Interview with Derek Sherinian
Interview by E Jepson
You don’t rack up a resumé such as his without some serious chops, having worked with the likes of Dream Theater, Black Country Communion, Billy Idol, Whitesnake – David Coverdale stating in 2020 “Derek plays like the son of Jon Lord”, – Kiss, current band Sons Of Apollo, and Alice Cooper – who in 1989 called him the “Caligula of keyboards”.
Hi Derek, Thank you for your time. You have been in the music industry for a very long time, what drives you to keep going for so long?
I still love to play as much as when I was a kid. I am blessed to be able to do what I do.
Your new album ‘Vortex’ will be released on July 1st . Have your feelings towards release days changed over the years?
It still feels like Christmas morning! You put so much into your record and at some point you need to hear feedback.
Could you explain the concept behind ‘Vortex’?
The concept was to have all great songs and musicians!
With so many big names across the 8 tracks, Steve Stevens, Joe Bonamassa and Zakk Wylde to name a few. What was the selection process like?
The music will ultimately dictate who ends up playing on the songs. It is like casting a movie.
With so many people and companies calling you things like ‘The Greatest Keyboardist of the 21st Century’ or ‘The piano playing version of Eddie Van Halen’, does the pressure of these titles ever get to you?
Actually I find it quite soothing!
You have had an incredible career so far working with so many talented musicians, has there been any performance or anyone you have worked with that has stood out to you the most?
Every record I make with Simon Phillips is the highlight for me.
What has been the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Get the money.
Its very well known that you have a love for vintage synths, what makes a good synth in your eyes?
One that has soul, and doesn’t sound cold and robotic.
Back in 2020 you released an offer to play on peoples tracks, how has that been going?
I have been doing tons of sessions for artists all over the world, famous and unknown. I love playing on people’s albums and hearing their reaction after.
Keyboards are clearly a passion of your but are there any instruments you would like to play and haven’t had the chance to yet?
No, I still have more to learn on keyboards.
What would be your dream line-up at a gig, the bands/artists don’t still have to be around?
EVH, Simon Phillips, Jaco
Are there any artists/band that have caught your ear recently?
I think Tigran Hamasyan is making some great piano music.
Do you have any unusual hobbies outside of music?
I love watching UFC.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us today, is there anything you would like to say to our readers?
Vortex out July 1available on all formats!
Derek Sherinian’s Latest video for Scorpion: