Planet X started when I first started my first solo record. The drummer, Virgil Donati, and I had a good musical relationship so after I was out of Dream Theater I always knew that I wanted to do a band with Virgil. In January '99, we played our first show as Planet X. We've just continued ever since then.
How did you hook up with him and Tony?
I met Virgil and Tony both through Mike Portnoy. When I was putting Planet X together, I was looking for extraordinary players and so I called Mike because he has his finger on the pulse of all that stuff. He recommended these two guys and this is what we ended up with.
Both of them played with Steve Vai.
On the G3 tour last year, that's right.
Who's the bassist that you have on the road with you?
We have a guy named Rick Fieravratti. He's a great bass player. He lives in Los Angeles and he's played with a bunch of different jazz people. This is his first time in a rock situation.
You're on a three week tour across the U. S.
Yeah, we're trying to hit as many places as possible. We're hitting Texas, East Coast, West Coast, Montreal, and Toronto.
Any overseas dates after that?
Next year we're going to play some overseas dates like Australia, Europe, and all that stuff.
Your CD Moonbabies is your second one that you put out and first one was a live one?
Our first one was Universe and actually our second CD was Live From Oz and then the third one is Moonbabies.
How long did it take to write that?
A little over a year. We took our time with it.
You worked with Simon Phillips on this album.
Yeah, it was very good to work with Simon because it's always great to have an outside ear listening objectively.
You've worked with him in the past?
Yes, on my last solo album, Inertia. Simon and I have been working together for two albums now.
One of your guest bassists was Billy Sheehan.
Virgil and Tony played with him on the G3 tour with Vai so they brought him in.
Are there any particular tracks that you want to discuss?
I think they're all really good in their own way. I like the song "Moonbabies", the title track. I think there's a lot of good stuff on the record.
When you write instrumental music, how do you come with titles?
You don't. It usually ends up as an inside joke or as a desperate attempt at the last minute to think of something. It's really the hardest thing to do.
Where did you come up with some of these names?
Virgil came up with a lot of them. I have this book actually. It's a dictionary of really, really difficult words. We decided to name some of the songs that were difficult to play, something that was difficult to say.
You're working on a solo album.
Yes, it'll be out in 2003. I'm very excited about it. It has some really great guitar players. Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Lukather, Zakk Wylde, Al DiMeola, Billy Sheehan. Simon Phillips on drums. It should be out next year some time.
That's going to be an all-star lineup.
Yeah, we're very excited about it.
Any other comments?
We're just very excited to take Planet X on the road. Thanks for coming out.