Steve Lukather


Steve Lukather (2008)




Steve Lukather: Here Lies Mr. Toto.

The self described road dog of melodic rock. Steve Lukather is one of my favorite people in this business and as has been the case with my previous interviews with the legendary guitarist - he once again lays it all bare, his heart on his sleeve.

Mr. Lukather! How are you?
I'm doin' OK, just one second here, I've just gotta fix one little thing.
OK. I'm feeding my dog right now.

Fair enough.
Now, here we go. Never a dull moment in family life.

I know it mate, I know it.
I've just gotta to put this up, hold on a second Drew, give me two minutes.
My whole house is being torn apart because we're remodeling. That and with the new baby it's kind of hectic around here.

How's she doing?
I wanted to save you for last so we could actually have a chat.

Thanks man, I appreciate that.
Usually it's just newspaper stuff promoting the shows.

Did you get through some good interviews?
Yeah, they got a shitload of them. More press than we've ever done in Australia. Ironically, as we're heading to the demise.
Hold on one second, I'm almost done. This dog won't eat the food unless I put a little cheddar cheese in there. She's a spoiled little beast, but we love her. (laughter)

So we were talking privately earlier about life on the road – how tough it can be…
I mean everybody's like God forbid anybody should have a hoarse throat.

When I was on the road with Jeff Scott Soto for a couple of weeks, it's a hard fucking slog.
It is man, and he's one of the best singers out there.

Yeah and I should have documented the hardness of it all but I had a tour to run because I was doing the tour manager thing, but you've been on the road for two years.
You're allowed to be bloody tired. By the time it's all done it'll be two and a half years on the Falling in Between thing.

That's amazing.
We're bringing a little bit more rock and roll set down this time, you know.

It's a lot of the same tunes, but with Sklar on bass because Mikey's still sick.

Yeah, that's too bad.
I wish I had better news there. He's still trying to recover but it's going very, very slowly.

Is he holding up mentally himself?
When I see him yeah, he puts on that, he doesn't say too much. I keep going 'how you doing man'.
It's a tough lot and you know…I'm looking around the stage and saying every single motherfucker's been replaced at least twice. (laughter)

Except you.
Except me, now you can print that.

Yeah, that's gotta be on the record.
Yeah, well c'mon, I'm the only one that's been there from day one and everybody else has been replaced two or three times.

We just can't kill you.
Well, I don't want to be killed. (laughter) It just kind of hit me all of a sudden and I started realizing, it's a fucking great band but is it Toto? I mean everybody's a motherfucker and I have nothing but love and respect, but is it Toto?

You still don't take yourself too seriously do you?
Well sure and that's another misconception that I'm all serious and don't get a sense of humor about all this shit. I get tweaked when people say things like I'm a coked out loser, yeah, and you can print that (laughter) but I mean, do these people know me? Have they ever met me or are they just making something of me having a hoarse voice and my voice isn't like it was when I was 20 years old? Hell is anybody's?

Nobody's you know, I don't think anybody's voice is the same.
Well I thought my quote in my email to you, which is usable, is that yeah my voice isn't as smooth as it was when I was 20 and neither is my ass. (laughter)





I'm getting a few wrinkles myself.
Well, you know what I'm saying, it's like c'mon, I've been doing this shit for 30 plus years. And you know when you're gonna get on the road, you get a cold, you can't help it. Both Bobby and I were kind of sick when we did the live show in Paris for the DVD that's coming out, but we fuckin' persevered. Then people come in there speculating that 'oh that's the reason see, they fixed all the vocals and made it sound all fucked up'. I didn't have time to do that, we were on the road.
McMillan's a genius man, he managed to make things sound bigger than they really were. When you've got a 5.1 mix you've got to fill in the holes. It's a big thing and when people remix this stuff in 5.1 they digitally enhance the doubles and the stuff like that. When we did the record all the background vocals were quadrupled for God's sake. We're not out there lip synching, but everybody's got an angle. Everybody's trying to bust your nuts. That sounds too good, or it sounds bad, or like 'is that real or is that fake?'
I mean c'mon, in the era that I grew up we didn't even…what does faking it mean? I learned to play before I made a record. So I think people are being a little too harsh. It's like they've got their jeweler's eye out looking for every little possibility. 'Oh yeah at 3 minutes and 42 seconds you can hear the pitch does like…blah, blah, blah.' Get a fucking life. (laughter)
Do you honestly think that we wanted to come back home after doing all those songs on a fucking tour then sit in a recording studio and listen to it and re-record it? Are you fucking nuts? I'd still be doing the overdubs if that was the case.

I'd think they would just enjoy the music and relax.
Right, I mean listen, when I have a minute I kind or peruse, you know I love the site, and I kinda check out what people are saying. I also check out what people are saying about other bands.
And there's some fuckin' harsh shit in there man.

Oh yeah, there is sometimes.
Oh man, put yourself in our shoes. I mean it's really easy to put down people and tear them all apart when you're sitting in your home, but what the fuck are you doing? (laughter) What are these people doing? Everyone's an armchair critic. Listen, you know we're not perfect.
Yeah, we're fuckin' a lot older, voices change, you don't run as fast as you used to, there's a lot of shit you just can't do that you used to be able to. I try to practice, keep my chops up to do the best I can. But what can I say?

And by the way, to clear up another misconception, David Paich and I have never been better friends than we are right now and I just got off the phone with him 5 minutes ago.

And yes we will definitely be working together down the road on something or other whether it's Toto or not.

We went through a rough spot, like brothers do. I'm a very emotional; wear my heart on my sleeve kind of guy and I can tweak sometimes. I can get upset about things. And we never really talked it through. When he didn't talk to me about it my initial reaction was 'fuck you' and then it became this 'fuck you' fest.
Then we went out to dinner, just me and him, and we looked at each other, and we like hugged each other for about two minutes and at almost at the same time said 'I'm sorry'.
It was almost like a perfect double and then we sat down and we've been in close contact ever since. I've been confiding in him about my feelings about where this band is at, where it's going and if it should even go on, and he totally concurs with where my vibe is at.

I'm really pleased to hear that mate. That's great.
But listen, you get pissed off at people but when you've been friends for 35 years it wasn't going to last forever, c'mon. Everybody's speculating and yeah, sure I spout off a lot of bullshit but the written word never really conveys how one feels. That's the danger of e-mail and internet in general. Even when somebody's taking the piss out of me, maybe they were laughing when they wrote it but the way it reads was that they were serious so it's hurtful.

Yeah, you can't see the smile can you?
That's the whole thing. Unless you actually write it in like LOL, or Ha Ha Ha a statement is a statement in the written word. Sometimes it hurts. I don't care if people don't like the music or they don't like the band. That's their right. I hate this like 'Journey or Toto', you know what I mean?
Or like this guy sucks this guy's better, who's better Neal or Luke, you know that's stupid. Neal and I are dear friends man. I can't be more supportive of him or him of me. We're friends.
Fuckin' his son Miles is down there staying at my son's house. They're buddies. I mean this is ridiculous. People who don't know it make these horrible assumptions. Why do you have to be on one person's side or the other? Why can't you just dig both bands, or dig one, you don't have to slag off the other.

No, look mate. I've got so many favorite bands it's not funny.
But you know there's no such thing as the best at anything. Music is subjective. Art is subjective. Beauty is subjective. Do you think that when two ugly people are fucking they're saying 'Ha ha you're the ugliest person I ever fucked in my life?' No, of course not, they see beauty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Music is exactly the same way. (laughter) I don't like everything either but it would be horrible if I were to go off and slag off bands I don't like. It's hurtful. I know what it feels like. When somebody you don't know says you suck, you go 'Dude, you don't even know me.' If you don't like the music there's a nicer way to say it like, 'I don't really care for this kind of music, it's not my thing. Good players, I respect them, but it's not my thing.' You don't have to go, 'You fuckin suck man, you fuckin suck. You're the worst fuckin shit ever'.

You're coming to Australia again in March.
Here's the thing. The last time we went it was a big success. Yeah. Except for my poor guy John Howard man and his partner who took it up the ass from the guy that owned the fuckin' gig. He ran off with about $80,000 dollars.

I couldn't believe that.
Here we've got sold out shows and the cats are all ecstatic and they thought, great you made money, we made money, everybody's happy and all the sudden he gets fucked and I just felt terrible because I consider John a very good friend.

Yeah, absolutely John's a great guy.
Yeah, he's gonna release my solo record down there, do the promotion, you know. Then he believed enough to fucking throw down again to bring us down even after taking a beating like that. But I think he was learning, you can't trust people, you think you can, but you can't, not in this fucking business man. (laughter) Cats will suck you dick while sticking two fingers up your ass to get the cash you just ate. (laughter)
It's a shame to see good people go down but it was such a big success that they said let's break you out into some other markets. We're even going to do New Zealand.

Are you going to New Zealand?
Yeah, we're doing Auckland.

Oh fantastic.
As a matter of fact it's our first stop. That's someplace I've always wanted to see.

Auckland's awesome.
We're doing that, then we're coming over to do five or six dates I think you've got it there, I don't have it in front of me.

Yeah, I've got it here mate.
We're very excited about that, then we're running off to do a Malaysia and then we're going to do Japan with Boz Skaggs. So that's kind of fitting, then Paich is coming over to play with us in Japan.

Really? Oh that's great.
So it seems really fitting that we started out in Boz's band, Toto came out of that. Now we're ending this chapter with Dave back with Boz. It's bookends, you know what I mean? Then we're going to put this thing away for God knows how long. Two and a half to three years is a long time man. Everybody wants to do their own projects. Simon wants to produce records. As some cats get on they don't want to be on the road for eight months.

Yeah, exactly.
They're not like me. I'm a road dog. I'll live and die on the fucking road. That's who I am and what I am and I'm built for it. I mean physically built for it. I'll probably have a massive coronary in my room one night, but hey, what a way to go?

Only when you're 95 thank you.
Well, like I said, you know. I figure I've got this solo record coming out that I'm really proud of that's getting great reviews out of the box. I did a real video, a concept video.

Yeah, what song for?
The title track, Ever Changing Times.

Great song.
Thanks. I have no idea what it's gonna be about. We did it in Japan with a lot of green screens and stuff so there's gonna be all kinds of trippy shit going on.

I really like the artwork. The e-card kind of concept. It's simple, but I really love the colors.
I'm really proud of it. Robert Knight and Mary Ann Billens did all the photos. We did it out in the desert here.

Yeah, it looks sweet.
Conceptually I can't even tell you what perfect timing it was. I just says it all about my life. It's changed so much. I've mean from the beginning to now. Toto's been so good to all of us. Thanks to everybody out there for supporting us all these years. It's been an amazing journey, and amazing run.
Not to say that it's never going to happen again, but you know it's time to put it away for a while. We worked really fucking hard. Everybody wants to do their own solo things or take a break whatever. Everybody's got projects and stuff lined up. It's a great way for us to end up. We're all still friends. There are no bad vibes or anything like that. We're gonna go out and do it with a big smile.





So there's nothing planned for next year or the 30th Anniversary?
Oh no. No, no, no…nothing. The books are clean. Instead of the 30th it'll probably be the 35th Anniversary. (laughter) At that point who knows what's gonna happen.
I cannot predict the future. All I know is that we've worked very, very hard and everybody wants to do some different things.

That's fair enough too.
If you put yourself in my position with people saying 'well you ought to do the 30th tour next year', those people haven't done what we've just done. You be away from home for 2 and a half years and then say it. A lot of these guys in the band just don't want to do that. So, no, no, no, no, no not at this point.
I'm gonna go out and concentrated on my solo stuff and do some really weird, bizarre, obscure Toto songs. I'm gonna do songs off all three of my solo albums probably culled from the first, second, and the new one, maybe a track or two off the third one. And maybe some very interesting covers that I wrote for other people and/or did versions of. It's going to be a really kick-ass band. Everybody in the band in gonna sing including the drummer.

Who is the band? Have you got that lined up yet?
It's too early to tell. There'll be a few familiar faces and a few newbies. It'll be another world tour, so I'm gonna be out there working for a long time.

Well hopefully we can get some loop dates in Australia as well.
If all goes well the answer would be yeah. After we've made this contact with the Australian people again it would be a shame to lose that momentum. Big John says the shows are selling pretty well, but I won't really know until I get there.

Yeah I was gonna ask you about that because you have bigger venues.
I asked him about and he's goes 'no it's doing really well and I'm really happy'. If he's happy that means he's not taking a bath, so. I would not want to do that to the cat again.

Who could have predicted that was going to happen?
Well, like I said, we got all our money up front so he's the one that took a bath. We felt terrible and the time and said 'we gotta go back and make this right'. He's a good mate and we stayed in touch through all of that.

John's awesome and he just had a baby boy too.
That's right. Everybody's having babies.

All us old buggers.
Well, ya know what I mean, the dick still works for something. (laughter) For now. Yeah, for now and there's always Viagra after that.

Just to clarify Toto, this leg of the tour is ending, you're coming off the road and that's it for the foreseeable future.
Yeah. Like I say, we're gonna go out and give, it's like when you know it's the last lap you run real hard, real fast and give it you're all, that kind of the attitude that we're going in with. So it's not like we're gonna walk through the shows. This is a little bit more rock and roll set. We got rid of some of the ballads and all that acoustic stuff and we're gonna go out and rock.

Oh, I can't wait. I'm gonna have to make sure I'm there mate.
I'll get you over there one way or another. (laughter)

I'll come and see you in Melbourne this time, I think. That's closer for me.
We'll make that happen. When we get closer to it we'll be in contact.

Yes mate, of course. So this solo album is, congratulations again, we've talked a little about it you and me, but it's a fantastic record.
Aw thanks man, I appreciate that.





It's my favorite Luke album since the first solo album.
Thank you man. I worked really hard on it because I wanted to see if I could make a personal best at 50 years old. A lot of people say nobody makes a good record anymore, everybody's past their prime just going out and playing the hits, taking the money and going. I've read that so much about so many people and I refuse to believe that that's all I've got. You know everybody has their personal favorites. I mean is there gonna be another Africa? Probably not it's a different era, there couldn't be. But for me as an artist I needed to make a record first off that wasn't a fusion record. (laughter)
I kinda got that shit out of my system but I needed to do that for me. It was very selfish and very self-indulgent, but hey fuck it, you know. I've been playing Hold the Line since I was 19, I'm 50, do the math. I needed to go out and freak out. But I needed to make a real record, a real artist's record and Randy Goodrum's the guy that brought the concept, my old song writing partner. He executive produced the record and brought me to the Blue label. They're really behind the record, really gonna spend money, and these guys treated me like I first signed in 1977. I was wined and dined.
They love the record. They never said no to anything. They're writing checks for tour support. They did a nonrecoupable video and big promotion budget. And Serafino's working with me in Europe and again and he did such a fantastic job there. I'm really happy to be back there.
Then I've got big John down in Australia and another company here that's releasing it in North America. So I'm gonna go out and go for it. Give it all I've got. It's like, I'm not gonna do this when I'm 60. I'm 50 and everything's winding down. Everything's changing. Everybody's happy.
I wish everybody was healthy. I mean my brother Mikey's, it's just fucking me up that he's not getting better real fast.
It's like I said before, I'm the only guy that's really gonna go out and go for it right away. I have product and I'm putting together a great band and I got dates on the books. So I'm hoping that the record does well and I'll be able to build on that and stay out there for a while and get my own thing going on. I'm sure the other guys, well I've gotten emails that say 'good luck man, we're with you all the way'. God bless and we'll see each other again soon. I'm not making any official statement or anything like that. People are gonna read into it what they want. But after 30 years and the last 2.5 years on tour I've gotta take a break.

I can't think of another band on the planet that's been on the road for the last 2 years in this day and age.
It's a big world.

Yeah, but who else is doing it?
No one does the world like we do. A lot of bands tour every year in America.

It really shits me that Bon Jovi on their last album called it a world tour and the did I think a couple of dates in Canada and the rest in the USA and called it a world tour.
Well no, they do a big business in Europe. They were there. They're doing football stadiums.

I know they're doing OK, but it's not really a world tour.
No when we go on a world tour we do a World-fucking-Tour.

I mean Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, America, Europe that's a world tour.
Well, you know there are very few spots we missed. We were considering the “Let's find Osama” Mideast tour but that fell through. (laughter)

Well you didn't get to Tasmania so….
Hey, it's never too late. That's another thing with Toto. It took a huge overhead. There are so many people involved and it's a much bigger operation. I might be able to sneak into some of these places because I have a smaller operation. I'm not gonna need all those crew guys and all that shit but Toto is its own beast.

Absolutely, it's a big beast.
But like I said, we're all family. Everybody's come to this place where we see like, Ok man this is going to a great last run let's have fun with it. And whatever happens after that, happens after that. I'm not fucking Nostradamus, you know. I can't predict the future. Every time I have I've usually predicted wrong.

It's gonna be a great set of shows and the DVD about to hit any day now…
Yeah it's gonna be a month and when you see it man, it looks really fuckin' cool.

I can't wait to see it.
It looks like we're, it's just huge, there's a lot of people in the audience. The way it was filmed, you'll see the full production. With the 5.1 that's the way to do it. You need a big screen TV and a couple of beers or whatever you're into, and check it out like that. Then you'll see if everybody's faking it or not. Do you know how long it would actually take to go in there and redo the vocals and have it perfectly lip synched? I'd be doing that for the next 50 years of my life. (laughter)
So I mean come on, COME ON fellas. I don't want to dwell to much on that shit though. I like to make one blanket statement and just be done with it. All that does is open up the internet blog from hell. I want to try avoid anything negative if at all possible. I mean let me take the piss out of myself don't leave room everyone to come at me with a fuckin' chain saw.

An old buddy of yours is doing very well out on the road at the moment isn't he? Mr, Eddie?
Eddie V, I went to Staples and saw the show it was great. I was at the rehearsals too.

Everybody says it's great. You know for everything it took for this tour to happen there's been relatively no rumors…
Well I saw it at the Staple Center and there's 18,000 people, and man, they looked great, they sounded great, Roth was singing good, and the set list is the dream set list. And Eddie was playing great. You know, you hear stories about good night, bad night, I don't know man. The guy I know is really trying to give it all he's got. There's always gonna be somebody slaggin' him. 'Oh man he's lost it', they say the same shit about me man, the same shit about everybody. If the guy never did anything else again he changed the face of guitar history. Let him alone. He should be immune to people fucking with him. We're all getting older man, c'mon.

That's why I'm glad it's happening now, because it may not have a chance to happen in the future. It's going well enough that they've added more dates.

I think that's fantastic.
You know I love them, him and Al are like fuckin' soul brothers to me.

Absolutely, I hope they get down to Australia but I don't know.
Well if they get out to that side of the world don't be surprised. But I don't know. I haven't seen them since I saw them back stage before the show standing next to a very bewildered John Mayer.

Oh really?
Hell yes, I walk into the dressing room, which by the way's in like Def Con 5 security. Ed's in his own room and I just walk in and…[off the record…sorry!]

I'd like to see some of today's band still around after 30 years.
Exactly, walk in my shoes. Where are you cats gonna be in 30 years? If all you're relying on is Protools and eyeliner you're gonna be in deep shit real soon.

Well, anything else to add mate?
Geez, that I'm happy, tired but happy. The two dad's thing is pretty cool.

Yeah, how's she doing, good?
Oh, she's a beautiful baby.
She's growing already. It's a trip. It's a trip man you know, you're gonna go through all this shit again. I haven't done this in twenty years so I'm really like wow. My wife is thriving. She's just wonderful. She's a great mom already. I'm on the A-list with the in-laws because it's their first grandchild. It's gonna be the last for me but she does have a sister. (laughter)

Long as you're the first.
Right, you know what I mean?
But everything's going good man. I really want to thank all the really wonderful people. Thank you for keeping the shit alive on the site and for having my back and promoting the music, promoting the music for all of us, not just me and Toto but for all the guys that are still out there kickin' it. We're all out there bustin' ass man.
Don't pick on the old guys because someday you're all gonna be old. This is really ironic. It's like all the old reviewers that have trashed us are all retired or dead. So there's a new young breed that says Toto's pretty good so that's gonna do OK.

What did you do wrong? Nothing!
You know, all I did was play music. But you've gotta be honest. We were the band to fuckin' beat up. We were without question the most berated band ever in rock history. I'm still taking some for the fuckin' name man. I figure that just made it too easy for them.

I like the name.
It's a stupid name. (laughter) You can print that. (laughter) I hated it from day one but now I am Mr. Toto so what can I tell ya? (laughter) I can't shake it if I want to. (laughter)

That'll be on your tombstone mate.
(laughter) Yeah, exactly, here lies Mr. Toto. (laughter) And there'll be dog shit on top of it probably because that'd be the last fuck you, ya know. (laughter) A fitting end!(laughter)

That's a fitting end to an interview mate. I can't possible top that.
(laughter) OK mate I think that's very good.(laughter)

Oh good, OK.
(laughter) I like that idea, keep the funny shit, keep people laughing. They'll get a better idea of who I am because people think that we all take ourselves too seriously.

You're one of the funniest bastards I've had the pleasure of being with all these years.
Well hell man, like I said, I get the joke. There's the title of the interview.

I get the joke.
I get the joke, “Lay Off Me I Get The Joke”. See I'm hoping to get interview of the year again.

That'll have to be for next year because it's January. (laughter) We didn't do one last year.
That's right we didn't.

Well not formally anyway.
But we had a couple beers together. That's a good thing.

And that was fun wasn't it?
And we'll do that again.

Oh shit, that was the last time I was badly drunk.
Boy you are a cheap date!





c. 2008 / Interview by Andrew McNeice / Transcribed By Sherrie!



Steve Lukather (2004)

Steve Lukather: The hardest working guitarist in the business.


Steve Lukather, the legendary Toto guitarist and phenomenally popular session man lays it all on the line in this exclusive interview conducted a couple of months back. Steve and Toto have both had illustrious careers and Toto continues to tour heavily throughout Europe and beyond. Their work schedule is at time grueling and life on the road can take its toll. Steve talks candidly about the life of a rocker on the road and the ups and downs of the loss of a stable routine.
That's here in the now - Steve also delves into the past for some more brutally honest and at times, hilarious insights into his career and life with Toto. We talk about the singers, the record labels, the current musical climate and plenty more. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did conducting it.
Special thanks to Don and Ron Higgins for their tireless work in transcribing the interview.

What's up!
You there you old bag?

(laughs) How are you mate?
We finally, actually talk on the telephone. I hear the voice now.

Yeah, exactly. Yours too, how are you?
Good to talk to you mate. I'm fucking great. Top of the world actually.

Fantastic! I can't believe that we… I don't think we've ever done an interview have we?
No never.

How did we let that oversight happen? [Well, in fact, it turns out I did do a shorter Feature-Interview some time back. Check it out.]
You know what man, I guess the timing's right now.

I've been looking forward to it!

Yeah, me too!
I don't usually look forward to interviews. I figure you're not going to ask me where'd I get the name Toto.

I'll skip over the basics.
Yeah, please. It's boring and everybody already knows the answer to it anyway. Let's get into the nitty gritty shit that you want to get into.

Yeah, absolutely.
No subject is taboo. Just bring it on.

Ok, ok, we'll do that. Tell me though, what are you doing right this moment?
I'm walking through my home, I have a glass of good Italian Chianti, waiting for my wife to bring home dinner so I can eat after we're done. My daughter's got her mother's dog staying here at the house. My son's in rehearsal with his band. My wife's out and I'm just chillin'.

Great! How old is your son now?

Wow! What music is he playing?
I would say modern melodic rock. He just joined another heavy band so he's got a couple of things going.

Good on him.
He's going to play with me at the NAMM show Thursday night at the Guitar Player Magazine event Steve Vai is hosting.

Oh great!
I'm going to play a tune and he's going to get to play one of his tunes. Bissonette, Dave Garfield and Larry Carlton... You know that's going to be fun. And then get back into rehearsals and go back on the road again. Now that Simon and Dave are back again.

How's Simon doing?
He's doing much better. He's still recovering, a really tough year for him.

What happened to him? What exactly happened to him?
You know he has a pre-existing condition in his lower intestinal area. He got an infection in his body and other shit started to go wrong and the genetic thing his mom had he has to watch himself. He gets stressed, overworked, undersleep. Undersleep is not a word is but if he doesn't catch up with his rest he'll come down with something. And it kicked his ass. He had to stop working.

You're looking forward to NAMM. Is that a good thing to go to - is it still the #1 event?
Well you know we do it every year, it's the National Association of Musical Merchants. It's the guys they pick up from around the world and everybody shows off the new gear for 2004. And all the endorsees and different companies make their appearance. So I get paid, get royalties off like my guitar and I have a lot of other people that I support. And it's a big event, everybody shows up. People from around the world come and there are a lot of different shows, concerts at night. During the day you can't walk three feet without somebody wanting a picture or autograph or something. People come from around the world just to kind of stare at you. It's kind of unnerving really.

Yeah I'd love to go onetime….
Yeah it's going to be great. Steve Vai hosting, Satriani's on it, John Schofield, Vernon Reid. Pretty eclectic rockers. Everybody gets up and does their tunes and the house band is really killer. It's always a good hang.

Yeah, and everyone speculates whether Eddie's going to turn up or not.
Eddie was at my house last night he's not turning up at the NAMM show. The last time he did that it was a disaster.

Yeah, last year. It didn't go too well did it?
I didn't see him. I tried to go find him and he had left 'cause he got all freaked out. You've got to ask Eddie, Eddie questions. I'm privy to stuff I'm not supposed to talk about.

I understand.
All I know is, he's in great shape and I've heard the new music and it's incredible. What they're going to plug into that & who they're going to plug into that I'll let him answer.

I'm not going to ask you any stuff on the record.
That's cool. He's my bro. I'm just making a comment that it's not for me to be the one that lets it all out.

Absolutely mate, I agree.
But I know that, like I said, I've heard the music, it's incredible.

Can't wait to hear it.
You will, soon enough.

So when are we going to hear some new Toto stuff? What's the plan?
Well we worked really hard last year and we're going back out again. See the thing is, it's the world that we live in now. The world is not waiting for the next Toto record as far as a massive scale. We make our living on tour. You know the days of getting three million dollars to do a record are way behind. Nobody gets that anymore unless you're Bruce Springsteen. Even Bruce's sales are down. I mean overall compared to what he normally does …usual ten million. We live in a world where, face it, downloading and DVD copying, people don't have the money to spend. They don't have the disposable income. And now we are looking at concerts that cost fifty to one hundred bucks. In some cases, two hundred dollars a ticket. I mean people don't have that kind of money so they're very careful how they spend it. And you know the world economy is all fucked up.

Very much so.
So we're going to do a record assuming that we all get along. We had a little bit of a falling out in recent years and it looked rather dire for a minute there.

You did! Did you really?
Yeah but without getting into the gruesome details of it, you spend enough time on the road, people get sick and money's involved. We had a meeting last week and we aired all of our differences, so not do this anymore?
Get all of our shit out and talk about it. Start the year fresh or we could walk. We decided to hang in there. There were some miscommunications, and the right hand not talking to the left hand and bad feelings erupted out of lack of communication, as it often does. You know we needed to, as brothers, sit down in a room, in a neutral area and get it all out. We realized most of this shit both sides were pissed off about were misunderstandings on reality.

OK, that's good.
We all hugged and kissed and said we're going to go out, you know, I'm writing songs. I mean I got eight or nine pieces myself. I know Dave's got some stuff. We haven't really gotten into the crux of mean writing. And that requires time. We don't want to just throw out another fucking record, go out and tour again. Like we did last time. Shit, I'll never understand why everybody was so mad at us for doing that.

Which is this?
It wasn't greeted universally as a positive thing.

Is this the covers record?
Uh huh. Did that for fun.
Everybody's done a covers record. We didn't think we'd get more intense negative feedback. They said we couldn't write songs anymore, we sold out. I find it hard to read all this stuff. I don't really go onto the message boards and stuff; I don't have the time to do it. People send me snippets. Maybe I'll sneak in and have a look. See what people are saying. Sometimes I scratch my head and sometimes I say, well, I can see their point, I can did it. I can dig negative criticism.
But when it just gets mean spirited. It's not really…it's destructive more than anything.

There's a difference isn't there?
There is a total difference. You can make your point without being an asshole. Sometimes it gets like that. One over zealous fan can trash a message board. Somebody told me that they closed down our message board because some lunatic was on there. I don't know much about that, I check in to see what the news is, to see what's going on. I don't necessarily go through like a 900 page message board thing. I don't really…sometimes it pisses me off and makes me feel like shit. There's no point in me feeling like that. Everybody has a right to their opinion, good or bad but some people start slamming each other and it has nothing to do with the band. You know that's not good, that's not what it's all about. I'm sure you've had to deal with that on your website.

Sadly so, actually yeah….more than I'd like.
It only takes one asshole to keep lots of people out.
Some people love the attention. The internet is an anonymous thing. You can make up some silly name for yourself and go on there and just fuck with anybody just for the sake it. We're not supposed to universally love bands…..There's been a lot of misunderstanding about who and what we are, and what kind of people we are. We're just humans like everybody else and we have feelings. If somebody says, you're a fucking c***, you're an asshole, I hate your shit, you're the worst guitar player in the world, your band is gay, you should stop playing. You go, hey, that's one guy's opinion…you know what I'm saying…It's like, OK, fine, don't listen to the shit. There's plenty of music out there.

I was going to ask you, about Toto and the perception by…, not the fans but some of the wider public.
They hate us.

Why do you think… you guys as individual people are such accomplished musicians.
You know what it is… That's the problem. You never see any mainstream rock critics, never give anyone with a speck of proficiency any good reviews because they're all failed musicians. All of us remind them that they'll never be able to play like that, ever. That's why they like the White Stripes, the Strokes and all that.

The White Stripes (laughs).
And then they go for the lyrical angle, which is cool. Because some people are poets, they're not accomplished musicians for lack of a better term. And you know it's always been that way. But you know they can't hurt us, 27 years later, we're still going on the road doing arenas. We go where people like us. In the United States, and basically every English speaking country we do terrible. And the perception is that we're dead or we're not selling. But we had the 7th biggest grossing tour in the world last year, much to most people's chagrin. 600,000 tickets sold in 3 months. We were up there with the Stones, Springsteen, Simon & Garfunkle and people are scratching their heads going, “How the fuck did these guys sell that many tickets?” And so we were scratching our heads going, “Damn!” There's nothing wrong with being attached to something that's successful.

So some people thought, well that's kind of gay, you guys, you didn't really go out and play your set or whatever. It wasn't our audience. It was an overall audience. So we got to play in front of a lot of people that dug our shit and now will go out and buy our records. We've seen a spike in catalogue sales.

Have you really?
Yeah! And then people come back and dig the shows. Like they'll come back… We came out and we kicked ass at those shows under the face of intense subversion. With Page going down, Simon going down. I was out there with half a band, but we hung in there, never missed a show. And we made some of the greatest friends I've ever made in my life.

I mean like the INXS guys are like my soul brothers. Man I love them. I've become an honorary Australian. They did some voodoo ceremony. I love those guys. Every single one of them. And we're the most unlikely… I remember Timmy Farris like doing an interview in the UK while we were out. They go, “Why would you play with Toto?” Really great guys, we have a lot in common. Three brothers in the band, they lost one of their key guys, we lost one of ours. And we come from the same era. They've been together since they were kids, we've been together since we were kids. We have so much in common it was scary.

We don't play the same kind of music but we appreciate each other. Hold on a second, my phone's dying here, hold on.

Hello. Hello. Are you there?

OK, good, sorry. Fucking phone died instantly, I don't know why. Anyway, where was I? Talking about the INXS guys, we had so much in common. And then there are people that you think you wouldn't have…Huey [Lewis] came out, he's an old friend from like 1980. And you know it was just a love-fest out there. John Miles, I mean there was great bands, we hung every night. Everybody had a big hang after the show. It became a family it has to be. One bad apple out there can spoil the groove for everybody. There were 400 people on that tour.

I mean that was… an 80 piece orchestra and shit, it was intense. The production was over the top. I look at it as a very positive experience. Not to mention lucrative.

Yeah, you were saying…
You know we had a lot of time to sit around and shoot the shit. We were supposed to really write out there. But since Simon and Dave went down, what the fuck am I supposed to do? You can't write a record without the key guys. And our intention is to write a really…a great record. Now what that is, has yet to be determined.
Don't expect a record real soon, but we are working on it. I mean we're all writing with our old writing partners. Randy Goodrum is coming over tomorrow. He's in town.

Randy's cool.
We're going to try to write…we've already got a couple of things in the can that are really good. But you know, I think we might want to stretch out a little bit, be a little bit more musical, a little more experimental. Because top-40 radio ain't going to play our music anyway, we could write fucking Sgt. Peppers and they wouldn't play it. Just because it's Toto and we're middle-age guys.

You know if you're over 30 you can't get on the radio. If you're over 40 forget it. Andrew I wish I could tell you the kind of record we're going to make. I mean, everybody has their own idea of what we should make. People expect Toto IV or whatever. How can you go back and recreate that? If I could do that, I would have done it. It's very difficult to just magically conjure up images. We've touched upon things, there's a style that we have when we really put our minds to it but I don't know what that's…I know we want to make the big production.

The big production. All the percussion instruments, the big vocals, really cool solo sections and stuff and really go to our strongest suit. I've gone back and started listening to little bits and pieces of some of our records to try... and my son has become obsessed with Toto.

Oh, Really!?
I mean he's playing…I'm getting into his car, he's driving along all the sudden he whips Hydra on or Isolation. I'm going, I haven't heard this shit in 20 years. He's like, “No Dad, me and all my pals are really into this shit.” Come on. To the point where he calls one of his bands Hydra.

Oh Really?
Oh yeah. I go, “Dude, you don't want to associate yourself so close. “ He goes, “Dad, do you think anybody my age knows what the Hydra album is?” I had to go, “Well I guess your right there.” So but you know, I mean it's just a matter of…the record business doesn't want to promote music like that. They want disposable shit they can hail and discard and then get onto the next.
Now we're looking at the conglomerate, there's only going to be 2 record companies and they're going to fold because all the retail chains are going down. Tower Records went under for God's sake! That was like part of my life, you can't go into any place and find any old records, they don't stock them anymore. They don't stock like CD versions of my favorite '70s records. You have to go to or itunes is stating to get hip to a lot of it. They have a lot of our stuff on there. But we're going through a transitional period in the business where the whole scene is going to change. We're just in the middle of it. Back in the '20s when radio came out all the sheet music publishers freaked out. Well there goes our business, nobody is going to buy sheet music, they can hear it on the radio and learn it.

And then when cassettes came out, it was the same thing. You can record any song on a cassette you want to, they said people won't by records anymore, but they did. It's on a new media. We're in a transitional period and people are going to have to be patient. And we're very lucky to be free agents right now rather than hooked up with some major label. Although Sony has been courting us to come back and do a record, they made a pretty decent offer.

Is that right! Now why would…?
It's ironic that there's only 2 labels left, EMI and Sony. That's it. EMI wasn't good to us so what the fuck. Where you gonna go, it's a one off deal.

Two questions. I want to ask you about EMI but why would Sony come back to you guys?
Our back catalogue is ripping. I mean they put these 'Greatest Hits Part 9' records out we have nothing to do with. Dodgy album covers and whatever selection of songs they want to put on it. They own the masters so the can reconfigure them any way they want. They still have to pay us but we have no say in it. What they're finding is that, like, you know, they're released, they still…it goes gold here, it goes platinum here and we're just on the road. We're not even on the label anymore. And the thing about these 1 hit artists is that there's no back catalogue. Their back catalogue is 50 to 60% of their income. So us old farts as the like to refer to us are making them a lot of money.




Yeah, OK. So they've got all these new artists but basically they come and go overnight.
They come and…one song. Rap artists. One hit. One record. I mean there's a few standouts, I mean Eminem. I dig Eminem, I thought that shit's cool. You know, I have teenage kids, how can I not…, I'm more aware than most people that are 46 years old about what's happening now musically because I got teenagers and I listen to their music, they listen to mine. For that it's a positive thing. I can't sit there and go like, “Well that sucks, that sucks.” Because I'm not supposed to like that music. I'm the bad… I'm the anti-Christ, I'm the old guy. Their music is supposed to piss me off just like rock and roll pissed off my parents. It wouldn't be…so that's why I've let go of all that “fuck everybody else.” I had so much anger and so much bitterness in me at one point.
I was anesthetizing myself, I wouldn't feel anything. Started to suffer in a lot of different areas. Had a little health scare that fucking woke my ass back up.

Yeah, tell us about that.
A little bit, well you stay on the road long enough, 9 months a year for 27 years.

Can't be good for you.
It's not that. Trying to live a life like you're still 22 years old and you're 46, 45 years old and you get depressed and shit. It's very lonely. You go from 10,000 people screaming for you to an empty hotel room and you're away from home and things happen. My doctor started putting me on anti-depressants, you get Zanex, you get tweaked. I was drinking hard liquor, way too much of it and I started to suffer.
My playing. I didn't even realize it, but you never fucking know. You think everything's cool until you have to take a hard look at yourself. I had problems with my playing on the Live from Amsterdam record. I saw it for the first time at a friend's house over New Year's. Hadn't seen it in 6 months. I refused to watch it because it was painful for me to watch because I could see that I wasn't 100% there, knowing myself.



It wasn't as horrible as I beat myself up for when I first saw it but it's certainly not my best work. They caught us on a bad night, it was the end of a long tour; they made us rehearse all day long. I was burnt and I was really sick. I had like a flu. It wasn't the flu but I was just sick, puffy and weird looking. I wasn't there.
You can look at yourself and go, I'm not there. I'm not in that moment. Where there were like 100 other shows that were great. When you only record one show, you're stuck with it. You can't fix it live. You can fix a note, you can't fix it live. It wasn't a strong night for any of us, but least of all me. But, you know, sometimes you got to live with that shit. It was a wake up call.
Then I got really sick. I got hepatitis A from eating bad food somewhere in Europe. I was in Tahiti and it became full blown. My eyes were orange, my piss was orange, I was sick, I lost like 24 pounds. And I still had to work. And I became really depressed because I had to stop everything. I just cleaned my whole self out, I was fucked up. I started to lose sight of why I do this. The love for it, the fire. I came back to finding out that I really do love it and I really do care about it. I'm the luckiest mother fucker in the world and I cannot blow this like most people do.
I was just gonna…I just felt like my foot was nailed to the floor and I was running around in circles. It's real easy to lose sight. People don't understand this life. They think it's all limousines, the beautiful people life and everybody wipes their ass with hundred dollar bills. That's not the case. It's hard work. And it really stresses you out. The loneliness. You go from the highest highs to the lowest lows. You can't just go back to your room after a show, read a book, go to bed. There has to be a wind down. And with the traveling on the bus all night long, interrupted sleep.
You wake up at four in the morning, you get off the bus, you go to the hotel, the hotel rooms aren't ready, you can't get any food because the restaurant's not open. Or you miss breakfast completely and then they don't have food until like dinner. You just kind of lose yourself. Some people are better at it that others.
I was always, Mr. Party after the gig, woo-hoo, let's hang. How may shots I can do before I pass out. I'm just too old for it now. You're 20 years old, you can go out and party. When you're fucking 45 years old, that's it.
So I had to catch myself in the ugliness of what could be. Find my heart and soul and my passion for it all over again. And after a couple of months of complete cleanliness, getting together, getting healthy, man, I kept my weight off, practicing guitar again and finding my writing thing again. I'm excited about it. I'm appreciating all the people around me that matter, my family, the kids, wife, my friends.
People I know are dropping, man they're getting sick and dying. It's a myth that you can keep going and keep going. I mean nobody has the constitution of my man Keith [Richards], you know what I mean?

That's a tough one to chase after. I love to hang, you know, and I still have a couple of beers now and then. I'm not like a fucking saint. I didn't have to go to rehab or nothing like that. I just didn't realize that I was a mess. I kept anesthetizing myself and I'd feel fine, or so I thought. I'm human man.
It's a rock and roll cliché but there's a reason why people keep going down the same path. If you're lucky enough to catch yourself then you can hang in and fix it without having to go through all the big announcements. “Oh, I'm never going to have a drink again.” Just don't need to be doing tequila shots, taking pills and all this other shit.
I found myself thinking that if my doctor was giving it to me, it must be cool. But that's a big myth. I wasn't a big pill freak, I wasn't taking handfuls of the shit. I was never clean, I always had something coursing through my veins.

So at my age you have to get a grip on that, before it completely destroys you. My attitude was fucked up. I wasn't an asshole but just like, didn't have time for anybody. Wanted to be by myself.

I can understand that though…
Well, you know. I apologize to anyone if they saw me at a bad time. Like I said, it's not that uncommon for cats like me that have been on the road for as long as I had, 27 years on the road, man.
I stopped a lot of real bad shit but then I thought, well this isn't bad, my doctor gave it to me. I can still drink a lot. I'm cool. Realizing that if you take a pill in the morning makes the hang over go away so you think you're OK. So it's a big lie. But basically I'm healthy, I feel good, I got the gleam back in my eyes, I'm motivated and I want to do personal best from here out. In the studio I wasn't too bad but on the road.
At home I wasn't like that, but it was just on the road. I'd come home and be a completely different person. Because I was up early…But you get on the road, you wake up at four, you take a shower, you eat, you go to the gig and it's on again. Every day. Every day, for like a year at a time.

That's got to be hard.
You wake up in a hotel room you don't even know what city you're in, you don't even know in some cases, what country am I in? Really, you can't get a hold of anybody because of the time differences. While you're still crawling to the mini bar, it's a dangerous thing.

So this tour coming up, you're doing things a little bit differently, or…
Well dude, we're going to places we haven't been. So basically we're pulling stuff, we're adding stuff but we don't have a lot of time to rehearse because we're implementing these new technical people. So that makes it a little more difficult and plus people are dealing with some other issues that they're dealing with, not me. And we're going to do some gigs, we're going to some really out of the way places.

In the meantime we're, everybody's writing and pulling it together and I figure we're just going to be… what we want to do is like, Ok, book us a couple of weeks worth of gigs here and there so we make the pay and then we said we'd write for a couple of weeks and then we go and record for a month and then we would take a look at what we got. We are going to really scrutinize the material. We're going to write like 50 tunes and go, “Is this really the best shit we got?” And you know, stylistically we're going to pay tribute to our past but with keeping it in the present. I'd like to see us do longer, more adventurous pieces of music than just the 4-minute extravaganza.

Yeah, OK.
I mean, there will be some of that, of course. A good tune is a good tune. It'll get cut. But we're really going to scrutinize ourselves, each other. And play stuff for people and say, “What do you think?” You know. We're never going to please everybody. No matter what the fuck we do we're never going to please them. And so we have to please, we have to look at ourselves and go, “I think this is really a great record.”
You know the whole thing about, like, OK we got four months to do a great record and then we have tours booked. This is as long as we got to do it, this is the budget we have, well now everybody's got home studios and stuff like that, and we're not signed to a label per se. There's no pressure for us to do that. We can't go back and just keep going back to the same places without a new record. We're not going to do that.
We're going to take this tour to places we've never been before. Who haven't seen it yet. And in the meantime get our chops back up with like who's really in the fucking band and who's not. We're going to have those issues too. It becomes very difficult for me because I'm the only guy that's never missed a gig and been there from day 1.
See, and I got to front the band. And I'm fine with that but I need to be frosty in my head, my heart and my soul and body to do that job the best I can. And to play my ass off.
I always try to play the best I could but inspiration's inspiration. I can play good but it doesn't necessarily mean it's inspired.
I have harsh critics, people who think, ah man the catalogues faded, Luke doesn't have the shit anymore. My answer to them is fuck you man, why don't you fucking do what I do, for this long and be under the hammer, and under the gun and under the criticism.
A lot of cats are armchair guys. They sit in the room, they make records and they're very critical of everybody else. In some cases, I'm sure many people go, “I can play better than that guy. Why don't I have that gig?” But they don't understand the politics of it all. And the actual physicality of it all. And just the wear and tear, the stress.
My skin's real thick. They told me I suck from the first record to now. Other musicians that I respect, my peer group, people that are really my friends, some are the best musicians in the world, the give us a lot of props. They give us a lot of support and they come to town when they can, they come to the shows. I play records for them, “What do you think of this, what do you think of that?” They'll tell me.

You've only got to look at the list of albums you've played on over the years to look at how many people want you involved.
Well, you know, that's the thing of our band. It's so funny, they say that we suck but if you look at the discography, how come those great artists wanted us to play on their records? Because we suck? I don't think so.
I mean, we became the poster boys for 'this is a band you're supposed to hate.' If there was a critic's school, the first thing you'd learn on day 1 is, 'this is a band you have to hate.' Years and years and years ago during the Toto IV tour we had a guy come out, he was writing for Rolling Stone… Timothy Schmidt was out with us singing background after he left the Eagles. He came to check out what Timothy was doing and I ended up getting high with him…and I got it out of him… “Like what is it about you guys. I'm a nice guy, we're hanging out in my room, fucking getting drunk and doing whatever”.
The guy's now the president of a major label. Now I'm not going to say who it is because it'll get me in trouble. But he's the president of a major label, he started out as a little puke writing for Rolling Stone, he started telling me, “Look to be honest with you, I think some of your stuff's cool but we're not allowed to write good stuff about you. You're the band to hate.” Because we're really good musicians they thought that we were put together by some corporate people.
They didn't realize that we were a high school band, we just happened to be really good players that could actually, …that were schooled enough to read and be able to do stuff. To be able to create on the spot and play really well in an era when that actually mattered. And we had hit records that they were mystified by. They thought that we had no soul because our records were slick and polished. Well we actually sat there and played that. There was no computers to fix shit back then.
You had to get a performer. So if it was played well and it was in tune, we layered the vocals. We sounded so good they hated us. That was when the punk thing was just happening: The Clash, The Sex Pistols. We were at the end of the '70s. We were holding on to what we dug. People we wanted to sound like was like Steely Dan except with a harder edge. From that point 'till now…
Then we won the Grammy. That was great but we told Rolling Stone magazine to fuck off. They wanted to put us on the cover.
They had been trashing us for so long we said OK this is our chance to get even. Fuck you Juan Leonard, he's just going to trash us anyway. And the guy tweaked into the sun. No one had ever turned down the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Which by hindsight I wish we hadn't done. But at the same time, we made our statement and then we won the Grammy and they didn't even write about it.

Oh yeah. We're banned from that magazine forever. Now they put Britny Spears and the American Idols on the cover. I mean they used to be this big convert, underground magazine. Now it's like fucking teen magazine.

I haven't bought a copy in years.
They have no clout, nothing. It don't mean anything anymore.

Now I know this will get you fired up, but their top 100 guitarists of al time list was an absolute embarrassment wasn't it?
Well, you know, that was a joke. I think they just did that to piss everybody off. Because look at the people…Eddie Van Halen was #70.

I know…Hello!!
Jack White is #12. I've got nothing against the White Stripes, they are…he's got some talent. The drummer's bad, just bad. It's hard for me to criticize guys like that. They're making their statement, they're doing what they're doing now. I have no idea if the guy's a nice guy, he's an asshole, that he can actually, really play.
He plays some interesting stuff. But they need a bass player desperately. That's not for me to criticize. I'm only going to talk about myself because that I know. That's just…we made some errors along the way. But we were very misunderstood and we'll never be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you know what I mean? It's run by all those people. You'd be really surprised who actually makes the choice. You have to pay to get into that thing. It's like having a star on Hollywood Boulevard: 50 grand.

So it's not really based on merit. That's why you see so many people being overlooked, that really should be there.

Van Halen this year didn't get a …
No because they refused to play it again. They're not going to play with Roth again. I can't speak for them but I'm saying they want it all tied up into a nice, neat little package. They'll eventually get in. They deserve to get in.

Of course they do.
But, you know, it'll be when they have another hit record. And there is a Van Halen band attack. That's probably another reason, there's not another Van Halen band attack right now. Let's face it, the name of the band is Van Halen. That means Eddie and Alex. The singers have come and gone, hopefully they'll pull it back together again. It's not fair, there's a lot of bands…once…I know they're thinking, once they let a Journey or a band like that in, who deserves to be in it, they'll have to let all the rest of us in. You know what I mean?

Come on, we won album of the year, I've got 5 Grammys on my shelf, 2 are outside of the band, one was two years ago so I'm still relevant in the 2000's. But guys like us, if I live to be 80 they might say, well he's a good guitar player and give me some little dodgy, posthumous award after I kack!

Great! (laughing)
But I don't need that to pat me on the back because it's not based on any reality, it's based on a popularity contest by the same assholes that write and say shit about us and hail the other stuff.
Let's face it, the famous David Lee Roth quote about Elvis Costello, it's like the critics love him because they all look like him. He said that in the '70s, which I thought was one of the most brilliant statements I've ever heard. It's like if one of those mother fuckers come up and pick up my guitar and play better than me, then I'll take their criticism with some sort of value.
But they're not musicians, that's what's wrong with the music business, it's not run by musicians. Its run by fucking lawyers and promotion people that wouldn't know…It's like the famous quote from Amadeus. A music critic goes, “There's too many notes in this.” And Mozart goes, “Which notes don't you like?” You know? They don't have any credibility. They can have their, Kurt Loder's of the world. The guy writes about what other people do. He calls himself a rock writer. Anybody can write the Tina Turner story if you sit down with Tina and clock it all and write it down. I guarantee I could write a better book than he could make a record. But there's no point in throwing shit at anybody because it bounces off and ends up sticking to me.
I'm the asshole for calling everybody out on it. I don't think I'm the best guitar player, matter of fact, I'm very self deprecating. I don't think I'm that good at all, I think that my best shit is yet to come. That's what keeps you motivated. As a musician you never wake up one day and go, OK now I know everything, I don't have to do it anymore. Les Paul is eighty something years old, he's still out there kicking it. I hope I get to be like him.

Absolutely! Why not?
Nobody's the best at anything. They're just insane. Ask a blind person who the best looking chick in the room is, he'll tell you the one that feels the best. You know what I mean? It's not based on face value.

That's a good quote.
It's the truth. They listen on another level. They feel on a different level. People just want everything black or white. There is a gray area. And most people base their opinions on what other people think, not what they think. If so and so says this is cool, what kid doesn't want to wear the coolest clothing, be into the coolest music? They learn to like what everybody else likes.

When we were kids we were listening to everything man. How many radio stations… there's top-40 radio… there is no alternative, real alternative music. When I was a kid, FM radio was like they played Aretha, they played Miles, they played Hendrix, they played like, a Led Zeppelin album came out, they'd play the longest cut on the record. You'd sit around, you'd really get some schooling about what's happening out there. Now it's just, maybe there's some underground radio stations here and there but it's not mainstream. Because it doesn't sell units.
I mean, music is an art form, now it's just business. You don't have to be good. We can fix it. I own a recording studio, some of the biggest artists in the last 10 years have been in there. All these new young people…They just go in there and play it the best they can, they go home, and it magically sounds incredible the next day. Cat stays up all night and makes it all right. And they have an attitude about it. “Well man that's old school shit”. I still believe in sitting in a room and playing until you get the shit right. That's the way I am, that's the way we all are.

A lot of what you said is mirrored by the guys in Journey – they feel the same way.
We all came up together. I have nothing but extreme respect. Neal Schon is a brilliant guitar player. Great writer. And a really cool guy. We've been friends, we don't hang out all the time but I'm always glad to see Neal, man we've always got big hugs for each other. He's always been very cool to me, said nice things about me and, you know, I admire him as a musician. He doesn't get enough love. You know what I mean?

They're in the same position aren't they? As are a lot of other bands.
Somewhat, yeah. They kill it in the United States but they don't mean anything anywhere else. We don't sell shit in the United States but we cook and mean something in Asia and Europe. So I mean, you can't always have it all. I'm really happy to be working though. I'm a working musician, I working, I'm hooked up man, I'm happy. People out there dig it or they don't. I mean your site, look at your site. It's an alternative site for people that like the kind of music that we all like.

I mean, I have a jazz/fusion side of me that put some people out but like, you know, I love that part. And then I come back to the other side with Toto and I'm fresh, I got new ideas and I got that shit out of my system. I'll always be that way. I enjoy it. It makes me feel good. It's not going to sell a million units but I don't give a shit. It's still music from my soul. Can't, like once again, can't please everybody. Some people think that's the only shit I should be doing. Ask one person, ask anybody, you're going to get a different opinion. So I just have to follow my heart, you know why? Because it's cool. Is it the best thing I've ever done? I don't think I've ever tried anything I've done, is the best thing I've ever done.

It's all hind-site. If something's really successful people think it's great. It doesn't mean it's great it means the perception is, it must be great if millions of people are buying it. Millions of people buy shit too, doesn't mean it's great. And that shit is subjective.





What happened with the deal with EMI?
I was a one off deal.

We were looking to license the record. We wanted to do something for our 25th anniversary and we didn't have... You know I was out on the road with Larry Carlton for a year. Paich was producing Bob's record. Simon was doing fusion records with Derek Sherinian, doing his jazz stuff. Mike was doing sessions.
Bobby was out doing whatever Bobby does. Classic rock stuff. Makes appearances with other people and stuff like that. Which is Ok to me as long as he doesn't use the name Toto. We kind of got that shit straightened out.
And then there's other assholes out there. Fergie, he's out there fucking booking like he's the lead singer of Toto. Singing 'Rosanna', 'Africa', 'Hold the Line'. Like he actually had something to do with that. In the United States he's burning opportunities for us because they go, 'Well we already have Toto'. What do you mean? You didn't have Toto. 'No we had Toto, the guy, the singer was here.' It was Fergie. He's not just out there singing the songs off of Isolation. He was passing himself off as something he is not. And that fucking pisses me off.

That must be frustrating.
And when Bobby was doing it before, when he was out of the band, we had like a restraining order against the guy and shit.

I never knew that.
Joe never did that. Joseph was way cool. I'm really happy for his success. I haven't heard his new record yet but I heard it's pretty good.

Yeah, it is actually.
And you know, I have nothing but respect for Joe. He really got his life together again, he's happy, he's doing [film] scores. It's what he wants to do, he wants to be around the kids, he doesn't want to go on the road anymore. Steve Porcaro doesn't want to go on the road anymore but he's doing scores, TV scores, I had lunch with him today.

Oh did you?
Played me some great shit. He's got an album's worth of material I told him, play the shit for people man. He's got different singers on it and stuff but it's still Steve Porcaro. It's really melodic, almost Gabriel-esque with his flare to it you know. Should put this fucking shit out, people would eat it up bro.

He's a great singer.
He didn't get any of us to come in and do a solo or just doll it up a little bit, it's there. Like I said, I'm not enemies with everybody's that's not in our band anymore but I only get pissed off at guys that used us in a wrong way. I was always cool with Fergie until he started going out and being Mr. Toto. Pissed me right the fuck off. Anybody can go out and sing our songs but don't pass yourself off as Mr. Toto. Because people don't really know what we look like and they believe, you know, face value. Like he did this big TV show in America, Regis morning show, like millions of people, and they introduced him as Toto.

And then he comes out and sings 'Hold the Line'. Badly.

Oh, no.
Yeah, so you know, there's a reason. I not just like some kind of guy that flies off the handle hating people. It's not in my nature, I'm really a nice guy. Ask anybody that really knows me. There's people that don't really know me, that maybe met me and asked me a stupid question and I flew off the handle. You know, I'm sorry about that. I apologize to anybody that I was a drag to. Like, you know, I take this shit seriously. They've been my bros for 30 years. We put a lot of time and effort into this.

We still keep this shit close to home. When I go on my solo tours I don't do Toto songs. And I have every right to if I wanted to. But why would I go sing 'Hold The Line'? I didn't sing it. I played on it. I could legally and in my heart go out and sing any song that I wrote and sang. But I don't do that because that takes away from what the Toto thing is when we go on the road. Why pay for the arena when you can fucking see it in the club?
My solo tours are you know, 1000 seats a night. And now he's passing himself off, that's not right. I wish him well with his solo project, I wish him well with his stuff, you know. I don't hate him as a person. I think he's jive for pulling that one off. And you know he has no right to do that.

No, I agree. That's fair enough.
That one album he did with you is still one of my favourites though!

It was the most painful thing we've ever done in the world.

I mean we were mixing the tracks while he was still trying to gag out a vocal. It was painful, punching one word in at a time. I wish we had Pro Tools back then bro.
You know, and like he was good for like two nights in a row and then he'd get sick, he's get sores all over his face, he was so nervous and he'd get all freaked out and shit. Just doing the back flips and shit. You know, once we lost Bobby, we lost the integrity of the band and we were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. That's why we kept going through them and going through them.
Joseph was great until he got fucked up and he'll be the first one to tell you that. Love Joe, funny guy. The first tour, the Fahrenheit tour he was brilliant. Sang great every night. And then, you know, you can't be a lead singer and get high. Like freezing your vocal chords and eventually, you know, you fuck yourself up. I mean, I'm not trying to go back and dig up some old shit that he's already gone way past, 15 years ago. He's not like that at all anymore. It was a rough spot in the road and in that era everybody was doing it. I was doing it too. Not make it seem like I'm some innocent guy in all of this. We were all fucking getting high. It was the thing to do in the '80s. But you can't be the lead singer of a band, staying up all night doing that shit, destroying …It would be like me taking a sand blaster to my fingers every night and then trying to play. You can't do it.

You've gone through a few vocalists but I still don't understand what happened with that other…the dude you did 2 tracks with on the greatest hits album.
Oh that was the record company's idea. We were out a singer. We actually…check this out. This is a real story. When Joseph left, we went, what the fuck are we going to do? So we started writing some tunes. Dave came up with, Dave and Joseph actually wrote 'Going Home'. So we said, we could pop you back in. See what happens. Singing somewhere on the road. So we get him to come in and he sang but it was a struggle. It was a struggle to get going. And we got what we could out which is on the Toto XX record, that's the version you hear. And we turned it into the record company and they said 'Nah, that's shit. We need to…we got a guy for you'.
And so I'm like, Oh I can't wait. And this is what they came up with for us. Jeff Porcaro was a very strong force. Jeff really had more to do with choosing our alternative lead singers than Dave and I or Mike did, you know what I mean? Jeff was like… When Bobby left, I wanted Eric Martin.

Is that right?
Me and Paich wanted to get Eric Martin to be our singer. I thought he'd be perfect. I loved his voice. Jeff didn't dig his vibe for some reason. I think he got drunk and he was a little silly and Jeff was like, this super cool guy, didn't dig the silliness of it all.
It's not Eric's fault, the guy got a fucking buzz on, was not his fault. And there was one thing. We tried to get him to sing their song, 'Could you be love'…not you be love, 'Could this be Love?' that was on the Fahrenheit record. And that was like his audition song and there was a very specific way that Dave wanted to sing it, since he wrote the song.
And he just didn't hear it that way. So he kept trying to change it, he wouldn't sing what Dave was singing. Jeff was there and was like, nah, he isn't the right guy.
He kept pretty much backing to Fergie. So we said OK, Jeff, he was always our spiritual guru and our big brother. To all of us. So we went with that. As it turned out, he was very difficult but we made a pretty good record.
But all of our shit was done, we were trying to implement him into this, and it was very nerve-racking for him. The myth about Bobby singing the whole record and then replacing every song with Fergie, is just that, a myth. Bobby sang on about 3 or 4 things and it was really hard because he wasn't in good health, and then he wouldn't show up, he was in a bad way. Like I said, he's nothing like that anymore either or he wouldn't be in the band.
People have these crazy ideas, it's like hearsay, myths about our band. I'd love to clear some of that shit up too man you can ask me any of that. But anyway, long story short…the Byron bummer.





The record company brings this guy in. The same scenario. Actually, let me go chronologically.
After Fergie, we went on tour and the cat, we got through the tour, we were writing the next record and he started to come in and try to sing the record that would become Fahrenheit, he just couldn't sing in the studio. He just could not sing in tune to save his life. Freaking himself out because he knew he wasn't cutting it, so he'd psyche himself out that much more.
And we finally said, look, this isn't working, we can't do this anymore, we got to have somebody that's at least half way as good as we are at playing our own instruments.
My vocals didn't take that long, even Dave's vocals didn't take long. Dave was singing more than he wanted to. Now he doesn't sing, he doesn't want to. It's too much work. But so, he left and once again Eric Martin came back up again. We didn't call him but me and Dave were going, remember this cat, Eric Martin?
I think it was right before Mr. Big happened. We didn't call him, but me and Dave were going, Eric Martin, he's the right guy. Because he can sing his ass off, he didn't understand some of our phrases but that's not to say that the one time he's going to be like that every time. So me and Dave kept trying to sell Jeff on him again. He said we've got to do this guy Joseph Williams. And I had worked with Joseph. I grew up with him and his brother. Used to play in bands together with Landau and all these guys when we were kids. So I knew the William's brothers. I thought they were incredibly talented. Mark's really talented too, his brother. And obviously they come from good stock, John Williams is the father. Joe came in and Jeff goes, this is the guy.
So we said OK great. He brought in some cool tunes, he was a funny guy. He came in, skinny, looked the part, way into it. Sang his dick off on the record. Painless, it was fun. Go on tour, killer fucking tour. Just ripped it a new ass-hole, he was great every night.

And then, you know, we came back and that was really successful. The album did really well. We had a hit. And we started on The Seventh One record.
Writing was going great. Did the record. The record turned out really good. I really like that record, I'm proud of it. Did really well with it. And then we went on tour, and drug problems crept in.
The first gig we were doing was in Rotterdam for live radio broadcast in front of God knows how many millions of people all across Germany. We were going Joe, don't do that shit until after the gig's over. Sure enough, he did. Came out and sang first song, second song was 'Stop Loving Me'. He started singing it and pipes went. Couldn't even make it utter a sound. It was like…I'm looking at Jeff and I'm going, 'I can't sing that high, think of something. This is going out live.' The beginning of a fucking six month tour and the cat lost his voice. And it never really came back.

Yeah, Ok.
And then he was ostracized. It was a drag. It was a bad vibe.
I felt bad…looking back I feel bad for him now. I love the cat, he's not anything like that, you know he made some poor choices. And he got himself into some trouble with the law and stuff.
So we had to cut him loose. And then we come to the point where like, now what the fuck are we going to do?
So then we tried Bobby in the record. We didn't dig that. That wasn't really feeling right at that time anyway. Because he wasn't really all the way there. He hadn't reached his full bottom yet. As far as like, you know, you hear about somebody who just finally gets it together because he can't get any worse.
And so they go, look we got a guy. Use this guy, we'll stick a ton of money into you, we'll promise you the world. He's a little off the beaten path, maybe you guys need a change of image, blah, blah, blah. Music is changing, you guys aren't being accepted as a hard rock band because radio won't play it anymore because Sony kept putting out nothing but ballads for the radio. We were perceived as some Air Supply kind of band. Which is really a fucking drag. Nothing against those guys. You know, they're soft rock and people that saw us live knew that we were a lot more than that.

Their albums do real well. Radio just would not accept them. Maybe you should get into this dance, whatever the shit that was happening in 1989 to '90.
Well they get this guy and there was like this ridiculous image, over the top. Completely off beat what I would ever think would be right. Jeff was like, maybe we need to do this. We got nothing to lose. They're making us all these promises. We're doing a greatest hits record, we only have to do a couple of songs.
So we wrote a couple of songs.
Dave had a few, I wrote a couple and we got in the studio. We were having a great time, and then you start to find out about what people are really like. The guy never listened to Hendrix or Zeppelin or anything - pretty much the George Michael story. Wearing a little glove, let me get to that later…
Singing in the studio was really hard. I never heard anybody with louder headphones in my life. He had a real pitch problem too.
We worked with James Guthrie who worked with Pink Floyd, and we got these great tracks for what that kind of music was and stuff. Killed the tracks and did what we were supposed to do. We tried to implement this guy into our scene. We'd never seen him perform live. We go to rehearsals and we're going on this tour, the 'Greatest Hits' tour. And he wasn't belting out Bobby's stuff, very few people can. So the guy, he's sitting on his stool in rehearsals, getting through it, it was OK. Singing better in the rehearsal room, as far as pitch and all that stuff. We'd never seen him perform.
So we do all this rehearsal and we go on tour, the first fucking gig and we see the guy putting on his fucking clothes. A little sheriff's badge on, he puts one golf glove on. We're thinking, man that's fucking funny, that's great, man that's a great joke. Hey says, “What are you talking about?” I go, “You're not going to go out there with a fucking glove, that's Michael Jackson's shit.” He said, “No it's not, it's my stuff.” I'm going, you've got to be fucking kidding me. We get on stage and we start the first tune, 'Love Has the Power' and he starts dancing around like fucking Richard Simmons on acid. Some fucking fruity shit going on man. And the crowd is like looking at me and going, something's up. They're looking at him and flipping him the bird telling him to get off the stage. And I'm looking at Jeff Porcaro and he's looking at me going, what the fuck is that? I mean is was unbelievable…He thought he'd come to save the day. Like Christ had come down and blessed us. We get off the gig and we're like, what the fuck is that? We're nuts, we're psycho. You can't do that. He goes, “I'm going to make you all very famous.”
He thought he was the shit, he was hysterical. And I was single, newly single at the time after my first divorce and I was out there for the chicks and every time I got with a chick, he'd try to get with her.

Oh really?
Like cock blocking. I was like dude, you don't do that, you don't even know the rules of the road. Things you do and things you don't do. Me and him didn't get on at all. And it got to the point where it was excruciating. The whole tour was excruciating, to be around him. It was a drag. I'm not saying he's an evil guy, but his ego. He thought he was the shit. He thought he was going to be the biggest star in the world. We were lucky to have him.

Well after Toto he really went on to big things didn't he? (laughs)
Didn't he!

He's probably working in a car wash somewhere.
I don't know what he's doing but obviously it proved wrong. It was disastrous. We basically phased him…as the tour went on he was doing less and less and less to the point where he was basically…That Live in Paris video in 1990, I think he is in for like a half a tune or something like that. We threw all his shit out. It just wasn't right. And then we were like really, what the fuck do we do? I ended up singing so much of the show. Jeff and the cats were, let's fucking do this, let's go make a rock and roll record. Kingdom of Desire.

Man I love that record.
I do too. And a lot of people didn't dig that record.

Nah, it's great.
Fine you lost all the…Seventh One Toto, what does Luke thinks he's running the band. Like it was my choice. Like I was trying to take over or something like that. Like I said, lot's of misinformation. We didn't want to go through putting a 5th guy in.

Yeah, yeah.
It became ridiculous. So we did that. Very proud of that record. Especially because it was Jeffrey's last record.

It's a killer record.
'91 was our last tour, the ship was going down. Before the record even came out. Then brother Jeffery died on us. That was another, what the fuck are we going to do?
We were in a tailspin. We lost our fucking mentor, we lost our guy. The heart and soul of the band. But we had to carry on; we didn't know what to do. We had a tour booked, 40 people on the payroll, 50 people on payroll expecting their families to eat during Christmas. Had we not had the tour already booked, we probably would have broken up right then.

Yeah, really?
Something kept us together, Simon Phillips was the only guy that we called. Couldn't get somebody that tried to sound like Jeff, we needed somebody with a name, and someone Jeff dug. Would bring some integrity and something else to the gig. Simon, Jeff I knew, dug. And he was going to move to L.A. There was a lot of serendipity there. He was going to come here anyway but he never thought, you know he had just gotten divorced, he wanted to leave London and come here and join our band. Do studio shit.

Me and him already had a relationship through playing with Jeff Beck and Santana in 1986. Became friends. And then he came on the gig, we did like 5 months on the road, decided at the end of it all, did a wonder tribute concert in L.A. at the amphitheater. Henley was there, Eddie Van Halen, we got Donald Fagan out of retirement before they reformed Steely Dan. We had Boz, we had David Crosby, Michael McDonald, George Harrison came out and played with us, Sheryl Crow before she was famous, she was singing background for Henley.

We had all the cats. At the end of that, Jeff's wife was there and Jeff's family, mother and father. You guys got to keep doing this. You're not going to bring Jeffrey back by quitting. And the fans, we get all these letters saying, look, it's never going to be the same without Jeff but you've still got something there. Hang tough. And so we did. Now you can ask me whatever you want. That's pretty much up to Tambu.

That's pretty cool.
Like I said, if you want to get the real information, don't go by hearsay, go to the source.

Yeah, absolutely. You did Tambu again yourself didn't you?
Yeah, because at that point we said well, let's see what this would really be like doing it without Jeff. In the studio, Dave and I and all the guys, you know, the first time we've written with Simon. We went in the studio, Elliot Scheiner wanted to work with us. And that's somebody Jeff always wanted to work with. We all worked with Elliot outside. We thought that was the right thing to do. We went in and wrote more of an organic sounding record. But once again, I'm saying there's no point in you guys doing a hard rock record because Kingdom of Desire whereas by today's standards it sold a lot, by those standards at that time, it didn't. Rock radio wouldn't touch us. We figured, well, maybe we should go explore the mellower side and the more world music side or whatever it is, or acoustic. You know, acoustic guitars, acoustic piano, I play a lot of keyboards on that record.

And we just did that record. We had the semi hit 'I Will Remember' and the tour was very successful. We implemented a couple of background singers that would sing the Bobby parts or Joseph parts. It was more like the Toto review and those guys were great. Jenny and John were fantastic. They really came at a great time. It was something completely different. That tour was very successful. Very successful.





Was the record successful?
Considering, and we came back and at that point we were going like, you know, well what are we going to do?
What do you want to do here? And then the 20th anniversary came around and we hooked up with Bobby again and he'd gotten himself together. And me and Dave started putting the record together, digging through the archives trying to find some shit from day 1 up until that point when we made that record, of salvageable tracks that were in the can that we never released...that were done, from all the different eras. There's some interesting stuff in there. I mean it's for the most staunch Toto fans of course.

But you realize how young some of this shit was and how there are reasons why they didn't make the real big records, but there's still some music in there worth putting out and it's a way for us to find our way back to the original concepts. Which was when Bobby came back in the band we did a couple gigs with Joseph and Bobby, Joseph really wasn't up for the task and Steve Porcaro came out and we did like 5 gigs. Had we actually rehearsed and done it right, it would have been a lot better. Because it was a little rough, vocally. And we decided Bobby was singing so good we were going to keep Bobby. Let's go explore this possibility and that leads us to Mindfields.

Yeah. I really, really like some parts of Mindfields, it's an album that took a long time to grow on me.
You know, I listened to a couple of tracks the other night, I was putting, my wife was putting stuff into my I-pod, my new favorite toy.

Yeah, great.
5000 songs in a fucking little box, you don't have to carry any CDs on the road with you. You got to love that. I've got to give my wife al the props on that one. She's going, “Yeah me!” It kind of brings me back, because I don't sit around listening to old Toto records. But I sort of wanted to get back to writing this new album. People wanted me, they said go back and listen to your old records. Remember the spirit of it. We're not going to write the same record, there's no point. It's not possible. Get back in the spirit. I thought there was some really good stuff on that record.

Yeah, yeah, there was. There's still a few songs I don't dig today…
Listen, nobody loves every song of every record. Nobody. I don't.

I mean stuff like 'Caught in the Balance' is just magical.
Yeah, that was a great song.

Melanie was cool...
Yeah, I mean that was a little light for me. It was a little fluffy for me.

What a video clip though!
Oh I hated that video. I didn't want to do it. I refused to be in it.
If you look at my face, you can see I'm about as happy as getting a prostrate check.

LOL! How much money did you spend on that clip?
Nothing. A French company did it for free.

Are you serious?

Because it looks like a million dollar clip.
(laughing) It depends on what kind of glasses you're looking through. It was like a million dollars worth of shit to me. David Paich floating around, I mean who wants to see that? I love David, I don't want to mean anything like that but they wanted to tie me up and to this blue screen shit. I said no fucking way I'm doing Peter Pan with you bro. Ain't going to happen. And I pissed everybody off.

Did you?
Oh man, I was fucking going, man you don't have enough booze in this place to make me do that. I will not do it.

What was the concept behind the clip?
Just like, the computer thing had just started happening. The images were cool. Doug Brown who did our album cover, brilliant, fucking great. Really great concept. Really psychedelic, old school. But they wanted to implement us in that and …our videos suck ass, they always have. We're not actors, we're not pretty boys. They implement us and I always look like I'm wearing my Mom's clothes in the fucking videos. I mean the hair and the fucking…stupid, awful. I mean, shit man, videos. MTV ruined everything.

So there won't be a video clip DVD released.
There will never be another video unless it's liver ever again. Live, fine. That's live, that's different. Concert videos are great. Love concert videos. But a fucking bunch of middle-aged guys trying to be…their hair poofed back, wind blowing their face, about the saddest concept I could ever think of.

I always enjoyed, still to this day, the Van Halen videos are great for that reason.
Yeah but they were funny. They were fun. They were rock stars. They looked the part and you believed it. I never believed it when I saw myself trying to be like that.

They never did the sort of clips…
So if you don't believe it yourself, how can you expect anybody else to believe?

It looks uncomfortable. It's like, somebody can be outrageous and look outrageous if they really sell it, they really believe it and they live it. But when you try to put clothes and hair dressers and stuff on people that don't feel it, who aren't feeling it, it's just comes off as really fake. Really bogus. It's like bad acting. We're not a video band. We never were. Never wanted to be. We wanted to be in a band to play music. Then MTV came along, changed everything. They fucked everything up. They turned it into a fucking McDonald's commercial. Music selling Coca Cola and t-shirts and now it's the reality TV. Music was an art when we started. I may die trying to keep that concept alive.

God bless you for that. When you got the guy starring on the Batchelor making records you've got to…
Well you know what I'm saying, come on. Any, look at fucking Kelly Osbourne's record.

Oh dear.
Oh my God.

How sad. How sad that Ozzy actually wanted to do a duet with her now.
Well I don't think that was probably Ozzy's idea. I don't know. I love Ozzy. Zakk Wilde is a great friend of mine, one of the greatest guitar players in the fucking world.

I couldn't agree more.
And a sweetheart. He gives these late night phone calls where he calls up and pretends to be Jimmy Page. Fucking hysterical. Me and Zakk have a great relationship. We don't really see each other much, but we talk all the time.
And I think he's one of the most brilliant, committed. This is the last of the great rock and roll heroes. He lives and breathes it. There's nothing fake about him at all. That is the real cat. He lives and breathes the guitar. And music and his family…a committed husband, a committed father, a committed psychopath. I love him. One of my favorite fucking humans on the planet.

Oh God bless him.

I love his work with Ozzy.
I consider him, I've know him since the '80s. It was just like the first couple of Ozzy records and stuff, he was a great kid. He's like a little brother to me. He's the coolest man. And I love, we played on Derek Sherinian's record together and stuff, you know.

That's right. I've got that. It's a great album.
It's great. I love that shit.

Derek's a good guy too.
Derek's a great guy. Very, very talented. I love… he just wants to make it as out as humanly possible. I love anybody with that kind of commitment. It's like Petrucci, same thing. He was actually in John's band for a while. John's like another one of those alien creatures who lives and breathes it. Also one of the nicest guys you'll meet.

Really, that's cool.
Music Man, we're all Music Man guys. Their endorsement roster is one hand. Me, John, Albert Lee, Steve Morse, Vinnie Moore and I think that's it. They had Eddie for a while but that's a whole other thing. I don't even want to talk about that.
It has nothing to do with me. But what I'm saying is, he only endorses cats he really feels are really great players and he ends up getting us all together to play together which is really wild, because everyone comes from a different world. But I'm a huge fan of Dream Theater. Dream Theater are awesome.

They're a cool band.
A great band with a committed bunch of musicians. All of them are great virtuosos. And they have a vision and they stuck to their vision, now it's paying off. They're bringing back a whole genre of music that I thought was dead. Yet it's uniquely their own. I could sit and talk about music with them like from the '70s when we grew up. And I'm older than those guys so. We talk about records like Genesis' old Selling England by the Pound, all that stuff like, you know, John's one of most unbelievable musicians. Just scary. I just feel like, Jesus, why bother when you hear a cat like him and Morse and shit.
But these are my bros. I'm always inspired by greatness. When you hear greatness it makes you want to practice more.

Yeah! That's cool. That's very cool. Do you think in hindsight the covers record was the best thing to do?
It certainly wasn't the worst thing to do. I mean we could have gone out with no product.





It takes us a long time to make records the way we like to make them. We thought, wouldn't it be a kick if we played a bunch of songs from our childhood and redid them in our own style. And, you know, just the whole concept got bad to people. What's the matter with you guys, we don't want you to do that stuff. Paich was all up into the…. Paich is like our resident rap guy. It cracks me up. We don't have any business going into that world. That was Dave's thing. My wife chose the song… let me look into your record collection. She's 14 years younger than me. So she's listening to… when I went out with her she had everything form the Grateful Dead to like you know, what was that band, the industrial band?

Nine Inch Nails?
Then she'd have like the Carpenters. What kind of a…she's got very interesting…I dig her record collection. Bob Marley and all this really weird off the cuff stuff. I go, let's go look at your record collection because I'm sure you have a very different one than mine. And we just went…we didn't have a lot of time to think about it. We just went in and stated playing shit and if it felt good we cut it. We cut it really fast and we did it fun, it was cut live in Simon's fucking living room. Except for the vocals and a few bits and pieces here and there. We just thought we'd have something different to do and go on the road with some new product. And just to buy us time to do the tour and for our 25th anniversary officially and then we'll write a record after that. We thought it would be fun. Everybody in the world's done a covers record. We do one and we take a bunch of shit for it. Come on now, there's some really good stuff on that record.
Maybe it's not everyone's cup of tea but not the worst fucking record of the year. I mean just from a musician's stand point there's stuff on there to listen to. Song selections on there are everything '70s. Everything that we were playing in high school. 'Bodhisattva' was the first song I ever played with Steve Porcaro and Jeff Porcaro.

Yeah, Ok.
You know, there's a story behind each song. We didn't randomly pick stupid songs. There was a reason why, emotionally for some people.
Everyone got to pick their own, you know, wish list and we sat around and whittled it down and said, let's try this one, let's try that one, let's try the arrangement on this, blah, blah, blah. It was fun man. We weren't trying to save the world and go like, this is our greatest record ever. This is an interim period record. Much like a greatest hits record. People go, why don't you just put out a new album? Why don't you put out another greatest hits record? Why does anybody do anything? I think we were taken to the whipping post a little too hard on that one. Because we went on the road, we did like three songs off the record and the whole rest of it was our catalogue. And some people loved the record and some people absolutely hated it. I'm sorry. That's pretty much the same vibe with any record we put out.

It must get frustrating.
You know what? If I believed everything I read, good, bad or indifferent, I'd never play again.

Yeah, really?
Because I'd be so depressed. I'm going like, what if I do this and that guy's not going to like it or this person or these people won't like it. You've got to throw the dice, you know? You don't get a seven every time sometimes you crap out. As the years go by, in ten years time people go back and listen to that record with a different point of view, they go, well I don't love all of it but there's some good stuff on there. And I will stick to this. I don't love every thing on it but I think there's some really good stuff on there. Interesting reworking of old arrangements. I thought my fucking Elvis Costello impression was awesome.

I do admire that.
I mean that was done as a piss-take, unbelievable. I just hope the cat got to here it. Because he certainly got a royalty check.

I was going to ask you whether he ever got to hear it.
I don't know but he's with Diana Krall who's actually peripherally a friend. Elvis takes himself way too seriously.

Yeah, I agree.
But I don't really know him. Just reading what he says about himself and other people. Dude, you're not God's gift, I hate to tell you. Look at your record sales compared to mine. Kiss my ass.

(laughing) I like it.
And I'm a fan. I think he's great. I mean I think he's written some great songs. Wasn't such a c*** about it, I would by all his records.

What about your solo records Steve, you got a favorite?
Candyman is my favorite.





Really? That's the most diverse isn't it?
That's the most perfect representation of who I really am. I mean its ten years old now so obviously it's now who I am right now, but back then, I was really proud of that record. I think that one really holds up better than all the rest of them.

Is that right?
There's good stuff on the other ones but my first solo record is very dated sounding. There's like 3 or 4 things on there I think are really cool, some of my pop/metal/rock stuff sounds really forced.
But the stuff I did with Eddie and the stuff I did with Steve Stevens and things I did with Kortch and that ballad 'Turns To Stone' I wrote with Randy Goodrum, I'm really proud of that song.

I love that whole album.
There's a couple, I was trying too hard. In that era, you have to remember it was like the hair days.
I was trying to put the music into the hair music and try to jump off the Toto bandwagon. Like I actually thought I might be accepted. It wasn't. People that like my shit they thought, they can look back on it, there's some good stuff on there. Out of all my solo records that's the one that sounds like I was trying too hard, to try to be too many things to too many different people all on the same record.

Right, OK. I love it, I must admit, I'm a big fan. I paid like 38 bucks for the album. For a CD.
I wish I got my percentage of that royalty. I think I made a $1.25 on that one myself.

I had to get it on import down here, it cost like 38 bucks.
As usual. Our strong Australian presence.

Yeah, I know, I know!
I mean, we can't even get a gig down there. We can get a gig, but they don't want to pay any money.

I'm so frustrated about that.
We're not going to go down there and fucking suck. We've been trying to get in there. Keep trying. The INXS guys are trying to get us in there. I want to come to Australia. I mean, I may just have to come down there just as a solo artist. It's not over 'till the fat man sings. We're still working it, there's a little bit of interest. It's a shame because we're going down that way, coming through it would have been nice to actually have played a gig or two.

You go to Japan?
Yeah, I'm going to Japan. I'll be in Japan a couple of times.

I would love to see you down here. That's for sure.
Well hey man, tell a friend. You never know, like this next record deal if it works out that way. We're going to make some very strong points about going, well if you're going to want us, you're going to make this happen everywhere. At lease try.

So what do you do? You going to shop to the labels or you going to try and do it yourself?
Well, there's only 2 labels now. You either do it independent, which is really difficult. The distribution is so fucking hard to deal with.

We can't get in there. You can sell it on your website but you'll never... You need that big machine behind you. For promotion and all the rest of the stuff. It's a question of, who's going to give us the better shot. I would never have thought in a million years that … I hesitate to mention this kind of thing because I don't want to blow it before it happens, but there's some offers on the tables. We had a great relationship in a lot of countries and horrible ones in others.

So in order for us to get back to it, we need to say, well what about these troubled areas? We can come back to that and use that as a deal for you, rather than give you more money.

Yeah, like actually get the record released in Australia.
Well they were released but they just, nobody ever knew it and they bought like 100 pieces. In all of Australia. Because we were considered not hip. The record companies are being run by 20 year-old kids. 25/27 year-old kids. They don't want to be associated with something their mom listened to. You know what I mean. It's the hip factor. It's funny, we get sampled and stuff like that and that's cool. Ja Rule has a hit with 'Africa'. And like, you know, I had that big huge hit with Roger Sanchez for 'I Won't Hold You Back'. That thing sold fucking 15 million copies. Man I'm laughing. I'm laughing. I'm just going, thank you God for that taste.

So without getting into…
And yet the name Toto doesn't appear anywhere. Usually it's like sampled by this or featuring so and so and 85 names. Our name is never mentioned.

Yeah, why is that?
It's my voice, my song. I mean grant it, the first in line's the song. I never thought that was going to be a hit. But our music, Toto IV has been raped as far as fucking samples go. I mean six of those songs. We were doing hip-hop before they had a name for it. 'Waiting for Your Love', listen to that groove. That's a little more up-tempo hip-hop record. We used to call them funk a shunk. We didn't have a name for hip-hop. Hip-hop is a black thing man. Or I should say, it's not just a black thing but it's an urban thing.

A bunch of white kids in the valley can't, you know, talking about, kill the white man, kill the white man. It's a joke. It's like, once again, it's like videos bro. We can't fit ourselves into someplace we don't belong. But I can see the art form. When I saw the move 8-Mile, that's when I got into rap. I figured this is a really interesting concept. Even though it was fictitious, I still kind of saw where it was coming from. How difficult it is to come up with them rhymes. No melody involved. There's no melody involved at all. The saddest thing in the world is to see a rap guy try to sing. That's pathetic. It sounds like your grandpa's getting a prostrate check. (makes horrible noise) Those guys can't sing. Don't sing bro. Get somebody who sings. But rap. I give them all the props in the world for that. That's an art form all its own.

Yeah, 8-Mile was enjoyable for sure.
Yeah, it was great. I really understood the whole concept, even though it's a small version of that. I dig the old school. I see where it all comes from. It's nothing I can do myself, because I'm just not qualified to do that but I can appreciate how hard it is to write those lyrics.

Now, you made the headlines last year. You knew I was going to do this.
Best press we ever had. One of the great publicity stunts of all time.
Never thinking any of it would get past our website. That anybody would actually believe that without even calling our office and seeing if it was true. But we got more press out of that. Front page all over the world.
It was hysterical when we started getting thank you notes from the Transgender Society. Then I started to feel really bad. Now these people are hailing Dave like he's going to be their new poster boy. Dave and his family thought it was hysterical. Then we had to come back and retract it. Sorry, didn't mean to offend anybody, I never thought it was going to go this far. And we basically took this…makes you stop and think about the bullshit they put in newspapers without corroborating any of it. Not one person called our office to see if it was true.

Is that right?
They took it at face value.

And Dave really didn't mind?
Dave thought it was hysterical. He still signs his e-mail Davita.

Oh does he?
Oh yeah. His daughter thought it was absolutely brilliant. His wife was laughing her ass off. We all thought…we couldn't believe that anybody would actually take that serious. Please. I can't wait to see what my next one is going to be.

Well that was what I was going to ask you, what's next?
I don't know, I think people will be a little more gun shy next time. It'll have to be a really good one.

We'll put some thought into that then will we?
Yeah, well, you never know. They say any press is good press.

Yeah, absolutely. What else do you…, let me change tape here. What's that?
I've got to eat some dinner here in a minute. We've been going for an hour and a half.

Yeah, we've talked about enough.
You better give me more than a paragraph after an hour and a half.

(laughing) Exactly. What did you want to say? Is there something you want to say?
I've said too much already (laughs).

Yes, you've said plenty!
I'm just saying, like you know, we're going to so our thing, be patient. Hopefully you'll dig it once it comes out. It's not going to come out until we all look at each other and go, it's time to put this out. In the meantime we're going to work and do what we're going to do and take some time off and do some other projects ourselves. And take our time with making a brilliant record. Or what we think is a brilliant record. It will be up to you guys to figure out if you like it or not.

Once again, I say, you can't please everybody.

Yeah, well exactly, you can't.
You've got to please yourself. I want to make a statement as a musician myself and as a songwriter. Don't know 100% what that's going to be. I've got some ideas. I've got CDs, demos, ideas I've been dicking around with. I won't know what makes the final cut because we haven't really, really gotten into it yet.

I think I'm ahead of the game more than the other guys as far as having material. But like once we start taking it real seriously then it will become a much more serious thing. You can check in with me another time.

Yeah, definitely.
I'll let you know what the progress is.

Definitely, definitely. I just want to quickly mention, one of my favorite records of yours is Fee Waybill's Read My Lips.
That was a great record, and it didn't happen. Which really surprised me. Considering it was coming off the new hit single that me and Bobby wrote together with Fee [Waybill]. We thought we made a really great record.

It was. I love it. You know, coming out on CD?
The big machine didn't get behind it. And that's what it takes man. You can sell anybody anything if you have enough money behind it. But we live in an era now where record company people…In the old days, if somebody was passionate about something they would make it happen. They would get everybody in the company excited about it. Now it's like, the famous story, Andy Johns tells this story. He fixed the record and turns it in to the A&R people. In the club he's telling the A&R guys, Andy goes, what do you think of the record? He goes, I don't know, I'm the only one that's heard it. The guy's afraid to make any opinion he might get fired for.

Yeah, isn't that sad.
And it's even worse now. I don't need some snot-nosed, twenty year-old kid telling me he doesn't like my music. I'll kick his ass. What do you got mother fucker? It's a young man's game. For guys like us, guys our age, we just make records for people that dig what we do and we've been around so long we can still go out and people will come see us. No matter what it is. They know they're going to see a good show with really good players, that are actually up there playing, and have a sense of humor about all of this.

We're not trying to change the world, we're not capable. That's somebody else' job now. I'm just trying to live and have a good time, have a laugh and play music. I'm very lucky, very honored, very humble about it and I'm just trying to do the best I can. It doesn't always come up to what everybody's standards think I should be doing or what we should be doing.
That's a very difficult thing. Because everybody thinks, well fuck this, that record's no good, this song's no good. They lost it. They don't have their thing anymore. But other people go, that's so much better than what you used to do. So, who do you listen to? You have to listen to the little voice inside.
He goes, like, I think this is good, I hope people dig it. As far as us having a # 1 hit single again: probably not unless we're sampled again. But who knows, who knows. Tomorrow's another day. You never know. Having teenagers…MTV is not roasting in my house like it used to be. They don't even play music on MTV anymore. I think people are more interested in live DVDs and going to see live shows.
Because that's the only thing that's actually real anymore.

Yep. I agree.
Even some of the live shows aren't real. There's like 5 Pro Tools guys behind the stage and they're up there just faking the whole thing.

I know. I can imagine.
So that's why people, like we can still sell concert tickets and maybe today with the exception of some of the great bands that are out there like Coldplay and Radiohead. Making brilliant music. Melodic, soulful and played by real guys. The run of the mill pop groups…it's like eating too much candy.
You're going to barf after a while. Too sweet, too…And they still rail on us. Put that on the cover of a magazine that they still think Toto is the worst fucking band that ever happened. You just kind of shake your head, scratch your head and go well, 600,000 people just bought tickets to see us and our record sales are happening, I'm booked up this year, I'm 46 years old, I'm happy to be alive, I'm happy to be playing music, honored to have an audience. Who doesn't always love every thing we do but loves us in spite of ourselves.

That's awesome.
Be patient with us. Be gentle. We're old guys.

That's awesome. I can't imagine a better note to finish grilling you on.
I think we've said it all.

I think you've said it all.
I can't wait to see how you put this on the site.

Well, it's going to take a little while to type up obviously.
I'm sure.

But I'll talk to you before I post it.
Maybe in a couple of months I'll check it out.

Let's hope I get it done quicker than that.
If you need me to do anything for you, that I can do, promotion wise or anything like that. You've been very kind to me. I appreciate that more than you fucking know.

Oh no, thanks man, I appreciate it.
I'm not the c*** that everybody thinks I am.

And what better way to end the interview! I'd add the goodbyes, but the tape ran out. I thank Steve for an awesome and open chat and hope to do it again sometime down the track.








Toto - Steve Lukather (1998)


Hey Steve!
Hey, what's happening?

Not much actually, what about yourself?
Just sitting here playing my guitar.

Cool, thanks for taking my call.
No problem man.

So what did I catch you in the middle of, in the studio?
I am just about to start something. Some weird project for John Kalodner. Actually it's a Christmas thing. Christmas in April!
You have to do these things way ahead!
But I am doing a track with the Lobotomy guys, Garfield and Phillips. We are doing a strange version of Chestnuts Roasting On The Open Fire, but kinda how Metallica would play it or something.

Sounds different!
Yeah, we're just having fun with that, and writing songs for a Toto album we are supposed to start recording in the summer. And I am trying to finish the Jeff Beck record, but who know's if that is ever going to get done.
We haven't done anything on that since the end of October, stuff needs to be done.
He takes 10 years between albums, now I understand why.

I heard that you had taken up with John Kalodner.
He is a really good friend of mine, he has been a very big supporter of me and my career, and all that sort of stuff.
He is going to walk us through the next Toto record, we are going to go back to the original concept of the band.
Stylistically speaking. Over produced, super obnoxious, stuff the critics will hate.

Great, stuff the fans will love!
Yeah, you know, five part harmonies, triple guitars, all the stuff that pisses them off.
Sort of making fun of ourselves, but making fun of it.

Good, piss them off then.
Yeah, we've got the this record coming out next month, that is 20 years of unreleased material.

Yeah, I have the track listing here. It looks good.
It's quite a good record. I am actually surprised, we dug up some cool shit.
I am listening, and going fuck, why didn't we put that on the record?!
Some of it was unfinished, so I would throw a guitar solo on that was missing, or some background vocals that were missing.
Most of it was already done.

Where have most of the songs come from?
We have got hundreds sitting in the vault. Some great stuff with Jeff Porcaro.
For Jeff fans, this will be the record to get.
It goes through most incarnations of the band. Stuff with Bobby, Jo, and a lot of stuff with Dave singing. There are a couple of live tracks on there too.
Even some from our first original demo. We haven't touched them up at all.
We have done some cool liner notes too.
Other than that, I have a bunch of stuff to produce and work on, life's pretty good at the moment.

You are a busy guy - you seem to play on a stack of records each year.
You know, I am not doing that too much anymore. I do one or two, but nothing like I was doing 10 years ago.
I would rather do my own projects, you know, solo records and Toto, and write and produce for other people.

I am a big fan of your solo records.
Thanks man, I wasn't too sure if you were getting that stuff in Australia.

No we're not, but it's all available on import.
Well, you know, we get no support whatsoever from our Record Company down there. Sony kinda shits on us there.
So that's why we can't afford to come down there.

Yeah. It has been about 6 or 8 years since you were here last.
We get no support from the record label, and most promoters think they are going to loose their ass. Very conservative.
A lot of people I know haven't even been there before. My bud Eddie is there soon for the first time.

Yeah, I have my Van Halen tickets right now. Be here next week.
Ed and I are like family, you know. He called me up from Hawaii this morning.

He played on your first solo record.
Yeah, that's right! I sang backgrounds on their records.
They are the last great rock n roll band left, except maybe for Aerosmith.
At the end of this decade, they are going to flush the toilet on the whole 90's style.

Yeah, it's like okay guys, this was the decade of lets play and sing bad.
There was some great stuff too, but it was hard to get through a lot of it.
Maybe because I am 40 now, not 20.
My kids play me a lot of stuff. And my girlfriend, she's like 26!
There is just so much that is forgettable. None of them will have long careers. It's like they will break up or die!
They won't get a gig with someone else, because they don't know how to play.
That's not being crusty of cynical, it's just the facts.
Ha ha. When the media picks up on that it's not cool to play that kind of music again, what are they going to do?
I watch this MTV shit, which I really hate. They have single handedly ruined the entire art of music. Turned it into a huge fucking McDonalds commercial. No imagination at all.
I remember they way it was, when you used to look forward to digging a new album, a big album, a LP you know! You didn't need a magnifying glass to read the album credits.
You used to think, wow what were these guys thinking of when they recorded this, and maybe if you were lucky, maybe once a year you saw them live.
Now it is shoved down your throats so much, that people just don't care anymore.
It's like, music, oh yeah…great.
What is going to happen now, though, is that it is going to change. It's time.
I am looking forward to it.
I have survived three decades in the music business.
What's cracking me up now, is the return of the 80's! Like disco came and went again. It just shows you that there is nothing new, it's just dressed up differently.

What about the style for the new Toto record, you say you are going to go back…
Yeah man! We are just going to do what we do best, and be real obnoxious about it. Over the top production you know. Lots of synthesizers, guitars and solos, percussion and all.
At the same time as making a good record, we are just going to take the piss out of ourselves.
John Kalodner is going to be involved, and check our choice of material. He has done a lot of good for bands like Aerosmith and Journey.

And what about the vocal duties?
Well, I think we might throw it around a bit. Dave is going to do some, I will do some, and who knows, you might see an old familiar face or something like that.
It all depends on how this record goes, this new old record.
We are all going to get together and go to Europe, if it all works out, with Steve Porcaro, Joseph Williams and Bobby Kimball. We are going to play a few secret shows to just see what happens.
We have buried the hatchet, nobody is mad anybody anymore. That was 15 years ago, what am I pissed of at, you know?

Just get over it, eh?
Yeah, like come on, life is too God damn short.
To be honest with you, I am just really happy to be making a great living still playing music.
I am in my 22nd year of making music.

Is that right?
Yeah, I have just turned 40, and life is good to me.
I get older and my girlfriend's get younger.

Ha ha, so how many records have you played on then?
They tell me between 600 and 700 records.

Are you serious?

So there isn't much chance of me getting the entire Steve Lukather collection then?
Nah man, why would you want to?!

Ha ha ha.
No man, seriously, some of it's crap, you know. When I was just a session man, I was doing something like 20 sessions a week, I didn't even know what record I would be playing on next.
Hence the years of drug abuse!
I would get so fucking bored playing on all these crappy records, it was like 'wow, I got to get high or something here'.
Don't get me wrong, it was a great time to be playing. Even if you were on a shitty record, musically you would be playing with the best cats in the world, so we had some fun, we tried to make the most of it, and give it out all, but it was very forgettable stuff a lot of it.
The great ones were the great ones, and they still hold up, you know.

Some of your singers had problems with substance abuse, didn't they?
Well you can't do that shit, and sing man! It's as simple as that. Anybody that has ever done that shit will tell you that.
Really it isn't good for anybody, but at the same time, if you are a singer and you do something that numbs your throat out, and you scream because you can't feel it, and you trash your voice and can't sing anymore.
That's like me sticking my fingers in fucking acid and trying to play.
Eventually you won't be able to do it anymore.
But all the guys have got their shit together, and they are clean and they don't do it anymore.
I like to drink and have a joint, I am over 21, my kids don't know that, but hey!
I went through a period where I was completely straight, not a drink, nothing, about 8 or 9 months.
I said, well that was cool, I can do that, I will have a little drink and hang out, that's cool.
There was never a point that I was blowing it or something, it just became a pattern, because everyone around me was doing it around me.
You don't really realize, it creeps up on you. It's when you start feeling shit all the time, it's time to chill.
But everyone that lived through that era was into it, and if they say they weren't they are lying.
Ha ha - or a freak of nature. I am just glad I have missed the heroin decade, the 90's. That shit you don't mess a round with. Apparently it is one of the best high's, but I have seen it destroy a lot of people.
The drag of it is, they make it cheap and affordable, so the kids can get into it.
So fuckin' stupid.
But you know, my daughter is going to be 13 soon. Don't think I am not thinking about all this. The advantage is I have lived through it, and I can recognize the signs. I have a brutally open dialogue with my kids.

That's probably the best way to be.
Yeah, they are going to do what they are going to do, so a lot of knowledge helps.
Anyway, enough of that shit, what else do you want to talk about?

Well I have a buddy of mine here who is a mad Toto fan, so can I put him on to throw a couple of questions at you?
Yeah man sure!

How's it going Steve? Richard here.
Hey Richard, pleasure to meet you.

I just have a couple of general questions I would love to ask you.
Sure, shoot!

Who is your favourite vocalist singer, who would you would like to jam with?
Oh man, there are so many great ones.
Peter Gabriel, Steve Wonder, Paul Rogers. Aretha Franklin, people like that, real singers.

I heard a rumor that you may produce Def Leppard?
Ha ha, here's the story with that. I am not producing their next album.
Rick, the drummer, is my next door neighbor, across the street, and we used to hang all the time.
At one time he and Phil come down to my studio and we talked about maybe doing a track or two together, but it never materialized.
And they are in the studio with some one or other, I haven't seen him for a while.
I love those guys, and that was that. Rick's a good friend. We all come from the same place.

So living next door, you have an instant jam session when ever?
Yeah, it's interesting, my son play drums, and Rick used to have two drum kits set up and he would go over and jam with him.

That was my next question actually, wondering if your kids have picked up any talent from their dad!
Oh yeah, my son's a drummer, and my daughter play keyboards and sings her ass off. She plays a little guitar also. She can play anything she wants.
She's going to be thirteen soon, I am about to have a teenage daughter, how fucking scary is that?

One question that has always bugged me - the Toto sword/rings logo - who came up with that?
I guy called Phillip Garace came up with that. He also designed the Grateful Dead's logo - the one with the skeleton playing the violin.
He also did the penguin logo for Fleetwood Mac.

Another question, do you see James Newton Howard much?
Well he writes scores for every 'A' movie coming out of Hollywood. He is even up for an Academy Award this year.
I haven't talked to him for a while, about a month ago. He misses the rock thing occasionally, but doesn't need to do it.

Well it has been a pleasure talking to you Steve, thanks.
It has been a please also mate.

Hey Steve. I have a couple more things to throw at you.
Are you still hanging out with Brett Walker?

Brett! I really want to do something with him at some point. We just can't seem to get it together. You know he is a really sweet guy, very talented. I hope he gets the break he deserves. Really cool music.
We keep threatening to write a tune, but not yet. We spent a little time together last year.

Yeah, he said you were a very cool guy, and it was great to hang out for a while. He said it was a real honor.
Oh shit man, I ain't no big deal.

Do you see Fergie at all anymore?
Shit I haven't seen him in years. Last time I saw him was in Minneapolis in '93.
I have no bad feelings or anything, he's a nice guy.
He didn't have a substance problem. He was freaked out in the studio man.
He could not sing in the studio. He was fine live, once he learned it he was fine.
But getting a vocal out of him in the studio was really like pulling teeth.
It became incredibly frustrating. It would take like weeks one on song to get a lead vocal.
He is a great singer, and maybe he isn't like that anymore. We were too impatient I guess, and the more we pushed him, the more freaked out he was and the worse it became.
He was kind of a nervous guy, and he lost his voice out on the road a lot.
I don't why.

Do you enjoy the singing live?
Yeah it's cool. I have gotten quite used to it. I haven't lost my voice once, because I take good care of it.
It doesn't freak me out at all anymore. I wouldn't mind sharing it around a little though. I don't have a big ego, you know, whatever is best.

On the 'Absolutely Live' album, you have shared it around a bit.
That is my least favourite record. Don't listen to that record at all.
I don't really listen to any of my records though!

My favorite is probably your debut solo record. I paid around $40 for that.
Why is that? You should be able to get that through Sony at the same price as anything else.

Yeah, it was import only at the time.
Fucking record company! We still sold like 20 million records, and they are embarrassed that we are on the label.

Hopefully Kalodner will be able to turn things around for you.
Yeah, there is stilll a stigma that surrounds the band. Each territory has a choice to release it or not. Even though they are supposed to they don't.
Get us in a non English speaking country, and we are huge.
We have been the band to hate for 20 fucking years!
The only person that has to take more shit than us is probably Michael Bolton!
They have just about killed him here too. He's just about over.

The negative press is catching up?
Yeah, you like to think it doesn't, but if people keep reading how un-cool something is, then…
Everyone wants to be cool!
The people that like us really like us, and the people that don't, really hate us a lot.

When are you going over to Europe?
I am going over twice to promote this record. Once in April myself, then May 26 I think, we are all going over to play.
All of us on stage together for the first time in 20 years, it will freak people out.

That will go off!
Well, I don't know if it will be any good or not! Ha ha!

And the next studio album will be out when?
Starting it in the summer, and finish it toward the end of the year. We will be on the road through 1999.
We would love to get down there. I had a great time last time I was there.
Supply and demand. You guys are a long way away.
It costs us like $60,000 just to get out gear down there. We don't show up and play on rented twin reverb, you know. We are sticklers for the sound.
A lot of people just got out any play along with their record, you know! Really scary. People that mime the lot.
I have seen people with all this digital shit behind the stage, and I go 'Well, what's up here?' and they go 'Well, we can't pull this shit off live!'.
There is a lot more Milli Vanilli going on than you think. A lot of people don't even play on their own records!

Alright Steve, thanks for talking to us.
Sure man, I gotta blow, great talking to you.
Bitchn' say hello to everyone down there, and call up our record company and bug them!

Very cool! Will do.

And that people, was Steve Lukather!


TOTO DVD/BD/CD/LP '40 Tours Around The Sun' Finally Gets Worldwide Release

Friday, March 22, 2019
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MARCH 22nd Release Date

On March 22nd, Eagle Rock will release TOTO’s 40 Tours Around The Sun. The set will be available in multiple formats – DVD, Blu-Ray, DVD & 2CD’s, Blu-Ray & 2CD’s, 3LP Vinyl, 2 CD’s and digitally as well. The set will be available worldwide outside of North America. The North American release date will be announced in the near future. Fans can pre-order here:

This live performance was filmed in front of a sold-out crowd exceeding 18,000 fans on March 17, 2018 at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. TOTO performed a wide range of songs, including hit singles, rarely performed live deep cuts, and two recently recorded tracks which appeared on their new Greatest Hits album (40 Trips Around The Sun).

Also included is the “40 Tours Featurette,” a brand new interview with band members: Steve Lukather, David Paich, Steve Porcaro and Joseph Williams.

TOTO will be busy in 2019. The band just returned from a standing room only run of Australia and New Zealand, and head to Japan (including a sold out show at Budokan in Tokyo) and Indonesia in February. This spring in to the Summer, they’ll stage a long tour of Europe, combining top billing festival appearances and headline dates, after which they’ll bring their “An Evening With” show to North America this Fall. The 40 Trips Around The Sun tour is the band’s most extensive run in years with many more announcements to come.


I’m honoured to have once again been given the privilege of writing the liner notes. It’s an amazing set too!
Set 1
Hold the Line
Lovers in the Night
Spanish Sea
I Will Remember
English Eyes
Jake to the Bone
Acoustic Storytellers
Miss Sun
Georgy Porgy
Human Nature
No Love
Stop Loving You
Set 2
Girl Goodbye
Dune (Desert Theme)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Stranger in Town
Make Believe
The Road Goes On

TOTO 2018 Live Set Showcased on '40 Tours Around The Sun' DVD/CD

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TOTO's 2018 live show is on display for all fans via '40 Tours Around The Sun', the Anniversary DVD, Blu-Ray and 2CD release.
Out January 30 in Japan on all formats, including Ltd Ed DVD/2CD or Blu-Ray/2CD Combos. The same will be released worldwide in February.
I’m honoured to have once again been given the privilege of writing the liner notes. It’s an amazing set too!
Set 1
Hold the Line
Lovers in the Night
Spanish Sea
I Will Remember
English Eyes
Jake to the Bone
Acoustic Storytellers
Miss Sun
Georgy Porgy
Human Nature
No Love
Stop Loving You
Set 2
Girl Goodbye
Dune (Desert Theme)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Stranger in Town
Make Believe
The Road Goes On
Japanese pre-orders via:  CD Japan

TOTO Deliver 'Devil's Tower' From The 'All In' Box Set

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TOTO have delivered fans another new song - this time the cracking rock track 'Devil's Tower', taken from the 'Old Is New' LP, which is perhaps the most anticipatd part of the 'All In' box set, due to be delivered to pre-order customers any day now. There are just 2000 box sets worldwide and I'm told there's under 200 left.
'Devil's Tower' is one of the earliest tracks dug out of the archives, featuring Jeff Porcaro and David Hungate. The 1981 one track keeps the original drums, bass, piano, organ and electric guitars. Vocals and additional guitars added.
Song Line-up:
DEVIL’S TOWER (Lukather/Paich/Porcaro/Williams)
Drums: Jeff Porcaro
Bass: David Hungate
All Guitars: Steve Lukather
Piano/Keyboards: David Paich
Synths: Steve Porcaro
Percussion: Lenny Castro
Lead & Backing Vocals: Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams

Rock Talk with Mitch Lafon - STEVE LUKATHER, JACK BLADES

Podcasts & Radio
This week on Westwood One's Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon - new interviews with William Shatner, Toto's Steve Lukather and Night Ranger's Jack Blades. Alan Niven co-hosts.
Our first mini-interview is with actor William Shatner. He discusses working with L.A. Guns' Adam Hamilton, his new Christmas album Shatner Claus that features guest appearances by The Cars' Elliot Easton, Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and more, his new country album with Alabama's Jeff Cook, will he make a heavy metal album (like Pat Boone) and much more. 
Up next, TOTO's Steve Lukather. We talk about his fantastic new book - The Gospel According To Luke, the Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame, Toto, Thriller, a BBC/Sony documentary about his life, quitting the band in 2008, Eddie Van Halen (approx. 57 minutes), his Ernie Ball/ Music Man LIII signature guitar, respecting your road crew, playing on albums by Alice Cooper & Cheap Trick, and so much more. Probably the best interview you'll hear this year. Honestly. 
(Interview starts at approx. 28 minutes)
We finish the episode with Night Ranger's Jack Blades. We discuss their current single Truth from their latest album Don't Let Up, what makes a good song and his songwriting craft, the importance of making new music, changing members & band chemistry, a 2019 acoustic tour, the infamous Damn Yankees third album, a new solo album, Glenn Hughes, Kelly Keagy's health and much more.
(Interview starts at approx. 1hr 26 mins.)


Stay Tuned - "Fading Away" (Official Song Stream)

“Stay Tuned” is the passion project of Austrian multi-instrumentalist Bernhard Welz. Not unlike other musicians, Welz often gathers his musical friends around to play and sing along to the songs he wrote, produced and arranged.
The difference between him and others is however, that his friends include some of the greatest rock’n’roll legends of our time. Among many fantastic others, these include Deep Purple’s Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Ian Gillan, Don Airey, Roger Glover and Steve Morse, Mark King of Level 42, Steve Lukather (Toto), Steve Hackett (Genesis), Suzi Quatro, Dan McCafferty (Nazareth), Jeff Scott Soto, Tony Martin (Black Sabbath), Rainbow’s Bob Daisley, Steve Lee and Marc Lynn of Gotthard.
This star-studded listening experience was brought to life to celebrate and commemorate friends, respect and – above all – the love for music. Defined by an abundance of talent on all instruments, “Stay Tuned” transports the listener to a time when classic rock was everything - and features solos and riffs from some of the most revered posterchildren, who were there to tell the tale. The individual talent and experience of each of these thoroughbred artists, when accumulated, created a sophisticated interplay which is not only fun for the artists themselves but to listen to for all rock fans. It is a true celebration of rock’n’roll!
 “Stay Tuned” is going to be released as CD and Digital on November 30th, 2018 on earMUSIC. All proceeds go to the Linda McCartney Fundraising Centre – a charity very dear to the founder of “Stay Tuned”.
1. Jazz Police (with Mark King, Ian Paice, Steve Morse, Suzi Quatro)
2. Fading Away (with Ian Gillan, Dan McCafferty, Mark King)
3. Let The Stars Shine On You (with Steve Lukather)
4. Traffic Night (with Don Airey, Steve Morse, Carl Sentance)
5. I Don't Believe That Rock'n'Roll Is Out
6. Empathy (with Jeff Scott Soto)
7. Yound Free And Deadly
8. It's Just A Long Way (with Carl Sentance)
9. Always Behind You (with Mark King)
10. Believe Me (with Roger Glover)
11. Secret Land (with Don Airey, Carl Sentance)
12. Wanna Give You My Lovin'
13. Drum Jam (Live 2002) (with Ian Paice)
14. Child In Time (Live 2009) (with Jon Lord)



KISS Tribute Given New Name New Art & Bonus DVD

Friday, October 19, 2018
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Star-Studded Salute To Hard Rock Legends KISS Receives A Very Special Reissue With New Title And All New Artwork!
Produced by Bob Kulick and Bruce Bouillet with guest performances by Bruce Kulick, Tommy Shaw, Lemmy Kilmister, Doug Aldrich, Dee Snider, Steve Lukather, Chris Jericho, C.C. DeVille, Dug Pinnick, Page Hamilton, Buzz Osbourne, and more!
Los Angeles, CA - An incredible line-up of world-class musicians and vocalists gathered together, under the helm of Grammy award-winning producers Bob Kulick and Bruce Bouillet, to recreate 11 classics from the catalog of one of music's greatest, best-loved bands, the icons of theatrical shock rock, the mighty KISS! Originally released as Spin The Bottle in 2004, the resulting album has received a complete makeover this year and will be reissued October 19 with all new artwork.
Now titled, Pure Fire - The Ultimate KISS Tribute, the album features unique combinations of A-list performers including former KISS member Bruce Kulick plus some of the bands biggest friends and fans including Tommy Shaw (Styx), Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Steve Lukather (Toto), Chris Jericho (Fozzy), Buzz Osbourne (The Melvins), Dug Pinnick (King's X), C.C. DeVille (Poison) and so many more!

This special multi-media edition also comes with a bonus making-of DVD that features interviews and stories from the artists, including those who are no longer with us, recorded 14 years ago - it's like a beautifully preserved time capsule showing what these artists looked like, sang like and played like, and what they thought about KISS back then. Hear producer Bob Kulick, Tommy Shaw, Tony Franklin, Aynsley Dunbar, Robin McAuley, Robben Ford , Lemmy , Greg Bissonette, Doug Aldrich, Kip Winger, Carmine Appice, Mike Porcaro,  Fred Coury, and many others share their personal stories and recollections about Paul, Gene, Ace & Peter. No self-respecting KISS fan should be without this release!

Track List:
1. Detroit Rock City - Dee Snider, Doug Aldrich, Marco Mendoza, John Tempesta
2. Love Gun - Tommy Shaw, Steve Lukather, Tim Bogert, Jay Schellen
3. Cold Gin - Mark Slaughter, Ryan Roxy, Robben Ford, Phil Soussan, Steve Riley
4. King Of The Night Time World - Chris Jericho, Rich Ward, Mike Inez, Fred Coury
5. I Want You - Kip Winger, Paul Gilbert, Greg Bissonette
6. God Of Thunder - Buzz Osbourne, Bruce Kulick, Blasko, Carmine Appice
7. Calling Dr. Love - Page Hamilton, Mike Porcaro, Greg Bissonette
8. Shout It Out Loud - Lemmy Kilmister, Jennifer Batten, Bob Kulick, Samantha Maloney
9. Parasite - Dug Pinnick, Bob Kulick, John Alderete, Vinnie Colaiuta
10. Strutter - Phil Lewis, Gilby Clarke, Jeff Pilson, Bobby Rock
11. Stole Your Love - Robin McAuley, C.C. DeVille, Tony Franklin, Aynsley Dunbar

Interviews and stories with: Paul Gilbert, Bob Kulick, Tommy Shaw, Tony Franklin, Aynsley Dunbar, Robin McAuley, Robben Ford, Lemmy, Greg Bissonette, C.C. DeVille, Doug Aldrich, Kip Winger, Carmine Appice, Mike Porcaro, Fred Coury, Jennifer Batten, Bobby Rock, Mark Slaughter, Page Hamilton, Tim Bogert, Steve Lukather, Samantha Maloney, Chris Jericho and Bruce Kulick

Pre-order the CD here:

'After being friends with KISS, knowing them for years, playing on Paul's solo record, it was my pleasure to play on this tribute CD. And also working with Bob Kulick was great fun. I thought it came out great. It ROCKS!' - Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge/ Beck, Bogert, Appice)

'I really liked the new arrangement they had and we screamed through it pretty fast. Wild combinations of players and singers, and in the end a very new twist to some KISS classics.' - Steve Lukather (Toto)

'KISS is and forever will be the most exciting band in the land!' - Kip Winger (Winger)

'What fun it is to do anything with Bob. Giving KISS some love. I tried to do Gene proud. We're all parasites, baby!!' - Dug Pinnick (King's X)

'I was thrilled to play on this record, especially with Mark Slaughter and Ryan Roxie, with whom I have played before. The song 'Cold Gin' was special for me because of one morning back in 1990 when I was awoken by a phone call from Gene Simmons inviting me to come up on stage to play a song with them that night. It was indeed a great moment for me!' - Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne)

'Such an honor to be included then and now, in this list of immensely talented musicians on this KISS tribute. Put your KISS face on and turn it up. Enjoy!!!' - Robin McAuley. ( MSG )

'Some seriously great performances by an insane bunch! Being involved on many of the assorted songs, I had the pleasure of enjoying all the different folks and the cool and varied interpretations they all were bringing to the table.' - David Glen Eisley (Giuffria/Dirty White Boy)

New GARY MOORE Tribute Lines Up All-Star Cast

Friday, October 26, 2018
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The sky was crying when Gary Moore passed away on 6th February 2011.  From Thin Lizzy to Colosseum II, together with his solo hits ‘Parisienne Walkways’ and ‘Out In The Fields’, Gary influenced a whole generation of guitar players and guitar playing. 
The bass player/producer Bob Daisley had played with Gary since the 1980's, and is known for suggesting to Gary that he should make a blues album - the rest is history, ‘Still Got The Blues’ was an immense hit, followed by a series of classic modern blues albums. Bob, also known for his contributions to Rainbow and Ozzy Osbourne, was the driving force behind “Moore Blues For Gary”.
“In my opinion, Gary was one of the best guitarists who ever lived”, says Bob Daisley. “It was an honour for me to have worked with him and to have known him so well. When Gary passed away in 2011 the world lost one of the all-time greats. I don’t think that enough was said or done at the time to acknowledge the loss of such a great player so I took it upon myself to pay personal tribute to the man and record some new versions of his music, mostly from his blues catalogue.
I asked many members of the Gary Moore family tree, and some other great players, to contribute to the project. The response was not only encouraging, but very moving. It seems that the name Gary Moore is also synonymous with the words ‘respect’, ‘honour’ and ‘greatness’. I didn’t set out to recreate anything that Gary had done, or to compete in any way, these arrangements and performances represent a ‘hats off’ to Gary and nothing more. Long live the memory of Robert William Gary Moore. Yes, he was an­other ‘Bob’ - something that I wasn’t aware of for all of those years that I worked with him. I feel such gratitude towards the people who contributed to this album and I’m honoured to have worked with them all."
John Sykes (ex-Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake) makes a triumphant return after a long absence with an uber-emotional rendition of ‘Still Got The Blues’, with the soulful vocals by Daniel Bowes (Thunder) complementing each other.
‘Parisienne Walkways’ is played by Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs) and Ricky Warwick (Thin Lizzy, Black Star Riders, The Almighty), with the unlikely pair resulting in a miraculous chemistry.
Gary's friends are here - his rocking keyboard / guitar / vocal sidekick Neil Carter sings ‘Empty Rooms’, which he co-wrote with Gary. Don Airey (Deep Purple, Rainbow) and Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) had joined forces with Gary on numerous occasions, together with Eric Singer (Kiss) and Darrin Mooney (Primal Scream). Brush Shiels, the leader of Gary's first professional band Skid Row, also makes an appearance.
Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio), Steve Lukather (Toto), Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow), Jeff Watson (Night Ranger), Damon Johnson (Black Star Riders, Alice Cooper) and Stan Webb (Chicken Shack) also unsparingly pour all their emotions to show their appreciation to Gary. 
Gary's sons Jack and Gus are also involved, playing guitar and singing on ‘This One's For You’, showing that the ‘Blood Of Emeralds’ still runs their veins.
During his blues days, Gary made two albums to thank the guitarists that made him who he was: “Blues For Greeny” for Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac, and “Blues For Jimi” for Jimi Hendrix. Now this is his turn to be rewarded with an album full of love and respect.  We still got the blues for you.      
“Moore Blues For Gary”, due for a release on October 26, is available to pre-order:

TOTO Answers Weezer Covers With Smoking Rendition Of “Hash Pipe”

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August 7, 2018 - Los Angeles, CA --- Toto have recorded their personal interpretation of Weezer’s “Hash Pipe.”  The smoking rendition of the song is a direct response to the run-away success being witnessed globally for Weezer’s covers of the hits “Africa” and “Rosanna.”
Toto’s guitarist Steve Lukather shares, “We were blown away at the response Weezer got doing our old songs.  Tthey did a good job too, but we never saw hit records coming from it.  It was all started by a sweet 15-year-old girl named Mary. Then the ball started rolling it.  They did two of ours and ‘Africa’ took OFF.  It seemed only right that WE - Toto did a version of one of their songs so we started digging around, listening to a bunch of their music, which I have grown to like a lot. My 30 something kids were flipped over Weezer recording two of our songs as they are fans and we picked ‘Hash Pipe’. The irony that we were smoking hash before these guys were alive was not lost on us, and the other is it has a killer melody and a great groove.  We wanted to do something that rocked. We give you our version -- with a little of our thing on it like they did their ' thing' to ours. It is an unlikely collaboration, but some of the best ones are unexpected. Thanks to Weezer, their manager Jonathan, and their fans as they have been really nice to us…and they didn't have to be. Now I guess we have to do some crazy mash up live someday. In the meantime, continued success.  Thanks to all and hope to meet someday.  Gratitude to the fans for embracing this fun little accident. Ours drops Aug 10th, and I hear KROQ is getting thousands of requests from the teaser we recorded the other day - who knew? Kudos to Steve Porcaro for running with this as the Producer." 
Keyboardist Steve Porcaro offers, “Covering Hash Pipe was an absolute blast. When I asked my neighbor, a huge Weezer fan which record we should cover, he rattled off about five of their biggest hits, but then he smiled and said ‘but there’s nothing like driving down the freeway at 80 miles an hour with ‘Hash Pipe’ cranked’.  That stuck with me when it came time to decide.”
Singer Joseph Williams cannot be reached at this time as he is too high on hashish, but previously when asked about “Hash Pipe” shared simply, “Yeah.”
From the moment of release, Weezer’s version of “Africa” was embraced overwhelmingly by the public and music industry.  At iTunes, the recording peaked at #1 in sales and continues to show strong movement.  At Spotify, the cover hit #1 on the viral chart. And just this week the track has hit #1 in the U.S on the Modern Rock chart.  
Los Angeles alternative juggernaut KROQ placed Toto’s recording of “Hash Pipe” on-air to break the story of the new track’s existence.  On Friday, August 10, Toto’s rendition will be up on all streaming services, and delivered to radio for airplay globally.  For more detail keep an eye on
Toto has partnered with Republic on the release of “Hash Pipe.”  The company will be spearing the U.S. release of the recording.  Toto is currently touring North American in support of the band’s recent release 40 Trips Around The Sun.

In related news - Steve Lukather talks to Variety about the new single. Here's a coupl eof highlights!!

“We could actually have a hit record at alternative, which is the funniest f—ing thing I’ve ever lived to see,” says Lukather, who explains Republic will be supporting the release with a radio promotion campaign at the format, where “Africa” has given Weezer its first radio hit in several years. Lukather admits Weezer’s use of a heavy guitar sound in their version of “Africa” has even influenced Toto’s current live rendition. “I enjoy being able to crank out the solos on that song,” he laughs. “It’s about time we put some nuts on that tune. I’m no musical snob. I listen to Miles Davis and Slipknot.”
In the meantime, Lukather is having a ball, introducing Toto’s cover of “Hash Pipe” every night with the same wisecrack. “We were smoking hash before those guys were alive.” Although these days, Lukather admits, marijuana in other forms is his go-to to kill the pain. “This cannabis cream saved my life,” he boasts. “I’d put it on my c— if I thought it would help.”

STEVE LUKATHER Autobiography 'The Gospel According To Luke' Out Sept 18

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Founding Toto Member, Respected Studio Musician & Ringo Starr Band Member To Share Stories From His 40+ Years Of Making Music
Pre-Order The Book Here:
Los Angeles, CA --- To know Steve Lukather AKA: “Luke” is to love him, and readers of his upcoming memoir are about to get a no-holds barred uncensored look at Luke’s 40+ years of making records with his band TOTO along with the countless legendary sessions he’s been a part of.
Written by Luke along with acclaimed author Paul Rees, The Gospel According To Luke will be released worldwide on September 18 via Post Hill Press (North America) and Little Brown (UK). Luke will also be narrating the audiobook, which will be available via Audible. The book takes the reader behind the VIP curtain of rock and pop stardom recounting the vibrant and frequently lurid history of a vanquished golden age of the music business.
Few ensembles in the history of recorded music have individually or collectively left a larger imprint on pop culture than the members of TOTO.  The band has sold over 40 million albums and have over half a billion streams worldwide as of 2018. They continue to be a worldwide arena draw staging standing-room-only events across the globe. They are pop culture, and are one of the few ’70s bands to have endured the changing trends and styles.
Running parallel to this, and as stellar session players, Lukather and band-mates David Paich, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Porcaro, David Hungate and Mike Porcaro were also the creative linchpins on some of the most successful, influential and enduring records of all time, including Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
“How many bands collectively (all members past to present) can say that they have played on 5,000 albums, had around 225 Grammy nominations, and were pretty much the house band on the biggest album in history?” writes Lukather.
TOTO are currently in the middle of a major resurgence around the world.  The band’s brand new Greatest Hits package titled 40 Trips Around The Sun (Legacy Recordings - Sony) debuted in the top of the charts in multiple countries.  Their European tour earlier this year saw them performing to packed houses every night including sold-out stops at the 17,000 seat Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam to Royal Albert Hall in London and everything else in-between.  Most recently, Weezer’s covers of the classic TOTO hits “Rosanna” and “Africa” have attracted a ton of media attention along with over six million streams of the tracks combined.
This fall TOTO will also be releasing their definitive box set: All In via Legacy Recordings (a division of Sony Music).  This limited edition release is available for pre-order here:  http://SMARTURL.IT/TOTO40TRIPSBOXSET
TOTO begins their North American tour on July 30th in Vancouver with dates running into November of this year.  The 40 Tours Around The Sun tour will continue into 2019 with more dates and countries to be added shortly.   Luke is currently on tour with Ringo Starr as a member of Ringo’s current “All Starr Band” lineup which he has been in for the past six years.

New MICHAEL KRATZ 'Live Your Life' To Feature Steve Lukather & More

Saturday, March 3, 2018
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Art Of Melody Music & Burning Minds Music Group are excited to announce the release date for "Live Yor Life", new studio album by danish AOR / Westcocoast artist Michael Kratz, scheduled for release on March 3, 2018 via Art Of Melody Music / Burning Minds Music Group in Europe, and April 2018 via AnderStein Music in Japan.
Michael has had a long and rewarding career in the music business, especially in his home country. Having achieved multiple gold releases as the drummer of mainstream pop act, Kandis, his fanbase grew, thanks to his remarkable skills as a musician, which enables him to play any style of rock music. After an entire year of hard-work, Michael is ready to show to music fans the amazing result of "Live Your Life", a real masterpiece of classic AOR / Westcoast music, crafted with a top quality sound and an enviable attitude. Michael worked in the album with some legendary musicians like Steve Lukather (Toto), Michael Landau, Dom Brown (Duran Duran), David Garfield, Christian Warburg (Paul Young) & Alessandro Del Vecchio (Revolution Saints, Hardline).
"Live Yor Life" is going to become a true modern classic in AOR / Westcoast music, thanks to an outstanding overall quality both in songwriting and musicianship. CD graphics (including the alternative japanese cover artwork) have been designed by Aeglos Art (Airbound, Raintimes, Viana, Charming Grace, Room Experience), while cd booklet features double liner notes written by Kenneth Bremer, editor in chief of renowned westcoast music website Blue Desert, and Steve Price, the star speaker behind renowned ARfm rock radio in UK. The release party for "Live Yor Life" is scheduled on February 24, 2018 in Italy in conjunction with the second awaited edition of the melodic rock music festival "A Melodic Rock Night", sponsored by, Burning Minds Music Group & Rock Temple.
"Live Your Life" Tracklist:
01. We All Live In This Nation
02. Live Your Life
03. This Town Is Lost Without You
04. What Did I ..?
05. Never Take Us Alive
06. Game Of Love (Over And Over)
07. Lying
08. Paradise Lost
09. Shade
10. Bye Bye
11. Dying Young
12. In Between
All songs written by Michael Kratz & Kasper Viinberg
All songs arranged by Kasper Viinberg & Michael Kratz
All songs produced & mixed by Kasper Viinberg
All songs mastered by Jan Eliasson at Audio Planet

TOTO Celebrate Their '40 Trips Around The Sun'

Friday, February 9, 2018
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Remastered Greatest Hits Collection Featuring Three Brand New Tracks To Be Released On Legacy Recordings
40 Trips Around The Sun World Tour Begins In Europe On February 11, 2018
Los Angeles, CA --- TOTO is pleased to announce a February 9th worldwide release date on Legacy Recordings (a division of Sony Music) for their brand new Greatest Hits package titled 40 Trips Around The Sun. The 17 track album features three previously unreleased recordings: “Spanish Sea” “Alone” and “Struck By Lightning” alongside newly remastered classic tracks worked on by Elliot Scheiner & Gavin Lurssen and his team. The core Toto members, Steve Lukather, David Paich, Steve Porcaro, Joseph Williams re-entered the studio earlier this year to work on this release.
While going through the Sony vaults, the band uncovered several unfinished tracks that featured both Jeff and Mike Porcaro, one of which is now “Spanish Sea.” “This track is originally from the Isolation sessions,” Steve Lukather commented. “It’s one that didn't make it and we had to re-write it including creating a new chorus. Thanks to modern tech we were able to play once again with not only our 20 something selves but with our dear brothers Jeff and Mike Porcaro reminding us just how deep their groove was. Bittersweet... Many stories, laughs and a few tears on this one. It’s classic Toto with an excellent solo and I kept my old 1985 melody solo Dave wanted me to do... Old meets new but since legendary pal Al Schmitt cut the tracks and Bob Clearmountain sounds like it was done 2 weeks ago not 30 + years ago!”
All fans who pre-order the album beginning today will receive “Alone” as an instant grat track. “Alone is a brand new song,” Lukather remarked. “This one was written with just the four of us really writing together and no one else in the room with us. We wanted to start with an ‘up’ song in terms of groove for the album. The lyric is darker but we are older guys now ands have lived life. The good, bad and ugly... we have lived it all and in the end we are all alone anyway. Proud of this piece and it just sort of organically happened.” Fans can pre-order the album here:
The third new track on 40 Trips Around The Sun: “Struck By Lightning” began with David Paich. “I had the opening riff in my head for months,” Paich said. “Joe and the guys helped flesh this one out. I love the heavy arrangement and Luke’s solo on it is an all time great!”
Beginning on February 11th in Helsinki, the band will begin the first leg of their worldwide 40 Trips Around The Sun tour in support of their 40th anniversary. 36 shows in Europe have been announced to date. The tour will be the band’s most extensive run in years and is expected to hit the U.S. later in 2018. More shows will be announced shortly.
Spanish Sea
I'll Supply The Love
I'll Be Over You
Stranger In Town
Struck By Lightning
Afraid Of Love
I Won't Hold You Back
Jake To The Bone
Stop Loving You
Hold The Line
George Porgy

TOTO Preparing To Celebrate Their '40 Trips Around The Sun'

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New Album To Be Released On Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings Worldwide In February Of 2018 Will Contain Classic Remastered Hits Alongside Brand New Tracks


Los Angeles, CA --- TOTO is pleased to announce the first set of shows in support of the band’s 40th Anniversary beginning in 2018. The 40 Trips Around The Sun Tour will begin in February 2018 in Europe. The tour will be the band’s most extensive run in years and will be a worldwide tour to celebrate the band’s enduring career. More shows will be announced shortly. Tickets for most shows go on sale this Friday.

Along side the launch of the tour, TOTO along with Legacy Recordings have created a brand new Greatest Hits package. also titled: 40 Trips Around The Sun. The album will feature brand new previously unreleased music along side newly remastered classic tracks worked on by Elliot Scheiner & Gavin Lurssen and his team. The core Toto members, Steve Lukather, David Paich, Steve Porcaro, Joseph Williams re-entered the studio this past year to work on the material. Full details on that album along side many other projects the band has in the works with Legacy Recordings will be announced at a later date.

“Myself, David, Steve and Joseph are humbled and thrilled at the long lasting success of the band,” Steve Lukather remarked. “This 40th Anniversary tour is going to be a special one for us and all of the fans that come out. On top of all that, it’s really exciting to be working with Sony Music again. We’ve spent a lot of time this year working on new music and re-mastering the older tracks.”

Few ensembles in the history of recorded music have individually or collectively had a larger imprint on pop culture than the members of TOTO. As individuals, the band members can be heard on an astonishing 5000 albums that together amass a sales history of a half a billion albums. Amongst these recordings, NARAS applauded the performances with more than 200 Grammy nominations.

With close to 40 years together and literally thousands of credits, including the biggest selling album of all time: Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and accolades to their names, TOTO remains one of the top selling touring and recording acts in the world. They are the benchmark by which many artists base their sound and production, and they continue to transcend the standards set by the entire music community, being simply synonymous with musical credibility. Their repertoire continues to be current via high profile usage on broadcast television. They are pop culture, and are one of the few 70’s bands that have endured the changing trends and styles to a career enjoy a multi-generational worldwide fan base.

2/19 Hamburg, DE - Mehr! Theater
2/21 Dusseldorf, DE - Mitsubishi-Electric Hall
2/22 Munich, DE - Olympiahalle
2/24 Berlin, DE - C-Halle
2/25 Leipzig, DE - Haus Auensee
2/28 Krakow, PL Tauron Arena
3/2 Vienna, AT - Gasometer
3/10 Milan, IT - Mediolanum Forum
3/13 Stuttgart, DE - Porsche Arena
3/15 Lille, FR - Zenith
3/17 Amsterdam, NL - Ziggo Dome
3/18 Brussels, BE - Forest National
3/20 Offenbach, DE - Stadthalle
3/23 Bologna, IT - Unipol Arena
3/25 Marseille, FR - Dome
3/26 Toulouse, FR - Zenith
3/27 Lyon, FR -Halle Tony Garnier
3/30 Paris, FR - La Seine Musicale
4/1 London, UK - Royal Albert Hall
4/2 Manchester, UK - Bridgewater Hall
4/4 Dublin, IE - Vicar Street
4/7 Belfast, UK - Waterfront Auditorium
4/8 Glasgow, UK - SEC Armadillo



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