January 11, 2020

SONS OF APOLLO – featuring former Dream Theater members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses), Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force) – are ringing in the new decade with a sonic boom with their second studio album, appropriately titled, MMXX (pronounced 20/20).

The band has launched the Christian Rios-directed video for the album’s third single Desolate July, a tribute to musician David Z who tragically passed away in 2017.

The band comments: From the few seconds of hearing this song, it guided me to write the lyrics about our dear friend and colleague, David Z. David was one of the greatest, funniest and kindest humans I have ever known, he had friendships with most all of us in SOA but Mike and I were certainly the closest. I thought it fitting to include this tribute to him from us in this haunting, incredible body of music – Jeff Scott Soto

“This video is a great tribute to our dear friend David Z. Jeff and I were particularly close with him and I was honored that Jeff invited me to sing the harmonies with him on the Choruses for us to both share our love for our friend that was tragically taken from us way too soon” – Mike Portnoy.

Watch the video for Desolate July below.

Watch the video for second single Fall To Ascend below.

Watch the video for Goodbye Divinty below.

Produced by The Del Fuvio Brothers (Portnoy and Sherinian), MMXX will be released on the 17th January 2020 via InsideOutMusic/Sony as a standard CD package, Limited Edition 2 CD package (which includes instrumental mixes and a cappella excerpts), 2 LP + CD package, and on all digital formats. The album can be pre-ordered https://soa.lnk.to/MMXX

“Stylistically, we have followed the same path as the debut,” outlines drummer Mike Portnoy. “But we feel that it has come out stronger, simply because we know one another better. Pyschotic 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.”

“We wanted to do something epic here, as we did with Opus Maximus last time around,” adds Sherinian. “You have to remember that Mike and I come from Dream Theater, where we never bothered about how long a song was. So, for us doing a 16 minute track is not a problem.”

Track listing for MMXX

  1. Goodbye Divinity (7.16)
  2. Wither To Black (4.48)
  3. Asphyxiation (5.09)
  4. Desolate July (6.11)
  5. King Of Delusion (8.49)
  6. Fail To Ascend (5.07)
  7. Resurrection Day (5.51)
  8. New World Today (16.38)

The album title was inspired by a simple chronological fact. “This will be released in mid-January 2020,” says Portnoy. “That means it will be one of the first releases in what is a new decade. So I came up with the idea of calling it ‘2020,’ except having it written in the Latin form of MMXX.” And the album’s artwork has been created by Thomas Ewerhard (who was responsible for the cover design of Psychotic Symphony), which inevitably reflects the title. As Portnoy explains, “For the first record, we had a mythological feel. This time around though, there’s a much more futuristic style to what we’ve got. It has a very 21st century appeal. And the band crest is more polished, cleaned up and a lot more modern than last time, when it had an old fashioned look.”

“Each member of this band has their own signature sound on their instrument,” adds Sherinian. “And when you put all of this together what you get is a wonderful five-headed beast. It makes this a sonically special band, which is definitely what comes across on MMXX. You can hear odd time signatures and amazingly crazy performances here. Overall, we’ve been satisfyingly more adventurous this time than we were before, and I know people are sure to love what we’ve done.”

In touring news, the band’s headlining “MMXX World Tour” will launch January 23rd in Sacramento, CA, USA and will take them around the world throughout the new year. They have also just announced European tour dates for March 2020, as well as South American dates for April 2020. You can find those below:

North America 2020

Europe 2020

  • Fri 2/28 Karlsuhe, Germany Crystal Ballroom
  • Sat 2/29 Karlsruhe, Germany Crystal Ballroom
  • Mon 3/2 Drammen, Norway Union Scene
  • Tue 3/3 Gothenburg, Sweden Traedgarn
  • Thu 3/5 Kyiv, Ukraine N.A.U Theatre
  • Sat 3/7 Moscow, Russia RED
  • Sun 3/8 St Petersburg, Russia Aurora
  • Tue 3/10 Pratteln, Switzerland Z7
  • Wed 3/11 Milan, Italy Live Club Fri 3/13 Bilbao, Spain Santana 27
  • Sat 3/14 Barcelona, Spain Razzmatazz 2
  • Sun 3/15 Madrid, Spain La Riviera
  • Tue 3/17 Marseille, France Cepac Silo
  • Wed 3/18 Paris, France Machine du Moulin Rouge
  • Thu 3/19 London, U.K. Islington Assembly Hall
  • Fri 3/21 Eindhoven, Netherlands Prognosis Festival
  • Sun 3/22 Show Brno, Czech Republic Sono
  • Tue 3/24 Kosice, Slovakia Colosseum
  • Wed 3/25 Budapest, Hungary Barba Negra

South America 2020

  • Sat 4/18 São Paulo, Brazil Tom Brasil
  • Sun 4/19 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Circo Voador
  • Tues 4/21 Santiago, Chile Blondie
  • Thu 4/23 Buenos Aires, Argentina Teatro Flores

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 2017. Praised by Loudwire as an “…impressive debut disc,” it was released 20th October 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. Psychotic Symphony picked up rave reviews upon its release, and got them a nomination at the Progressive Music Awards 2018 for Best International Band.

Sons Of Apollo online