SONS OF APOLLO--former Dream Theater members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses), Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force)—are gearing up for the release their highly anticipated second studio album, MMXX, January 17 on InsideOutMusic/Sony Music. It was produced by the dynamic production duo of Portnoy and Sherinian, also affectionately known as “The Del Fuvio Brothers,” which is the nickname given to them over 20 years ago during their time together in Dream Theater. To support the new album, they’re heading out on a new round of headlining tour dates in Sacramento on January 23, 2020, which will take the band around the world.
The trek lands in New York, NY on Thursday, February 6 at the Gramercy Theater and in Englewood, NJ on Saturday, February 8 at the Bergen PAC (which is the last stop on the first batch of U.S. tour dates).
In just a little over two weeks, the first official video from MMXX for “Goodbye Divinity” garnered over one million views.
SONS OF APOLLO have certainly enriched the music sphere since their formation in 2017. It says much that the huge talent involved immediately combined with a cohesive and recognizable individual stance on their #1 debut album, PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY, acknowledged as one of the finest releases in '17. Praised by Loudwire as an “...impressive debut disc,” it was released October 20, 2017 via InsideOutMusic/Sony. It debuted on Billboard’s “Heatseeker” chart at #1, as well as at #10 on the “Rock Chart,” and #33 on the “Top Current Albums” chart.
“Stylistically, we have followed the same path as the debut,” outlines drummer Mike Portnoy about MMXX. “But we feel that it has come out stronger, simply because we know one another better. PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY was the first time the five of us had worked together, so there was bound to be an air of experimentation happening. Now, we can draw on having the experience not only of recording that album, but also of touring together a lot. And now there is clearly a lot more obvious chemistry going on.”
“We did 83 shows on the last tour,” adds keyboardist Derek Sherinian. “And it was so worthwhile, because we came out of it with a stronger bond, and that is certainly reflected in what we wrote.”
The writing process began at the start of the year, as Portnoy, Sherinian and guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal got together. “The three of us were at my home studio in Pennsylvania,” explains Portnoy. “And it took about three weeks to get all the music written. That was a very smooth process. The last time, it certainly must have felt a little weird for Bumblefoot to be writing with Derek and me, because we were strangers to him. Now, we know one another better and that helped things push along.”
“Because we all have our home studios, it meant everyone could record there as and when they had opportunity,” continues Sherinian. “We all had the luxury of being able to take our time to get all the parts done, which was a huge help in the way the album's come out. I suppose in all, it took about eight months to record everything.”
There are eight tracks on MMXX, with variations in length totalling 60 minutes. “The final song is 'New World Today, which is 16 minutes long,” says Portnoy. “This one has elements similar to 'Opus Maximus' and 'Labyrinth' on the previous album. It has some insane, brilliant instrumental moments, which I am sure the fans will love.”
Pre-orders are currently available, with digital pre-orders on iTunes and Amazon receiving an immediate download of “Goodbye Divinity.” Pre-order now here: https://soa.lnk.to/MMXX