VIRGIL & DEREK AOL CHAT

 (September 21st, 2002)

HOST EMC Wasp: Welcome everyone!! Tonight we’re very proud to have with us Derek Sherinian and Virgil Donati of Planet X!

Planet X have just released their latest disc, titled MoonBabies’ and you can keep up with all of the latest on Planet X at www.XPlanetX.com.

Without further delay, please welcome Derek Sherinian and Virgil Donati!

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VirgilD PlanetX: Hello
DerekS PlanetX: Hello

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Derek, are you using any new equipment on the MoonBabies album?

DerekS PlanetX: Yes, I’ve just started endorsing NORD keyboards, I think that they are fantastic, I used them throughout the MoonBabies record and I will be using them on tour this year.

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: thanks for being here guys. I cant wait to see ya when u come to Dallas. This is a question for Virgil. I honestly think you are the best drummer I have heard and your sense of time is amazing. My question is about your double bass chops. How many beats can you do in a minute? anywhere near Tim Waterson? Thank you for your time

VirgilD PlanetX: I really don’t think I can do anything near Tim Waterson, but it really comes down to the effectiveness of the beats.

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: For both of you…what do you think is the biggest difference between Universe and MoonBabies?

VirgilD PlanetX: The biggest difference, I think, is in the nature of the writing it has progressed a little further I think we have a clearer picture of what we want to achieve as a unit and it is coming true in our writing and performances on MoonBabies.

DerekS PlanetX: I think that working with Simon Phillips has done great things for the band because we had someone on the outside that we could bounce ideas off of and suggest changes if needed. We feel sonically MoonBabies is a much better sounding album.

VirgilD PlanetX: I feel like before we sit down to record or write a record all the rhythmic and tonal possibilities lie before us, in front of us and it is a matter of putting together materials and an image. This is what this progressive music is about to me, and I am happy with the result of Moonbabies.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: when are you guys gonna make a dvd? I think that would be awesome

DerekS PlanetX: So do we. I think that there has been talk with our record label and getting some footage and putting something together. We would love to do it; it’s pretty much up to our record company.

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Who will the bassist be in the touring band?

DerekS PlanetX: I don’t know, we better find someone soon. We are open to suggestions, but before you submit yourself please. Listen to the material to be sure that it’s your thing.

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: will you be touring in California ?

DerekS PlanetX: Yes, we are playing three shows, San Francisco on December 8 at the Pound. And then we are playing San Juan Capistrano at the Coach House and we are kicking off the tour on November 17th at the Knitting Factory in
Los Angeles.

HOST EMC Wasp: I heard Tony uses a 7-string on MoonBabies….do think the new album is heavier as a result??

DerekS PlanetX: He actually used a 7 string on all of our records; he started using the 7 string when he started playing with PlanetX.

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Virgil, I think this was asked earlier, but do you think you could do 1000 beats on the bass drum in a minute? Thank you so much for your reply.

VirgilD PlanetX: Let me do my math… I think I.. let’s see.. that’s 200 on the metronome.. Yes which foot?

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Will you guys ever get a full-time bass player?

DerekS PlanetX: If someone came around that fit in with us we would definitely consider it.

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Virgil, how long have you been playing the drums?

VirgilD PlanetX: About 40 years

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Virgil, are you serious about the 100 beats in 1 minute? GOOD LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

VirgilD PlanetX: Yes, but please don’t get hung up on it.. it’s the quality of the music that is put to them I can probably do 800 quite comfortably, 1000 might be squeezed out on a good day

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: What’s the biggest difference you see between Magna Carta and Inside Out??

DerekS PlanetX: I don’t know but I think that it’s great that there are labels that are putting out progressive rock music and band’s with integrity so I think it’s great to have both labels around.

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Derek, do you think you have met your goal of creating the sickest instrumental band in the world? because I think you have…

DerekS PlanetX: I don’t know, I think that MoonBabies is pretty sick. I have listened to a lot of different music and I have consulted with Virgil and some other musicians and I don’t think that this record is like anything that I have heard before.

VirgilD PlanetX: We can do a lot better, a lot sicker. There is a lot of room for growth to take it even further.

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: How hard is it for a band like Planet X, a band that doesn’t seem to fit into a onventional mold, to get tour support?

DerekS PlanetX: I think that the key is that I can squeeze tour support out of any label. We are very fortunate to have a label that believes in us like Inside Out.

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Virgil, first I’d like to say, your the biggest inspiration in my playing, i mean you’re basically God on drums, i saw u at the modern drummer festival last year, unbelievable, what I’d like to know is, when u first started playing, about how many hours a day did u practice, and did u go to any music schools private teachers.

VirgilD PlanetX: Well yes I started playing very very young and my first teacher was my father I had a long line of teacher along the way, private instructors. For 3 years between the ages of 7 and 10 I took regular weekly lessons after that it was more intermittent for 3 years, learned to be my own teacher and took it upon myself to develop musically as much as I could by working hard, putting in a lot of practice.

HOST EMC Wasp: Why did it take so long to record MoonBabies? Was it intentional or did it just end up that way?

DerekS PlanetX: It just kind of ended up that way, all of us are pretty busy, the music takes a while to record as it is. Virgil went to play with Steve Vai on the G3 tour and I went out on the road with Yngwie Malmsteen. I have
learned over the years that there is no hurry.

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Derek, how does it feel to be one of the best keyboardists in the world, and to have a man like Tony on the guitar, and a GOD like Virgil on the drums?

DerekS PlanetX: I wouldn’t know about the first part of the question but playing with Tony and Virgil is awesome.

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: What was the biggest thing you think you learned playing with Yngwie Derek?

DerekS PlanetX: Yngwie has a very strong style on his instrument and it’s just very intense when he plays. And when I play with him I try and absorb and learn as much as I can. I was a very big Yngwie fan when I was a student in music college.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Derek, any plans of including Sacramento in our tour?

DerekS PlanetX: Sacramento won’t be on this run, there are a lot of cities that we are not hitting on this first leg but we intend to do a more extensive tour of the US at the beginning of 2003.

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Virgil, how does it feel to have one of the greatest drumming minds ever and to have speed that is unrivaled by any metal drummer known to man?

VirgilD PlanetX: Well first of all I don’t see myself as the fastest or greatest, I don’t picture myself like that I just get up every day and go about my rhythmical business. And really don’t think of it in those terms. I appreciate that there may be
people out there who see myabilities in that way, but I don’t know what it feels like cause I don’t see it that way.

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: What is the typical Planet X set list looking like?

VirgilD PlanetX: Its looking like a lot of MoonBabies, a little of Universe and a little of Derek Sherinian Planet X record

VirgilD PlanetX: Also I’d be interested in knowing if anyone would like to
request their favorites from MoonBabies!

DerekS PlanetX: There have been a lot of people posting their favorite songs from MoonBabies and that helps us a lot.
You can post your favorites at www.xplanetx.com

HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Virgil, what other projects are you currently working on and are you coming out with a video or book soon?

VirgilD PlanetX: Let me see, I have a project recently, I’ve written some tracks for Mark Boals, and also just recorded a new Ring of Fire record which Tony is also playing on. Regarding Books and videos, I am working on a book at the moment featuring tracks from Planet X Universe and OTV.

HOST EMC Wasp: That just about wraps things up for tonight. Thanks to everyone for coming out tonight and being so cool! A very special thanks to Derek and Virgil for taking the time tonight! Any last comments Derek and Virgil?
DerekS PlanetX: We look forward to seeing everybody on tour; please come to our website xplanetx.com and thanks for buying MoonBabies.

VirgilD PlanetX: Ditto
DerekS PlanetX: Good night!

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