Reggie: You've been real busy this year with Toto and solo tours all over the World. How did everything go?
Luke: "Everything's been really great. There's been a lot of changes. Change in management. Change in agents. Change of life. I bounce back and forth, morph into many different things. I find that exciting and fun. 35 years into it you have to find interesting things to do. I have been practicing a lot. I've refocused my life in many different areas right now. It's very positive right now. A couple of years ago I was pretty beat down. Particularly a year ago when my mother died. My parents died. But I think I'm coming through it all pretty well. The passage of time is the most interesting thing so far. I hit 54 and I said really? That seems so old. But I didn't feel it! I feel younger than I did 10 years ago! But with new young kids again, second generation, raising babies."
Reggie: You're on a health kick now, right?
Luke: "I'm like stupid now! Non glutton, organic juices. I hardly eat anything. I would be working out every day but I'm sick. I have bronchitis. I can't work out. I feel fine. I'm just taking it easy, resting. TWO YEARS with no cigarettes and no booze! Booze is the one. Booze and smoking are bad for you."
Reggie: Especially for a singer.
Luke: "Especially for ANYONE! I'm not talking about lightly boozing. Anybody who knew me back in the day knew I wasn't lying! It catches up to you. If every night is Saturday night. If you can't differentiate. I don't begrudge ANYONE. I'm not like Mr. A.A./Rehab guy. I woke up one day and said this is enough! I didn't feel good, didn't look good, didn't like myself. Things around me were really bad. Not only did I stop putting toxic things in me. I stopped the toxic things around me. Toxic people in some cases. I'm looking at the back half and saying bring it! I'm single. I'm reinventing."
Reggie: You had mentioned a new record. Anything on that?
Luke: "I haven't written a note yet. I do have a notebook of thoughts, from the lyrical standpoint."
Reggie: There is a new Toto DVD in the works too?
Luke: "We're in the midst of it right now. I'm going to see the first rough cut. C.J. Vanston is mixing it. Nigel Dick is the director and editor. I'm going to listen to it and look at it. I'm going to see if anything bugs me. They have 19 shows on tape. Whenever you have one shot at a DVD you always say why couldn't we have gotten the next night? It's ALWAYS the most rippin' show of our life. Ask ANYBODY who's ever done one of them."
Reggie: They should just not tell you they're filming it!
Luke: "They really shouldn't! But they've got 10,000 people in a castle and cranes everywhere. Really the least part of it is the cameras. I've had to get used to cameras in my face at all times. You can't go take a leak without someone following you with a camera, iPhone. It's all high definition."
Reggie: You can't go to a concert without everyone in the crowd standing up filming you!
Luke: "Can you just put the technology away for ten minutes? We did Japan, Budokan, 10,000 people. I didn't see ONE camera! It was SO refreshing to groove on. Even in the nose bleed seats. It was really amazing! We had a blast! Didn't see one iPhone. Didn't see one red light, 10,000 people. It was a blistering show. It was insane. It was a great time. We had a lot of fun!"
Reggie: What about the Guitar Workshop you did with Lee Ritenour and Joe Bonamossa (August/September)?
Luke: "Oh ya in Montana. That was fun! But it was also a captive audience. You're in a house living with all these people. You wake up at 6 in the morning to scratch yourself and have a cup of coffee and everyone else is doing the same thing as you! But everybody was REALLY nice! I had a really positive experience. BEAUTIFUL country. Really nice people. And playing with Joe and Lee. Such different players. Lee is an old best pal and Joe is a new best pal. Joe and I have really gotten close. I think the World of him. I think he is the best young guy out there right now. People came from all over the World from all different levels. They didn't come just to see us. We did seminars and private lessons for people of all styles. They were very soulful people in a beautiful setting, stunning! But I actually met a few people that I've stayed in contact with. Scott Tennant, the classical guy, he was brilliant. We kind of hit it off. It was a way to get away. Joe and I went up on a road trip. We flew up to Seattle and just took a drive for 3 1/2 hours and shot the shit in Middle America. Well somewhat Middle America. Everyone was really cool."
Reggie: What about anything here in the U.S.?
Luke: "Ya, definitely Toto is going to do some U.S. stuff. With my solo stuff we're going to wait until after the next record. We want to make it work in the U.S. We had some great gigs last time out. Opening for Jethro Tull was just great! I have new agents and I'm going to take my time with it. I have a new record company that's willing to support. I'm waiting to hear on something here real soon that will get me out in front of America again this summer. It will let me get seen in a different way."
Reggie: Anything else that you wanted to talk about?
Luke: "I'm just happy to still be doing this. To still be working! I do want to add that Steve Weingart and his lovely wife Renee Jones have a record out. You should really check that out on their web site. (steveweingart.com)"
Reggie: You did play on that record.
Luke: "I did play on that record. I was very honored to play a small part of it. It's a brilliant record that they did with Simon Phillips (Toto) behind the desk."
stevelukather.com, November 2011