SONS OF APOLLO, the “supergroup” featuring former DREAM THEATER members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian alongside Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-GUNS N’ ROSES), Billy Sheehan (THE WINERY DOGS, MR. BIG, DAVID LEE ROTH) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-JOURNEY, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN’S RISING FORCE), made its live debut on February 3 as part of the Cruise To The Edge, a five-night cruise from Tampa to Belize. SONS OF APOLLO closed its set with a version of the DREAM THEATER song “Lines In The Sand”, which Portnoy and Sherinian originally recorded with the latter band for 1997’s “Falling Into Infinity” album.
SONS OF APOLLO‘s debut album, “Psychotic Symphony”, was released in October 20 via InsideOut Music. The band incorporates the progressive style and individual technical prowess that Portnoy and Sherinian shared together in DREAM THEATER combined with the swagger and groove of VAN HALEN, DEEP PURPLE and LED ZEPPELIN.
Last fall, Portnoy told Dream Theater World that the setlist for SONS OF APOLLO‘s first tour would “inevitably” include “some of the old DREAM THEATER material that [Derek and I] wrote together. We’ll do some covers, but once we go to the second album, it will be strictly SONS OF APOLLO,” he said. “But this time around, we’ll need things like that to fill out the setlist, so you’ll get those moments revisited.”
According to Portnoy, the DREAM THEATER overtones on SONS OF APOLLO‘s debut album came about organically. “We are who we are,” he told Loudwire. “The albums that we made together in DREAM THEATER in the ’90s when Derek was in the band, a big part of that sound and style was coming from me and Derek. If you listen to ‘Lines In The Sand’ or ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ or ‘New Millennium’, that’s a lot of myself and Derek in those songs. So when we put together SONS OF APOLLO, it wasn’t a conscious thing to bring that into this band, it was just a natural thing, because that’s just who we are. That’s what we’re bringing to the table. That’s our styles and our sounds and our personalities. So inevitably a lot of that ended up in SONS OF APOLLO.
“I think that when we first put the idea of the band together, we thought that it would end up being mainly that kind of sound and style,” he continued. “But I think maybe once we brought Bumblefoot and Jeff Soto and Billy on board, it ended up going to so many different places. And now when I think you listen to the end result, it goes way beyond the prog metal kind of tag or the DREAM THEATER comparison. I think [if] you listen to the album as a whole, it’s going to way more places than that.”
SONS OF APOLLO has just kicked off its first-ever U.S. tour. The eight-date run began last night (Friday, February 9) at Magic City Casino in Miami, Florida and will wrap up February 18 at The Forge in Joliet, Illinois.