Billy Sherwood’s Fusion Syndicate Is ‘Intense Sideways Prog’
Billy Sherwood says his Fusion Syndicate project isn’t prog music – but it is something similar.
That’s no surprise given that he’s merged his interest in free-form instrumental compositions with the input of big names including Steve Hillage, Rick Wakeman, Tony Kaye, Gavin Harrison, Mel Collins and Jordan Rudess.
Former Yes collaborator Sherwood tells Something Else: “I’ve never made a fusion record before. It’s always been something with vocals.
“But it’s not that much further down the road from prog; it’s the same thing sideways, with the difference being that the melodies go to instruments instead of vocals.
“It has the same interesting arrangements and progressive time signatures. It’s in the same genre of intense music being played by very cool people.”
He says the project came about by accident on the day he delivered his Prog Collective album to record label Cleopatra Records, and boss Brian Perera suggested the idea. “I thought, ‘Man, that would be fun,’” says Sherwood. “I’m fortunate enough to come up with things in my mind that sound like something Chester Thompson would play – and, lo and behold, he’s actually going to play on it. It’s a fantasy for me.”
He’s returning to his relative comfort zone for his next project, which will be a follow-up to 2011 solo album What Was the Question? – but that doesn’t mean he’s turning his back on fusion music.
“I think we might be creating, for lack of a better word, sort of a franchise based around this idea of a progressive and fusion collective. Who knows? Maybe I’ll do a country collective…”
Fusion Syndicate is released today.
Track list and artists
1. Random Acts Of Science
Rick Wakeman (Yes) • Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra) • Nik Turner (Hawkwind) • Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets / Alan Holdsworth)
2. Stone Cold Infusion
Steve Stevens • Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater / Liquid Tension Experiment) • Mel Collins (King Crimson) • Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) • Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra)
3. Molecular Breakdown
Jay Beckenstein (Spyro Gyra) • Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai) • Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) • David Sancious (The E Street Band)
4. Particle Accelerations
Larry Coryell • Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater / Black Country Communion) • Eric Marienthal (Chick Corea Elektric Band) • Chester Thompson (Genesis / Brand X)
5. At The Edge Of The Middle
Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs) • Jim Beard (Mahavishnu Orchestra) • Randy Brecker (Blood, Sweat & Tears) • Percy Jones (Soft Machine / Brand X)
6. Atom Smashing
John Etheridge (Soft Machine) • Tony Kaye (Yes) • Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa)
7. In The Spirit Of…
Steve Hillage (Gong) • Scott Kinsey (Tribal Tech) • Theo Travis (Steven Wilson Band) • Justin Chancellor (Tool) • Asaf Sirkis (The Orient House Ensemble)
Tags: Billy Sherwood