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Steve Lukather

Check out the latest interview with Steve Lukather in which he talks about touring, TOTO's future and upcoming projects.
You haven't played with TOTO in the United States for many years before you finally did some shows last year in May. Since then TOTO did quite a few gigs in the US and you'll probably add more TOTO shows in the States all over this year. How important is it for your to play with TOTO in your own country? Is this the first step on the way back in the minds of the people in the states? How do you see these shows?
We'll we have been playin gigs here this year and they have been really fun and the audiences have been really enthusiastic etc. Unfortunatly we are not gonna do a full scale US tour cause of many reasons. First is that we all have so many outside projects and Toto has been touring for about 14 months already and the other is that we can't make the $$ we can outside the US and I think that most of us want to be paid well to be away from our loved ones. We love playing the States but the demand for us isn't as great and our record sales reflect that not to mention that we get very little support from our rec. co. Its a catch 22. We are releasing Melanie to AC radio this May as its the only US radio format that will play NEW Toto stuff. Its a shot, we'll be doing TV and some more shows throughout the year in the US. We'll see you out there somewhere.
What's the main difference between the audience in the States, the people in Japan and the European fans, if any?
Well besides the cultural aspects of it I guess that we get a great reaction wherever we play. The audiences in Europe are our biggest with Japan next and then everywhere else after that. We love ALL our fans out there and its because of you guys that we still do this after 23 years!
TOTO is going to play some shows in the Carribean/Central America in April/May! Have you played there before? If not, what do you expect of these gigs? Are you going to change the set list for these gigs, maybe some Reggae elements in the show? (Back in 1996 you did a Reggae version of "Somewhere tonight" in Europe. Would that be an idea for the Central American shows?)
I haven't been there but it will be a paradise kind of vacation gig. We always tend to be influenced by where we are so we might sneak a little reggae in there while we jam for a laugh as we love improvising. I haven't played the gigs in Central America so it will be a new audience, were looking forward to it!
What about the set list for the festival shows in Summer. Can we expect some surprises during the set, compared to the set list on the "Mindfields tour"?
Set list change? Maybe, its hard as we don't rehearse because everyone is so busy right now. Simon is working on his new project with gigs this summer, Dave is producing Boz Scaggs' new album, I hear Mike and Steve are doing some stuff as Bobby has his band and I am so busy its insane. I'm writing my album and will be working on it over the next few months for a Fall release ( I HOPE) and I'm gonna produce a few tracks on Eric Gales record for MCA and I have been offered a new and exciting gig with a new rec. co. called InVision rec that is partnered with a new video channel called Independent Music Network thats gonna be a new huge force in the rec business. I'll tell you more as it comes along. The great thing is that I can still do all my other projects as well. I will also be touring Europe with Edgar Winter this summer after Toto is done so its gonna be a busy year to say the least!
Beside all the work with TOTO, you started working on your new solo record. Is there anything which you can already tell us about it (musical style, participating musicians)?
Well, since its still in VERY early writing stages I have a sound in my head that needs to come out. I THINK its gonna be a cross between Beck-Clapton-Gilmour-early Genesis (progrock)- with a funkier groove. This is my concept hahaha, we'll see what really comes out in the end. I will have some instumental stuff and some singing stuff ala Candyman without repeating myself. Longer songs to stretch out and play my guitar more. Players??? We'lI know that Vinnie Colaiuta will be on it, John Pierce, Phil Soussan probably, I haven't really gotten into it that far yet but it will be WAY different then the LUKE album or any of the others really and I will tour behind it when its done.
What about a new TOTO studio record? Is there anything planned so far? Do you already have a schedule for this or do you first want to finish the solo record before thinking of a new TOTO album?
New Toto?? Hard to say when really. We are officially out of our deal with Sony and we are free agents for the first time in 23 years. I hear that the rec co wants Past to Present 2 with 3-4 new songs on it. That may happen. We haven't really talked about our future. We don't see each other much at home. A meeting is coming up so I will know more later. I THINK we may have one more studio album left in us but when we do it is hard to say. We love each other alot but I think after all this touring this year we may go away for while. Its the old story, How can you miss me if I never go away! Hahahahaha.

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