Mike Portnoy Responds To Bumblefoot’s Claims Over Betraying Sons Of Apollo

In a recent comment on Facebook, Mike Portnoy addressed accusations regarding the disbanding of Sons of Apollo, sparked by Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal’s recent remarks.

Former Sons of Apollo guitarist ignited speculation about the band’s dissolution in various interviews, notably speaking of the band in the past tense and hinting at an end to its journey. Thal recalled the band’s situation during the pandemic, highlighting the enthusiasm to work on a third album that was met with diverging commitments among members.

Portnoy Sets The Record Straight

This divergence led to the formation of new musical groups, essentially marking an end to Sons of Apollo’s active collaboration. Portnoy took to Facebook to address Thal’s implicit suggestions that his commitments, especially his return to Dream Theater in October 2023, were at the heart of Sons of Apollo’s inactivity. The drummer clarified:

“Obviously, Ron is (discreetly) pointing the finger at me (and possibly Billy as well?),but I must publicly squash this rhetoric that is implying Sons of Apollo’s demise had anything to do with me rejoining Dream Theater. That didn’t happen until Oct 2023… The reality is when the SOA tour got canceled because of Covid in 2020, by the time there was any talk of writing new stuff and a possible 3rd album, I already had commitments with Transatlantic, NMB [Neal Morse Band] and The Winery Dogs (w Billy as well).”

The Impact Of COVID On SOA

Mike then shifted focus to address the broader context that affected Sons of Apollo’s plans:

“I can understand Ron, Derek & Jeff’s frustration with this, but the reality is the only way I was ever able to juggle and balance all my bands all these years was to block certain windows in my schedule for each band or project to have time for an album/tour cycle. Sadly, SOA’s album/tour cycle window got killed by Covid, and by the time the world reopened again, I already was booked with my other bands and projects.”

Despite the challenges and misunderstandings, Portnoy looked beyond the controversies to express his happiness for his former bandmates’ new ventures:

“Anyways, I’m happy for those guys that they were able to continue working together in other musical capacities… but make no mistake, at the time, it had nothing to with me rejoining DT!”

The Challenge Of Keeping A Supergroup Together

Bumblefoot elaborated on the inherent difficulties of maintaining harmony within a supergroup like Sons of Apollo. He pointed out that a successful band requires members to prioritize the collective over individual egos and ambitions.

Sons of Apollo, with members like guitarist Bumblefoot, bassist Billy Sheehan, keyboardist Derek Sherinian, and singer Jeff Scott Soto, made and released two albums in three years. The band hasn’t been active since their South American tour ended in August 2022.

You can watch Bumblefoot’s full interview below.