Jeff Scott Soto

By Jay Oakley

Jeff, thanks for taking a second. How was the set?

It was great. We were really looking forward to doing this east coast run. We originally booked it because it's kind of a warm up before Monsters of Rock. This being a new band, we've never played any of this material live. We've only rehearsed the shit out of it but you only get so much of that. You can stand in front of a mirror all you want but once you stand in front of two people then everything changes. That was the whole idea of doing this. We didn't expect to sell out, we didn't expect to fill the house but this was more about getting out there and getting the band ready.

How did you pick the guys you have for your band?

They were with me in my solo band. They've been with me for the past six years or so and then once I decided to switch it and make it an actual band they were the first ones I asked to join me along. I didn't want to start by bringing other people in or looking at other people. They were the guys I wanted to work with so I'm glad they wanted to work with me and do this as a band from now on.

So, with this tour, you are working on your current album which is Inside The Vertigo.

The first album, yeah. But, the new album, Divak, these guys are more involved with the writing, the playing. Edu (Cominato,) my drummer, and I produced the album together. Normally, he's co-production but every note on that album he produced with me. They're very much more involved in this album then they were on the first one because the first album, kind of, started off as a solo album and it turned into a band. It was, kind of, by default but now it's officially a band. so, we made the new album as a band and that's why I pumped it out immediately. I wanted to get back out there and show people that this is serious.

So, you use SOTO as a band name as opposed to Jeff Scott Soto for your solo records.

Absolutely. They sold it here the wrong way. They promoted it the wrong way but it is supposed to be strictly SOTO, yeah. It is a band now and I push and I want everyone to know who these guys are as much as they know me. Of course, it is a task ahead of us but once they hear the new stuff and they see how important they are, as I am, they're going to give them their credit due.

Where are you headed from here?

We got three days off. We're heading down towards Orlando, we have a show there and then Monsters of Rock.

Nice, is Monsters of Rock a wrap-up on the tour?

Yeah. It's a run, it's not a tour. We're doing a little run. We do Monsters of Rock, we've got the whole month of March off, we take off to Europe. We're doing a few weeks in Europe and then South America in May with Winery Dogs.

Do you have any ideas at the moment when you'd be coming back to the States or is it up-in-the-air?

It's too up-in-the-air right now because everything's based on promoting the new album and we have to see what kind of interest that we push. We have a US label that we're, kind of, nudging and we want to get them to be behind it and that's the only way we'll be able to come back. People need to know who we are.

I like to talk a little bit of history. People know you from your time with Yngwie (Malmsteen.) How do you look back on your time there?

You know what? My entire career has been a learning experience. Sometimes I get asked if I have any regrets. I have no regrets because without having done something that was a bad situation or a good situation I wouldn't have known what the situation would have been. I learn from everything. So even the bad decisions I've made in my life, I don't regret them because I had to learn from them and that's how I see everything. From the beginning, with Yngwie, all the way until now. It's all one big learning experience and I'm just humbled by the fact that I get to do this for a living.

As a fun, little final question. How did the Rock Star movie fall on you?

I was doing background vocals for Tom Werman for quite a few years before he actually retired, the producer of the Rock Star soundtrack. They pulled him out of retirement and when the producers and directors of the movie were talking about who to reel in and Tom started pulling out the laundry list of people that he was working with in the late 90s from Mili (Matijevic, Steelheart) to so many others that were listed and Zakk (Wylde) said, "What about Jeff Scott Soto?" and Tom said, "I love Jeff. I've worked with him only single backgrounds. I'd love to work with him singing lead." and they brought me in.