SONS OF APOLLO — the progressive metal supergroup featuring former DREAM THEATER bandmates Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian, as well as guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (ex-GUNS N' ROSES), bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, THE WINERY DOGS) and vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (W.E.T., TALISMAN) — is working on its second album.
Portnoy wrote on his Facebook page earlier today: "What an intense writing session we've had for SONS OF APOLLO 2 over the last week!! It was a whirlwind of creativity and we managed to pull it all together and knock it out of the park (IMHO)... and wasting no time, I'm flying to L.A. today to begin recording my drum tracks! We will then spend the rest of the year crafting the album and are shooting to have it out at the end of the year or beginning of 2020... But worry not, there's the live Plovdiv release coming early this summer to tide you over until then!"
SONS OF APOLLO professionally recorded its September 22, 2018 concert at the Ancient Theatre in Plovdiv, Bulgaria for an upcoming CD, DVD and Blu-ray. During the show, in which the band played all of the material from its 2017 debut album "Psychotic Symphony" and a number of notable covers, SONS OF APOLLO performed two sets separated by an intermission — one "regular" set, and another that featured an orchestra and choir.
Thal recently told the Detroit radio station 101 WRIF that the next SONS OF APOLLO album "will still sound like us. That's not something we can get away from," he said. "It will be similar, I'm sure, to the first record, but maybe just turning up the intensity knob. I'd like to — I'd like the heavier stuff to be heavier, the crazy stuff to be crazier and just really up the intensity... I can't wait. It's going to be good. I just really want to make sure we outdo the last record, and the record after this upcoming one outdoes this one, and we just keep raising the bar and demanding more of ourselves and meeting that higher setting that we keep pushing [for]. In anything, you just always want to become better. You want to keep bettering what you've done and keep growing and keep improving and keep developing. I'm excited to take that step and see what we come up with."
Asked how the group prepares before it enters the studio, Ron said: "[We] come in with ideas, but a lot of things happen spontaneously. Most of the [first] record happened spontaneously. Even then, when we have ideas, the last thing you want to do is over-build the idea on your own — you want to leave room for it to grow as a band and [allow] everybody to contribute, and make it something that's truly us, not something where somebody runs with it and ends up writing the whole song. That can happen — and on the first record, that happened a bit, which is fine — but [the goal is] trying not to over-write, so if I come up with an idea, if I come up with a riff, I try to just leave it at that riff and resist the urge to make the next part and the part after that and say, 'Hey, check out this whole song I wrote.' We all want it to be a band effort where we all contribute so that it does sound like all of us."
"Psychotic Symphony" was released in October 2017 via InsideOut Music.