In his latest attempt to form the ultimate progressive rock supergroup, former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy announced Sons Of Apollo in a Facebook post. In addition to Portnoy on drums, the band will have former Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian, bassist extraordinaire Billy Sheehan, guitarist Ron Thal, and vocalist Jeff Scott Soto.
Sons Of Apollo will release their debut album, Psychotic Symphony, on October 20, 2017 through Sony Records. They have an album teaser video on YouTube.
A quick breakdown of Sons Of Apollo:
- MIKE PORTNOY (drums) was a founding member of Dream Theater and his departure from that band has divided their fanbase (though, to be fair, getting DT fans to argue is like shooting fish in a barrel). Portnoy has since gone on to play in several supergroups including The Winery Dogs (which included Sheehan) and Adrenaline Mob. He also briefly replaced deceased drummers in Avenged Sevenfold and Twisted Sister.
- DEREK SHERINIAN (keyboards) was Dream Theater’s second keyboardist, replacing Kevin Moore. He appeared on the tour for their Awake album and played on the band’s Change Of Seasons EP (a fan favorite), as well as their (somewhat reviled) fourth album, Falling Into Infinity, before being replaced by Jordan Rudess. He has also played alongside Yngwie Malmsteen, Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, Steve Vai, and in Kiss.
- BILLY SHEEHAN (bass) is well-known for his theatrical virtuosity and a playing style characterized by a surfeit of hammer-ons and pull-offs which make every song’s bass line a constant solo. He played alongside Portnoy in The Winery Dogs. His other credits include playing alongside Steve Vai and in Mr. Big.
- RON THAL (guitar) has many credits both as a solo artist and under the name Bumblefoot. He was also part of Guns N’ Roses’s Chinese Democracy lineup.
- JEFF SCOTT SOTO (vocals) has sung for Kryst The Conqueror, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Journey. His vocal style sits in a grey area between hard rock and power metal.
Portnoy, Sherinian, and Sheehan toured in 2010 and 2013 with Tony MacAlpine under the name PSMS. Due to other commitments, this could never be made permanent. Portnoy remarked “long story short, the time (is) finally right to take the bait and put together a band” by adding a singer and composing original material.
No tour dates have been announced at this time of writing. However, Portnoy stated such plans are in the works:
“This is a real band… 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.”