'A win-win for us': Toto guitarist reacts to Weezer covering 'Africa'
Published Monday, August 20, 2018 11:53AM EDT Last Updated Monday, August 20, 2018 12:11PM EDT
You don’t have to go to Africa to write a hit song about it – just ask the rock band Toto.
"Africa" was released on Toto's fourth studio album in 1982 and skyrocketed to number one on the Billboard hot 100 chart.
Guitarist Steve Lukather says it was an oddball song written by bandmate David Paich that they did for fun.
"Haha, there's no meaning to the song, we were a bunch of guys from north Hollywood who wrote a fantasy song about a place they've never been before," says Lukather. “I didn’t write it, David Paich did and you know he studied all that stuff when he was in school and he was very fascinated by it. So it's not a piss-take or anything like that, we have too much respect for the country and the people that live in it.”
The song surged back into the spotlight this year when Weezer recorded a cover version that reached number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs Chart and 68th on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
"It's been a win-win for us,” says Lukather. “I didn't know much about Weezer, except they were like a hipster band that the Rolling Stone liked and they had a guy with horn-rimmed glasses."
Toto has now taken on new life in the digital world, with over 400 million streams on Spotify and over 500 million views on YouTube.
"We're getting a younger audience and it's opening up a whole new thing for us," says Lukather.
Toto has returned the favour, releasing a cover of Weezer’s 2001 hit “Hash Pipe” when their tour kicked off in Vancouver on July 30.
Getting on the road is still a priority, and Lukather says they love coming to Canada.
"We always have a great time when we come up, and we look forward to it. I used to be married to a Newfie, so I love Canadians."
Toto is celebrating their 40th year with their most extensive tour in years. He says Windsor fans are going to hear the hits when the "40 Trips Around The Sun Tour" stops at Caesars Windsor next week.
"It's our 40th anniversary, so we're going to play stuff from everything,” said Lukather in a phone interview with CTV News. “Don't worry, nobody's going to be disappointed. It's not like we're not going to play "Africa" or something like that."
The band is also known for hits “Rosanna” and “Hold the Line.” Toto will take The Colosseum stage on Thursday night at 8 p.m. There are still a few tickets available.