SIMON PHILLIPS Explains His Approach To Drum Solos: “Every Night Is Something Different, I Try To Keep Them Spontaneous”

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Drummer Simon Phillips remains one of the busiest musicians on the planet. Having just released a live album with acclaimed keyboard player Derek Sherinian, he relentlessly continues to work as a producer, a session musician, and a band leader.

Having started his career in 1969, Simon has worked with Jeff Beck, Gary Moore, Michael Schenker, Judas Priest, Tears for Fears, and Pete Townsend, among others. Perhaps he’s best known for his tenures with The Who and Toto, but a closer look reveals a wide array of collaborations and styles in his extensive discography. Last year saw the release of “Protocol V”, a jazz-fusion collaboration that had many members in its history, but with Simon as a constant. More recently, he played drums on the self-titled debut of the supergroup Kings of Mercia, and on Steve Lukather’s solo album “Bridges”.

When it comes to “Sherinian/Phillips Live”, the album solidifies the collaboration between the two musicians, which has grown stronger since 2020. They have collaborated before, on albums such as 2001’s “Inertia”, 2004’s “Mythology” and more, and recruited Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on guitar and Ric Fierabracci on bass for a night of multiple notes, many time signatures, and unexpected changes. Recorded at The Grape in Ventura, California on August 29th, 2022, the album consists of material from the pair’s latest studio efforts, 2020’s “The Phoenix” and 2022’s “Vortex”, and a few highlights from the past.

Fans of Simon Phillips would have checked out the lengthy interview we did with him in 2019. Our collaborator Rodrigo Altaf spoke with Simon once again to get an update on his plans, discuss the creative process that became the live album with Derek Sherinian, his approach to playing drum solos, and much more. Listen or watch their chat below, and remember that for more interviews and other daily content, Sonic Perspectives is on Facebook, Flipboard, Twitter and YouTube, where you can be notified about new content we publish on a daily basis.

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