Derek Sherinian

Derek Sherinian

Sherinian performing with Billy Idol in 2006
Background information
Born August 25, 1966 (1966-08-25) (age 45)
Laguna Beach, California
United States
Genres hard rock, Progressive metal, progressive rock, neo-classical metal, metal fusion jazz fusion, classic rock
Occupations Musician, songwriter, producer
Instruments Keyboards, Guitar, backing vocals
Years active 1982–present
Labels Mascot Label Group, InsideOut Music.
Associated acts Dream Theater, Planet X, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Yngwie Malmsteen, Eddie Van Halen, Billy Idol, Black Country Communion

Derek Sherinian (born August 25, 1966) is a rock keyboardist who has toured and recorded for Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, Yngwie Malmsteen, Kiss, and Alice In Chains.[1] He was also a member of Dream Theater and is the founder of the instrumental metal-fusion band Planet X. His solo albums feature several prominent artists, including Slash, Yngwie Malmsteen, Allan Holdsworth, Steve Lukather, John Sykes, Billy Sheehan, Zakk Wylde and Al Di Meola. Sherinian is a founding member of the supergroup Black Country Communion.[2]

Sherinian has distinguished himself by his aggressive "guitaristic" approach to his keyboard style. He appears on the cover of Keyboard Magazine November 2011 issue. Keyboard declared Sherinian a "Keyboard hero for a new generation." Sherinian has also been called the "King of the Keys" by Guitar World magazine and the "Caligula of Keyboards" by Alice Cooper. His main musical influences include Elton John, Van Halen,and Jeff Beck.




Sherinian was born in Laguna Beach, California of Greek-Armenian descent. He began taking piano lessons at age five in Santa Cruz, California.[3][4] After his junior year at Soquel High School, he received a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston where he was the roommate of future Megadeth guitarist and Trans-Siberian Orchestra musical director Al Pitrelli.[3][5] He has since studied with other keyboard players, including Mitchel Forman, T Lavitz and Russell Ferrante. His first professional gig after leaving Boston was with ex-Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsies drummer Buddy Miles. Sherinian got his first big break with Alice Cooper in 1989 to tour in support of the platinum selling "Trash" album.[3] After touring with Alice Cooper, Sherinian played offstage keyboards on the 1992 KISS Revenge tour.[3]

In 1994, Derek replaced Kevin Moore in the progressive metal band Dream Theater, originally just for the band's promotional tour for Awake. On February 1995, however, he was made a full-time member of the band. He recorded the albums A Change of Seasons (1995), Falling Into Infinity (1997), and Once In A LIVEtime (1998) with Dream Theater before being replaced in January 1999 by Jordan Rudess due to creative differences and turmoil within the band.[5][6][7][8] Sherinian remained on good terms with the band, and reunited with Dream Theater for a one-off concert in 2004, which was recorded and released as When Dream and Day Reunite (2004). The band's performance of "Metropolis Pt. 1" featured an extended improvisation between Sherinian, Rudess, and guitarist John Petrucci.

During the late 1990s, Sherinian released two albums with the progressive rock supergroup Platypus, which also featured Dream Theater bassist John Myung, Dregs drummer Rod Morgenstein, and King's X guitarist Ty Tabor. The group released two albums, When Pus Comes to Shove (1998) and Ice Cycles (2000), before disbanding in 2000.[9]

1999 – present

Since 1999, Sherinian has recorded seven solo albums, featuring performances by numerous highly acclaimed musicians.

Sherinian's first solo album, Planet X (1999), written and recorded with Australian drummer Virgil Donati, led to the formation of a band of the same name (Planet X). Guitar virtuoso Tony MacAlpine was recruited to complete the band. Sherinian has stated that his intention when forming Planet X was to create a group of musicians that "played their instruments so fiercely, that they would strike fear in the hearts of all musicians".

In 2001, Derek teamed with drummer Simon Phillips and guitarists Steve Lukather and Zakk Wylde to record Inertia,[10] followed by Black Utopia (2003). For Black Utopia, three new faces joined Sherinian’s group: bassist Billy Sheehan, rock guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, and jazz fusion guitarist Al Di Meola.[11][12] With respect to this fusion-influenced lineup, Sherinian stated:

I have always been a fan of jazz fusion, but from the perspective of a rock player crossing over to jazz, not vice versa. I think that is how Jeff Beck (who Sherinian stated he hopes to play with in a recent interview) approached his classic instrumental records and I like to follow in that path.[3]

Sherinian also calls the album "a lot darker and heavier than [Inertia]".[13] In Japan, the cover of Black Utopia was altered to remove the cross in the title without Sherinian's consent; Sherinian has commented that the cross "meant nothing" and was added for aesthetic purposes.[13]

Sherinian extended further into the fusion realm by collaborating with guitarist Allan Holdsworth and violinist Jerry Goodman (formerly of the Mahavishnu Orchestra) on Mythology (2004).[14] In addition to another appearance by Phillips, other musicians appearing on this recording were Zakk Wylde, John Sykes, Steve Stevens, and Tony Franklin.[3][14]

Since 2002, Sherinian has toured with several well-known artists, including Billy Idol and Yngwie Malmsteen.[15] Derek's fifth solo album, Blood of the Snake (2006), features contributions from Idol, as well as former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, John Petrucci of Dream Theater, and Brian Tichy; Phillips, Franklin and Lukather make return appearances.[16][17] A video for a cover version of Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime" was released along with the album.[18] Sherinian also worked with duduk master Djivan Gasparyan on the song "Prelude To Battle" on the release, written for his great grandmother who survived the Armenian genocide.[citation needed] In 2009, Sherinian released his sixth solo album, Molecular Heinosity, again featuring Zakk Wylde, Tony Franklin and Brian Tichy. Later that year, Sherinian also performed a one-off acoustic gig with Alice In Chains to launch their Black Gives Way To Blue album.

In 2010, Sherinian became a founding member of supergroup Black Country Communion with Glenn Hughes, Jason Bonham, and Joe Bonamassa.[2] releasing their eponymous debut. 1n 2011, Sherinian performed on a second Black Country Communion record titiled "2", followed with a nine week tour of the United States and Europe. In September of that year, Sherinian released his seventh solo album titled " Oceana" reuniting with Simon Phillips and Steve Lukather, and featuring a guest appearance from BCC bandmate Joe Bonamassa.

Influences and collaborations

In a 2000 interview, Sherinian cited his early keyboard influences as being Jan Hammer (Mahavishnu Orchestra), Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer and The Nice), Rick Wakeman (Yes), and Elton John.[4] Other influences include guitarists Allan Holdsworth, Jeff Beck, and Eddie Van Halen. Sherinian enjoys co-writing material with fellow musicians, and often finds that he writes better material with drummers.[19] Sherinian cites Van Halen's guitar playing as having a direct influence on his aggressive unique approach to keyboards in terms of technique as well as tone; his unique signature lead patch contains numerous elements of guitar sounds such as distortion, harmonics, and palm-muting, eventually leading to playing a gig with Eddie for a party at Van Halen's home in 2006, of which Sherinian said "It was the highlight of my career, it was completely surreal." Sherinian's work with noted Toto guitarist Steve Lukather on the 2001 solo CD Inertia was cited by Lukather as "probably my best recorded work in my whole career. Great record! I'm very proud of it!".[3]

Sherinian's collaborations with top musicians were featured in a 2007 article in Guitar World magazine, where guitarist Zakk Wylde offered "People want to play with him because he’s that good. He can play everything from the easiest licks on a piano to the most complex Beethoven sonatas with ease." Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci added "...Derek -considering the fact that he’s heavily into guitarists and rock music, his history, and the range of all the great guitarists he’s worked with —plays with a fire unheard of from most keyboardists.”[20] Sherinian explains that he enlists a variety of guitarists because he "[does not] think there is one guitarist who can cover all the styles featured on [the] albums." Sherinian often tailors songs for specific guitarists, such as Holdsworth and Wylde for "Day of the Dead" (off Mythology);[20] in this respect, he seeks to take certain aspects of genres and make them "collide in an eloquent way".[13]


A Clavia Nord Modular
The original KORG Triton, released in 1999

Derek Sherinian currently uses and endorses Clavia, Korg, Moog and Roland keyboards.[21][22] Sherinian was presented the G2 Modular synth serial number 001 by Clavia representative Bengt Lilja in January 2004.[23] As an KORG endorsee, Sherinian was one of the first artists to adopt the Korg Trinity keyboard series in 1996. In collaboration with KORG sound designer Jack Hotop, they created Sherinian's signature "guitaristic" lead sound (the "Monster Lead", made famous on the Dream Theater album "Falling Into Infinity") on the Trinity, as well as other, more "modern" and "aggressive" keyboard patches, owing to his fondness of guitar tones and technique. Derek is currently using the KORG Kronos in the studio and live. Derek also uses the Hammond B3 organ; he thinks that "every rock keyboardist should have a distorted Leslie and a Hammond as part of their sound."[24]

Derek is also known for being one of the first keyboardists to use vertical keyboard stands, influencing a new generation of keyboardists. A more detailed list of equipment can be found at Sherinian's Web site ([1]).

Sherinian currently uses the following gear: Korg Kronos 61, Moog Voyager XL, Clavia Nord Lead 3, Clavia Nord Elerctro 3, Clavia Nord Stage 2 88. His vintage gear includes: 1977 Yamaha C9 Conservatory Series Grand Piano.Moog Taurus Pedals, 1962 fruitwood Hammond B3, two Leslie 147, modified by Ken Rich Sound Services. Sherinian also owns Beachwood Manor Studios, located in Burbank, California.In the studio, Derek also has a Muse Research Receptor 2 ProMax loaded with Omnisphere,Trillian, M Tron 2, B4 2, Ivory 2, Predator, Massive, and many other soft synths.

Selected discography

Information courtesy of[25][26][27]

Solo albums

Date of release Title Label Type Allmusic rating US Sales
1999 Planet X Magna Carta Studio 3/5 stars N/A
2001 Inertia InsideOut Studio 3/5 stars N/A
April 22, 2003 Black Utopia InsideOut Studio 3/5 stars N/A
November 9, 2004 Mythology InsideOut Studio N/A N/A
August 1, 2006 Blood of the Snake InsideOut Studio 3.5/5 stars N/A
March 24, 2009 Molecular Heinosity InsideOut Studio 3.5/5 stars N/A
September 5, 2011 Oceana Mascot Label Group Studio

With Dream Theater

Date of release Title Label Type Allmusic rating US Sales
September 19, 1995 A Change of Seasons EastWest Studio/Live EP 4.5/5 stars 188,000+
September 23, 1997 Falling into Infinity EastWest Studio 3/5 stars 160,000+
October 27, 1998 Once in a LIVEtime EastWest Live 3/5 stars 75,000+
1998 5 Years in a LIVEtime EastWest VHS/DVD 3/5 stars N/A

With Planet X

Date of release Title Label Type Allmusic rating US Sales
June 6, 2000 Universe InsideOut Studio 4/5 stars N/A
April 3, 2002 Live from Oz InsideOut Live 3/5 stars N/A
July 29, 2002 MoonBabies InsideOut Studio 3/5 stars N/A
May 18, 2007 Quantum InsideOut Studio 4/5 stars N/A

With other musicians

A complete list of projects is at Sherinian's website and the Allmusic credits page.
Date of release Artist Title Label Type Allmusic rating US Sales
May 18, 1993 Kiss Alive III Mercury Live 2/5 stars N/A
1994 Alice Cooper The Last Temptation Epic Studio 4/5 stars N/A
August 22, 1995 Alice Cooper Classicks Epic Compilation 2.5/5 stars N/A
August 25, 1998 Platypus When Pus Comes to Shove Velvel Studio 4/5 stars N/A
March 14, 2000 Platypus Ice Cycles InsideOut Music Studio 3/5 stars N/A
October 15, 2002 Yngwie Malmsteen Attack!! Import Studio 3/5 stars N/A
March 22, 2005 Billy Idol Devil's Playground Sanctuary Studio 2/5 stars N/A
June 24, 2008 Billy Idol The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself Capitol Records Compilation 4/5 stars N/A
October 14, 2008 Yngwie Malmsteen Perpetual Flame Koch Studio 4/5 stars N/A
September 10, 2010 Black Country Communion Black Country Mascot Studio 4/5 stars N/A
June 14, 2011 Black Country Communion 2 Mascot Studio 4/5 stars N/A

Movie appearances


  1. ^ " > News > ALICE IN CHAINS - Keyboardist Derek Sherinian Reports From Hollywood LIstening Party". Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Producer Says BLACK COUNTRY Debut Is 'Promising To Be Phenomenal'". Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Derek Sherinian - Bio". Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  4. ^ a b "Derek Sherinian Interview". Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  5. ^ a b "Derek Sherinian - Overview". Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  6. ^ "Mike Portnoy FAQ". Archived from the original on 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  7. ^ "Dream Theater FAQ". Archived from the original on 2006-05-24. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  8. ^ "Dream Theater returns to roots". Deseret Morning News and 2006-03-10. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  9. ^ "2001 Archives". Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  10. ^ Wildran, Jonathan. "Inertia - Overview". Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  11. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Black Utopia - Overview". Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  12. ^ "Former DREAM THEATER Keyboardist Completes Work On New Solo CD". 2003-02-13. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  13. ^ a b c "Interview - Derek Sherinian". RevelationZ Magazine. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  14. ^ a b "New DEREK SHERINIAN Solo Album To Feature Guest Appearances By ZAKK WYLDE, JOHN SYKES". 2004-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  15. ^ "Billy Idol to Release First CD Featuring New Music in More Than 10 Years; Rebel Rocker Offers DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND on March 22; `Scream' Goes to Radio Early January". Business Wire and 2004-12-06. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  16. ^ Prato, Greg. "Blood of the Snake - Overview". Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  17. ^ "DEREK SHERINIAN: More Solo Album Details Revealed". 2006-05-06. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  18. ^ "DEREK SHERINIAN's Video Featuring Slash Posted Online". 2006-07-27. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  19. ^ Jan van der Vorst. "Derek Sherinian: Interview 2004". Dutch Progressive Rock Page. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  20. ^ a b Lalaina, Joe. "King of the Keys: Derek Sherinian". Guitar World. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  21. ^ "Clavia instrument users: Derek Sherinian". Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  22. ^ " Derek Sherinian". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  23. ^ "Derek Sherinian receives Nord Modular G2 #001!". 2004-01-20. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  24. ^ "Chat with Rod Morgenstein and Derek Sherinian of Platypus". Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  25. ^ "Derek Sherinian Discography". Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  26. ^ "Dream Theater Discography". Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  27. ^ "Planet X Discography". Retrieved 2007-10-01. 


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Derek Sherinian — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Nació en Laguna Beach en California. Sherinian Comenzó tocando el piano de su familia a la corta edad de 5 años y durante sus años en la escuela secundaria se le ofreció una beca en la prestigiosa Escuela de Música… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Derek Sherinian — (* 25. August 1966 in Laguna Beach, Kalifornien) ist ein US amerikanischer Keyboarder armenischer Abstammung. In Erscheinung trat er als Mitglied von Dream Theater, den Bands von Alice Cooper, Billy Idol und Yngwie Malmsteen sowie als… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Derek Sherinian — est un claviériste né le 25 août 1966 à Laguna Beach en Californie et ayant été membre, entre autres, de Dream Theater, et étant actuellement membre permanent de Planet X et de Black Country Communion. En 1994, suite au départ du claviériste de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Derek Sherinian — nació en Laguna Beach en California. Sherinian Comenzó tocando el piano de su familia a la corta edad de 5 años y durante sus años en la escuela secundaria se le ofreció una beca en la prestigiosa Escuela de Música de Berklee en Boston. Durante… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Mythology (Derek Sherinian album) — Mythology Studio album by Derek Sherinian Released November 9, 2004 …   Wikipedia

  • Inertia (Derek Sherinian album) — Infobox Album | Name = Inertia Type = studio Artist = Derek Sherinian Released = April 17, 2001 Genre = Instrumental rock Length = 52:36 Label = InsideOut Music Producer = Derek Sherinian, Simon Phillips Reviews = * Allmusic Rating|3|5… …   Wikipedia

  • Sherinian — Derek Sherinian (* 25. August 1966 in Laguna Beach, Kalifornien) ist ein US amerikanischer Keyboarder armenischer Abstammung. In Erscheinung trat er als Mitglied von Dream Theater, den Bands von Alice Cooper, Billy Idol und Yngwie Malmsteen sowie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Derek — Gender Male Origin Word/Name Old German English Meaning Old German for Theodoric Other names Related names …   Wikipedia

  • Derek (Vorname) — Derek ist ein männlicher Vorname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Varianten 2 Bekannte Namensträger 2.1 Künstlernamen 3 Familienname …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dream Theater — à Paris (France) en 2005. De gauche à droite : Mike Portnoy, John Petrucci, James LaBrie, John Myung, Jordan Rudess …   Wikipédia en Français

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