At the early age of seven Steve Lukather
discovered his passion for the guitar. Influenced heavily by artists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy
Page, and Miles Davis, Steve eventually developed a very distinct
melodic guitar style featuring wide vibratos, string bends, and lighting
speed. Later in high school Steve hooked up with Jeffrey
Steve Porcaro, David
Paich, Bobby Kimball and David
Hungate and eventually formed the group Toto.
Steve's reputation and unique guitar sound quickly gained him respect among
the music community and was considered one of the most versatile
guitarists of the 80's. His guitar skills quickly landed him session
work with superstars Michael Jackson,
Eric Clapton, Paul
McCartney, Don Henley, among
others. Steve's guitar licks can currently be heard on over 700
records <see discography left>.
With the addition of drumming sensation Simon Phillips Toto is currently on their Reunion World Tour 99, which kicked off
late February in Poland to
support their new CD Mindfields. Check
out a video
Toto's new release
& welcome from Steve
(200kbs RM) from the Toto99.com
Steve has recently released a
solo album simply entitled 'Luke'
which showcases his guitar influences of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix,
Guitarist Steve Lukather is the consummate rock
specialist, in and out of the recording studios. Luke brought a
hard-rock vitality to the L.A. session scene of the late 1970s and has
been a leading kingpin ever since. He simultaneously garnered greater
public attention and recognition outside the studios with the highly
successful and innovative rock band Toto. Burning tracks like "Hold
The Line" and "Rosanna" redefined commercial music of the
era while Luke's contributions to the work of Lionel Ritchie, Michael
Jackson and countless others are the stuff of which studio legends are
scott: where's everyone from
keith: Saskatoon, Canada
scott: Florida USA
alco17: there are regular live lessons???
Birro666-BR: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Assistant: I'd like to introduce
KSthamer: Hi Steve greetings from Hamburg Germany !
SteveLukather: Hey you guys
Wolf Marshall is also
a host for this event
Birro666-BR: greetings from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil !
Richard_UK: Big fan here Steve... got all the TOTO and solo albums
Rob: Hi from Australia
stratman: Great two guitar legends
SteveL: U R too kind
cfh: hey Steve when's the newest Toto album gonna be available in the us?
Richard_UK: He was talking about me and Wolf, not you Steve :)
Richard_UK: Mindfields is amazing
keith: You can order Mindfields at CDNow-I did
Here to order Toto's Mindfields
SteveL: The new record will be
coming in the next 2 months in the US. We had litigation with Sony.
Dick-heads they are. ha ha ha
stratman: When is it coming to Sweden
scott: steve who were your influences?
SteveL: Hendrix, Beck,
Ryan: hendrix right
cfh: i saw that the "baked
potato" gig is going to be released as an import soon... i've heard
that it is one of your most smokin' performances...any thoughts?
Richard_UK: Steve... what's your favorite
track off Mindfields ?
scott: steve, you like metallica any?
SteveL: I like Metallica, Bob
Rock is a pal and I dig his stuff. Enter sandman was a killer track
SteveL: Man, I hear so much stuff
these days. My son is really into the new stuff Limp Bizcut Korn Zombie
etc.. real cool stuff there sound wise
scott: steve, you like some good stuff!
stomp: steve what first sparked in your
head that made everything fit together. what made the fretboard make
scott: steve, what made you want to
SteveL: I'm still trying to
figure out how to play, you have breakthroughs but they come at weird
times. I started playin' cause of the Beatles
SteveL: I hear so many great
players these days, its humbling really
Richard_UK: Steve, are there any plans
for a new studio album in the pipeline, and will Bobby be on it ?
scott: steve, what do you think of kirk
SteveL: Were still touring for
the rest of the year on Mindfields
Click Here for Toto's tour schedule
WolfM: Luke, Toto is active and
out again. Tell us about the new album and your current activities.
Richard_UK: yes,... I'm looking forward
to the concert at the Birmingham NEC in October
keith: Steve, Please come to Canada!
stratman: I saw your concert in
Stockholm, missed Pamela
Birro666-BR: I would like you to come to
Brazil. but now i wanna rock :)
SteveL: Were looking forward to
the UK gigs as well. We want to come to Canada.
SteveL: I wanna rock too dude.
Birro666-BR: lol :)
Richard_UK: There's only one gig in the
UK... how come you're not doing any more ?
Richard_UK: How about we do some guitar
work, and leave the questions until the end
Ryan: all warmed up
Birro666-BR: i'm tiring of warming up...
my hands are burning :)
Birro666-BR: hahaha :)
Luke, one of my favorite riffs on the new record is from "High
Price of Hate." We're going to send out the intro riff now. Can you
tell us about how you came up with this unique line?
I came up with this lick backstage before a gig warming up.
Looking for the lost chord if you will
Luke, how about those exotic chords in Hate?
Well, I sort of got into Miles Davis sort of mood, very modal and I was
dickin around at the 12th fret and it just came to me
Was it a jazz-oriented line?
A hard edge blues with adult chords
I don't know how many of you have heard this?
It is a 12-bar isn't it?
Sort of a 12 bar, there's some weird stuff here and there
We're going to send the audio for this now: High Price of Hate
this is a trip, so sci-fi haha
these are not considered "rock" chords but I think that there's
more to music than just fifths, you can still make it heavy just with
keith: that's cool!
Wow, this is cool. I'm just checking this out for the first time myself!
You can slow it down as well and stay in pitch. Wolf, this is awesome
It's filled with all sorts of unusual chords
Seriously check out all the odd voicings--yet it rocks in a very modern
scott: steve yes this is so cool
<check High Price chords link (left nav) for images of hand
High Price of Hate Chord Positions
Wolf has pic of me playing this riff
WolfM: We're going to send Luke's
personal hand shots of the riff. Dig it.
These pics were taken at Luke's pad on an acoustic--a Taylor.
ha ha ha, I always practice
on acoustic, makes the fingers stronger
scott: steve do you depend on calluses/
SteveL: nah, don't be so hard on
yourself bro (Alco) it takes time, nothin worth a shit is easy
Brian: This is the coolest thing I've
SteveL: I got the thumb fingering
from watching Jimi, its the sixth finger concept
WolfM: Guys, this is rock
Luke, one of your classic solos is during the outro of Toto's
We're going to send out an excerpt now. Could you tell us about your
approach on this one?
This is one of the most notable guitar solos in rock history!!
Richard_UK: oh yes indeed
Well this was a first take solo. We had just cut the track and Jeff and
Dave wanted me to do the solo right away, we were partyin' and some
friends were hangin' and I just went for it and that's what you hear now
Richard_UK: I love jamming along to this
LANTZO: are most of your solos first
alco17: wow, that sounds amazing
No, I get lucky sometimes but generally I don't like to labor on things.
The best stuff comes right away, at least for me, I start thinking about
it too much after that and I lose the "vibe" or feel if you
alco17: im not even gonna try to tackle
Birro666-BR: what do you mean about lost
stratman: For some reason, it sounds
better when you play it Steve!
Richard_UK: I know exactly what it's
like.. sometimes you just go stale on a solo, improvising is really
spontaneous, but if you try for too long you lose it a bit
Check out those wide string bends--that's a Luke trademark
By vibe I mean spontaneity, you know, it sounds limp, its gotta have a
vibe or it sucks
alco17: thanks steve, but your stuff is
just too good for me
Richard_UK: stick with it alco... I
started playing when I was 16, never really got good until I was 20
alco17: oh, good, no more playing
Nah, give it some time. I have been playin' since I was 7 , I'm 41, it
takes time and patience, don't give up
chaz: that's a damn good lead steve
Luke, one of the early breakthrough solos was on Boz Scagg's
"Breakdown Dead Ahead." We're going to send out the first part
of the solo now. Could you tell us about how it went down?
stomp: wolf can you send the solo for
that first example that was killer steve as usual
Well I was called back for some overdubs by Boz and he just let me run
with it and it came real quick as I remember, 1 or 2 takes
Richard_UK: this has such an amazing
feel to it, it's loose bluesy and get's you rocking
Richard_UK: I love that Vibrato
Richard_UK: Steve... did it take you a
long time to master vibrato on bended strings ?
chaz: another great lick
chaz: love the way the 5th line walks
stomp: that last example sounds a lot
like robben ford steve but with your own twist i love the section after
the long vibrato
I am a huge fan of Robben's, Carlton as well
Jay: Steve the walking chromatic lick
lines seem to be one of your signature licks
Well I have been studying with Carlton as we have been working together
on a project. We have a live album in the can and were gonna tour
together next year
stomp: do you use any hybrid picking in
runs like that?
Luke, what was your guitar and amp setup back then?
I don't think about it anymore, it just comes naturally
Jay: you use those cool slide licks also
I don't think about how I'm picking, it just comes naturally
It just happens naturally
Richard_UK: Like this one, I love the
Solo on 'One Road' from the Mindfields album
Richard_UK: Did you do the One Road solo
in a few takes ?
Thanks, that one was a first take as well. I had an octave divider on
stomp: i love the design of the Musicman
stomp: how did the new music man model come about
SteveL: I love the Music Man
stuff. Sterling Ball is one of my best pals and they are incredible to
work with and the quality is top notch!!
Click Here for Musicman website
scott: Steve, what was your first guitar
alco17: yeah, man, what is the first
guitar you had?
SteveL: it was an Astrotone
guitar from Thrifty drug store. I was 8 years old, I had a Kay acoustic
guitar I got on my 7th birthday alone with a copy of Meet the Beatles,
changed my life forever
WolfM: Luke, what is the recipe
for your current tone? What guitars and amps?
scott: Steve, have you ever put 9 gage
electric strings on an acoustic?
SteveL: Well I use a new version
of the LUKE model Music man and I use River amps that I designed with
Paul called the Bonehead. It has a subwoofer system that we got a
patent for. VERY cool, you should check it out
SteveL: I have tried that when I
was young but the sound sucked, NO bottom
SteveL: I was
referring to the
WolfM: Here comes the amp rig.
Click Here for Rivera website
WolfM: We were
fortunate to be
able to go behind the scenes and share a look inside Luke's musical
toolbox with our audience. Luke opened several cases at Andy Brauer's
studio rentals and brought out the following historical pieces for your
viewing pleasure. DON'T DROOL ON YOUR COMPUTER!!
WolfM: Luke can you give us a
rundown of the amp rig?
keith: do you still have the "sex
scott: Steve, what do you think of
SteveL: Well its kinda
complicated. I have 3 4/12 cabs with 30 watt Celestians I sub woofer cab
and I run in stereo middle dry, right and left wet, a little delay
mostly as I have stopped using all the jizz I used to in the 80's. Too
much weed I think. ha ha ha ha
SteveL: The sex box was just a
Here's my 58 Les Paul
scott: steve>what's the sex box?
Peavey, well Ed's one of
my best pals
SteveL: I am a Music man guy
WolfM: Luke is the Les Paul what
you used for Rosanna
SteveL: The Sunburst one was the
Gold top I used on the first couple of albums
WolfM: Posing with a beauty
SteveL: 58 gold top
SteveL: Thats the old Deluxe I
used. Modified by Rivera before he was makin amps for himself
SteveL: I used this on ALOT of
records, late 70's to mid 80's
WolfM: How was it modified?
SteveL: He put a midrange boost
in a 5 position selector switch and just tuned the amp. It was a killer
back then but I retired it cause it just didn't have THE sound anymore.
That's the Soldano I have.
I think its serial # 3. He brought it to me when i was making the 7th One
record in 86-87, something like that. VERY cool amp!
scott: steve,what effects do you use?
That's the pedal board. I
have gone thru MANY incarnations with this. Bob's stuff is amazing and
stratman: looks expensive
Richard_UK: looks like you need to take
out a mortgage just to insure it!
SteveL: Well its just a PCM 70
for delays, a compressor, Wah, G-force by TC for stereo imaging, not
that much junk anymore.
WolfM: And here's the Candyman!
scott: that is really cool
That's Sammy Davis Jr.'s REAL golf bag, I got it at an auction
Richard_UK: you play golf Steve ?
SteveL: Auction, sorry
SteveL: VERY badly, ask around,
Its fun though
Richard_UK: Where did you get the 'Candyman'
album name from Steve ?
We're going to move into an open question and answer section with the
audience now. Who has a question for our man of the hour?
thomas: Will you make another solo album
Richard_UK: me oh my
corey: What's it like jammin' with Wolf?
bryanr: steve, in your early years did
you practice on a routine or just play?
alc017: steve, i heard that there is a
special way to string my guitar that can help me play better, do you
know anything about that???
SteveL: I will do another solo
album next year. Steve Vai is after me to do an all instrumental record
that really shows off the guitar thing but I'm not sure yet, I'm just
starting to think about it
WolfM: I always dig it
Richard_UK: I like Mad about You,
because it's a groovy song, but it strikes me as one that's been done
for commercial reasons
SteveL: I don't change my own
strings, except at home, so I don't think they do anything weird
Richard_UK: Do you like the song, and
have you had much financial success with it ?
chopsfromhell: steve, do you have any
thoughts on the "baked potato" gig? i've been looking for this
disc for about 10 years, as i've heard it just kills (in respect to your
SteveL: Yeah, well I personally
hate trying to write for radio but they still give us shit about it. I
like the weirder stuff, Better World, High Price etc.
SteveL: They have just re-issued
that Baked Potato album, look for it
Richard_UK: Better world really
demonstrates Dave's ingenuity (as well as yours of course)
Richard_UK: Does Simon get involved in
the melody writing ?
SteveL: We like that one,
actually Simon wrote the hard keyboard part
Richard_UK: a man of many talents then
SteveL: yes sir
Richard_UK: sir ?
alc017: where can i go to hear some more
of your stuff?
SteveL: Just kiddin
RiffAholic: what do you think of Pink
SteveL: man, I have done like 800
records, it depends on what style of music ya wanna hear
Richard_UK: I don't know how many people
have heard the album, but I think Caught in the Balance is one of the
best on the album
SteveL: LOVE Dave Gilmour, a
friend and a legend
Richard_UK: That's got loads of
downloadable stuff to preview before buying albums
SteveL: One of my faves as well
alc017: do you have a website or a
record label website with some songs on it?
keith: Did you re-cut the solo on
"Tale of a Man" from the "XX" album? I love it
corey: If you do the instrumental with
Steve Vai, does that mean you'll be the next guest on the G3 tour?
chopsfromhell: steve, can you tell us
anything about "the steakhouse"?
website. It has updated info on every aspect of us solo and Toto. Check
Brian: That would be cool if you were on
a G3 tour
alc017: ok, ill do that, thanks
Richard_UK: The way that Caught in the
Balance has a heavy synth bias, but reverts back to gutsy guitar riffs
Richard_UK: they'd have to call it G4
SteveL: The Steakhouse is my
studio along with Risk and Lee Becnch. We just got an old Neve, very
SteveL: G-3-4.. Hey I'd love to
play with those guys, as a matter of fact when Joe played in LA Vai
and me came out and played with him. They are my friends and they are
brilliant. It was an honor
corey: Do you ever tire of the studio?
SteveL: I like playing live ALOT
more, I look at the studio as painting a picture and playin live is like
WolfM: The producers would like
to thank Stan Lamendola and the crew for their assistance during our
visit to Brauer's studio rentals.
Richard_UK: do you prefer doing it solo
SteveL: Yeah thanks to the guys
at Brauers, Stan especially
Click Here for Andy Brauer's
WolfM: Stan Lamedola
Richard_UK: Steve, who came up with the
Mindfields album title, and especially the cover art idea ?
corey: Thanks, Steve. And Wolf. You guys
Brian: What is this picture we are
stomp: id love to see you in a solo
SteveL: It was a band effort
along with our art guru Doug brown. We have a live album coming out in
Sept called LIVEFIELDS, its really cool, has alot of good playing on
it from everyone
SteveL: tHE SOLO STUFF IS COMING
i PROMISE, THANKS ALOT FOR ASKIN
corey: look forward to it, thanks.
chopsfromhell: i've got an import
laserdisc of toto live at le zenith, in paris...you do a lot more
tapping live than i hear of you on tape...i don't really hear that much
tapping in your recordings, but you definitely have it mastered....along
with everything else...lol.
stomp: how come you californians stay
away from jersey when you do shows and clinics i wish youd come around
the east coast more often
SteveL: Well tapping is cool but
I always thought I was baggin on Eddie, we play together sometimes and I
just can't do it in front of him without laughing
chaz: good cause it will take some time
to learn these riffs
SteveL: I was just in Jersey 3
weeks ago and my girlfriend is a Jersey girl
corey: Steve, thanks a lot. You can
rock, that's for sure.
Richard_UK: Steve, thanks this is great
SteveL: Thanks alot for comin by
and hanging out. I really had a great time, thanks to Wolf and Dave and
the guys for the opprtunity, I hope to do it again soon
WolfM: Thanks for your
Richard_UK: What are you going to do
with the rest of the day, Steve ?
WolfM: Let's hear it for Luke!!
SteveL: Thanks again to you all
stomp: sorry steve . ive been married to
a jersey girl for 13 years
Richard_UK: no, but pulling the
clawhammer out again must have hurt
Richard_UK: thanks steve
SteveL: Thanks to you guys. have
a beer on me
keith: Thanks a ton, Steve
Matthias_-_Germany: Thanks from Germany
WolfM: Luke you're the man
Richard_UK: and the UK
Special thanks to Toto's management!
Intellijams Production www.wolfmarshall.com
Executive Producer- Dave Storrs
Producer/MC- Wolf Marshall
Software/Media/HTML by Riff Interactive LLC www.riffinteractive.com
Media Producer/Engineer- Michael Johnson
Technical Supervisor/Support- Steve Roeder
An Exclusive EMP Event www.experience.org
Special thanks to the EMP staff for making this event
possible: Jon Kertzer, Diane Andolsek, Monica Hare, Fred Silber, Andrea
Weatherhead, Jody Patton &