Vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (SONS OF APOLLO, W.E.T., TALISMAN) recently spoke with Midlands Metalheads Radio. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his extensive discography:
Jeff: "If you add all the albums I've sung lead on, not including background vocals — not just bands, but things I've made appearances on or tribute albums, albums that I've sung lead on — I stopped counting at 100. For 33, 34 some-odd years of doing this, being in this business, it's quite an achievement."
On SONS OF APOLLO:
Jeff: "One of the things I'm completely happy about is that we were able to transcend beyond just being a prog band. We just threw in the classic rock, the metal, the kind of contemporary side — all of it is included into the prog thing, and that's what, I think, defined us as something beyond being a prog band."
On how touring with THE WINERY DOGS led him to join SONS OF APOLLO:
Jeff: "I had done a tour opening for WINERY DOGS with my band SOTO, and I guess Mike [Portnoy], apparently, was checking me out on the side of the stage every night. I thought he was just digging the show or digging the songs, but he was in fact actually checking me out... I basically got the gig without a single audition, without them hearing me on a song first or anything. It was kind of that mutual respect of 'I know where you come from, and I know where all these guys come from, and this is going to work.' There was no, 'It's not going to work.' It was, 'This is going to work, because look at this lineup.' I absolutely feel it's not only worked, but it's turned into kind of a five-headed monster, which is exactly what I was hoping [for] out of the situation."
On what to expect from the eventual follow-up to SONS OF APOLLO's debut album, "Psychotic Symphony":
Jeff: "We don't even know the answer to that question. We had no idea what the album would sound like going into this whole thing. We knew the kind of album we had to make in terms of the strengths and the levels we had to take it to, but song-wise, we had no clue. It just kind of happened and came together. I don't think there's any real pretense of what we're going to be doing on the next one just the same. All we know is it's got to be a proper follow-up, not just a continuation of what we've already done. From that, I presume it's going to be even stronger just for the sake of that we've now got a year under our belts as a unit, as an actual group, where before, it was just the idea of putting these power names and talents together. I guess the best part now that we have this under our belts, we can go anywhere, really."
On how committed each member is to the group, considering that he and his bandmates each juggle multiple projects:
Jeff: "When we actually commit to a tour or doing an album cycle, that's one f the things I've come to learn — that everybody did put their hundred-percent commitment. The only one who had extra things going on this year in between SONS OF APOLLO [tours] was Billy [Sheehan]. He had MR. BIG things that he had to complete, especially with the passing of Pat Torpey. They had some unfinished business, so therefore, Billy was the only one kind of bouncing around with both bands. But for the most part, when we put the commitment in — which we haven't put in for 2019 just yet, because... we are recording a new album in 2019, but to release it the way we did last year, for it to come out at the latter part of the year, where I can't tour [because] I'm pretty much committed to the TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, we lost two months of touring. The album came out in October, and we should have been on the road immediately. We lost November, December because of my schedule. I presume if the album is done even by summertime next year, it's probably not going to see the light of day until early 2020 just so we can actually once again commit the entire year to touring it out, and giving the album cycle the promotion it deserves."
On the extent to which he thinks the resumes of SONS OF APOLLO's members helped the group's cause:
Jeff: "You'd be surprised how light some of the turnouts were in certain cities or certain territories. The expectation is that because of where everybody comes from, we're just going to bring hordes of people together, but as a band, we don't have that. We don't have that level of acceptance as a band just yet. We have our people — Mike has his, everybody's got theirs — but they don't necessarily come together for the band just because of that individual or those individuals. We might have the advantage of having a few more people there than if it was just myself with unknown members out there, but the bottom line is that we're still out there and we're still kicking and fighting and getting our own niche... The bottom line is, this is the path we chose; this is what we want to do; so you have to take the good with the bad, and if it means you have to eat crow for a while, you do so, because that's the only way to show people you're serious."
SONS OF APOLLO is continuing to tour in support of its debut album, "Psychotic Symphony", which was released last October via InsideOut Music.