By Andrew Catania
It’s always a pleasure to speak with Jeff Scott Soto. Jeff and I recently spoke about the new W.E.T. album, Yngwie, Neal Schon and touring plans.
You just released your Retribution album, Sons of Apollo, and now a new W.E.T. album. You’re in demand!
JSS: Part of that is contractual agreements. The other part is I’m working on trying to make a name for myself, and you can see that.
Don’t you think you have a name for yourself after 25-30 of being in the business?
JSS: To somebody like yourself who’s tuned in into a lot of music, a lot of artists maybe it seems that way, but Joe blow and the general public don’t know me, I have a lot of work ahead of me. 33 years in the making and it’s still a work in progress.
Do you think the new generation would accept W.E.T.?
JSS: You’re thinking about the big picture; I never got The number one albums and number one videos on MTV. I never got to enjoy that time. I was still struggling and still trying to carve my path so to speak. Even that generation is the one that I was geared towards that they missed a lot of what I was doing and it’s like you’re playing catch up now, especially with an album like W.E.T. That taps into the classic sound we all love. That was our style. That was back then and the fact that what is still being able to create that style of music for a new generation of fans. It’s mainly generated for the older generation that already had a lot of that stuff and they kind of missed the boat.
Are there any touring plans in support of W.E.T.?
JSS: We can do select shows or appearances here and there, especially the iron is so hot right now. It’s almost impossible to add any more to my plate. Sons of Apollo is consumed my entire year, and when that’s done, I dive back into my regular holiday gig, which has been the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for the past ten years and It’ll be 11 years. So my year is pretty mapped out. Erik Mårtensson has another band called Ammunition, and he’s regularly writing and producing for other people. Now I’m free, let’s do this. It’s almost impossible for him to give me that commitment as it is for me to give it to him. So this is one of the reasons why W.E.T. continues just to be a project that we get together. It’s mainly something for the fans to listen too that fulfill’s the agreement that we have with Frontiers. Everybody seems happy.
How are writing duties split up?
JSS: It usually starts with Erik Mårtensson, he truly is the visionary behind all of this. From start to finish, he started off, and he finishes it off. He does production now because he’s got a great studio in Sweden. He oversees every aspect of it and it’s great because he’s become such a great producer. He’s one of the major factors in making sure that this thing happens the way it does
Are you working on anything else for this?
JSS: At the moment Sons of Apollo, we’re talking about writing new material seeing the interest is going so well, It’s an exceeding our expectations, which is great because we had pretty big hopes. They’ve exceeded those expectations, and it just means that everybody behind the scenes is they’re pushing for us to continue. I really would like to kind of get SOTO turned up again. We have discussed who’s going to be taking over the bass position, you know, it was something that was difficult for us with David Z’s passing. We didn’t even want to; we didn’t want to discuss it. We didn’t want to talk about the who would be able to sell that because it would be impossible to fill the shoes. But we have found somebody, and we want to make that announcement soon. We’re going to find a unique way to reintroduce SOTO. That’s my next output as far as I’m concerned.
Do you think they’ll ever be a point where Yngwie will reach out to you, Marc or Joe and let water be under the bridge and make some music together? Anyone from his past can’t have any contact with him without threats of lawsuits and being publicly shamed. Some of his best music was made with you, Mark and Joe.
JSS: My point is precisely that he’s making it difficult for anybody to want to work with him again. It could be so easy just to say, hey guys, you know, you’re a part of my life, part of my history, as much as I am in yours, let’s put that history back together and go out there and give the people what they’ve been waiting for. It’s not even about money. It’s like the Guns N Roses thing that they want to make it clear. It’s not about how much they can make because they were all doing just fine. Even if they had a great payday for two or three years, they didn’t need it. They needed to do this for the sake of time is of the essence. You’ve created this machine that was just so great, and it left the mark. Come back and revisit that mark. But do it in a way that there are no walls between you. It’s not necessary to have that. That level of hatred for no reason and I just don’t get it
I’m not gonna sit here and dwell on it. I’m not going to lose sleep over it. It is what it is. If that day ever comes and he said, let’s just put all of this behind, I’m there because I’m all for world peace and I just want everybody to get along. If Neal Schon wanted to extend his hand in friendship, I’d accept it. I’m not going to hold grudges and say, where were you all these years? We don’t have that much time left on this planet.
Plans for the rest of 2018?
We got another six-week run coming up starting in another couple of weeks, By the end of that, this band is going to be unstoppable. So it’s incredible how quickly that chemistry comes about because again, the level of musicianship in this band. It’s just over the top.
Earthage will be released on March 23rd, 2018 via Frontiers Records
For more information on W.E.T. please visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wetofficialpage/
For Jeff Scott Soto please visit https://www.facebook.com/JeffScottSoto/