MIKE PORTNOY About SONS OF APOLO: “We’re Giving the Fans What They Would Expect”

Mike Portnoy

Drummer Mike Portnoy was asked by Uber Rock whether he thinks Sons of Apollo have “lived up to expectations, both personally and on a professional level,” to which he replied:

Musically, yeah. I think what we’ve done with this album and now doing the live tour – we’re delivering. I think we’re giving the fans what they would expect out of this lineup.

This is an amazing group of guys. Each of the five of us has such individual history, but even collective histories – me and Derek [Sherinian, keyboards] were in Dream Theater together, me and Billy [Sheehan, bass] are in The Winery Dogs, it’s great to be working with Bumblefoot and Jeff [Scott Soto, vocals] so yeah, it’s absolutely meeting the expectations.

And even when it comes to [live] shows – no matter who you’re watching, you’re entertained.

Portnoy went on to explain how Sons are different from many other technically skilled acts, saying:

It’s definitely a live band. I think most prog bands are very technical and mechanical. You see them live, and they’re just kind of in their own worlds and they look like scientists.

This band is a friggin’ live band and it tears your head off. You have a keyboard player that plays like a guitar player, you have a bass player that plays like a guitar player, it’s just a live energy.

There’s just as much inspiration from the hard rock world – bands like Van Halen and Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin – that’s just as big part of a part of the sound as the prog elements.


Asked on what it feels like to be considered as one of the best drummers of all time, Mike replied:

I prefer the word ‘favorite.’ I don’t think there’s such a thing as a ‘best’ drummer. Anytime I see these polls or whatever, it’s flattering to be winning them and everything, but music isn’t a sport or competition.

So I prefer the word ‘favorite.’ It’s nice when somebody says that you’re their ‘favorite’ drummer. Okay, that’s okay, ’cause it’s subjective. In any case, it’s flattering. I don’t think I’m the ‘best’ – I know I’m not the best – but it’s nice to be a favorite.

Asked to name his favorite drummer, Mike replied:

I don’t have one. I have several. Some of my heroes are John Bonham, Keith Moon, Neil Peart, Ringo Starr, Terry Bozzio, Bill Bruford… The list goes on and on and on.

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