Derek Sherinian’s new album ‘Vortex’ to feature Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, more

Keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Sons of Apollo, Black Country Communion) will release his new album, “Vortex,” on July 1, 2022, via InsideOutMusic. Returning alongside Sherinian is drummer Simon Phillips, who once again co-wrote and co-produced the album, as well as Tony “The Fretless Monster” Franklin on bass.

“I am very happy to announce the release my new album ‘Vortex,'” Sherinian said. “Simon and I always try and out do ourselves with every release, and I am confident we achieved our goal.”

The follow-up to 2020’s “The Phoenix,” “Vortex” features eight tracks built on Sherinian’s signature chameleonic sound that blends rock with elements of funk, prog and jazz, which he started writing even before “The Phoenix” was finished.

“’Vortex, is a continuation of ‘The Phoenix,’” Sherinian said. “However, I feel the composition is stronger on the new album, and I would describe it as a modern-day, ’70s-style fusion record, but with newer heavier tonality.”

When it came to guitars, Sherinian recruited a who’s who of great players, some of whom he had worked with before–Steve Stevens, Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather, Zakk Wylde, Sons of Apollo bandmate Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal–and a few new allies in the form of Michael Schenker, Mike Stern and Nuno Bettencourt.

“The choice of guitarist works itself out in the writing,” he said. “Also, like in the case of Steve Stevens, we co-wrote the song together, so it was natural for him to play on it.”

Of his new collaborators, he says of Bettencourt, who appears on the scratchy “Fire Horse,” “I have always been a fan of his playing, and I am glad that we finally got to record together. He has the Van Halen swing and swagger to his playing that I love. We were both born in 1966, the Chinese year of the Fire Horse.”

Schenker’s inclusion was a no-brainer for Sherinian. “Michael Schenker has been one of my heroes for many years,” he said. “He asked me to play on his ‘Immortal’ album, and in return, he agreed to play on ‘Die Kobra.’ I wanted to write a great song inspired by my favorite Schenker tracks. Zakk Wylde added some great additional parts to the song, and Tony Franklin and Simon Phillips sound great, as usual.”

“Vortex” track listing:

  1. “The Vortex” feat. Steve Stevens
  2. “Fire Horse” feat. Nuno Bettencourt
  3. “Scorpion”
  4. “Seven Seas” feat. Steve Stevens
  5. “Key Lime Blues” feat. Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather
  6. “Die Kobra” feat. Michael Schenker, Zakk Wylde
  7. “Nomad’s Land” feat. Mike Stern
  8. “Aurora Australis” feat. Bumblefoot

Derek Sherinian online:

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