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A true keyboard legend, Derek Sherinian he has appeared with Alice Cooper, Kiss, Dream Theater and currently part of Billy Idol's band. All this and his solo albums and Planet X.

1. What are you currently up to?

I am currently on tour with Billy Idol, and promoting my new CD "Blood Of The Snake"

Derek Sherinian
Artist website

2. Could you take us through the songs (e.g. ideas behind the songs) on the new album 'Blood of the Snake' (including the wonderful cover of 'In The Summertime'!)...

Summertime was my favorite song when I was a kid. One day, Billy started singing it at rehearsal, and we decided to cover it for my record.

We brought Slash in to play guitar, and he sounded awesome. We just shot a video for Summertime. The rest of the music is instrumental metal/fusion.

There is one other vocal song called "Man With No Name" that features Zakk Wylde on vocals and guitgar. It is very Black Sabbath influenced.

3. How has the current European tour been going? Are there many keyboards parts to do with his music as it is very guitar led.

The tour has been going great! Billy is always fun to work with. There are a lot of keyboards on his classic hits.

4. Of all the artists you have worked with who surprised you most in their attitude (eg Yngwie Malmsteen is often portrayed as an awkward person) and character when you actually met them?

Everyone that has worked on my records have been nothing but a pleasure to work with. Yngwie is such an awesome player, and a great guy to be around- great sense of humor.

5. Dream Theater - Which tunes did you like performaing most either studio or live. Would you conside rejoining the band if asked at all?

I liked playing "Lines In The Sand" the best. You never know what the future holds, but I think that it would be improbable.

6. How did you get your first break into the music business? What piece of advice would you pass onto budding musicians?

My first big break was joining Alice Cooper's band in 1989. My music college friend Al Pitrelli recommended me for the keyboard slot - I have been working solidly ever since.

My advice to young players is to stay focused, and never give up.

7. How do you come up with your song ideas and do you write better solo or with fellow musicians ie bouncing ideas of each other?

I enjoy the collaboration process more. It is always fun to create with someone else.

8. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

What spare time?!?!

9. Message for your fans?

Thank you for your support over the years. Check out my website at


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Interview © 2006 Jason Ritchie

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