Mike Portnoy from Sons of Apollo: ‘Metal is Bigger and Better Than Ever’

Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Hristo Shindov

Sons of Apollo is the kind of band that just oozes with musical pedigree and skill. The progressive rock outfit features Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinian, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Billy Sheehan and Jeff Scott Soto, bringing decades of experience in bands such as Dream Theater, Guns N’ Roses, Journey, the Winery Dogs and more. Fresh off the release of their successful debut album, “Psychotic Symphony,” Portnoy spoke with Anne Erickson from Audio Ink about the musical chemistry that makes up the group, the state of metal music and more. Read and listen to the full chat below, and find news on Sons of Apollo via the band’s official website.

Anne Erickson: Congratulations on the new album, “Psychotic Symphony.” How would you describe the musical chemistry between the different players in Sons of Apollo while you were making this record?

Mike Portnoy: The chemistry is great. Everybody in this band is a master of what they do, and it’s also a great group of guys. Just fun guys. Everybody gets along well. It’s just a really great chemistry, both musically and personally.

You’re playing your first shows as Sons of Apollo. What would you say is the best thing about getting onstage with these guys?

It’s like a five-ring circus. Everybody in the band is a performer and loves being onstage and it’s one of those types of shows that no matter which member you’re watching, you’re giong to be fully entertained.

You’re an amazing drummer. What advice would you give to up-and-coming drummers?

Well, I would say don’t follow in my footsteps. Make your own footsteps. I think all the best musicians on earth are people that are creating their own sound and style by putting all of their influences into a giant melting pot. I would say keep an open ear and open mind and follow your heart.

What are your thoughts on the current state of metal music?

I think metal is bigger and better than ever. It went through a a rough period in the ’90s and late-’90s, and all my favorite metal bands went through these horrible changes, and the industry kind of just shut it out, but I would say the last 15 years to so, it’s back and bigger and better and stronger than ever. I have the band Metal Allegiance, and we have a new album coming out with them later this year, which taps into my love and involvement with the metal world.

I was going to ask, what’s new on the Metal Allegiance front and with all of your other projects?

The Metal Allegiance album is going to be out in June or July. I also started work on the new album with the Neal Morse Band, but that won’t be out until the end of the year, so pretty much my focus for 2018 is going to be on Sons of Apollo.

Publication date: February 16, 2018

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