First off here is Steve Weingart's reaction to Luke's quote about Marco Mendoza (see Reggie's interview with Mendoza).
Steve Weingart: "Man that's pretty burnin'. That's like on fire! I don't think Luke says that about a lot of people."
Reggie: Marco had some really nice things to say about you. He said "we're on the same wave length musically, there's a lot of unspoken language going on. There's no egos there and we just go out and play". Can you talk a little about that?
Steve W.: "There's just good chemistry between us. Marco and I both like the same kind of music. We're both influenced by the same kind of artists. I think that just manifests itself when we play. Our influences always seem to come out when we're playing together. And since we both like a lot of the same people it's pretty easy to be in tune with each other. It's one of those things that's kind of like a language. Once you're in tune with another person you can almost finish their sentences. It's kind of the same way with Luke and I. Luke was one of the influences that I grew up listening to. So that's real easy to get in tune with. The same thing goes with Marco. It's real easy. We get along great on a personal level. That always helps too. A lot of the same stuff is funny to us. He's such a funny cat. He's a great human being. He's very giving and generous. He's a family man. All the things that I respect find important."
Reggie: You are more involved in this CD of Marco's than you were the last one of his.
Steve W.: "The last time there was a different thing from Marco. He's exploring different paths and going down different roads in my opinion. This CD is leaning on The Trio. When I'm with The Trio it's with (drummer) Joey Heredia. I've only been in that band a couple of times when it wasn't Joey. Back in the day before I was playing in Dave Weckl's band he and I were playing together with Marco. But we weren't playing strictly the material of The Trio when Weckl was doing it. We were doing some other things. But we did borrow some of the songs from The Trio's repertoire and played that. Also Kenny Aronoff those were the only two other guys I've worked with when it comes to Marco. As far as what's going on with Marco now Frabrizzio Grossi is producing the CD. Basically the starting off point for this CD is more about the music and the arrangements from The Trio. I think I started working with them in about 1996. The main guy that was there before me was Renato (Neto) who was out on the road with Prince, Sheila E., Diana Reeves and all these other musicians. I think Otmaro Ruiz played with him for awhile. But then I came in and we have this very like minded idea about music. And again have the same influences I think that's one of the reasons I had so much better staying power with The Trio. The other guys kind of came and went. Renato went in and out of town on the road a lot as you can imagine with Prince quite a bit. I kind of came in and that was the lineup for a long time. Marco was going in and out of town on his various gigs. So when we got together it was the three of us Joey, myself and Marco. So there was kind of a lot of history together so it made sense for us to make a CD together. So that's the background on why I was involved in this CD with Marco."
Reggie: You play live with The Trio all the time now. What's that like?
Steve W.: "It's a whole different thing than being in the studio. When we're playing in pretty small places it's a pretty loud gig. I know you've been to see The Trio a bunch of times. It's pretty loud and the studio isn't. Comparatively speaking. That's kind of a small factor, the volume thing. But most of it is the fact that there's raw, live energy. Sometimes like in a race plain ol' raw speed wins a race. Instead of the technology or the strategy. Sometimes it's just flat out speed that does the trick. So when you go to see The Trio live you're getting that flat out speed. You've just got to get mowed down. There's an intense amount of energy, a lot of creativity and a lot of taking chances."
Reggie: Are you planning on having Marco play on your upcoming new CD at all?
Steve W.: "There's been talk about it. My CD seems to be changing almost daily. Luke and I talked about it briefly while we were on the Soulbop Tour in Asia. Marco has a lot of stuff going on. I told him I've got to get you on my CD and Marco said 'oh ya, it's going to happen. It's definitely going to happen. We're just going to have to jockeying of schedules to make it happen. As a matter of fact speaking of which talking about other artists on my CD besides Luke and Marco. Victor Wooten gave me a call on the way back from Japan while I was actually in the air. As it turns out I'm going to be going out on a few dates with him at the end of May. I talked to him and rekindled that relationship so he's going to be on the CD. I would love to have Marco come in and be involved just because of our brotherhood."
Reggie: Any plans on seeing Marco here in town with Neal Schon?
Steve W.: "I would love to go see that. I'm going to have to call him on that one. I missed them at the NAMM Show too. I was real busy that weekend. This was the first time I didn't actually go to the NAMM Show. Our gig there was actually off property."
Reggie: What's the time frame on your new CD?
Steve W.: "I'm looking at going in probably within the next month. Simon (Phillips) is playing on the new CD. I'm going to be recording it before he goes on Tour with a guy named Trilok Gurtu who is an amazing percussionist. There's a long list of cats that Trilok' played with. He's an amazing soloist. Amazing voice. He kind of has the same thing going on as Marco with a percussion voice."
Reggie: I don't know Marco as well as you guys but I've seen all the sides that you mentioned but the funny side. I've seen the nice guy, the family guy and the bad ass musician I just haven't seen the funny side yet.
Steve W.: "Oh man! He's had so many stories. He's a really funny cat. He had a modest upbringing, a lot of love in music and he's had a lot of life experience if I can use that term. He's come out on the other side of all of his experiences with such a positively. It's really a joy to know a cat like that. He's a rare breed. I mean Luke is like that too. It's really cool thing to know someone like that because it's inspiring to me as a person not even musically speaking. Those are the kind of people you want to hang around yourself, your family and your friends. I've seen a lot of the other side. The negative side of people. There's no need to hold on to that negativity. So that's why knowing cats like Luke and Marco not only on a music level but a personal level are positive. I am learning from those guys. It's music. it's not a competition.
Reggie: Is there anything else you wanted to add?
Steve W.: "Did you hear about the Baked Potato Anniversary Show?"
Reggie: Ya, wow. That's going to be an amazing show.
Steve W.: "I got the lowdown on that while I was in Japan. It's going to be Luke, Vinnie (Colaiuta), Tal (Wilkenfeld) and me. I was like, wow, ok that should be a good gig!"
stevelukather.com, March 27th 2010