SONS OF APOLLO vocalist Jeff Scott Soto recently spoke with Let's Rock. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On SONS OF APOLLO:
Jeff: "It truly is a blessing to have the caliber of musicians we have. I have a Bumblefoot in my band, and that guy is always somebody I can lean on vocally, that I know I can turn to. He's kind of like my anchor to make sure that nothing's sacrificed vocally. The guy is a great singer as well as overall great musician. He's got my back as much as everybody else in the band. We vibe it and pull from one another to make sure that we're able to make the show the best it can be."
On the band's recently completed North American tour:
Jeff: "It was great in every sense of the word. We saw the movement of the numbers and the movement of the interest overall. We sold out quite a few shows, and the band connected and clicked a lot quicker than the first tour. The first tour was like the first album — we're still learning each other; we're still learning how to vibe and bounce off each other... We wanted to make sure that everybody felt comfortable and confident that we were pulling our own weight, and it took I wouldn't even say more than two weeks of shows before it started really, truly gelling and started feeling like a band, and we could kind of settle in and build a show and build what we were trying to make of this whole thing from the beginning. We didn't have those growing pains so much this time around — it was more so remembering the songs live and working out the pacing of it. The other side, we already knocked that out. It was basically like putting on an old pair of shoes."
On how he takes care of his voice while on tour:
Jeff: "Luckily, I do have to consider knowing how to ration it, how to make sure that I'm not blowing it all out just in one show. The main thing is hydration, sleep and staying away from the elements. I can even get through gigs and a tour being sick as long as I'm hydrated and well-rested. That's the key right there. That's basically what blew out a lot of the singers back in the day, or blows out a lot of singers in general — party all night, and the recovery time is based on how much sleep and hydration they get. When they don't do that, that's when the voice turns brittle and all those problems start. They don't realize it's happening until it's too late."
On his lyrical inspirations:
Jeff: "Now that I've pretty much written about everything and everyone — people in my life, fictitious or not — overall, I still find interest in things I want to write about, but it truly comes the song itself. When somebody gives me a body of work or a piece of music, it basically dictates what that song is going to be about. I don't have a catalog of lyrics that sit waiting to be used. I'm not a Bernie Taupin who can just write lyrics without music. I need the music to inspire me of what that song's going to be about. [In SONS OF APOLLO,] when they give me the music and basically say, 'Here's where you're singing; this is where you're backing out,' I basically absorb it the same way you would watch a movie or a TV show. If somebody tells you it was a comedy or a drama, you would know where it was funny and where it was not meant to be funny. It's the same thing with music — it inspires you exactly what to write about.... I honestly need to be inspired by the song or the idea of the song before I step in and put my two cents in."
On SONS OF APOLLO's 16-minute "New World Today":
Jeff: "Aside from that being my favorite song on the record, that, to me, is one of the proudest moments of my career and my life. I've always wanted to have that kind of '2112'/'Bohemian Rhapsody' moment in my life where I had something that's so grand, so majestic... When I listen to that song, I don't feel it's a 16-minute song. I don't feel it's got lulls... To me, it sounds like it whizzes by in three or four minutes like the average song."
On juggling numerous bands:
Jeff: "I laugh about it, but sometimes, it's not a joke — I kind of do need a break — but on the other hand, everything I've got my hand on, especially in the past 10 years, it kind of falls in the category of striking while the iron's hot... When one cycle ends, working on something else, that cycle comes back around after two or three years and I kind of have to just keep the whole thing rolling. It's a great problem to have, and by no means would I ever complain about it, but there are times where I go, 'Oh my god, I'd love a break. I'd love my brain to not have to think about melodies and lyrics and productivity.' I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. It's just something that I'll ride the wave as long as I can, and as long as people are interested and I get to do this for a living, I really have to follow up and strike while the iron's hot."
On whether he ever marvels at the talents of the musicians who surround him onstage:
Jeff: "Every single night. I pinch myself sometimes. I've had moments... You've got to get past the fact first that you feel like you have to impress these people, that you have to live up to the reasons why you're performing with them. Last year, I got to perform with the 'Eat 'Em And Smile' band, and on paper, as we're discussing what songs we're going to do, and backstage before the show, we're discussing the arrangements... These are my peers. These are my friends. I've known all these guys for so many years, and then when we're actually on stage doing it and I'm looking over my shoulder and [Steve] Vai and [Billy] Sheehan are going and doing their thing, I'm, like, 'Who am I to be up here with these guys? This is unbelieveable.' Something as minute as that, where we're just doing two songs together, all the way across the board to being on stage with JOURNEY, to being on stage with SONS OF APOLLO, I have that feeling. Honestly, it's one of the things personally that keeps me humble, but number two, I truly feel like that. I'm still a fan of music and a fan of these guys. I'm that little kid with posters of all these guys on my wall and idolizing them. Then to realize I'm actually standing next to them — I'm their equal at that point — it truly is mind-blowing to me sometimes."
SONS OF APOLLO's sophomore album, "MMXX", was released on January 17 via InsideOut Music.