Toto’s Steve Lukather says he enjoyed a recent gathering with fellow guitarists Slash, Billy Gibbons, Richie Sambora and Orianthi – even though none of the former party animals were drinking.
He’s put years of drug and alcohol abuse behind him to safeguard himself against the risks of life on the road. And he joined forces with artists who feel the same way when he performed a benefit gig for Los Angeles schools in January.
Lukather tells MusicRadar: “It was Billy, Slash, Sambora, Orianthi and myself. We’re standing there with all these guys – and nobody’s drinking and there’s no partying.
“We’re all going, ‘We used to be carried out of every place we went. Now we’re having a water and everybody’s talking very softly.’ Still having a lot of laughs, though.”
He says he’s glad he “found his brain again” and adds: “I like to feel good every day. I think we all feel that way, because rock ’n’ roll can suck you in and spit you out.
“Try going on the road for 40 years, 200 days a year. It’s a mindfuck.”
Toto released latest album XIV in March, nine years after its predecessor Falling In Between. Lukather says it took time to ensure the work was up to standard.
He continues: “We wanted to go, ‘If we’re going to do an album, it better be fucking good ideas – just to dispel the myth that old guys don’t have fresh ideas.’ We didn’t try to say, ‘Let’s get some rappers in; let’s find some new artist and be relevant.’
“Fuck that shit. We just wanted to be us. If you like us, then you’re probably going to dig this.”