About Derek Sherinian
Keyboard virtuoso Derek Sherinian has made a name for himself in the world of progressive metal both as a sideman and a solo artist. A member of Dream Theater from 1994 to 1999, he appeared on the albums A Change of Seasons (1995), Falling into Infinity (1997), and Once in a LIVEtime, before departing in 1999. He founded the instrumental rock supergroup Planet X in 2000 and co-founded the equally tenured hard rock outfits Black County Communion (2009) and Sons of Apollo (2017). He has issued numerous solo albums, including Blood of the Snake (2006), Oceana (2011), and The Phoenix (2020), and has both toured and recorded with the likes of Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, Kiss, and Whitesnake, among others.
Known for his versatile, aggressive, and almost guitar-liked approach to playing -- in addition to keyboard legends like Keith Emerson and Jon Lord, he cites six-stringers Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen as influences -- Derek Sherinian grew up in California and studied at the Berklee School of Music, where he perfected his hard rock and fusion skills. He landed touring gigs with ex-Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsies drummer Buddy Miles, Alice Cooper, and Kiss in the late '80s and early '90s, and became a full-time member of the progressive metal group Dream Theater in September 1994, with whom he recorded four albums.
He released his first solo album, Planet X, in 1999, which led to the formation of the band of the same name. Featuring a rotating cast of progressive/hard rock notables like Tony MacAlpine, Billy Sheehan, Allan Holdsworth, and Virgil Donati, the group issued three full-length efforts that combined elements of jazz fusion, metal, and instrumental rock before going on hiatus in 2012. During this period Sherinian released a string of versatile solo albums (Inertia, Black Utopia, Mythology, Blood of the Snake, Molecular Heinosity, and Oceana) that brought in heavy-hitters like Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Stevens, Slash, and Al Di Meola. In 2009 he co-founded the bluesy hard rock group Black Country Communion alongside Glenn Hughes, Jason Bonham, and Joe Bonamassa. The band issued their eponymous debut in 2010, followed by 2 and Afterglow before ceasing operations in 2012. Sherinian's next project was the progressive metal supergroup Sons of Apollo, which featured Billy Sheehan, vocalist Jeff Scott Soto, and guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal. The band issued their debut long-player, Psychotic Symphony, in 2017, followed by MMXX in 2020. The Phoenix, his star-studded eighth solo effort, also appeared in 2020. ~ James Christopher Monger