Jeff Scott Soto

Jeff Scott Soto (born November 4, 1965) is an American Rock singer of Puerto Rican descent. He is best known for being the vocalist on Yngwie Malmsteen's first two albums, and the lead vocalist for Journey in 2006–2007.

He sang lead vocals in the band Eyes as well as Sons of Apollo. He also had a long tenure as the front man of hard rock band Talisman. Currently he works as a solo artist, with his self-named band SOTO and as the vocalist of supergroups W.E.T. and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. In 2020, Jeff joined forces with the band Art of Anarchy and their debut together drops in 2024. His style ranges from Hard rock to Power metal, being influenced by classic Soul singers as Sam Cooke as well as Journey's Steve Perry, and  Freddie Mercury of Queen.

Note: Jeff's solo, & Soto albums are on the All Music page, the rest of the bands are linked at the bottom of this page

Career

In 1982, after performing in several local cover bands, Jeff Scott Soto recorded several songs as lead singer for the band Kanan. In 1984, Jeff provided vocals for virtuoso guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen's debut album Rising Force and his next album Marching Out a year later. Plus the 1996 album Inspiration, where he provided vocals for 3 tracks, tracks 1, 3, and 6. "Carry On Wayward Son" "Gates of Babylon" and “Mistreated

Jeff Scott Soto has performed with a wide variety of bands, including Panther, Axel Rudi Pell, Eyes,  Talisman, Takara, Humanimal, Human Clay, Kryst The Conqueror, Redlist, Dewa 19, The Boogie Knights,  Soul SirkUS and Octavision. As a session musician, Soto also performed backing vocals for artists such as Lita FordSteelheartGlass TigerHouse of LordsStryper, and Saigon Kick.

He also sang for the fictional band Steel Dragon, which featured Zakk WyldeJeff Pilson and Jason Bonham for the soundtrack of the movie Rock Star along with Michael Matijevic of the band Steelheart, whose second album featured Soto on background vocals. Soto performed at the 2000 annual OIQFC 'Freddie Mercury Birthday Party' at Reading in the UK, where he performed "Dragon Attack" with Brian May. Since then, Jeff Scott Soto has joined Queen sideman Spike Edney's band, the Spike All Stars. Soto then appeared with Brian May and Roger Taylor at the Hollywood Walk of Fame bash for the Official International Queen Fan Club.

In 2012, Roger Taylor hired Soto as one of the four singers chosen for the official tribute band Queen Extravaganza. The band was formed via internet auditions and features Freddie Mercury soundalike  Marc Martel. Soto and singer Yvan Pedneault were added to the lineup to augment the selected singers, in an effort to better emulate Queen songs live. However, Soto only did one tour with the group; they continued with a smaller production and line up.

Soto's solo album "Damage Control" was released on Frontiers Records in March 2012. His next venture was a band eponymously named SOTO, a new band where he could flex his muscles with a modern, Power Metal vibe. "Inside The Vertigo" was released on January 30, 2015, with earMUSIC. The album was co-written alongside Gus G, (Firewind) Mike Orlando and other members of his solo band at that time who were invited to the newly merged SOTO. In 2016, they released "DIVAK" on earMUSIC and embarked on a World Tour which included supporting Winery Dogs in May 2016 in South America. This support slot would serve as the chance for Winery Dogs drummer Mike Portnoy, (Dream Theater) to 'scout' Soto for the venture that would become Sons of Apollo.

SOTO recorded and released their third studio album "Origami" in 2019 with new bassist Tony Dickinson, who replaced the recently deceased David Z, who died in 2017, as a touring member of Adrenaline Mob. In 2015, Soto recorded vocals for Joel Hoekstra's 13, contributing to the album Dying to Live. Soto split vocal duties with Russell Allen, (Symphony X) on the album. In 2018, SOTO recorded their third album "Origami", released in May 2019. Jeff Scott Soto released another solo album, "Retribution" in November 2017. In early 2020 he completed work on his 7th solo album as well as scheduled a live album for release in July.

2020 saw the release of 2 solo albums on Frontiers Records, "Jeff Scott Soto - Loud & Live In Milan 2019", recorded live at the annual Frontiers Rock Festival and "Wide Awake (In My Dreamland)" co-written and produced by  Alessandro Del Vecchio. In 2021, he released an album titled "The Duets Collection - Volume 1" in which he re-recorded songs throughout his vast career as vocal duets with the likes of Eric MartinDino Jelusick, Russell AllenJohnny Gioeli, Nathan James, Erik Martensson, and others on the Frontiers label. 2022 saw Jeff Scott Soto release his seventh studio solo album "Complicated".

Talisman

Soto was one of the founding members of Talisman in 1989. He was in the group up until their disbandment in 2007. Talisman regrouped in December 2019 to record a tribute track for bassist Marcel Jacob on the 10th anniversary of his death. (January 30, 1964 – July 21, 2009)

Talisman was formed by bass player Marcel Jacob, who had previously played with: Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, John Norum Group and Power. Jacob found himself with record label interest but no band after John Norum rejected the songs that Jacob worked on which he thought would end up on Norum's second solo album. So he contacted Jeff Scott Soto who was interested in what Jacob had done. Once the songs were completed and mixed Marcel changed the working title for his solo project from Guitars On Fire to Talisman.

Recordings for the first album took place in Stockholm in February 1989. Marcel Jacob programmed some drums and played all rhythm guitars with the help of the producer Mats Lindfors on "Women, Whiskey and Songs".

Journey

In 2006, Soto replaced Steve Augeri in Journey after Augeri left the tour due to an acute throat infection. After months of being a tour replacement, Jeff Scott Soto was officially hired as the band's singer in December 2006. However, the stint was short-lived, as he was fired from the band on June 12, 2007.

Soto stated on his website "it seems they wanted something different than I brought to the table. No love lost though, they know what's best for the preservation of their legacy."

He later mentioned the gig did not work out because former vocalist Steve Perry was still alive and could hypothetically rejoin the band, hurting fan expectations of any replacement singers. Although he was officially introduced as the lead singer of Journey, the band has not mentioned Soto in recent lookbacks and biographies, skipping over him entirely for his replacement Arnel Pineda.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Jeff Scott Soto joined the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as a touring singer in 2008. He has continually toured with the group, stating "I will be a part of Trans-Siberian Orchestra as long as they'll have me."

W.E.T.

Alongside members of Work Of Art and Eclipse, Jeff Scott Soto founded W.E.T. The group, named after the initials of the bands involved, keyboardist/guitarist, Robert Säll, Work of Art (W), guitarist/songwriter/producer Erik Martensson, Eclipse, Nordic Union (E),

and Jeff Scott Soto representing Talisman (T), released a self-titled debut album in November 2009. In 2013, they released their second album "Rise Up", and their third studio album "Earthrage" followed in 2018. They began recording a new album in 2020 released as "Retransmission".

Sons of Apollo

In May 2017, he joined the Progressive metal supergroup named Sons of Apollo with keyboardist Derek Sherinian, bassist Billy Sheehan, drummer Mike Portnoy and guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal. Their debut album, Psychotic Symphony, was released October 20, 2017, with Inside Out/Sony.

After releasing a live DVD/album in 2019, Live With The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony, Sons of Apollo  released their second album MMXX in January 2020. They started the World Tour early 2020 but was interrupted 4 shows into their European tour by the COVID-19 outbreak.

In an interview with We Go To 11 on October 13, 2023, Ron Thal claimed that the band had broken up, claiming, "When the pandemic hit, not everybody was on board to keep moving it forward and doing more with it. [...] I hope everybody enjoyed it. Past tense." 

In an early 2024 post on his Instagram account, Derek Sherinian referred to MMXX as the band's "second and final album". Derek Sherinian and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal have since formed a new band, Whom Gods Destroy.

Octavision

In 2020, alongside his Sons Of Apollo co-bandmate Billy Sheehan, Jeff Scott Soto was invited by a Glendale, California based Armenian guitarist Hovak Alaverdyan to participate in his Progressive metal project Octavision. There, Jeff performed vocal duties on two tracks - "Coexist" and "Apocalyptus". The album titled "Coexist" was released on December 29, 2020.

Octavision is  a Progressive Metal supergroup and project  which was formed in 2016 by the guitarist  and principal songwriter Hovak  Alaverdyan.  By bringing together styles, influences and elements from around the world, Octavision takes the classical roots of progressive metal and blends them with a new, global flavor. The rules are further expanded with the inclusion of unique Armenian traditional  folk instruments unheard of previously in any progressive or metal context,

as well as featuring some of musical scales  and modes of  the  mysterious  middle  east.  Hailing from different genres, and areas of the world, the members of Octavision each  bring  their  own  unique individual performance  style   and   virtuosity  to  the  table.

Source: octavisionmusic.com

Personal life

Jeff Scott Soto was born in Brooklyn, New York, his family moved to Los Angeles when he was a child. He spent his youth singing, learning trumpet and keyboards.

In 2012, he married his long-term girlfriend, Elena. He has a son from a previous marriage, and two step-children.

The Live photos were taken by me on september 7,  2019 in Boerderij, Zoetermeer, Holland, and by  Johan and Silvia at Kubana Siegburg, Germany on the 17th of September 2019

Solo albums

Love Parade (1994)

Holding On - (2002) ep

Prism (2002)

JSS Live at the Gods 2002 (2003)

Lost in the Translation (2004)

Live at the Queen Convention 2003 (2004)

Believe in Me - (2006) ep

Beautiful Mess (2009)

One Night in Madrid (2009) live

Live at Firefest 2008 (2010)

Damage Control (2012)

Retribution (2017)

Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (2020)

The Duets Collection, Vol. 1 (2021)

Complicated (2022)

 

with Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force

with Eyes

Eyes (1990)

Windows Of The Soul (1993)

 

with Axel Rudi Pell

Eternal Prisoner (1992)

The Ballads (1993)

Between the Walls (1994)

Made In Germany - Live (1995)

Black Moon Pyramid (1996)

Magic (1997)

Magic Moments: 25th Anniversary Special Show - Live (2015)

 

with Kryst the Conqueror

with Takara

with Human Clay

Human Clay (1996)

u4ia (1997)

Closing the Book on Human Clay (2003)

The Complete Recordings (2015)

 

 

with Humanimal

Humanimal (2002)

Find My Way Home - (2002) ep

 

with Soul SirkUS

World Play (2005)

 

with Trans-Siberian Orchestra

with Redlist

Ignorance (2007)

 

with SOTO

Inside the Vertigo (2015)

Divak (2016)

Origami (2019)

Revision (2020)

 

with W.E.T.

W.E.T. (2009)

Rise Up (2013)

One Live in Stockholm (2014)

Earthrage (2018)

Retransmission (2021)

'yet to be titled' (2024) ► ✍

 

with Joel Hoekstra's 13

Dying to Live (2015)

Running Games (2021

 

with Sons of Apollo

Psychotic Symphony (2017)

Alive / Tengo Vida - (2018) ep

Live With The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony (2019)

MMXX (2020)

 

with Art of Anarchy

Let There Be Anarchy (2024)

 

with Ellefson-Soto

Vacation in the Underworld (2022)

 

Guest appearances – lead vocals

Threshold - Threshold - 1983

Panther - Panther - 1986

Dragonne - On Dragons Wings - 1988

Kuni - Lookin' For Action - 1988

Alex Masi - Attack Of The Neon Shark - 1989

Skrapp Mettle - Sensitive - 1991

Rich Girl - Rich Girl: Original Soundtrack Unreleased - 1991

Biker Mice From Mars - Biker Mice From Mars: Original Soundtrack - 1993

Da Black Side Brown - Da Black Side Brown - 1994

Gary Schutt - Sentimetal - 1994

Hollywood Underground - Hollywood Underground - 1996

Yngwie Malmsteen - Inspiration - 1996

The Boogie Knights - Welcome To The Jungle Boogie - 1997

Ken Tamplin And Friends - Wake The Nations - 2003

Chris Catena - Freak Out! - 2003

Christian Rivel's Audiovision - The Calling - 2003

Laudamus - Lost In Vain - 2003

Roger Sause - Freestyle Funk - 2004

Edge of Forever - Feeding The Fire - 2004

Michael Schenker - Heavy Hitters - Doctor Doctor: The Kulick Sessions - By Invitation Only - 2005

Jorge Salán - Chronicles of an Evolution - 2007

Tempestt - Bring 'Em On - 2007

Taka Minamino - AngelWing - 2009

Jorge Salán - Estatuas en la calle - 2010

Danger Angel - Danger Angel - 2010

Jane Bogaert - Fifth Dimension - 2010

Last Autumn's Dream – A Touch of Heaven - 2010

"The Flames Still Burns" - from "Ballroom Hamburg — A Decade of Rock" compilation (2010)

Pushking - The World as We Love it - 2011

Evolution - Evolution - 2011

Talon - III - 2011

Mitch Malloy - II - 2011

Wolfpakk - Wolfpakk - 2011

Last Autumn's Dream - Nine Lives - 2011

Koritni - Welcome To The Crossroads - 2012

Reign of the Architect - Rise - 2012

AOR - The Secrets Of L.A - 2013

The Dave K Project - Resurrection / True Lies - 2013

Gus G - I Am The Fire - "Summer Days" - 2014

Gus G - Brand New Revolution - 2015

Joel Hoekstra - Dying To Live - 2015

AOR - L.A. Darkness - 2016

Lita Ford - Time Capsule - 2016

Lola Astanova - Freedom - 2016

RTfact - Life is Good- 2017

Brad Jurgens - Deranged- 2017

Band of Brothers - Band of Brothers- 2017

HighWay - "Wake Up" - 2017

Jason Bieler - Hope & Strife E.P. - 2018

Jimmy Waldo & Steven Rosen - Voices From The Past - 2018

Schubert In Rock - Commander of Pain - 2018

Octavision - Coexist - 2020

Black Maze Rose - Black Maze Rose (on "Laws Of Attraction") - 2020

Jason Bieler - Songs for the Apocalypse - 2021

Star One - Revel in Time (on "Back from the Past") - 2022

Sky Empire - The Shifting Tectonic Plates of Power - Part One - 2023

D'Luna - Monster - 2024

 

Various Artists tributes albums

Smoke On The Water: A Tribute to Deep Purple (1994): "Hush"

Dragon Attack: A Tribute to Queen (1996): "Save Me "

Hot For Remixes: Tribute to Van Halen (1999): "So This Is Love (Sheep On Drugs Remix)"

Head Soup: A Tribute to Ozzy Osbourne (2000): "Shot In The Dark"

Little Guitars: A Tribute to Van Halen (2000): "So This Is Love" (Re-released)

Tribute To Aerosmith: Let The Tribute Do The Talkin' (2001): "Cryin'"

An All-Star Lineup Performing The Songs of Pink Floyd (2002): "Us & Them"

Warmth In The Wilderness: A Tribute to Jason Becker (2002): "Desert Island"

We Salute You: A Tribute to AC/DC (2004): "Problem Child"

Numbers from the Beast: An All-Star Salute to Iron Maiden (2004): "Aces High"

The Sweet According to Sweden: A Tribute to The Sweet (2004): "Love Is Like Oxygen"

24/7/365: The Tribute to Led Zeppelin (2004): "Royal Orleans"

The Crown Jewels: A Tribute to Queen (2005): "We Will Rock You"

'80s Metal Tribute to Van Halen (2006): "So This Is Love?" (Re-released)

Butchering The Beatles (2006): "Magical Mystery Tour"

 

Guest appearances – backing vocals

Rated X - Matter Of Time E.P. - 1987 (Uncredited)

House of Lords - House of Lords - 1988

Glass Tiger - Simple Mission - 1990

Stryper - Against the Law - 1990

Stryper - Can't Stop the Rock - 1991

Saigon Kick - Saigon Kick - 1991

Lita Ford - Dangerous Curves - 1991

McQueen Street - McQueen Street - 1991

Randy Jackson's China Rain - Bed of Nails - 1992

Steelheart - Tangled in Reins - 1992

Babylon A.D. - Nothing Sacred - 1992

Lita Ford - Black - 1992

Mitch Malloy - Mitch Malloy - 1992

Slaughter - The Wild Life - 1992

Pariah - To Mock a Killingbird - 1993

Thomas Vikstrom - If I Could Fly - 1993

Monster - Through The Eyes of the World - 1995

Amalgan - Delicate Stretch of the Seems - 1997

Paul Gilbert - Alligator Farm - 1997

Fergie Frederiksen - Equilibrium - 1999

Neil Turbin - Threatcon Delta - 2003

Takara - Invitation to Forever - 2008

Dokken - Lightning Strikes Again - 2008

Mad Max - Here We Are - 2008

Danger Angel - Revolutia - 2013

Danger Angel - All The King's Horses - 2016

Beg, Borrow & Steal - Push And Shove (The Lost Album) - 2017 (Recorded in 1991) (Uncredited)

Ronnie Montrose - 10 x 10 - 2017: on "Still Singin' With The Band" and "I'm Not Lying"

Harem Scarem - United - 2017

Big Clyde - Freakin' Out - 2022

 

Guest songwriting

Khymera - A New Promise - 2005: "You Can't Take Me (Away from You)"

Uriah Heep - Living The Dream - 2018: "Grazed By Heaven"

Uriah Heep - Chaos & Colour" - 2023: "Save Me Tonight"

 

As producer

Spektra - Overload - 2021

Source: Wikipedia

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