DAVID HUNGATE / Mecca - Bass
Hi David. You are one of the legends of this rock genre, having started your
recording career many years ago. Was Toto your first band?
My recording career actually began in 1969....Toto began in 1977.
Ok! Looking back, is their any particular segment of your career that you enjoyed most and consider the most rewarding?
The period from the recording of Boz Scaggs' "Silk Degrees" (late '75) through Toto IV (1981) was the best.
I worked on a number of projects with musicians like Jeff Porcaro, Dean Parks, Lukather, Jay Graydon, Ray Parker, David Paich, David Foster, and others....great rhythm sections, and some great pop/R&B music. No drum machines or click tracks...we just played.
Is there a low point that stands out at all?
My two years on the A&R staff of MCA Nashville (1985,86). I did very little playing and missed it greatly.
What caused you to leave Toto at a period where the band was very successful? In 1982 I had already moved to Nashville and was getting my career started there.
I had a 3 year-old and a new baby and a 9 month tour was in the works. I didn't feel that I could leave my family at that time, or that it would be fair to the group to ask them to find a sub for the tour. I left at the right time, for a number of reasons.
Do you prefer the work of a session musician? After all, you have done that
for 20 years now!!
I've done it for 32 years, unbelievably, and I much prefer it to the road, though I love live playing under the right circumstances.
I saw the list of credit that you have played with - it's quite a phenomenal lost of people. What are your best memories from that list?
I've gotten to work with so many greats it's hard to narrow it down.
From a musical standpoint I'd start with most of the 70 plus records I worked
on with Jeff Porcaro...
As far as rhythm sections go, you and Shannon Forrest sound sensational
together. Have you worked with him previously?
I've worked with Shannon a lot, and it's always a joy.
How'd you get to know Shannon?
We started getting called to work together several years ago.
Shannon is being compared to the late great Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro, who obviously you worked with for some time. How accurate is the comparison?
I think I'm the first one to compare him to Jeff, so I obviously feel it's accurate.
Did you enjoy the 3 day session work out for the Mecca release, there in Nashville?
It was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my recording career.
What's next for you? What do you have planned for the coming months - who are you working with etc...
I recently played on albums for Randy Travis, Billy Gilman and Billy Ray
Cyrus. I plan to continue doing session work as long as they keep calling me.
I do live jazz gigs several times a month with singer April Barrows (playing
guitar and trombone) and enjoy that very much.
And any further future plans?
To try to do as much enjoyable music as possible. I've also been writing a book about my experiences in the music business which I plan to publish when (if?) I retire.
You have written several movie scores, any more of those planned?
I played on quite a few movie scores.....didn't write them.
Anyone you would one day like to work with?
I'd like to work with a great traditional R&B band, but there aren't many out there these days. Actually I enjoy most styles of music so long as great musicians are involved.
Thanks again David.
Hope it's been helpful.