Derek Sherinian has been at the forefront of keyboard shredding for decades, bringing a guitar-esque style of playing to synths. This approach earned him the nickname "King of the Keys" by Guitar World magazine and the "Caligula of Keyboards" by Alice Cooper. In addition to Alice Cooper, Derek has recorded and toured with Kiss, Billy Idol, Alice in Chains, Yngwie Malmsteen, and more. As a founding member of supergroups Planet X and Black Country Communion, Derek has expanded on his signature progressive metal/instrumental rock sound and illustrated how versatile he can be throughout the years. All that time, Korg has been a key component for him.
We recently caught up with Derek and talked about Black Country Communion, his Korg Kronos, and more:
KORG: What’s new with you, Derek? It seems they’ll be a new Black Country Communion album in the works, right?
Derek Sherinian: We will go in the studio this June to record album number three!
KORG: How are you approaching the recording, compared to the last?
DS: It will be the same as always, I’m sure. We go in and learn the song as a band, then do one or two takes and that’s it- on to the next song. This band is very good in that way.
KORG: BCC bandmate Joe Bonamassa appeared on your solo album, Oceana, amongst a bunchy of other great guests…what was the collaboration process like for that record?
DS: Joe just came over to my house and we sketched the main ideas in about 30 minutes. I then brought it to Simon, and we finished it. Joe came in and finished his tracks in a couple of hours.
KORG: Are there any experiences from the road that stick out in your mind?
DS: All the ones worth remembering are a blur to me now. It is pretty mellow nowadays on the road.
KORG: Let’s get into some gear. You’ve used Korg workstations throughout the years and you’re rocking the Kronos now. Do you have any favorite features?
DS: I have been a loyal Korg user mainly because of the sounds, and the performance. My signature solo sound (“Monster Lead”) that I developed with Jack Hotop (Senior Voicing Manager) is only possible on a Korg.
KORG: Are there any other Korg products still getting work from you in the studio or on stage?
DS: I still use my Triton rack because there are some great sounds on there.
KORG: Cool. Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
DS: You can follow me on twitter at @dereksherinian! Korg has been part of my live rig since 1994. Korg is always pushing the envelope, which makes my job easier. If I had to only use one keyboard for a gig, I would for sure use my Kronos!
KORG: Thanks, Derek!
For more info on Derek Sherinian, please visit dereksherinian.com