Nine years have passed since the last solo release "Oceana" - a long time, but one in which Derek Sherinian was of course anything but idle: Two albums with his band Sons Of Apollo have been produced, and the keyboard player went on tour with different formations. But about a year and a half ago, the time had come: "I had developed some material and got together again with my long-time mentor and colleague Simon Phillips, with whom I finally wrote six songs for the album." Simon Phillips, who has played as drummer on albums by Jeff Beck and the Michael Schenker Group, among others, is one of several musical heroes that Sherinian was able to win over for the project, either newly or once again
"I also wanted to do something with Steve Vai. I had met him in 2017 on Generation Axe's Asian tour where I played keyboards, got to know him better, asked him - and he agreed! Guitarist Zakk Wylde has already worked with Sherinian in the past and was happy to contribute to the new album. "He's on 'Empyrean Sky' with bassist Billy Sheehan - a great combination!" The approach to the songs was very different. "I sent Steve Vai the melody parts to his songs with the indication where the solos should go - and he did a great job from home. I went to Zakk Wylde and recorded and produced it in his studio."