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Steve Lukather Interview 2014


How are you man ? I had a look on next year’s schedule …waow it’s freaking busy !!!!

I am blessed to always be so busy. I thrive under these conditions. The only negative is that I miss my little kids so much. I miss all of them but the big ones are out of the house. Tina got married and lives out of state and now Trev is on the road playing guitar for this MTV kid Ryan Cabrera making $ and the little ones are with me when I am home and with their Mom hen I am not. I am happy to have a great relationship with my ex and we are close friends still so the kids are all happy and fine. MY dad was always on the road when I was a kid. It was normal to me.. as it is to my kids. There is NO recording ' scene' in LA anymore so all our work is in touring so I am lucky to have Toto and also Ringo.. which has been beyond fun and awesome.


How did this tour with Larry come to your mind ?

I think someone shook our collective trees and reminded us it has been 15 years since we played together.
I shook my head is disbelief as time seems ti RIP by these days.
I spoke to Larry and and we thought it would be fun to do again. I am really pleased because it looks like we will film and record these gigs for a new DVD as well. I wanted to do it again in my clean and clear mind body and soul and with a new view on MY playing .. I think this will be a much better showing from me at least. Larry is a dear old friend and master teacher to me and we put together a kick ass new band for the tour, aside from Me and Larry it is Keith Carlock on drums, Jeff Babko on Keys and Larry's son Travis Carlton on Bass.
Gonna be fun and as always.. I learn so much playing with Larry and the guys.


Do you have any idea of what you’re going to play ?

Well a few tracks from our last record that won a Grammy.. I say 3-4 off that and I may sing some blues on this one. Perhaps a small tribute to english blues ala Clapton etc.. NOT sure yet. We have some stuff we are looking at. Jam stuff as that is what it really is..





Some words about Ringo’s new album …Is there already a date of release ?

I was JUST up at his house the other night and he played the whole new record for me. I co wrote a song with him and there is one ' band written ' song we all write as well but the whole album is really great! I am honored to be on it. Ringo and I have become very good friends in the last 3 years. I love him a lot.. out is a fun record. Lots of cool people on it. Joe Walsh, Peter Frampton and I on guitars and various others, Richard Marx Todd Rundgren, Rich Page, all the Allstarrs and more..
I think it comes out in march around the time of the new Toto record.
I will do more touring with him in Feb March 2015 and then I am off with Toto in May for the next few years.
Hoping I can come back and play in Ringo's band again in years to come as it has been SO much fun!


Will there be an European Tour with this line-up ?

Not at this time. Maybe someday.. in between Toto tours.


Can we say that working with Ringo has changed your life ?

Yes. Ringo has taught me many things but the best part of the entire experience has been us becoming close friends.
We speak/text often and hang all the time as he is 10 minutes from my house LA.
The joke is we are each others ' last best friend'. It is no joke to me though.
He is a kind, wise and generous man and when HE plays the drums and sings.. well it could ONLY be him.
An original.
The Beatles are why I play music in the first place.
I worked with Paul and George, my first guitar hero .. and my friendship with Ringo means the world to me.
That will remain no matter what the future brings.









Let’s talk about the current news…

Will TOTO XIV be the next album’s name ?

It felt right. Joseph made hates early on and it sort of stuck. The Sword is back on the album cover and Heather Porcaro ( Steve's oldest daughter) was the art director and photographer for the package. Very cool.
Sword and roam numerals have been good luck to us. We thought why NOT. Makes sense to us.


Who decided to make another record and brought ideas regarding the composition of the new Toto album ? So many people are waiting for this new opus. Were there any difficult moments in studio concerning the making or the pressure in regard to the expectation …

Well.. haha this record was born from litigation.. lawsuits. We never saw ourselves doing one after FIB .. and the current state of the recording business BUT once we shook off all the bullshit and said ' well lets DO one but it MUST be GREAT .. everyone in the band took it VERY serious and we started writing and recording and the thing took a life of its own and then we said we are gonna make this the VERY best Toto we can be and we spent the last 10 months on and off working on it.
yes it was difficult sometimes. We all work differently and we are all solo artists in our own right and it had been 12 years since we made a record and we are all different people now.. it was great most of the time but we did fight like brothers once in awhile but always laughed and hugged at the end of the day. We DO love each other a lot.
Theses why I brought CJ vanston in to be the middle man buffer that would keep us on track, add his musical experience , someone we all respect and dig and someone to keep us from killing each other. haha
Too many bulls .. and only one cow always makes for trouble hahahaha


Some words about Keith… Did he work with you on the new record ? If so ,what did he bring to it ?

Keith is brilliant. A different kind of a drummer. Look .. when Simon left us .. and it was HIS choice to leave.. we knew we needed someone great but like when Jeff passed. We did not want someone who played like Jeff .. or tried.. the same thing here. We did not want a Simon clone.
I had worked with Keith on a few things and loved his playing a lot. he is a giant player in his own right with credentials like Clapton, Sting, John Mayer and Steely Dan. He was already one of us. It was my suggestion to bring him in.
I was very sad to see Simon go but I understand and he is happy and we love him and there is no bad blood.
I remain a fan and friend and hope we find something to do together at some point.
I LOVE Protocol his new band so go see them. I think he wanted to be the leader of his OWN band as he well should.
When Toto got back together in 2010 the entire band changed and as I said before EVERYONE is very busy with solo projects, TV and Movie gigs, me and all my work, Simon and all his.. his schedule did not match ours and that is how it all started and perhaps he may have been looking for an out.. I dont know.. it has been over a year now and SO much has happened I can hardly believe the year is gone.
I love and respect Simon Philips and he brought A LOT to the band and he will be missed and we all wish him only a huge success and happiness. We are still friends. It is NOT like.. well you know who. hahaha


Could you tell us the name of some people featuring on the album ?

Keith is drums on all tracks, Lenny Castro on percussion, we had different bass players coming in all over the record. I played Bass on 3 tracks as well.. by accident and I LOVED doing it. It was by accident but as well
We had David Hungate back who is AMAZING and better than ever and so much fun.. it is like old times and when you hear the new music you will hear.. he is on 3 tracks, Lee Sklar is on, Tal Wilkenfeld is on 2 and a guy from Derek Trucks band Tim LeFevbre played on one track.. Mabvuto did some BG's, Amy Keys, Michael McDonald, CJ aded some keyboard touches here and there.. he had a great working relationship with paich and Steve P .. the keyboards are amazing on the whole record.. You gotta hear it.


The come back of David Hungate is a bit surprising…How was the reunion ?

Like NO time had passed. We had the summer tour and he was only supposed to do that but it went SO well and we had SO much fun .. he wanted to stay .. thankfully.


A teaser …when ?

End of March release but I am sure there will be some leaks before.. haha


Is it the last Toto’s album ?

At this time. YES. I don't know if we could survive another but .. I said that last time. Really if it were not for litigation we would not have done this but now I am very happy we did. The new music is classic Toto but fresh. Perhaps influenced by early 70's prog rock but harder edged.. some cool Steve P Porcaro pop stuff, Paich and I and Joe really dug deep on the writing as well.. EVERYONE shines and has moments. Everyone sings lead as well. There re a few songs that have 3 lead vocals in ONE song.
We have this out ALL man.. If we are still alive in 10 years maybe. haha
The fact IS recorded music has not $ in it anymore. We have had our business stolen. Streaming sites may NOTHING no matter what lies you may have read.
BUT we do it for the art and hope the people who love our music buy the record and come see us live as we have never been better live than we are now. Ever!


Have you already chosen the songs of 2015 set-list ? Will there be new songs ?

Not yet.. I made a list of ideas aside from the new stuff. We will do 5-6 new songs, the BIG hits we MUST play.. but then we are going for old deep cuts we have missed in the past and not done either EVER or not n decades.
We are not that close yet. We will take fan suggestions as well when we get closer.






Which guitar(s) did you use on the album ?

100% Music Man Luke guitar and Music Man Bass.


Some new gear in 2015 ?

Not really.. I like what I have been using and it works every night and sounds great. There are always little boxes and pedals to try but .. well I have a new Double neck guitar, 6 string and Baritone that is pretty cool and very heavy but sounds amazing.. Thats about it.


Some solo plans ?

haha NO.. not after what I have just been thru. haha
Toto is gonna work touring the world 2015-2016 with some Ringo in there here nd there so solo record would not even comment my mind till end of 2016.. 2017 will be Toto's 40th anniversary.. haha man.. where does the time go..
When I get some time and it feels good I will do another solo record. I think it will be a big departure from the past solo records an I want to do something different and very UN -toto like.. but can't say what or when.
You will see me out solo again I promise.


Why don’t you create your own shirt label cos’ yours have hell of a style !

haha Well a girl I met thru Todd Rundgren Rachel Culp does all my clothes and will make me new stuff for Toto next year. Great stuff and very comfortable as well. Glad you like it.


Might we have a scoop about the title of the first song and its musical influence ?

First song on the record?
Its called 'Runnin out of Time' written by Me, Paich and Joe. It is a rocker and Joe is singing SO great on the whole record. This new music is going to be SO much fun to play live!
We made the record WE wanted to make and I will go on record to say .. as cliche as it is.. this will rank amongst our very best. I dont think we ever worked harder on anything we have ever done.


Thanks for your humanism, kindness and availability.
The French audience loves you and and will always support you.

You are too kind and hugs to you and also to your readers mate.

We will see each other soon OK.

Luke ox.


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