Reggie: How about a recap of the year and what's ahead.
Luke: "A year end summary! I've been really very fortunate to have all this stuff going on. Toto had a big summer, my solo stuff, so many other very interesting projects, Toxic Monkey. Right now I'm five songs into a new solo record. I'm working with CJ Vanston, Randy Goodrum and Trevor (Lukather) who wrote something with us. It's really good stuff on the new record. I'm really digging it. Starting this year with 'Rock Meets Classic'. That's a month out. I come back here and work on the album until I work with G3. Then I have a week in Japan with my band. I come back and finish the record. Then Toto rehearsals the first two weeks in May. Then I fix and mix my record. Then I get all the art work for the album sorted out. Toto is going out in August to Europe. September and October will be a few other territories with Toto. We will do a few things in the U.S. The 35th Anniversary in 2013 is going to be the big deal starting in May. We're going to do everywhere. And getting out on those big Tours we kind of have to prove our worth again in the U.S. Re-brand ourselves."
Reggie: How was it playing the KLOS Mark & Brian Radio Station Christmas Show?
Luke: "That was fun. I have been doing that for about 25 years now. I think maybe I've missed one or two. I've done it pretty much every year, I remember back in the (Hollywood) Palladium days you get up at 4 in the morning because it was live. I'm so glad that's not the case anymore. But those were fun days. We had some big laughs, some really good times. It all comes full circle. I've worked with all the artists, Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), man he's amazing when he sings, Sammy Hagar (Chickenfoot, Van Halen), Mike Anthony (Chickenfoot, Van Halen), Satch (Joe Satriani) and Kenny (Aronoff) . Everybody knows everybody, Ed Roth, Mark Bonilla. Mark is the musical director, he's a guy that really does all the work. He's always a groove to hang with."
Reggie: This year you were named one of the Top 10 session guitarists of all time by Gibson guitars.
Luke: "I'm obviously honored, but it's so funny. These lists are so arbitrary. Like the Rolling Stone list, where there is no mention at all. These are nice. It's nice when they mention you. But if they don't mention you then it doesn't mean that your career is over. It is so subjective. Of course I don't see myself as the top anything. I think there's a lot of names that should have been on that list before me. Dean Parks, where's (Michael) Landau, (Dan) Huff, Mike Thompson. Time Pierce made a list but then didn't make another one. Lee Ritenour didn't make one of the lists. On my list there's Jay Graydon. He got out a long time ago but he's worth a mention. These are all my peers and my friends. Who's better than who? Who's the best looking woman in the World? What's the best painting? What's the best song? These are impossible things to answer. It's nice to be mentioned. After 35 years they put me on this list. It's nice. I've had an interesting career. I've had a long career. So maybe that's got something to do with that."
Reggie: You are going to Australia for G3 with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai.
Luke: "I'm taking my band. Doing my music. I'm not going to try and write music to compete with Joe and Steve. They are the legends and masters at what they do. I'm kind of the oddball. Putting a different flavor into the musical gumbo as it were. I've used that analogy before and it seems to make sense. We are all really old friends. I'm really honored and flattered they would ask me to come along. I don't know if the crowd will dig it. All of the vibe on the social networks is good so far. They may be a little confused by it. That's a good place for me to go, down under because they seem to be much more accepting of the idea. I don't know if I would have the balls to do it in the United States unless I want to wear my bulls eye suit! The U.S. is very genre driven. If you're into that you have to live it, breathe it. I've always been able to morph into whatever. As a session musician I was able to cross boundaries of cliques of session guys with the various rhythm sections. Like the L.A. rhythm section, there was us with Jeff (Porcaro) and I go to cross over into the Sound Factory gang which was Waddy (Watchel), Kootch (Danny Kortchmer), (Russ) Kunkel and (Lee) Sklar. And then I'd go into the other areas and play with the English guys, the Nashville guys and the New York guys. I always felt comfortable with everybody and they'd bring me in. I could morph into whatever they needed me to be. So I think with the G3 thing I will find my place in that. I sing a few tunes, I will play a couple of things and then we will jam at the end. I saw Joe the other day and we were talking about a few ideas. I'm trying to do something interesting."
Reggie: How about your band. You've had the same band for awhile now. Steve Weingart and Eric Valentine have been with you for awhile and Renee Jones for the last year.
Luke: "It's really gelling. I really love them. Not just as musicians but as people. I'd like to keep that together. But on my album I'm working with CJ Vanston. Weingart's going to come in and we're going to write some instrumental extravaganza with the three of us. I'll have Eric and Renee play on a couple of things. But we're going to use some other people too. But they know that so it's not that big of a secret. The album is the album and the Tour is the Tour. But I'd like to keep the band in tact for the road for sure. But it's a work in progress. It's little bit more hopeful now. The last album was so dark. I was in such a dark place. I've been through a lot the last couple of years. I'm feeling pretty good and coming out of it in a positive way."
stevelukather.com, December 30th 2011