Mike Portnoy talked about SONS OF APOLLO – a supergroup he’s part of alongside Derek Sherinian, Billy Sheehan, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and Jeff Scott Soto – singling out showmanship as one of the factors that separate the band from other virtuoso acts.
He told Mitch Lafon(as transcribed by Ultimate-Guitar.com): “A lot of prog bands… I don’t want to point fingers, but a lot of prog bands are simply boring to watch on stage. They’re just like scientists doing a musical experiment. This band has the energy and excitement of like Van Halen with the musicality of Rush. It’s kind of a great combination.”
Mike also noted about the band: “Everybody just fires on all cylinders. It is a five-headed musical spectacle. It’s a beast on stage. And you can see the look on people’s faces. Their jaws are on the ground. Not only the technical abilities, but the showmanship and the performance and the energy.”
The drummer then proceeded to sing praises of Bumblefoot and Jeff, saying: “Obviously Derek and I have that connection from Dream Theater, Billy and I have a deep connection playing in The Winery Dogs for so many years, but Bumblefoot and Jeff Scott Soto to me are the unsung heroes and the big shockers that people are walking away from the shows blown away by.
“Jeff is such an amazing frontman. He knows how to work the crowd, he’s got energy and enthusiasm. His voice is so melodic and strong.
“And then Bumblefoot is the other piece of the puzzle. He is like a mad scientist on guitar. I’ve played with the greatest guitar players in the world, and I gotta say Bumblefoot might be the most eccentric… Like deepest musical knowledge of anybody I’ve played with. He’s got this amazing voice. He’s kind of like the Glenn Hughes of the band in terms of the vocal… He’s like the ace in the hole or whatever. The secret weapon. He’s like the musical genius of the band, to be honest.”