Today, Toto’s founding member Steve “Luke” Lukather and longtime member Joseph Williams have announced the formation of a new band, which also consists of “world class players.” As per today’s official statement, they will continue to tour as Toto. In addition, the duo and company are planning to bring their ‘Dogz of Oz’ tour (featuring “all the hits, deep cuts, and solo music from Lukather and Williams individual catalogs“) to worldwide audiences in summer 2021.
Here’s more info from the official press release: “Joining Lukather and Williams for this next chapter in their indelible history are bassist John Pierce (Huey Lewis and The News), drummer Robert “Sput” Searight (Ghost-Note / Snarky Puppy), and keyboardist / background vocalist Steve Maggiora (Elvis, Moms Mabely). Keyboardist Dominique “Xavier” Taplin (Prince, Ghost-Note) and multi-instrumentalist / vocalist Warren Ham (Ringo Starr) have segued over continuing their tenure in the ensemble alongside Lukather and Williams. This marks the fifteenth incarnation of the Toto line-up in consideration of band members or sidemen who joined or exited.”
Regarding the news, Luke had the following to say: “We could not be more at peace with this move. There is a refreshing, optimistic enthusiasm to step in to the future. At this moment, Joe and I are the only long-tenured members of the band that want to be on the road continuing to bring music to our multi-generational fan base. I’ve spent almost four and a half decades of my life as the only original member who never missed a show or an album nurturing this legacy while enabling the music to continually exist in the live concert setting. That is something I’ll never stop doing, and the Dogz of Oz global tour offers a rare opportunity to reimagine our personal futures while simultaneously preserving the deep connection that exists with the audience while likewise yielding continual discovery. The hope is to move forward with the planned itinerary for Summer, 2021 that will bring us back to our fans across The World.”
Williams comments: “Luke and I have been through a lot with one another. He’s like a brother to me. Our creative partnership has always enriched our lives. As we look towards what’s to come in unison, there is nothing but anticipation to bring everything in our minds to life. I can’t think of anyone else on Earth I’d rather launch the next chapter with this lifelong, loyal and gifted friend and band mate. We’re the last men standing…The Dogz of Oz!”
Luke adds: “Joe and I have been friends since I was 17, and Joe was 14. During the course of this pandemic we’ve been reevaluating our career and how to move forward. People are either not with us anymore or have retired. We still feel like kids who want to be back on the road as soon as possible. It’s where we live. Joe’s growth as a producer, songwriter, engineer, singer and performer is inspiring. The timing of this move is perfect as Joe is at the top of his game, and he amazes me every day. We are enjoying this collaboration, and could not be more enthusiastic about the future.”
To celebrate the new lineup, the band have plotted a one-night only concert event that will broadcast on Saturday, November 21, 2020 in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and North America. Get more info, tickets and bundles at this location.
Also, and as per the presser: “In 2021, both Steve Lukather and Joseph Williams will release solo albums that feature one another performing on some of the songs featured. The forthcoming titles will be issued globally in partnership with Mascot Label Group.” Last month, Luke revealed the track “Run To Me” from the upcoming album that features Williams alongside Ringo Starr and future band mate John Pierce – stream it below.