One good meta cover deserves another. So, less than two months after Weezer‘s homage to Toto‘s “Africa” gave the band their biggest radio hit in years — as well as a new go-to guaranteed crowd pleaser on their current summer tour — the good men of Toto are returning the favor. As reported by Stereogum, KROQ Los Angeles DJs Ted Stryker and Kevin Klein challenged Toto on air to cover a Weezer song last week and, wouldn’t you know it? Guitarist Steve Lukather was listening to the station and called in to reveal that Toto had already been working on a Weezer cover on their own.
The choice might surprise you, though. The group chose “Hash Pipe” from 2001’s The Green Album, which features the iconic refrain “Oh come on and kick me/ Oh you’ve got your problems/ Oh I’ve got my ass wide/ Oh you’ve got your big G’s/ I’ve got my hash pipe.” Toto drummer Steve Porcaro told KROQ, “You know, we listened to ‘Beverly Hills.’ I wanted to maybe even do a real ‘Africa’-type version of that, I was thinking about for a minute. But you know what? We wanted to make it different, but we wanted to do something rock ‘n’ roll. I wanted to show everyone what a good rock ‘n’ roll band we can be. I love the band. I love their music. [Lead singer] Joseph [Williams] and I were listening to different ones trying to figure out which ones he’d like to sing and we settled on ‘Hash Pipe.’”
— Steve Lukather (@stevelukather) July 25, 2018
Plus, Lukather said, he thought “Hash Pipe” had a “better melody” and he loved the message of the song. “And we wanted to do it justice,” he said. “We wanted to do our thing to it, but still pay respect to it. And we added a couple of our kitschy little things to it, which I hope that they laugh [at]. We wish we could be in the room when they hear it.” Lukather recalled how the band found out that Weezer was planning to rise to a 14 year-old superfan’s months-long viral challenge to cover his band’s iconic 1982 hit.
“Their manager reached out and asked, ‘Would you guys mind?’ Mind?! Please,” Lukather told the KROQ crew. “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.”
Yep we did.. https://t.co/LW8zAxffTS
— Steve Lukather (@stevelukather) July 28, 2018
The Toto duo gave Weezer’s cover a solid “B-Double-Plus,” with Lukather explaining, “Our music has such little nuance. We spent so much meticulous time. These guys stood this shit 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.”
After Porcaro sat in with Weezer when they performed “Africa” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last month he said he met the whole band and they were “sweet… they were fantastic, they were very respectful and we had a ball. We had fun together.” Toto’s “Hash Pipe” cover is reportedly due out in a few weeks and Porcaro promises it will be worth the wait. “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.”
Inside the studio of #TOTO @toto99com —- Thank you Steve Porcaro and @stevelukather for the interview and hang! We’re blasting their @Weezer cover at 5pm on @kroq ….its so good?? pic.twitter.com/8a124Ttulu
— Ted Stryker (@TedStryker) July 27, 2018
Listen to the interview about Toto’s “Hash Pipe” below.