DEREK SHERINIAN “King of the Keys”

By Dark Starr

Derek Sherinian is one of the modern keyboard greats. He's played with BILLY IDOL for years. He's also done stints with ALICE COOPER, MEAT LOAF and JOE BONAMASSA, among others. He first came to prominence in the progressive rock world when he joined DREAM THEATER. He played with them from. 1994-1999; He founded the group PLANET X and has also kept a solo career going. In addition he is a founding member of BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION and SONS OF APOLLO. And, yet he still finds time to do other projects, too. I got the chance to ask him about his new album, how the pandemic affected the music world and much more.

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: First, it's been about nine years since we've done an interview with you. Can you catch the readers up on some of the highlights for you during that time?

DEREK SHERINIAN: I have been busy making records and touring, the usual stuff.

WC: You've got a new album coming out. What can you tell us about that disc?

DS: It is amazing. I have the best musicians on the planet playing on this record. It is first class composition, musicianship, and performance across the board. I know that I am sounding bold, but after you hear my record, you will know I am right!

WC: You have once again teamed up with Tony Franklin and Simon Phillips. How has the working relationship between the three of you evolved over the years?

DS: Simon is my greatest musical partner, but he is also a mentor to me. I am in awe of his talent, and I try to absorb as much as I can from him. I love both of them. They both are a huge part of my sound.

WC: What's the best thing that's ever been said about your music?

DS: That it is unique and great!

WC: With Covid, we've all been going through a lot of changes. That's probably more true of the music world than it is a lot of other parts of our society. How did you get through it, and do you think we're on the other side? Do you see the music world permanently changed in any ways?

DS: I utilized the time and made “The Phoenix” and “Vortex”. I think touring is going to be a lot more expensive.

WC: What's ahead for you?

DS: I am working on my next solo album with Simon. It will be an all piano trio.

WC: If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?

DS: Simon for sure. There are too many great players to choose from.

WC: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?

DS: I just bought McCoy Tyner - “The Real McCoy”

WC: Do you remember the first concert you attended?

DS: VAN HALEN “Invasion” 1980

WC: Are there any closing thoughts?

DS: Yes, go buy “Vortex” now!