Derek Sherinian interview
February 1, 1999
by Steph Perry
According to Gene Simmons, Derek Sherinian looks like the illegitimate child of Cher and Paul Stanley. Derek’s got that rock star appeal — after all, as he loves to say, “Show business is my life!” He’s worked with legends from Buddy Miles to Kiss to Alice Cooper. Sherinian was recently fired by Dream Theater but has no hard feelings towards his former band mates. He’s even friends with his replacement, Jordan Rudess. I chatted with him via phone about two weeks after his departure from Dream Theater.
Derek Sherinian started out his professional music career as a touring keyboardist with the Buddy Miles Express in 1987. Soon after, he was referred to Alice Cooper by his best friend [Savatage guitarist] Al Pitrelli. Derek began working with Alice Cooper in 1989 and has been touring and recording with him ever since. In between Cooper albums and tours, Derek some how found the time to be a full-time band member of Dream Theater. He joined the band in 1994, and was a part of two studio albums and countless gigs, one such show was at Toad’s Place last month.
When I asked Derek to compare touring with Alice to touring with Dream Theater, he said, “Let me put it to you this way: Before each gig, Alice would hire strippers to dance for us. Before Dream Theater shows, the guys would practice with their metronomes. Now you tell me which was more fun!”
Last year Derek and former-DT band mate bassist John Myung teamed up with Dregs drummer Rod Morgenstein and King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor, to form a project called Platypus. The guys released their first effort, When Pus Comes To Shove, on Vel Vel Records. Derek says the band plans to cut a second record and possibly will tour.
Derek is currently working on his first solo record, titled Planet X, due out this summer on Magna Carta Records. He said to expect the album to be very soulful and reflective. To record Planet X, Derek worked with Tony Franklin (bass), Virgil Donati (drums), and Brett Garsed (guitar). He considers it to be his best work to date.
Look for Sherinian’s keyboard mastery on soon to be released tribute albums in honor of Alice Cooper, ELP, and Prince. He says he will continue to tour and write music with Alice Cooper but wants to form a new band dedicated to “cool rock music.” We wish him the best in his future endeavors.