For the past few months, rumours have been circulating about a new secret project including former Dream Theater members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian. Now, the time has come to make the grand and highly anticipated introduction to their new band, Sons of Apollo.
Reuniting to form Sons of Apollo, Portnoy and Sherinian have joined forces with Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses), Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force). Their debut album, Psychotic Symphony, will be released October 20 on InsideOutMusic/Sony Music.
The band have launched their first track, Signs of the Time. Mike comments: “Signs Of The Time was the very first thing myself, Derek & Bumblefoot wrote when we got together to begin writing for Sons Of Apollo in March of this year.
It starts with this heavy, brutal Bumbleriff (initally coined Korntera), then goes into a cool verse with a 2-part vocal melody that I wrote sung by Jeff and myself…which eventually opens up to a HUGE vocal hook in the chorus that Jeff wrote (sung in 3-part harmony by Jeff, myself and Bumblefoot)
The middle section riffs are a few things that Derek brought in and show why he is the most badss keyboard player in the biz (playing the keys like a guitar player on fire!) and then we have the long extended breakdown and guitar solo which shows why Bumblefoot is one of today’s greatest guitar heroes! This album is going to get him the recognition he truly deserves and this particular guitar solo is one of the tastiest, most insane solos I’ve ever heard…
So all in all, this song has a little bit of everything that makes Sons Of Apollo so special…great heavy riffs, amazing solos with individual instrumental virtuosity and a big, catchy chorus with more hooks than a tackle box!!
I figured this would be a great “first taste” to introduce the world to this amazing new supergroup…and there’s a whole lot more of different musical styles and twist & turns still to come all throughout the album…”
Listen to first track, Signs Of The Time here:
Psychotic Symphony was produced by the dynamic production duo of Portnoy and Sherinian, also affectionately known as The Del Fuvio Brothers, which is the nickname given to them over twenty years ago during their time together in Dream Theater.
Sons of Apollo got together very organically, as Portnoy explains: “Derek and I reunited shortly after I left Dream Theater in 2010 and we put together an all-instrumental touring band with he and I, Billy Sheehan, and Tony MacAlpine. That was my first time working with Derek since the nineties when he was in Dream Theater and it was just great to be working with him again. Ever since that tour, which was really just a one-off live thing, he has been nudging me to start a real, original, full-time band. The timing just had never been right, because I had too many other things on my plate. Long story short, the time was finally right to take the bait and put together a band.”
“Mike and I work at a relentless pace in the studio,” continues Sherinian. “The music is modern, but we have an old school soul. What is unique about Sons of Apollo is that we have true rock n’ roll swagger along with the virtuosity– a lethal combination!”
But what to call the next great supergroup? “Derek was mainly the one behind the name,” says Portnoy. “I have a list that I keep on my phone of about a hundred different band names, which I constantly have to refer to every time I have a new band every year (laughs). So, I pulled up the list and Apollo was one of the names on the list. It was a word that both of us really liked. We started fiddling with different variations of the word. One of the original band names we were working with was Apollo Creed, the character from the ‘Rocky’ movies, but after lots of different discussions on different variations, Derek suggested Sons of Apollo and it seemed to stick. Apollo is the God of Music so with that in mind it seemed like a fitting name.”
Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinian and Billy Sheehan previously toured together in 2012 and 2013 as PSMS (along with guitarist Tony MacAlpine), playing all instrumental versions from each of their previously recorded music. Sons of Apollo is the next logical progression by adding a vocalist and creating all-original material. The band incorporates the progressive style and individual technical prowess that Portnoy & Sherinian shared together in Dream Theater combined with the swagger and groove of Van Halen, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.
“I have known Mike and Derek for a long time, so when they came to me with Sons of Apollo, I jumped on this straight away,” says Thomas Waber, Label Manager/A&R International of InsideOutMusic. “However, the album they ended up recording exceeded my already high expectations by a long mile! We couldn’t be happier about it!”
Sons of Apollo will hit the road in 2018 for their first worldwide tour.
“This is a real band,” Portnoy declares. “This is going to pick up for me and Billy where The Winery Dogs left off, in terms of this being the next logical full-time thing for us. I’m not saying The Winery Dogs have broken up, because we haven’t, we’re just on a break. Sons of Apollo is absolutely going to be a full-time band and we plan on touring all over the world all throughout 2018 and, honestly, it is the priority for all five of us.”
Sherinian agrees, “We will go on a worldwide crusade in 2018 to bring Sons of Apollo to as many people as possible. Apollo was the God of Music, and we are his mighty offspring!”
PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY TRACK LISTNG:
God of The Sun
Signs of the Time
Lost In Oblivion