Former Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian — who is now once again Mike Portnoy‘s bandmate in Sons of Apollo supergroup — talked with Eddie Trunk about his firing from the Dream Theater fold back in 1999.
You can check out the talk below.
Derek: “Mike and I realized we’ve always had a great chemistry and we had a blast playing…”
Eddie: “When you say you reunited with Mike – did you have a falling out of any kind or you just reconnected?”
Derek: “No. Well, I mean, he fired me from a band; I healed after about five presidential terms. And here we are back together…”
Eddie: “[Laughs] Wait, you [Mike] fired him from Dream Theater?!”
Mike: “Well, not me personally but yeah…”
Derek: “He was the architect of the firing.”
Mike: “No, I wasn’t. I wanna go on a record here that I felt bad more than anyone about it, ’cause obviously Derek and I were brothers and we were kind of the rockin’ personalities in the band.”
Derek: “We were the only personalities in the band, what are you talking about? [Chuckles] There was only room for one personality!”
Mike: “I always felt very bad that we had to let Derek go. Yeah, [it was a band decision].”
Eddie: “And you delivered the news?”
Derek: “They did it via conference call, they didn’t want to do it in person.”
Mike: “We’ve… I mean… Well, one thing is – Derek lived in California and four of us lived in New York – well, three of us and then the Canadian [James LaBrie]. It was done over the phone just because of the geographical limitations and where we were.”
Eddie: “$300 plane ticket, they couldn’t look you in the eye [Derek]. [Laughs]“
Derek: “Yeah, maybe I could understand their reluctance.”
Eddie: “Did you see it coming?”
Derek: “I did not see it coming! Now listen, straight up, if I was fucking up or missing my routines or if I was drunk or whatever, I’d be the first to own it like a man and say, ‘You know what? I wasn’t giving my best.’
“But honestly, I was winning reader polls, the record [DT’s fourth studio album and Derek’s only studio appearance with the band, 1997’s ‘Falling Into Infinity’] sounded great, my playing had improved probably 500% from the time I joined the band, I’m also a Berklee guy…
“Honestly, I did not see it coming. It was like someone came up from behind me and socked me right in the fucking stomach.”
Mike: “Way to conjure up the dirt, Trunk, thanks a lot! We haven’t talked about this in 20 years and now you bring it up.”
Eddie: “What better time to clear the air? You’re in a new band together, you better get it out of the way. Better here than in the middle of a show somewhere!”
Derek: “Honestly, it’s all good.”
Sons of Apollo‘s debut album Psychotic Symphony is out on October 20th.