“Transition is a turning point for the album and a turning point for me,” Steve Lukather explains. “As we were writing the songs, I was thinking about everything I’ve seen — all the people I’ve lost in my life, the great and the difficult experiences I’ve had, and how ultimately it was time to get it together and embrace things for what they are, because we’ve only got one life to live and we’ve got to make the most of it.”
Despite the album’s harmonic depth and sonic surprises, Lukather explains that he kept his guitar sound organic. “These days I like it simple and direct,” he says. “I plugged my new Music Man L-3 signature model guitar straight into a Bogner amp and miked it with an SM-57. Any effects were added at the mixing desk. I used a Kemper Profiling Amp for some of the weird sounds, and that was it. Live these days it’s just my guitar and amp and a couple stomp boxes — and I just go for it.” “I’ve been working really hard on my vocals,” Lukather attests.
“For me, these days it’s all about the song and the performance. I’m not interested in being the fastest gun in the West. I want to make beautiful music that means something.” “I equate recordings to paintings,” he explains, “ and I wanted to make Transition a big, beautiful album with lots of fine details and shadings and colors. That’s what I do and what my favorite albums — Sgt. Pepper’s, Dark Side of the Moon, Electric Ladyland, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road — are all about. So if it’s a sin to make massive sounding records with huge production values, then I’m going to Hell.” Seven solo albums later, Lukather reflects: “I’d like to say this is the best album I’ve ever made, but that’s a cliché. But I do think I’ve realized my goal of moving forward, so let me say that Transition is possibly the best reflection of who I am in 2012.”