Featuring ex-members of Dream Theater, Guns N’ Roses and Journey, Sons Of Apollo is an exciting new supergroup consisting of Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinian, Billy Sheehan, Jeff Scott Soto and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal.
The group’s highly anticipated album, Psychotic Symphony, is a welcome introduction to the band, and pulls heavily from the quintet’s eclectic musical influences, which range from vintage prog to classic and hard rock.
Particularly notable on Psychotic Symphony are Thal’s jaw-dropping runs on his 24-fret Vigier double-neck, and his fluid transitions from fretted to fretless.
Guitar World recently spoke with Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal about Sons of Apollo and more in this new interview.
How did Sons of Apollo come together?
We certainly weren’t strangers to each other. I had worked with Mike on Metal Allegiance and over the years have jammed with him and Billy in various situations. I also jammed with the guys and Derek at Progressive Nation at Sea a few years ago and have been a huge fan of Jeff’s ever since I heard him on the Yngwie album. It was only a matter of time before we [began to make] music together.
How would you describe Psychotic Symphony in terms of its sound?
When I think of the album, I think of the writing and recording process and the personal involvement. To me, when I hear the album, I hear five guys paying tribute to their influences. I hear The Who, Van-Halen, Led Zeppelin and Randy Rhoads. Everything that inspired each member of the band to play music the way that they do. There’s Billy’s distinct, undeniable tone, Mike’s tremendous playing, Derek—who is the greatest guitarist you will ever hear on keyboards—and Jeff, who takes the craziest songs and makes them into something you can sing along to. He’s a great singer with a fantastic voice.
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