Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): First, let me offer my
sincere condolences on the loss of your bandmate and friend, Mike Porcaro.
Steve Lukather: Thank you. The last time I saw him he was in dire shape,
man. It was really tough to say goodbye. I knew it would be the last time,
but we said the words we needed to say to each other, and it was a very
beautiful sad moment, the two of us saying goodbye to each other. He may
not physically be with us, but his music, his vibe and his memory is very
strong in my heart and will always be there.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): That has to be extremely
difficult for a family to lose two sons prematurely.
Steve Lukather: Yeah, man. We can only imagine what that’s like. I was
with everybody yesterday. What’s amazing is their mom and dad! Talk about
dealing with tragedy like this. I’m a father of four kids. If I had to
bury two of them, I don’t think I’d ever smile again, but these are people
that have such class, grace and faith. His mom actually looked like she
was a bit relieved, not in a weird way, but in a way like, “My son’s not
Two brothers from the same family … no parent should ever bury a child.
When you’re young, you think you’re going to live forever and all that
shit, but that’s not the way the world works. In my own faith, I believe
he’s in a better place. That was no way to live. Mike’s oldest daughter
will be getting married in a few months, so I’m really glad his wife has
something positive to look forward to.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Is there a special memory
of Mike you’d like to share?
Steve Lukather: There are so many. How do you put a lifetime in a
sentence? All I know is he was one of the most acerbic, sharp- witted,
intelligent people I’ve ever known. Just when everybody had exhausted
every possibility of what could be said in a ridiculous situation, Mike
would bat cleanup, walk into the room and eviscerate everyone in the most
He had a devastating sense of humor and a devastating groove as a musician
and was very underrated as a player because he wasn’t super flashy. I can
feel my brother close by. I really can. Energy doesn’t die.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): The music is also very good
on Toto XIV!
Steve Lukather: Oh, thank you so much. I really appreciate you saying
that. We worked hard on it, man. We worked really hard on it.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Apparently it does. The
sound is really great.
Steve Lukather: It’s really up to you guys, if you get it and enjoy it. So
far the reviews have been stellar. What cracks me up is a few people who
rip off an MP3 copy from somebody because all the legitimate ones are
watermarked. An MP3 quality version is not going to sound the way we’ve
mixed and mastered. There are lots of people who think they are mastering
engineers or something like that.
You’ve got to be really careful not to let all the shit get under your
skin. They just need to wait and get the real thing before making a
critique. They say, “I’ve heard the whole record.” Well, that’s
impossible. You must’ve stolen it. I don’t care if people share music, but
don’t pontificate upon a subpar version of something before you actually
get a chance to hear it. We worked hard on this shit!
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): In the song, “Holy War,”
are you saying that all war is bad?
Steve Lukather: You have to ask that question? Tell me, seriously, in
history when has war ever accomplished anything really in the end? You’re
just sending eighteen-year-old kids out to kill each other for profit.
People you don’t know … you’re supposed to hate that person enough to kill
them under the name of God? Don’t you think that if Jesus came down today,
he would go, “What the fuck have you guys done? You missed the whole
Am I saying you shouldn’t protect your family? No, of course not. The
people that start the wars don’t fight in them. They only profit from
them. Look at the Crusades. Come on. Killing in the name of God? I got
into a lot of trouble talking about this because people started saying,
“You liberal fucking piece of shit. Fuck you! You’re anti-Christian!” That
sort of thing. No man. That’s not what I meant at all, and how dare
anybody that’s never met me lay that on me. We’re making a broad stroke
here, you know? I’m not trying to change the world. We watch the TV. We
see the news. We’re older people now.
Many of us have multiple children, and in some cases, even grandchildren.
We’re in a modern era where we’re supposed to be smart, and the world can
see what the world is doing at all times. But our leaders lie to our faces
in every single country, and they use God as an excuse to kill you. ISIS
just fed a mother her son. What kind of sick fuck does that? I don’t think
Mohammed wants you to do that. I don’t think Jesus wants you to kill
everybody. That’s my personal opinion. If that makes me some fucking
liberal asshole that should be shot, then fuck me. What can I say?
I’m fifty-seven years old. I’ve seen it all. My father was a marine. My
uncle was in the army. I know all the horror stories. War is not good for
anybody except for the people making fucking money from it. You take the
money out of war, and I guarantee you people would not be doing it. That’s
just my opinion, and fuck me for having one. Pretty soon in the police
state of the United States we live in right now, I won’t be able to have
this conversation, but at this point in the game, I care. I care what
happens in the world.
We’re poisoning the world, but more people care about Kim Kardashian’s ass
than the fact that the entire Pacific Ocean’s been poisoned by radiation.
This is my point. We’re going, “What the fuck?” because I grew up in the
peace and love hippie time where there was no racism and no war. Aren’t we
smarter than this? Aren’t we more evolved as human beings? We keep doing
the same things over and over again when we know it doesn’t work. We’re
trillions of dollars in debt in our country. Does anybody really realize
that will never ever be paid off? Yet we’re still adding to it. Everyone
has blame, but no solution.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): How can the country that
remains so politically divided cause this change?
Steve Lukather: I’m going to be nonpartisan here. I think the extreme
right and the extreme left are the same. I think that doesn’t work
anymore. I think we need to be a little smarter about what world we’re
leaving to our children and grandchildren. How sad for us that people
don’t even fact check. The Internet’s a cesspool of misinformation and
I have relatives I don’t speak to anymore because they believe all this
crap. I’m like, “Did you factually check all this out?” God, we’re all
just human beings sharing time here. It could be a nice place. That’s my
point. It could be.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What keeps driving you to
get on that stage night after night?
Steve Lukather: It’s the greatest high in the world. I just played in
front of 80,000 people with Ringo in South America. 80,000 screaming
people. That’s a rush, man. I don’t drink anymore. I don’t do drugs. I
don’t smoke. I don’t do anything bad, but music gives me a great buzz.
I have a really cool job, but it’s still a job at the end of the day. I’ve
been ripped off financially, but that two hours I get to walk out on stage
is what it’s all about. And they pay me for that? Fucking cool. I’ll take
the job. I don’t care what any smarmy ass critic has t say about me. They
would suck dick on You Tube for my job.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Has it been difficult to
balance family at home with life on the road?
Steve Lukather: Being that the record business was sort of stolen from us,
on the road pays the bills, and I do a lot of it. I was on the road 186
days last year, and it will be 200 this year. It has had sort of a
negative effect on my personal life, but I’m still best friends with all
my ex-wives, as awful as that sounds (laughs). I’m not a hateful guy. I’m
just never home.
We’re a very odd family, but it just seems to work for us. There’s a lot
of love in the room. There’s no fighting. There are no court battles. My
kids have never heard their parents yell. We like each other. We just
don’t live together. The kids are groovy. I have generations of children.
My oldest son just left to go on the road for two months, and my youngest
son goes to nursery class (laughs).
I have a married daughter who lives in Vegas, and I have a seven-year-old
daughter in first grade. That’s my life (laughs). I have an extraordinary,
weird life that most people wouldn’t be able to handle. You only see me
two hours on stage with people applauding. It’s more difficult behind the
scenes. Let me tell you that.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What’s next?
Steve Lukather: We’ll be on the road all summer until mid-September, out
again with Ringo in mid-October, back with Toto all of 2016. There’s a lot
of stuff to be done. It’s never dull at my house, When I’m off, I’m 100%
dad. I love my kids so much. I pick them up from school. I do all the
corny dad stuff you could ever imagine.
I love my kids, and I want to enjoy them and see my friends and enjoy
life. Sometimes it’s hard, but not as hard as some people have it, so I
thank God every day for my blessings. Believe me.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Will there be a tribute to
Mike during the tour?
Steve Lukather: He’ll be mentioned, of course, as we always mention Jeff
as well. We’ll be playing from the heart for both of our brothers. It
makes me sad that I won’t see Mike again in the flesh, but we can do our
best to try and keep the music alive. It has brought us a lot closer
together, if that’s possible.
Read the full interview at SmashingInterviews.com .