Toto’s Steve Lukather Says He’s Going Deaf

Toto’s Steve Lukather recently joined an interview with Australian Musician. In addition to discussing his latest album, ‘Bridges,’ during the chat, the singer shared insights about his health, specifically his hearing loss. He said:

“My hearing is a little bit messed up, you know, and I hear better if I’m just in the room. I don’t listen really loud anymore. I can’t do that to myself anymore.”

Answering a question about how his condition affected his performances, Lukather added:

“I’ve got hearing loss, you know, [I] wear f-cking hearing aids. I mean, it’s equal in both ears, and I can hear, but it’s just – [if it’s] loud, it hurts. I pull them out, and I use in-ears live. So, I get a good mix. I get – You know that took me a minute to get used to that but…”

Then, he explained how his hearing issues appeared:

“I’ve been playing amplified music since 1966. When I was young, I played really super loud, and then when I found the studios, I was wearing headphones for like 18 hours a day. Feedback and all sorts of sh-t happening. Plus, just turning up louder and louder, you know. Eventually, anybody would [get] what they call an acoustic trauma.”

Claiming that he stopped further damage, the Toto guitarist went on to say:

“So, I mean, it’s alright. I mean, I’m okay. I’m not making it any worse. I sort of like stopped it from getting worse because I started using earplugs 20 years ago when I play live, and then I started using in-ears because it was just better for singing and all the rest of it.”

Steve Lukather has had hearing problems for a long time, but it took time for him to notice that. In an interview that was shared on Widex Moment’s YouTube channel two years ago, he revealed how he realized his need for hearing aids. The musician recalled:

“I found myself saying ‘What?’ all the time. How many times you go, ‘Yeah! [Fake laugh],” and going like, ‘I couldn’t hear a word they said.’ I did that for a lot of years until I ran into my friend, Brad Whitford, from Aerosmith, and he was talking, and I kept going, ‘What?’ He goes, ‘Bro, you need one of these [hearing aids], man.'”

Despite his hearing issues, the singer confirmed that he had no plans for retirement during another recent interview. In fact, in addition to his new album, which came out on June 16, Lukather has an upcoming fall tour with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band that will kick off on September 17.