated fact, but they deserve so much respect for that. Also, think of all the great musicians who are influenced by them. Toto have had to deal with a lot of crap from press and labels, personal drama through the years, but they are still here, stronger than ever perhaps. I can’t wait for Luke’s bio haha! For me as a guitar player, Luke is my hero and probably my biggest influence. Steve and David, but also Greg are my favorite keyboard players. Jeff, Mikey, what can I say… Simply the best. But also all other past and present members have made a profound impact on me. It seems that no matter which band members they record or tour with, it’s still unmistakably Toto, you know? I must have seen at least 30 Toto and Luke solo concerts over the years. They are so dedicated to their fan base, and just nice guys to chat and have fun with! The way they supported Fanfields, proves that I think.
Do you have a message for the Fanfields fans?
YES! THANK YOU for supporting this project and supporting the good cause. A lot of love and hard work went into this and I think you can hear that, listening to the tracks. We love you for supporting us and hope you will spread the word. Who knows, maybe there will be a Fanfields part 3 in the future ;-)