METAL supergrouop, Sons of Apollo are to play their début Irish show at Limelight 1, Belfast on Tuesday, July 3rd.
The stellar line-up features members of Dream Theater, Mr. Big, Guns ‘N Roses and Journey.
Reuniting Mick Portnoy and Derek Sherinian of Dream Theater the band recruited guitatist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thai of Guns ‘n’ Roses, bass sensation Billy Sheehan (Mr Big, Dave Lee Roth), and singing superstar Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey).
Their debut album, Psychotic Symphony, is out now on InsideOutMusic/Sony Music.
Psychotic Symphony was produced by the dynamic production duo of Portnoy and Sherinian, also affectionately known as “The Del Fuvio Brothers,” the nickname given to them over 20 years ago during their time together in Dream Theater.
Sons of Apollo formed very organically, its seeds planted with a predecessor group, as Portnoy explained: “Derek and I reunited shortly after I left Dream Theater in 2010 and we put together an all-instrumental touring band with 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.”
With Portnoy, Sherinian and Sheehan having previously toured together in the aforementioned line-up that came to be known as PSMS, playing instrumental versions of various songs drawn from each member’s history, Sons of Apollo was the next logical step. They kept that fire burning and stoked it higher by bringing in a different guitarist, adding a vocalist, and creating all original material. The nine songs comprising Psychotic Symphony incorporate the progressive style and individual technical prowess Portnoy and 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!”
“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 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!”
SONS OF APOLLO play Limelight 1, Belfast as part of their world tour and will be their first ever show in Ireland. Ticket’s priced £20+B/F go on sale this Thursday at 9am from www.Ticketmaster.ie and all usual outlets including DV8, Beflast and Katy’s Bar.