BASSIST BILLY SHEEHAN DISCUSSES THE WINERY DOGS AND SONS OF APOLLO
Ruben Mosqueda of Sleaze Roxx spoke with virtuoso bassist Billy Sheehan. Highlights from the interview below.
Sleaze Roxx: Why Santiago [Chile]? I imagine you could have shot the [Dog Years: Live In Santiago & Beyond 2013-2016] Blu-Ray anywhere?
Billy Sheehan: Well, we went with a show where it would be easier for the film crew, audio recording crew to get to and the people of Santiago were amazing and the audience was great. In the end, everything worked out perfectly.
Sleaze Roxx: When I spoke to Ritchie [Kotzen], he mentioned that there were some demos and unfinished songs. Some of those turned up on Dog Treats on Live In Santiago. You’ve included a CD with five studio cuts. Has The Dogs’ “vault” been emptied at this point in time?
Billy Sheehan: There’s a few things still lying around… they’re not completed. We don’t plan things out. There’s [no] grand master plan with The Winery Dogs. Things just happen how they happen. We knew we had this live DVD coming out and we had some songs that had been completed and we decided to include them in this package. One of the songs on that CD is Moonage Daydream which as you know is a [David] Bowie cover. We had performed that one live a few times after his passing. We decided to include that just to commemorate the man. There’s some stuff in the vault that could surface at a later time.
Sleaze Roxx: Another thing that you’re a part of is the band Sons of Apollo. Is this a band or a project? It’s a super group drummer Mike Portnoy [The Winery Dogs, Dream Theater]is in it with you, guitarist Bumblefoot [Guns ‘n Roses, Art of Anarchy], Derek Sherinian [Billy Idol, Dream Theater, Black Country Communion], Jeff Scott Soto [Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Yngwie Malmsteen] and you on bass.
Billy Sheehan: Mike, Derek and I went on tour with [guitarist] Tony MacAlpine several years ago. It was mostly instrumental stuff. It was a lot of fun. At that point, Derek and Mike hadn’t played together since they were in Dream Theater. When they were putting this band together, they called me and asked I was interested in playing bass and I said “sure.” They called Bumblefoot and then Jeff Scott Soto who had gone out with The Winery Dogs doing some support slots. We knew that Jeff could sing but getting a chance to hear him again reminded us of just how great he really is. The record is done. We kept things very quiet. No one knew we were doing it. The album is ready for release and we’ll be doing some shows in 2018 to support it. I can’t wait for you to hear it. It’s very heavy.
Sleaze Roxx: So is Sons of Apollo an “one and done” kind of thing or will there be more albums?
Billy Sheehan: [Pause] Well, why wouldn’t we do another record? I see this no different as to doing a new Mr. Big record or a new [The] Winery Dogs record. It’s a band. Of course, we’ll do another record.
Sleaze Roxx: Which are we most likely to see from Billy Sheehan, an adult beverage, an autobiography or a documentary?
Billy Sheehan: The autobiography would be the one that would most likely happen…though an adult beverage wouldn’t be bad [laughs]! I do like a fine wine, but I do like a good beer too. It would be too hard for me to modify a wine…
Sleaze Roxx: And for the record, The Winery Dogs aren’t done, correct?
Billy Sheehan: That’s right. We’re doing our own thing and stepping away from it for a little bit. We want to get back together and have great stories to tell from our time away and we want to make a ‘righteous’ third record. I promise you Ruben, it will be worth the wait.
Read more at Sleaze Roxx.