Rock Pages Greece interviewed keyboardist Derek Sherinian in Athens on Sept 24 2018 at the hotel where the band and crew were staying during their first visit in Greece.
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When asked about the Sons Of Apollo debut
When I started writing for this record, I just kept pumping ideas… and a lot of them were progressive and some of them were like straight up hard rock. Like AC/DC, Aerosmith, Van Halen… I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t putting labels or limits to what I was writing. I just wanted to let it flow out. And I sent everything to Mike and he loved it all. And so, we just let the music write itself in a sense. And I will say that originally when we put Sons Of Apollo together the plan was to be more of a continuation of what Mike and me were doing in the old act… like the old record “Falling Into Infinity”, which was 21 years ago yesterday. But, when we started writing the hard rock element started coming out… classic rock. And that’s the way it turned out. If I look at Sons Of Apollo… I don’t consider us a progressive rock band at all. I consider us a hard rock band with sick-ass chops, virtuoso players with some progressive moments for sure. But, it’s based in hard rock.
When asked about the song God Of The Sun
“God Of The Sun” was the first thing that I wrote for Sons Of Apollo once I knew that this was going to be a band and we were doing it I started writing. And I just kept adding to it every day. And probably in a week I finalized a song form. And I sent it to Mike and he goes “this is genius, it has to be the album’s opener”! And it ended up not only opening up the album, but it’s the show opener also. I love writing with the band and bouncing ideas. That’s great, but there are sometimes when I need to have the freedom not to be messed with and let me do my thing and trust me at the end it’s going to be brilliant.
Considering to play other members’ solo material live
Honestly, I like to be in the present. To play songs from the past it’s cool and stuff, but in my mind I want to keep it fresh, I want to be new. I want to tread on new ground. I don’t even miss the ones we are doing now (Ed, referring to Dream Theater songs)… honestly, if it was up to me we wouldn’t play any of it. Mike is a lot in control of the setlist. And we kind of have to play from that record because there are fans of both of us that really enjoy that record. So, that’s cool, but in the future after next year I don’t see us playing that stuff anymore. ‘Cause there is no need to. ‘Cause we have our own music and that was a long time ago.
New Sons Of Apollo album
We’re going in the studio early next year (this interview was shot in September 2018) to put a record sometime in 2019. But, I don’t know what the release date will be. It will be continuation of the way I write. If this is how I did it in 2017, that’s going to be the same every year. It’s just a matter of how I feel at the time and what comes out. There is no strategy, I just go and do it.
What’s the status in Black Country Communion
The status is that everyone is doing other things. Joe is doing his solo career, Glen is out touring, Jason has his Led Zeppelin experience that he is doing… And I am doing Sons Of Apollo. Maybe next year if things work out we will do a fifth record. I love playing with that band. Those guys are amazing. Joe, Glen and Jason are top notch! Same way as Sons Of Apollo is top notch, but it’s a different vibe. It’s a different hit. Where Black Country Communion is old school rock, Sons Of Apollo has a metal and progressive element that BCC doesn’t have. It’s cool, I get the best of both worlds.
Any memories from that night you played in Athens with Mike in Dream Theater in 1998?
Great memories! In fact last night Mike and I were having dinner with the band and crew up here and we could see the Acropolis all lit up and then the theater that we played. That gig was always in my Top3 that I remember because first of all it’s in Greece, the homeland of my mother. And then, just that theater was gorgeous, it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen with its white stones it was built up in the mountain… it was high up. It was awesome! So, yeah! Of course, great memories!
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