When Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick discovered his band were operating right next door to Toto while preparing for their recent set at Germany’s RockHarz festival, he wasted no time in heading over to have a glance at Steve Lukather’s current guitar rig.
Toto’s crew were prepping gear for the commencement of the European leg of the band’s Dogz of Oz tour, and while Luke himself wasn’t present, his guitar tech Jon Gosnell was on hand to show Skolnick around.
“I had a fun time being shown around the rig of the great Steve Lukather,” Skolnick says in a new Instagram post, in which he can be seen playing the Toto guitarist’s Ernie Ball Music Man signature guitar, the Luke III.
The rig is completed by a pair of Bogner Helios guitar amps, mic’d using a pair of Shure SM57 dynamic microphones, and a fully-stocked pedalboard housing an MXR Phase 95, TC Electronic Flashback delay and a Jam Pedals Wahcko wah pedal – all also featured on Skolnick’s current rig – among other Lukather staples such as a Strymon Lex rotary speaker sim, a TC Electronic SCF Gold, and a Tim Jauernig Bombastortion.
Lukather also stocks a Strymon BlueSky reverb pedal, an MXR Smart Gate, an MXR Uni-Vibe, a pair of DigiTech Hardwire delay/loopers, a Boss FV-500L volume pedal, his signature Rodenberg Gas 789 overdrive pedal, and the Gurus Echosex, which typically Lukather likes to leave on all the time.
And no 'board would be complete without a guitar tuner. Here, Lukather uses a DigiTech HT-6 polychromatic tuner.
Skolnick mentions that playing Lukather’s rig marked the first time he played Bogner amps, adding that he “approves” of them.
The Testament guitarist includes two videos of him playing the rig: one in which he plays the solo for Toto’s Hold the Line – which he also played in an episode of metal-themed YouTube chat show Two Minutes to Late Night in August last year – and another of him jamming Jeff Beck’s The Pump.
“Luke’s super-responsive tone brought to mind a fine tune by Jeff Beck, from 1980 (a time long before his name was all over the tabloids due to a certain celebrity buddy’s divorce trial and the timing of their recent tour),” Skolnick writes.
“The first time I’d heard it, it was covered live and completely nailed by Stef Burns, shortly before his (1991 – 1995) Alice Cooper stint.”
Skolnick concludes the post: “Thanks to Luke (from afar) and especially tech wizard and fellow guitarist Jon Gosnell for showing me around. [I] had a blast!”
In other Skolnick news, the Testament guitarist joined Steve Stevens, Richard Fortus and others back in April to perform Yes’s Starship Trooper in an epic all-star ensemble for Roadie Relief.