Toto guitarist Steve Lukather has lamented the lack of “songs” from the current landscape of musicianship, expressing that while he thinks technical prowess is in abundance, the same can’t be said for melody.
When asked by Guitar.com about his thoughts on the new crop of guitar players, Lukather said that he thinks technique has overtaken musicality. “I see a lot of people spending a lot of time perfecting their linear technique, speed and scales and emulating their heroes. We all did that when we were kids,” he said, before noting the impact of the internet: “it’s a lot easier now that you can see the guy on YouTube!”
In contrast: “We had to work harder, to try and slow down the record and figure out what Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page were doing. There’s nothing wrong with learning the technique, fuck, I’m astounded by the dexterity.
“However, it’s become like a magic trick, but when everyone knows how to do it it’s not magic anymore. It’s amazing, flawlessly executed – but where are the tunes?”
He explained further: “That is what is sorely lacking to me – songs! I see it everyday, you go on YouTube and there’s some seven-year-old girl ripping everyone a new asshole. These people have got all these chops and they’ve got no songs.
“Who is going to whistle that?” he asked. However, he did acknowledge where he was coming from with his criticism, saying: “But I’m an old man from the old school so you know, throw darts at me. I can’t compete with that. At one point I tried, at the height of it, and it was miserable. Now I just think, ‘Let me be me, the most honest me I can’.”
“That’s what this record is about,” he concluded, in reference to his latest solo record, I Found The Sun Again, which arrived earlier this year. You can read Guitar.com’s full interview with Lukather here.