Reggie: You're fairly young. What's your knowledge of Steve Lukather and Toto?
Travis: "I'm a big Toto fan. I'm 28, almost 29. My dad was a Toto fan. They've been around long enough for me to have heard them since I was a kid. I know Luke from all the records he did with Michael Jackson and everyone else. He's sick man! He's a stupid good guitar player!"
Reggie: So you got to meet Luke?
Travis: "I was hanging on the bus, when the guys (Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney) had to go. So it ended up being just Luke and me hanging out shooting the shit! He was telling all kinds of stories. Stories about sessions, Barbra Striesand and talking about Jeff, Jeff Porcaro. It was really cool for me personally. Just being a big fan of Toto and being a fan of him too, guitar playing wise. Being a guitar player I learned a lot of those classic riffs, solos from Toto records. It was cool that he's such a nice guy. More often than not people that have as much bragging rights as he does, are kinda dicks! He definitely wasn't one of those kinda people. He was very, very cool!"
Reggie: What about Luke working with Rascal Flatts in the future?
Travis: "I think Jay especially was talking to him about doing some writing. They've got an album that they're working on right now. So who knows. If they write something that's great it may wind up on a record."
Reggie: What about Luke jamming with you?
Travis: "Steve and Joe Don kinda shredded on "These Days" which is one of our songs. I think the only thing Luke said about one of his songs was "I'll Be Over You". There in sound check that day we kind of spontaneously kicked into "Rosanna" and forced Luke into playing it! He was like 'Do you really wanna do that?' And we were like absolutely! You're not getting outta here without playing "Rosanna"!"
Reggie: Luke is focusing on his solo stuff now and not playing any of the "Toto hits".
Travis: "Exactly! It's funny man, he said 'you know I haven't played this stuff in a long time now'!"
Reggie: You must be on top of the world now playing with Rascal Flatts!
Travis: "It's a very cool gig. I've been proud of all the gigs I've played. Patty Loveless and Steve Warnier. They're in the living legend category of artists. They can work for the rest of their lives based on what they've done. It's pretty cool playing with somebody at their peak. It's cool, all the shows, all the T.V."
Reggie: How about your time with Patty. You played with my good friends Jimmy Johnson (b) and Martin Parker (d)?
Travis: "I miss that gig man! I just went and saw them rehearse at Soundcheck (rehearsal studio). I just saw Jimmy, Martin and all the guys. Those guys are great!"
Check Rascal Flatts at rascalflatts.com
stevelukather.com, September 12th 2008