"Not everybody was on board." Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal lifts the lid on Sons Of Apollo demise

Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal
(Image credit: Getty)

Former Guns N'Roses, Asia and Sons Of Apollo guitarist Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal has been speaking about Sons Of Apollo's demise, stating that "not everybody was on board" about continuing the band.

The US prog metal supergroup, who also featured drummer Mike Portnoy, keyboard player Derek Sherinian, vocalist Jeff Scott-Soto and bassist Billy Sheehan, released two acclaimed studio albums, Psychotic Symphony (2017) and MMXX (2019) and a 2019 live album Live With The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony.

Although there has no official word from the band, Sherinian referred to MMXX as the band's "second and final album" on Instagram earlier this year. Sherinian and Thal have since formed new prog metal outfit Whom Gods Destroy, who release their debut album, Insanium, through InsideOut Music on March 15.

Portnoy announced that he'd rejoined Dream Theater in October last year and toured Europe with Sheehan in The Winery Dogs.

Speaking on Canada's The Metal Voice Podcast, when asked by host Jimmy Kay how Sons of Apollo dissolved with so much momentum going for them, Bumblefoot replied, "We were on tour, we had doubled our attendances, just everything was going this way (pointing up). It was going great and we got four shows into a 20 show tour in Europe and we had to pull the plug.

"We all and went back home and then Derek and Jeff, the singer, we wanted to start working on album number three. It's like we have all this time now to nurture it  but not everybody was on board to do that, some people had their own plans and things they wanted to do which they did and so killed the band.

"So it split into two bands, Jeff offered to be the singer for this band that I had with old friends of mine called Art Of Anarchy that we were doing during the pandemic. So now I have Art Of Anarchy with Jeff and Derek and I just continued writing as we did with Sons of Apollo where we just write, we write the music and we kept doing that. 

"And we realised that with certain members not interested we couldn't really continue with Sons Of Apollo. Jeff was interested, he would loved to do a third one but we found new band members. All the guys in the band are multi-talented. It really started from the ashes of Sons Of Apollo we crawled out and and just we continued writing what could have become a third Sons of Apollo album but it wasn't going to happen."

Kay went on to ask if it is too difficult to keep a supergroup together?

"Nothing is easy," Bumblefoot replied. "It can be easy if everyone just shuts up and does their job. If people think about the hive and not just their bee-self. If you have the mentality of  being a team player and not just selfish then a band can easily work and last for decades.

"I'm not calling anyone in particular selfish. I'm just saying that in bands, in every band you're going to have the narcissist, you're going to have usually a drug addict narcissist. You're going to have the conspiring greedy fuck. You're going to have the one that is just riddled with depression and thinks that every note is the most important thing that happened. And also you have people that forget that if you have four or five people in the band you should only be getting 25 or 20% of your ideas going through and if you're hogging it up you're taking away from everyone else and it's you know not a fair scenario and someone is going to feel like they're left out and not being heard."

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.