Derek Sherinian

Wed
08
Nov

Rock Talk with Mitch Lafon -

 
Sons Of Apollo, Van Halen & Act Of Defiance 
 
In this episode, keyboardist Derek Sherinian discusses new band Sons Of Apollo and their new album Psychotic Symphony, the future of Black Country Communion, and look back at his work with KISS, Alice Cooper and Billy Idol. 
 
Our second interview is with former Van Halen & Sex Pistols insider, Noel E. Monk. He discusses his new book Runnin’ With the Devil: A Backstage Pass Into the Wild Times, Loud Rock and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen. Sammy Hagar fans be warned! 
 
And lastly, guitarist Chris Broderick discusses Act Of Defiance’s latest album, Old Scars New Wounds.
 
Mitch also discusses the upcoming Judas Priest Firepower tour with Black Star Riders & Saxon. And walks you through singer Ricky Warwick’s solo discography. 
 

 

Categories: 
 
Wed
02
Aug

SONS OF APOLLO Unites PORTNOY, SHEEHAN, SOTO, SHERINIAN & BUMBLEFOOT

Introducing SONS OF APOLLO!
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 20th October on InsideOutMusic/Sony Music. An album teaser can be seen on InsideOutMusic’s YouTube page here: https://youtu.be/kPN2DttzlZQ
 
 

 
 
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 ‘90s 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!”
 
 
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Tue
01
Aug

BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION Want To Shake Your Soul With 'BBCIV'

 
 
 
Includes bonus track "With You I Go" on vinyl edition only
 
click for hi res
Black Country Communion L-R: Joe Bonamassa, Glenn Hughes,
Jason Bonham, Derek Sherinian. Photo Credit: © Neil Zlozower
 
Black Country Communion the Anglo-American rock group comprising vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Trapeze), drummer Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin, Foreigner), Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Alice Cooper, Billy Idol) and blues-rock guitarist/vocalist Joe Bonamassa, release their long awaited and highly anticipated fourth album, "BCCIV" via Mascot Records on Friday September 22nd 2017. This is the band’s first studio album since 2013’s "Afterglow".
Just like its three predecessors, "BCCIV" was overseen by Kevin Shirley, whose catalogue of hit records for Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Journey, The Black Crowes, has made him the hottest producer that rock music has to offer. Shirley, who originally had the idea of putting Hughes and Bonamassa in a band after seeing them jamming together onstage in Los Angeles back in November 2009 – is the group’s unofficial ‘fifth member’.
 
Black Country Communion is an earth-shattering combination of American and British rock influences—a bona fide super group that conveys to the world a simple but important message: classic rock is alive and well, and in good hands in the 21st century. Their communion together forms something that is greater than the sum of its parts, creating a legacy being cemented within the halls of music history.
The initiative for the new album came from Joe Bonamassa, who contacted the band in 2016 to see if they would be up for going back into the studio to write and record a fourth album.
Says Joe, "I just felt the time was right for Black Country Communion to go back into the studio and write and record a new album. When I contacted Glenn, Derek and Jason, they immediately agreed to give it shot. The timing was right."
 
click for hi res
Photo Credit: © Christie Goodwin
 
During October 2016, when news first broke about the band getting back together, things on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, started blowing up and fan reaction was overwhelming. It was clear to see that BCC fans were hungry for another album. "BCCIV"is destined to become one of the biggest hard rock albums of 2017.
Black Country Communion’s inception took place when front man and bass guitarist Glenn Hughes and Joe Bonamassa fused their styles on stage in Los Angeles in November 2009 for an explosive performance at Guitar Center’s King of the Blues event. With the help and guidance of producer Kevin Shirley, they further added to their rock lineage by recruiting drummer Jason Bonham and keyboardist Derek Sherinian.
 
click for hi res
Photo Credit: © Christie Goodwin
 
Taking their name from the industrial area in Britain, and the birthplace of both Hughes and Bonham, Black Country Communion released their self-titled debut album in 2010, and with that, unleashed their brand of take-no-prisoners hard rock to a world thirsting for music with substance.
Following the release of another two studio albums, 2011’s well-received Black CountryCommunion 2 and 2012’s equally impressive Afterglow, plus a smoldering live CD released in 2011, Live Over Europe, the band has firmly established themselves as one of hard rock’s premier acts. The band took a hiatus in 2013 and focused on their successful solo careers.
BCC has cultivated a reputation not only as amazing songwriters, but as a powerful live act, is only exceeded by their dedication to their craft, and a willingness to challenge and motivate each other to make the best music they can.
 
click for hi res
Photo Credit: © Christie Goodwin
 
When BCC’s self-titled debut album was originally released in September 2010, Classic Rock described it as "Possibly the best hard rock album of 2010," while MOJO awarded it 4 stars. Music Radar hailed the disc as "a potent and stomping collection of riff-heavy rockers that will undoubtedly stun listeners."
During its first week of release in the UK, BCC’s debut album hit the #1 spot in the Official Top 40 Rock Album Chart. It was voted #3 in Classic Rock’s "Critics Album of the Year" poll, and listeners of Planet Rock crowned BCC as the Best New Band of 2010.
Issued a mere nine months later, in time for a well received slot at the High Voltage Festival in London, Black Country Communion 2 was darker and deeper than its predecessor.  Once again it topped the UK’s Rock Album Chart. The band were also the recipients of the Best Breakthrough Act award at Classic Rock’s prestigious Roll Of Honour Awards. Acknowledging that more than a single listen was required to fully appreciate its "depth and artistry", the same magazine rightly called ‘BCC2’ "one stone-solid classic song after another."
 
click for hi res
Photo Credit: © Simon Jay Price
 
Now, seven years on from its inception, Bonamassa feels the time is right to bring the original BCC line-up back for album #4.
"We had around 4 months to write this album, and I think the results speak for themselves," comments Glenn Hughes. "All four of us wanted to make a record that stood up to the first three albums, however, the new album is more of a progression, as we wanted to be careful not to repeat the previous albums. A lot has happened since we last recorded the Aferglow album in 2013, so, in many ways, the new album shows BCC with a much harder, riffier and bigger and bolder sound.  If you’re looking for a folk album, this ain’t the one."
 
The band assembled to record "BCCIV" at Cave Studios in Los Angeles in December 2016.  The album was mixed at Cave Studios in Sydney in March 2017.  The songs on "BCCIV" will appeal to all fans of high quality hard rock, also those that admire singers of distinction. Hughes is not known as The Voice of Rock for nothing.
In terms of content, "BCCIV" expands upon the progression that took place between the first three albums. With an abundance of heavy riffs, undeniable hooks, melodic flair and infectious choruses, "BCCIV" is a spectacular album that gets bigger and bolder with repeated spins.
"I wanted the new album to physically shake your soul. It’s a wake-up call." explains Hughes.
 
 
All songs on the new album were co-written by Glenn Hughes and Joe Bonamassa.  Glenn wrote all the lyrics on the album except for the song ‘The Last Song For My Resting Place’ which was written by Joe.
Here’s a breakdown of the songs on "BCCIV" in the words of Glenn Hughes:
 
COLLIDE
"I had written the riff to this song in the morning of the first day of writing BCCIV. Joe came over and I played him the riff, and we finished the song before lunch. I had a feeling that Collide would set the pace for the record."
OVER MY HEAD
"This was a song I had written after a session with Joe. It was kind of like One Last Soul where I had written a song and was unsure if it would fit our style simply because it was more mainstream. One Last Soul definitely clicked with Rock fans, and got a lot of Radio airplay. Over My Head is in the same ballpark, big groove and memorable chorus. I can hear it on the radio."
THE LAST SONG FOR MY RESTING PLACE
"I was intrigued by the notion of Wallace Hartley (violinist and band leader on the Titanic).  The fact that he played everyone off the ship to the detriment of himself brings you back to a more selfless time in our history. I don't believe the conditions are around in 2017 for something or someone like that to step forward and be recognised.  I felt that his story and this song played well on this album. His violin is in a private collection and survives to this day." - JB
"Joe had two parts to this song: the intro and outro where the track is suited with a mandolin and fiddle. The middle part, heavy and dramatic and dark. Absolutely love Joe's vocal on this song. A tale of the Titanic going down into the deep, and a violin that would perish alongside its many fateful passengers." - GH
SWAY
"A swagger riff leads the way on this track. We changed the groove, when Jason suggested it should have a "Smooth Criminal" Michael Jackson vibe. This was how Jason's Dad, John, would have approached it in Led Zep. I'm mesmerized by the beat in the verse, and when it hits the chorus it's full on Classic Rock, once again the vocal is carrying the message."
THE COVE
"Joe captured the mood brilliantly on this song. I'm still shaking my head in astonishment."
"I wanted to write a song about my love for dolphins. Each year thousands of these beautiful souls are murdered by hunters in the coastal town of Taiji, Japan. They are drove into the Killing Cove and brutally slaughtered. I have been working with Ric O'Barry from the Dolphin Project for four years, and told him I had written a song about this senseless and horrific scenario for BCCIV, that has been happening for decades."
"My heart aches as I watch on live stream what happens in the Cove. I ask you all to listen to this song and understand how deeply affected we all are as animal and sea life protectors. The Dolphin Project has changed my life, and to my dying day I will be of service to be a protector of all inhabitants that live in the sea. There will be a video for this song. Thanks to Ric and his son Lincoln for supplying the footage."
THE CROW
"It was time to get up out of our chairs in the writing session and stand up to find a pulse for this rock song. All push and pull, coming and sounding like the Joe and Glenn song ‘Black Country’ from BCC1. I wanted to reference the Crow, who watches over our band."
WANDERLUST
"Hats off to Joe for bringing this idea into the session with an insane verse groove. Love Derek's grand piano lead into the last verse. I wanted to take the chorus to a very melodic Abbey Road vocal vibe. I've always been a wanderer, always returning, coming home with a sense of lessons learned and never leaving my spiritual path."
LOVE REMAINS
"I wrote this song for my Dad on the flight back to the UK for his Memorial Service. When I went to record it, my Mom had also just passed away. So I sang it for the both of them. I was installed with a greater sense of gratitude. I used a mid-falsetto vocal on the chorus to add sensitivity to the melody that I had written. The content is quite simple. When the last breath is taken only love remains."
AWAKE
"A song about living forever. A song for the Loyal. A song for the evergreen. I wanted to ramp up the chorus and relive the long nights of freedom."
WHEN THE MORNING COMES
"The feeling I had with this song, was I had woken up from a dream and walked down the hill through the field to be by the water at my home. Most of my work involves themes of coming home to be by the sea. The last song on this album finds me in a safe place, almost like the ending of the Wizard of Oz, surrounded by Joe, Jason, Derek and Kevin. Our brotherhood - long may we continue."
WITH YOU I GO **
"To find someone who can share your journey, is in the hands of fate. We meet many people throughout our lives, some relationships, are life lessons on how we grow and learn. 
But when you have found or met your significant other, who happens to be your soulmate is absolutely life-changing. With You I Go is a song about, whatever happens, I'm with you, because it was meant to be. I've done my best, now you can rest, on my shoulder."
** Bonus track on vinyl edition only.
 
 
 
Categories: 
 
Thu
23
Jul

HEART OF STORM Discuss The Sonic And Visual Fusion Of A Rock Concert

 
HEART OF STORM's
DEREK SHERINIAN (DREAM THEATER)
GREGG BISSONETTE (RINGO STARR, ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA), DOUG ALDRICH (WHITESNAKE, DIO) AND TONY FRANKLIN (THE FIRM, JIMMY PAGE, PAUL RODGERS)
DISCUSS HOW  THE SONIC AND VISUAL FUSION OF A ROCK CONCERT AND RUSSIAN BALLET CAME ABOUT, ITS EVOLUTION AND WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THEIR U.S. DEBUT IN LOS ANGELES
THIS FRIDAY, JULY 24 AND SATURDAY, JULY 25
AT 8PM IN THE ORPHEUM THEATRE

 
 
Photo from HEART OF STORM rehearsal in Los Angeles.
 
HEART OF STORM--the internationally acclaimed one-of-a-kind live rock concert and Russian ballet experience--will make its premiere in Los Angeles on Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25 at the Orpheum Theatre, 8pm (842 S. Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90014).
 
In celebration of its U.S. debut, HEART OF STORM is offering fans the chance to view these shows with complimentary tickets, only on July 24 and July 25. For complimentary tickets email: tickets@redrockballet.com
 
In this in-depth interview below, HEART OF STORM's Derek Sherinian [keyboardist]and Gregg Bissonette [drummer], Doug Aldrich [lead guitar] and Tony Franklin [The Firm, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers] discuss how the show was born, its evolution from premiering in Europe last year in Mayto kicking off its U.S. debut this Friday and Saturday in Los Angeles and what fans can expect when they come to see this one-of-a-kind rock concert and ballet experience. View the sizzle reel for HEART OF STORM here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqWoMKefKOM.
 
HEART OF STORM is played live and loud by an all-star band including renowned keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater), drummer Gregg Bissonette (Ringo Starr, Electric Light Orchestra), lead guitar Doug Aldrich(Whitesnake, Dio, Revolution Saints), bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers) and rhythm guitarist Brent Woods(Warrant, Sebastian Bach) and alto saxophonist  Brandon Fields(Tower Of Power, George Benson). The music that was created needed a strong visual, so the group teamed with the young and talented Russian-Korean choreographer Stas Tsoy.The music, performance, and visuals come together to tell this unforgettable tale of a young Major named Storm as he travels to the depths of the labyrinth of Life, Death and Love.
 
This hybrid rock concert fused with stunning, young Russian ballet talent--spanning the Bolshoi Theatre, Swan Lake and the Nutcracker--inherits the tradition of classical ballet, while charting new territory into live, emotional theater. HEART OF STORM is an explosive and theatrical rock ballet extravaganza.
 
Get an in-depth look into HEART OF STORM here:
 
Q: When did this whole idea for HEART OF STORM evolve from? What sparked it for you?
 
Derek Sherinian: The creator Alex Semenov approached me in late 2013 to produce and play on a rock instrumental record. Alex decided to have choreographed ballet performing live along with a rock band, he found Stas Tsoy a talented Russian-Korean choreographer and this sounded like an exciting, unique opportunity to me.
 
Q: What was your vision for this artistically? What message do you guys want to get across? What should people walk away with?
 
Doug Aldrich: Artistically, I thought this was a cool fusion of arts and I wanted an opportunity to push myself in some new directions after Whitesnake. This was really something interesting and obviously with a great bunch of friends that also happen to be at the top level as musicians. I hope to have people walk away feeling happy to see and hear something fresh that is a new idea.
 
Derek Sherinian: Heart Of Storm is Alex Semenov's vision. My job is to help him see his vision through on the musical end.
 
Tony Franklin: Heart Of Storm is part rock show, part Russian ballet--with a killer band, featuring top name rock musicians--and world class Russian ballet. 'Storm' is the main character, and the storyline follows his tumultuous journey of love, anger, jealousy and death. But this is not just a dance show with accompanying rock music. Both the band and ballet are interwoven into a unique, powerful and emotional performance. I've never seen anything like it.
 
Q: How did the idea of fusing the music with ballet come about? How did you create the songs to fit with the ballet choreography?
 
Derek Sherinian: The music was written first, and then the dancing was choreographed afterwards.
 
Doug Aldrich: Music has always been in ballet I guess, but this is a fresh approach that the composer felt would be more intense and fit well with the choreography. It could possibly reach a new audience that might otherwise skip ballet. I myself have never been to a ballet, but now I'm interested. The Red Rock Ballet is made up of very talented young dancers from Russia.
 
Q: What is the story of HEART OF STORM? Tell us about the production and look of the show.
 
Tony Franklin: The Orpheum Theater is the perfect setting. In the Broadway Theater District of Los Angeles, it has a long history dating back to the 1920's. The list of artists who've performed here is remarkable, including Judy Garland, the Marx Brothers, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Little Richard, Stevie Wonder--the list goes on. American Idol and America's Got Talent are also filmed here. The Orpheum stage has been transformed to accommodate the unique Heart Of Storm production. The lights, the setting, the sound and performances are all fine-tuned to express the broad array of emotions of the storyline. I'm really excited to be part of Heart Of Storm.
 
Doug Aldrich: I was so immersed in learning the material that I didn't really know much about the story at first. But once we started to run the show together, it all made sense... The look seems to be heavy....very edgy, but with classic Ballet feel in spots. In other places it probably pushes the limit a bit.
 
Q: Can you elaborate on the band's chemistry? What's the dynamic like?
 
Derek Sherinian: Everyone in this band is not only incredible musicians, but incredible people as well. Tony Franklin and Gregg Bissonette are hands down the nicest rhythm section in rock! I am truly blessed to be working with such a great team of people across the board.
 
Doug Aldrich: Derek is our fearless leader and has put together a very diverse bunch of people to perform the music. I know Derek had been working on this for some time. Then I happened to be in Moscow for a day and I got a phone call from Brent Woods saying that he and Derek were out at a party in town and asked if I wanted to join. Haha. I was asleep and jetlagged so I didn't go, but a few months later Derek started to think about this production and called me to play. I have to say, it's been a huge amount of work for me to get up to speed, but we had so much fun that time has flown by. We are all very different people so it feels unlike any project I've been in. Gregg and Brent secretly coordinated wardrobe the entire time showing up with the same shit and shoes or whatever... Tony is truly one of the nicest people you could ever meet. His playing is just astounding... so giant. Like all the guys I reckon. Brandon has just blown me away...with horns and flutes!!! He has been very patient with us as he has not had to deal with a band this loud. But he seriously shreds if that can be deemed a compliment from me. Derek is that bad boy dude with chops that will back it up. Derek and Brent are serious gearheads which of course I can relate to. Derek has more gear than just about anyone I know.... I get it. There is always more room for something new. Brent plays so awesome. I'm really glad to work with him. He is playing solos as well, but also doing acoustic work which is very important with a ballet. Gregg is joking around all the time... always, but he just an insanely talented player. He like all these guys has played with the best of the best cause they are that good.
 
Gregg Bissonette: The band chemistry is awesome. I've been a fan of all of these musicians for many years and have played with everyone before except Brent Woods, but now he's my new best friend :). The first day I showed up for rehearsal, I was wearing a red Foo Fighters shirt and black jeans and Brent was wearing a red shirt and black jeans. Everyone commented on it, so each morning we decided to mess with the others by calling ahead of time and wearing the same colors. It took them a while to figure it out and they thought we were on the same wave length, but they quickly caught on :).We all really take the music seriously, as a drummer in the band you have two man jobs: the tempo, and controlling the dynamics... bringing it way down and way up when you need to. Brandon is one of the world's greatest sax players and I've played with him at the Baked Potato Jazz club in L.A., on his solo albums, and we were in the house band for the Latin Grammys a few years ago. I was in a band with Derek called Jughead which my brother Matt Bissonette (Elton John's bassist) and Ty Tabor (Kings X) were also in. Derek and I also played in Italy with Yngwie Malmsteen and Deep Purple, that's where I played with Doug Aldrich as well. Tony Franklin and I have played a ton together over the years and have been great pals for 20 years. We played years ago on a movie called Endless Summer 2. It was a surf movie. We've done a million albums together and toured all over the world. Derek is the glue that brought us all together. He is a great guy, a fantastic musician, and a wonderful producer and band leader. The music we are playing with Heart of Storm is written so well that it lends itself to having a lot of dynamics, (playing at different musical volume levels). It's very passionate music and when everyone sees the dancers and storyline, they will love it and see that it's all brilliantly connected.
 
~~~~~~
 
HEART OF STORM
FRIDAY, JULY 24 and SATURDAY, JULY 25
ORPHEUM THEATRE
842 S. BROADWAY
LOS ANGELES, CA  90014
Doors: 6:30 PM, Show begins: 8:00 PM
@RedRockBallet 
 
Categories: 
Release Year: 
2015
 
Thu
06
Nov

JOEL HOEKSTRA All-Star Side Project With Russell Allen

Artist: 
 
Newly annointed Whitesnake guitarist Joel Hoekstra (TSO, Night Ranger, Rock Of Ages) is also working on a side project that he plans to complete a full length album with for 2015 release. 

The lineup is:

Russell Allen - vocals
Joel Hoekstra - guitar
Vinny Appice - drums
Tony Franklin - bass
Derek Sherinian - keyboards
Jeff Scott Soto - background vocals

 
So far there are 7 songs are fully tracked, which are being mixed and a negotiation with a prominent label is underway to make it a full length release, to be released by the 2nd quarter or 2015.

 
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