MTTV Episode Twenty Five: Steve Lukather
29 January 2021
The legendary guitarist Steve Lukather sat down with MetalTalk TV to discuss his new first new solo album in eight years, ‘I Found The Sun Again’. The album is out on 26 February 2021 via The Players Club / Mascot Label Group.
He talks about his recording technique for this new piece, being in Toto for over 40 years and the time they swept the Grammy awards. He also talked to us about Toto’s writing process and why they seemed to go through so many vocalists.
Lukather is also one of the greatest and most prolific session guitarists that ever lived and here he takes us through some of his most memorable recordings. From Michael Jackson and Stevie Nicks to Neil Diamond and Cheech and Chong, he walks us through them all.
On his new album ‘I Found The Sun Again’
“I just wanted to make something different, because everyone just makes the same record now – they all sound alike. The idea was just hire the right guys, then no rehearsals, no click tracks, no demos, no protools. I wanted to get a real performance. I wanted to see if I still had it in me!”
On modern overproduction and auto-tune
“You can make a record with your dog and auto-tune it! You could tune the barks to make a beat then write lyrics and a melody that is perfectly in tune. That says all you need to say”
On Stevie Nicks, ‘Stand Back’ and Prince
“What happened was that they had made the record and I did not know that it was Prince playing on it. I played with him when I was a kid and I did not know who the f**k he was, before he was famous. They wanted a part similar to ‘Billie Jean’, so they hired David Williams who had done that part, but they did not like what he did.
“So Jimmy Lovine called me to come down and give it a go. I plugged in an said “let me try something” so they ran the tape and that whole thing was one take. Jimmy popped his head round the corner and said “That’s great man, what do you want to eat?”. I was out of there in five minutes.”
On Eric Clapton’s ‘Forever Man’
“I talked myself onto that session – only session I was ever nervous for! I said it’s f**king Eric Clapton, I’ll play rhythm, I’ll sit in the corner. He was so gracious, we jammed around for a while and he became very enamoured with my Bradshaw rig, because it was that era. He played around with it for a while and ended up buying one!”
On touring in The G3
“My rig broke down on me in New Zealand and there was nobody there to help, so I just had to plug right into the amp and play, next to Joe Satriani and Steve Vai – talk about flying without a net. It does not get any better than those mother f**kers and they are both dear friends.
“I did the whole tour like that and it was a great honour to be a G. It’s like being invited into the all star Superbowl team.”
On smoking with Cheech and Chong
“When I did the joke solo for their movie they were kind enough to give me credits so I made like 200 grand off that session (laughs).
“They did not have to do that. I love them to death. I got to smoke a joint with Cheech and Chong. I mean come on!”
On the time Toto swept the Grammys
“When we won record of the year in 1983, we were just looking at each other going “is this really happening? Is this a joke TV show?”
“At one point we just ran out of people to thank, so David Paich thanked Robert Hilburn, this LA critic who hated us more than anything and then he wrote another article saying how outraged he was (laughs).
“We played on 50 of the albums that were nominated that year!
“I won best RnB song for George Benson too! Nobody was more surprised than us.”