Toto Covers Weezer’s ‘Hash Pipe’: Exclusive Interview with Steve Lukather and Steve Porcaro

July 27, 2018

By Scott T. Sterling

Always remember to dream big.

Dream big is exactly what KROQ joq Stryker did recently when, inspired by Weezer’s cover version of Toto’s rock classic "Africa," he asked the simple question: why doesn’t Toto return the favor and cover Weezer? Him and his new radio friend Klein, (formerly Kevin Klein of San Francisco's KITS), started to challenge Los Angeles based Toto to record a Weezer song with calls, texts, and tweets flooding into the radio station echoing their on-air challenge. Little did they know, Toto already had something up their sleeves and the duo received an invite to Toto's Los Angeles studio.

“This is unbelievable that we’re on KROQ!,” chortled Lukather while talking to Stryker and Klein about the momentous occasion.

Related: Weezer's "Africa" Cover is a Huge Hit; Does Toto Have Something Up Their Sleeves?

The guys revealed how exactly they found out that Weezer was planning on recording “Africa”: “Their manager reached out and asked, ‘Would you guys mind?’ Mind?! Please,” Lukather recalled. “Are you kidding me? Kick a-- on it! I actually reached out to Rivers on Twitter like, ‘Hey man, thanks a lot.’ I don’t know if it’s a piss-take or not, but it’s a win-win for everybody.”

“When I did the ‘Kimmel’ show, I met all the guys, Rivers and everyone was sweet,” chimed in Porcaro, who performed “Africa” with Weezer on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last month. “They were fantastic, they were very respectful, and we had a ball. We had fun together.”

When asked to grade Weezer’s take on “Africa,” the Toto guys gave it a “B-double-plus.”

“Here’s the thing. Our music has such little nuance,” Lukather offered. “We spent so much meticulous time. These guys stood this s--- up in an afternoon. And let’s face it: they kicked ass on it. I think Rivers has a great voice. And the way they did the harmonies with the auto-tune in there which gave it a kitschy thing. I didn’t know if I was gonna like it or not. I thought they were going to make fun of us.”

"Luke was on the road, everyone was busy. Dave was dealing with some personal stuff. We had just gotten back from the road, but I was here home in my studio where I am happiest and I saw all this action going on with 'Africa,' says Porcaro. "I sent Luke an email on the road. He was in Europe. I said 'C'mon we gotta return the favor. Let's pick out a tune and send it right back to them.'"

"We wanted to do make it different, but we wanted to do something rock and roll. I want to show everyone what a good rock and roll band we can be," Porcaro continued.

"Hash Pipe" will be released in the coming weeks for those who missed it on Stryker's Friday Free For All. Make sure you never miss a moment like this again - download the app now!

Both Weezer and Toto will be performing live in Southern California on Wednesday, August 8th. Weezer plays the Forum (with Pixies) while Toto will be playing at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Orange County. Get Weezer tickets here and Toto tickets here.

UPDATE: Watch Toto Cover "Hash Pipe" Live