Dream Theater Frequently Asked Questionsmaintained by Pat Griffin
Last updated 2 April 2000
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Welcome to the former official Dream Theater FAQ. This document is intended to be an archive of known information about the band, its members, and its music. Combined with the Official Dream Theater website, you should find the answers for any DT related question you might have, past and present.
Please note that the current main location for The Official Dream Theater FAQ is:
If you have reached this document from another location or another site, please click on the above link and bookmark that location to ensure that you always have the most recent edition of the FAQ available.
This FAQ is maintained by one person, but it is supported by the entire Ytsejam Mailing List, and thanks to Mike Portnoy, the band itself. If you have any questions that are not covered by the FAQ, feel free to email me, and I will answer to the best of my ability, or point you to a source that can.
Please remember that the transcriptions of the samples will be handled in the Dream Theater Songbook. The FAQ will only address questions concerning the sources of the samples.
The purpose of this document is to answer questions that are 'frequently asked' by Dream Theater fans, as well as provide information that you may have otherwise not known. The FAQ will avoid rumors as often as possible, and attempt to only offer the facts. For up to the minute news surrounding the band, consult the Official Dream Theater website, Mark Bredius' "Under a Cyber Moon" at http://www.dreamtheater.net/
As information becomes more solid, and more questions are asked, it will be added to the FAQ. In the meantime, the website is the source for news, tour dates, album and side project info, and other details. Together, the Official Website and the FAQ should provide Dream Theater fans everywhere will all the news they need.
Changes since last update
Please note that the current main location for The Official Dream Theater FAQ is:
If you have reached this document from another location or another site, please click on the above link and bookmark that location to ensure that you always have the most recent edition of the FAQ available.
The mirror sites for the FAQ are being worked on, and are not available in this release. If you would like to be an official mirror site for the FAQ, email me.
Also, I received email from someone interested in translating the FAQ to Portuguese. If you think that language translations of the FAQ would be worthwhile, or you are willing to translate the FAQ to another language, email me about it.
Many thanks to the following for their additions, corrections, and advice:
Also, thanks to Irene, Roland, and Mountain Dew for always being there.
Extra thanks to Jason Skewes for keeping this list in such great shape for so long.
Extra huge colossal thanks to Mike Portnoy for "taking the time" to make sure everything here is accurate.
And, finally, thanks to all the subscribers of the Ytsejam Mailing List for their eternal vigilance, and the regulars of #ytsejam for often reminding me where I can place my opinions. :)
Abbreviations you should know:
Non-DT abbreviations you should know:
Current Dream Theater Personnel
Former Dream Theater Personnel
- indicates that info has been revised in this edition.
0. Frequently Changing Information
0.1 What is Dream Theater up to currently?Dream Theater made fans' dreams come true with the October 26th, 1999 release of Metropolis Part 2 -- Scenes From a Memory. The long awaited sequel to the masterpiece from Images and Words swelled from a roughly 26 minute song into a full length concept album. The question that remains now is: "Will Fates Warning attempt to top DT with one eight hour song on DVD-Audio?"
Dream Theater will be touring the world extensively during the first part of 2000 in support of the new album.
You will probably notice that this FAQ update is suspiciously void of information about the new CD. The band has specifically asked me not to reveal any details of the plot of Scenes From a Memory. I'm sorry that I can't help out all of you who have asked me, but Dream Theater's intent in releasing the CD was to give the fans something to chew on for a while and try to figure it out themselves. Mike has assured me that details will slowly be revealed as the tour and the year progress, so it's only a matter of time. I will be doing a phone interview with Mike sometime in the near future to discuss what details of SFaM can be covered in the FAQ, as well as what new info to add. In the meantime, please be patient and respect the wishes of the band. The Official website, the FAQ, and the mailing list will make information available as we get it. You can find all you need online, if you take the time. :)
You can always keep up with DT's latest activities at the Official Web Page: Under a Cyber Moon, at http://www.dreamtheater.net/, run by Mark Bredius.
1. Dream Theater Resources
1.1 Where is the Dream Theater Discography?The Complete Dream Theater Discography is currently out of date. You can find it at: http://www.dreamtheater.net/discoold.htm
Alternately, you can check out more recent discographies maintained by Mark Bredius at http://www.dreamtheater.net/discog.htm
1.2 Where is the Dream Theater Tourography?
The Tourography is a monster list of past DT tour dates, venues and other information. It is maintained by Nick "Bogie" Bogovich, and can be found at http://dreamtheater.mit.edu/
1.3 Where is the Dream Theater Bootleg List?The Dream Theater Bootleg List is maintained by Michael Burstin. It can be found at:
It is also out of date, and far from complete, but it does not attempt to list every bootleg (which would be near impossible), but only the ones that are truly worth getting or desperately avoiding.
1.4 Where can I find lyrics to _____?Lyric listings are maintained by Michael Kizer. This "Unofficial" Dream Theater Songbook is available at:
Or by e-mail from the Ytsejam Mailing List Archive by sending mail to [removed]. The subject of this e-mail should be "asdf" and the body should say "get ytsejam dt_songbook.txt". However, this version may not be as recent as Kizer's.
1.5 Are there Dream Theater web pages?Eric Moegling has set up a Webring of Dream Theater pages, called Lifting Shadows Off A Ring. The home page for the ring is at http://www.wezl.org/lift/. There you can find links to many different Dream Theater pages, as well as add yourself to the webring to make your DT page easier to find.
1.6 Is there a Dream Theater Mailing List?Yes, there is. You can join the Ytsejam Mailing list by sending the following message:
To: [removed, list no longer active]
replacing 'Your Name' with your name.
The default is for the digest form of the mailing list - so if you would rather receive each individual post - then send:
To: [removed, list no longer active]
NOTE: Do NOT send this request until you have received a confirmation stating that you have been added to the list!
To post to Ytsejam, address your e-mail to [removed, list no longer active].
To unsubscribe, send:
To: [removed, list no longer active]
You should receive notification within 2 hours.
If you have any problems please e-mail [removed, list no longer active] and a human will help you. If a human is unavailable, then Skadz will help you. For other information on the Ytsejam mailing list (such as how to get tour dates, this FAQ and other DT files via e-mail), send:
To: [removed, list no longer active]
You should receive the information file within two hours.
1.7 Is there any other way to get Ytsejam back issues?
Yes, now you can find them at ftp://www.dreamt.org/pub/ytsejam/Skadz promises to have a better interface for it eventually.
1.8 Is there a Dream Theater IRC channel?Ryan Skadberg maintains an Internet Relay Chat server specifically for the Dream Theater Chat Channel. The server is at irc.dreamt.org, port 2112, and the channel is called #ytsejam. To log on from most systems, use these commands:
/server irc.dreamt.org 2112
If you have a Unix account on a provider or through your school, you should be able to access IRC with:
% irc ________ irc.dreamt.org:2112
--And fill in the blank with the IRC nickname you'd like to use. If this doesn't work, it's possible your school or provider doesn't provide IRC service.
There are also alternates to irc.dreamt.org. If you have having trouble getting on, you can use:
If for some reason all of the normal servers are down, irc.rocknet.com port 6667 is used as a backup server.
The DT chatroom is #ytsejam on all servers.
If you want to know more about the people on IRC, check out the #ytsejam IRC Page maintained by Irene Raceu at http://www.gabbo.net/dt/irc/
1.9 Is there a Dream Theater fan club?The information here is correct at the time of the last update, but you should always check the official site for any address or payment method changes before you send any money:
Fans in North America that wish to join the official Dream Theater International Fan Club can do so by following these instructions:
The cost of joining the official Dream Theater International Fan Club for one year is US$25. Send a check or money order for $25, made payable to "DTIFC." Payment to be in U.S. funds only. NO CASH unless prior arrangements are made.
P.O. Box 940325
Houston, TX 77094-7325
Fans outside of North America should follow these directions:
Dues (payable in Dutch Guilders):
Send dues payable through Eurochecks IN GUILDERS, International Money Orders IN GUILDERS OR AMERICAN DOLLARS (Europe $23/ROW $25). If you send cash or checks, they should do it via registered mail.
P.O Box 1597
2003 BP Haarlem
For your subscription fee, you will receive a quarterly glossy Dream Theater newsletter and occasional promotional materials. Although it is not guaranteed, DT has released exclusive Fan Club Only CDs every Christmas since 1996. They contain rare live and studio tracks that can't be found anywhere else.
There are also other fan clubs you can join, depending on where you are, or how dedicated (read: obsessed) a fan you are:
Write to :
Carpe Diem !
Write to :
Carpe Diem !
Write to :
Write to :
Dream Theater Fan Club - Italian Dreamers
Svenska Dream Theater Sällskapet
Write to :
The Official Greek Fanclub
Write to :
2. A Brief History of Dream TheaterDream Theater first came to be in September 1985 when Berklee friends John Petrucci, John Myung, and Mike Portnoy got together and decided there was some music to be played. They enlisted an old school friend, Kevin Moore, for the keys, and "Majesty" came to exist.
Their first efforts at getting material down on tape were called the Majesty Demos. Ineffective singer Chris Collins did the vocals on eight very progressive-sounding tracks. In March 1986 the Majesty demos were finished. 1000 copies sold within six months. Bootleg CDs of the Majesty demos continue to sell even today.
That November, Chris left the band, as he was a mismatch all along. A year went by without a singer and without a record deal, and more demos were cut. Instrumental versions of the songs we now know as "Afterlife," "Ytse Jam," and "The Killing Hand" were among them.
In November of 1987 vocalist Charlie Dominici joined the band and a record was finally cut on the Mechanic label. This is when the issue of the name nearly stopped Dream Theater before they started. A Las Vegas band called Majesty forced a name change, and DT considered several different possibilities. Glasser, Mi and Magus, and the like were tossed about and rejected. Mike Portnoy's father Howard suggested they use the name of a California movie theater, and the name Dream Theater was chosen.
DT quickly found out that Mechanic could not effectively promote their record or finance the tour they needed in order to promote it on their own, so they left the label. Charlie was fired because he didn't have DT's progressive plans on his agenda, and he had always been weak in a live setting. Time went by... a LOT of time.
Finally, in late 1991, Kevin James LaBrie of Winter Rose beat out fellow throats John Arch (ex-Fates Warning), Steve Stone, Chris Cintron, and John Hendricks for the vocalist spot. His audition was fantastic and an apt indicator of the future potential of DT, as he sang his way through an acoustic "To Live Forever," and demo tapes of "Learning to Live" and "Take The Time."
EastWest records, then ATCO Atlantic, signed DT and they cut the record Images And Words. Radio picked up on the opening track, "Pull Me Under," and IAW slowly started accumulating sales. DT began to field an obsessive and musically-inclined fan base who had been disappointed by late-80's and early-90's glam and grunge, and had held onto their Rush, Yes, and Floyd records, hoping for the day when another such band would come about. The band cut a video for "Pull Me Under" and it actually got rotation on MTV... a small miracle in itself. Two more videos were cut, "Another Day" and "Take The Time," and the latter got marginal airplay.
By halfway through the Music In Progress Tour '93, IAW was selling lots of copies and several cuts from it were gaining heavy airplay, as well as kindling a deep-seeded fan interest in unreleased recordings and bootlegs. Import shipments of When Dream And Day Unite sold quickly. Dream Theater cut a live EP in April 1993 called Live at the Marquee. Later that year, a live video called Live in Tokyo (sometimes titled "Music in Progress') was released. Still, the fans of DT needed more. Throughout the spring and summer of 1994, there was a veritable explosion of available bootlegs and rarities. IAW went gold in January of 1995.
DT took their own time, so to speak, in writing and recording Awake, their third studio album. It was recorded between May and July 1994 and was released on October 4, 1994. It was during this time that the sky itself fell on Dream Theater.
On August 1st, 1994 Kevin Moore decided to leave the band to pursue his own musical interests. On August 8th, 1994 the split was made final by a press release issued from Dream Theater's management. Several possible replacements were tossed about. Jens Johansson auditioned for the spot. Jordan Rudess played a gig with them but then left to play for the Dixie Dregs. Derek Sherinian, formerly of Kiss and Alice Cooper, stepped in and played with the band on the Awake tour. Derek was announced as an 'official' member during the last few shows of Dream Theater's 1995 European tour.
Dream Theater reunited with IAW producer David Prater and entered the studio in April of 1995 to record their 23-minute epic "A Change Of Seasons". Several tracks from the Ronnie Scott's 'Uncovered' Gig were also included in the release. The EP, entitled A Change of Seasons, was released on September 19, 1995.
In December 1996 Dream Theater played five shows on what was dubbed "The Fix for '96," where they showcased five of the songs that have been since released on FII, in addition to new arrangements of some of the classics. Following this were some springtime dates in Europe. They also released a short Christmas CD through the Fan Club, containing several songs from the Ronnie Scott's show that did not make the ACoS cut, as well as some 'inspirational' messages and advice for Caribou farmers.
Dream Theater spent a great deal of time in the studio with producer Kevin Shirley (Aerosmith, Silverchair). Between the Studio sessions and demos from Mike's basement studio, DT accumulated over two and a half hours of new material, including the evasive sequel to "Metropolis". On September 23, 1997, Falling Into Infinity was released in the US. The CD contained approximately half of the new music, but not "Metropolis II". Some of the other songs were released as B-sides or caught live at shows. Dream Theater spent the year touring in support of FII, as well as a set of large venue shows with Deep Purple and ELP. In December they released the second Fan Club Christmas CD.
1998 was the year of side projects for the band. Mike and John Petrucci collaborated with Jordan Rudess and Tony Levin on Liquid Tension Experiment, a CD considered by many to be the prog instrumental CD of the year. John also played with Derek and James on Age of Impact and James also lent his voice to Shadow Gallery's third CD Tyranny. Mike and John made plans for Liquid Tension Experiment II, and the groundwork was laid out for more 'supergroups' and side projects.
On October 27th, 1998 Dream Theater gave their fans a double dose of live music. A two disc live set taken from their European tour was released. The release of the CDs, titled Once in a LIVEtime coincided with the release of DT's second official live home video, Five Years in a LIVEtime. They wrapped up the end of the year in typical fashion by putting on a handful of shows for the upper East Coast crowd, as well as releasing their third Christmas CD through the International Fan Club.
Dream Theater started 1999 off and caught fans by surprise when they announced on January 18th that keyboardist Derek Sherinian had parted ways with the band. Most fans were happy to learn that his replacement was Jordan Rudess, an extraordinary progressive keyboardist who played live with DT shortly after Kevin left, and worked with John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy on Liquid Tension Experiment. Derek went on to form Planet X, and release a self-titled CD, and he lent his keyboard skills to Pat Torpey's Y2K. Not to be outdone, Kevin Moore released a collection of old demo songs, titled This is a Recording.
1999 saw the release of James LaBrie's solo CD, Mullmuzzler -- Keep it to Yourself, featuring Mike Mangini (formerly of Extreme) on drums and Matt Guillory (Dali's Dilemma) on keyboards. Also in 1999, Mike, James, Jordan, and Derek lent their talent to the CD Encores, Legends & Paradox on several tracks. And finally DT put a cap on 1999 with two releases to delight fans. The first was Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From a Memory, a 77 minute long concept album continuing the story of The Miracle and The Sleeper which began on Images and Words. The second release was a prize from Mike Portnoy's Dream Theater vaults. The 1999 Dream Theater International Fan Club CD featured nine studio recordings of older DT songs that did not make it onto past albums. It was Mike's way of "clearing the shelves" and starting fresh in the new millennium with the new DT lineup.
1999 also had two entries in the video category: Mike Portnoy's Liquid Drum Theater, and Jordan Rudess' Keyboard Wizardry. On sale now at your local music store (hopefully).
Dream Theater was also hard at work in the year 2000. Touring extensively in support of SFaM, DT's Metropolis 2000 live show featured a multimedia presentation to augment the album, a complete beginning to end performance of Metropolis 2, and a medley of DT songs dating all the way back to When Dream and Day Unite.
The side projects continue in 2000 as well. Derek and John Myung collaborated again on a second Platypus album, titled Ice Cycles, and Mike can be found on TransAtlantic - SMPTe, playing alongside Neal Morse (Spock's Beard), Pete Trewavas (Marillion), and Roine Stolt. Although Mike has stated that there will likely be no future Liquid Tension Experiment albums, there will be no shortage of other projects for the band to work on, including a second album from Mullmuzzler.
3. Questions about the band
3.1 Who thought up the name for the band?Mike Portnoy's father, Howard, thought they should name it after the moviehouse near where Mike's father lived. It was called The Dream Theater. Initially, they recorded a demo by that name, then named the band after it. The theater itself is in Monterey, California. Several subscribers to Ytsejam have seen the theater and plan to upload photos of it soon. Keep checking the Dream Theater archive!
3.2 What does the "symbol" DT uses mean?The "symbol" can be seen on all the album covers, as well as most of the discs themselves. It is the letter "M" of "MAJESTY" in a stylized font, says Portnoy. It was once used by Mary Queen of Scots.
3.3 What producers has Dream Theater worked with?Terry Date produced WDADU. Terry Brown (Broon), the producer who took Rush through their first eleven albums, mixed the promotional discs for "Status Seeker" and "Afterlife." David Prater produced IAW. Prater is the ex-drummer/producer of Santana. Doug Oberkircher mixed Live At The Marquee. Duane Barron and John Purdell produced Awake. David Prater was enlisted again for the recording of ACOS. Kevin Shirley produced Falling Into Infinity and mixed Once in a LIVEtime and Five Years in a LIVEtime.
3.4 Who inspired the band members the most?As a band, they are influenced most (according to Portnoy) by Rush, Queensryche, Yes, Marillion, Genesis, and Kansas. Those groups make a few appearances here in this FAQ forasmuch as they relate to DT.
The whole band got on very well with the Galactic Cowboys. Much like their listeners, they have very broad and varied tastes. Portnoy is a regular concert goer, and has been met at Rush and King's X concerts by people on the Ytsejam list.
For individual influences, see Section 4.
3.5 Where did DT go to school?The Johns, Portnoy and Sherinian went to the Berklee school of music in Boston, MA, not the University of California at Berkeley as has been erroneously mentioned on rec.music.progressive. Berklee is a music-dedicated school that has produced the likes of Steve Vai, Al Di Meola and Chris DeGarmo. Jordan Rudess attended Julliard in New York, and Kevin Moore went to SUNY Fredonia, as has been confirmed.
4. Questions about specific members of Dream Theater
4.1 Who are the current members of Dream Theater?
They are Kevin James LaBrie (vocals), John Petrucci (guitar), Mike Portnoy (drums), John Myung (bass) and Jordan Rudess (keyboards).
4.2 James LaBrie
4.2.1 What was James LaBrie doing before he joined the band?
Kevin James LaBrie (they dropped the Kevin because they would have otherwise confused him with Kevin Moore, and two Johns are already hard enough to deal with, says Petrucci) sang for a Canadian glam band called Winter Rose. He was selected from among 20 auditions and over 200 tapes by DT during the making of IAW.
4.2.2 Now that Kevin Moore left, and the whole reason LaBrie used "James" was to sidestep the confusion, will he go back to "Kevin LaBrie"?Good question, but not likely. :)
4.3 John Myung
4.3.1 Does John Myung speak?
Actually, John is very soft-spoken, and in fact has only been documented as speaking twice. Once, when he said "I'm feeling kind of spooky" in the Live in Tokyo video. The second time was when he said "Excuse me" to Chris Ptacek, who was blocking his path at the DT House of Blues (Chicago) FII tour show.
4.3.2 Who are John Myung's musical influences?
John Myung's bass idols are Steve Harris and Geddy Lee.
4.3.3 What musical instrument sponsorships does John have?Yamaha Bases, Mesa Boogie Amps, D'Addario Strings.
4.4 Mike Portnoy
4.4.1 Who are Mike Portnoy's musical influences?
Mike Portnoy gives his influences in this excerpt from a Daily Vault interview:
"I used to like Neal Peart but I don't really listen to him that much anymore. He was a big influence for me when I was younger. I really listen to so many different drummers I mean, Terry Bozzio, Simon Phillips, but when I listen to music I don't really listen to the drummers... I listen to the ways the songs are produced, I listen to the ways the songs are written. When I listen to music there are lots of aspects I listen to, not just the drummers."
Mike as also cited Keith Moon of The Who and John Bonham from Led Zeppelin as drum influences.
4.4.2 What musical instrument sponsorships does Mike have?
Tama Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Drum Workshop Pedals & Hi-hats, Latin Percussion, Remo Heads and Pro-Mark 420 Mike Portnoy model signature series sticks. Mike originally played Tama, changed his kit between IAW and Awake to a Mapex set, and then changed back to Tama Star Classics.
4.5 John Petrucci
4.5.1 Who are John Petrucci's musical influences?
Petrucci has two groups of influences, he said in an interview, "the Steve's and the Al's." The Steve's are Steve Morse, Steve Howe, Steve Vai, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The Al's are Alex Lifeson, Al Di Meola, and Allan Holdsworth. He also likes Pantera.
4.5.2 What musical instrument sponsorships does John have?
Ibanez guitars, Mesa Boogie Amps, Dimarzio Pick-ups, Dunlop Picks, Wah Pedals.
4.6 Jordan Rudess
4.6.1 What did Jordan Rudess do before he joined Dream Theater?
Jordan is a Julliard educated keyboardist with influences ranging from Beethoven and Chopin to ELP, pop and prog bands. He worked with Dixie Dregs, Vinnie Moore, Dream Theater and others. He and Rod Morgenstein opened for DT during a set of Christmas shows in New England, and they went on to release Rudess Morgenstein Project, an all instrumental keyboard/drum duo. In 1998 he worked with John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy, and Tony Levin on Liquid Tension Experiment. It was the success and chemistry of that all instrumental project that influenced Dream Theater's decision to hire Jordan as their new keyboardist.
4.7 Charlie Dominici
4.7.1 Why did Charlie Dominici leave DT?
According to Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci, he was released because of several things, but most importantly because he didn't fit in with the band in a few important ways. He was far older than the rest of them, had a different idea of what DT should be, and lacked ability as a frontman when performing live. There were apparently a few personality conflicts at work. Dream Theater is still in contact with Charlie. He sang at Mike Portnoy's wedding in 1994 and he was spotted at a few of the Awake tour shows.
4.8 Kevin Moore
4.8.1 Why did Kevin Moore leave DT?Kevin's musical tastes have changed over the years, and he grew increasingly unhappy with the musical direction that the band had taken. He felt that the differences had become so great that he could not continue in the band.
"...in some ways it's a shock to us and in some ways, it isn't, you know. I mean, the way that they [the fans] consider us a 'family unit,' in a lot of ways, it's true because, I grew up with Kevin, like, since we were little kids and this has been our band since... whenever. We were 17, out of high school, you know, the first year in college, so it is kind of weird, not having him in the band, it's definitely strange. The only thing I can say to the fans is, you know, so far as worrying and whatnot, this is something that was going on with Kevin like, or, the way he explained it to us, for a couple of years, so he was slowly sort of stepping out of his position, and even with the writing on Awake, it's not as much of his trademark and his sound and his writing. So if they're into this album, maybe that's a good sign because it was something that was written a lot without his enthusiasm or without his input for the most part, so, it's sort of a... step to the new whatever's going to happen next. So if they like it, that's a good sign..."- John Petrucci
4.8.2 What is Kevin Moore up to?In August 1994, after parting ways with DT, Kevin moved to Santa Fe, NM and lived there for about a year while writing and recording new solo material with the help of Rich Kern, who also did the drum programming for "Space-Dye Vest" on Awake. Some of the demos he recorded during this period of time were made available through a demo dubbing project called "Music Meant To Be Heard, Etc." that was originally set up on Ytsejam in early 1995. Write to the Ytsejam mailing list to find out more information on the availability of the demos.
In the summer of 1995, Kevin decided to shave his head(!) and move to Los Angeles, CA to record some new material with Fates Warning drummer, Mark Zonder. These songs eventually turned into the "Chroma Key" demos and featured Kevin on keyboards/bass/vocals and Mark Zonder on drums. Kevin describes his new music as "keyboard-oriented semi-progressive rock."
Kevin recorded more "Chroma Key" songs during the last half of 1996 (with Jason Anderson on guitar, Joey Vera on bass, and Mark Zonder on drums), and mixed those songs with Steve Tushar. Kevin's website, http://www.chromakey.com, has information on acquiring Chroma Key's debut CD Dead Air For Radios which was released on February 9th, 1999 by Fight Evil Records, with national distribution provided by City Hall Records. Soundclips are also available.
Kevin also plays all the keyboards on Fates Warning's latest album, A Pleasant Shade Of Gray, which was released in April 1997. Contrary to popular belief, the keyboard parts were written by Jim Matheos, and Kevin only played them for the studio recording.
Kevin went back to work in early 1999, offering a new 6-song Chroma Key single of demos and remixes, as well as a limited edition Chroma Key screen print. He also put out a collection of demos on CD, titled This is a Recording. Kevin is working on a new Chroma Key album, and he will likely be playing keyboards on the upcoming Fates Warning album, Disconnected, due out on July 25th, 2000. Kevin is also playing keyboards on tour for a new band called On.
4.9 Derek Sherinian
4.9.1 Why did Derek and Dream Theater part ways?
After working with Jordan Rudess during recording for Liquid Tension Experiment I and II, the band felt that Jordan's playing and writing style was more in tune to where they wanted to take Dream Theater as the new millennium approached.
"With the recent release of our live CD and video, it seemed the right time to close this chapter and begin a new one."
"I am very proud of my musical growth and contributions to the band in the last four years. I have nothing but positive thoughts and feelings towards John, Mike, James, and John. Jordan Rudess is a friend of mine and a great talent. I wish all of them the very best!"
4.9.2 What has Derek been up to since he left the band?
Derek has released his first solo CD, titled Planet X on Magna Carta Records. His talents can also be heard on the Platypus CDs, When Pus Comes to Shove, and Ice Cycles. Some of Derek's contributions can also be heard on Encores, Legends & Paradox, and Pat Torpey's albums, Odd Man Out and Y2K.
4.10 Do the members of DT have any side projects?Do they ever...
Liquid Tension Experiment - This is a phenomenal project conceived by Pete Morticelli and Mike Varney. They wanted to put together a 'Super Group,' and who better to call than Mike Portnoy. Mike put together a list of people he would like to work with, and in the end, Liquid Tension solidified into Mike on drums, John Petrucci on guitar, Jordan Rudess of Dixie Dregs on keyboards, and Tony Levin on bass. With very little practice time, and only one week to record the entire CD, the four laid down a full length album which was mixed by Kevin Shirley and distributed on Magna Carta. Their second CD, Liquid Tension Experiment II was released in early 1999.
Explorer's Club - Another 'Super Group' CD from Magna Carta featuring James LaBrie, Derek Sherinian, and John Petrucci. Also playing on this CD are Matt Bradley of Dali's Dilemma (formerly Chaos Theory), D.C. Cooper from Royal Hunt, Bret Douglas from Cairo, and Trent Gardner from Magellan on vocals; Matt Guillory from Dali's Dilemma on keys, Steve Howe of Yes on acoustic guitar, Billy Sheehan of Mr. Big on bass, and the prolific Terry Bozzio on drums. The CD, Age of Impact, is in stores now.
Platypus - Yet another 'Super Group,' this one featuring Derek Sherinian and John Myung, along with Ty Tabor of King's X on vocals and guitar, and Rod Morgenstein of Dixie Dregs on drums. The CD, When Pus Comes to Shove, was written and recorded in 16 days, and is in stores now. Also available is Platypus' latest album, Ice Cycles.
Mullmuzzler - James LaBrie has gone solo, with a little help from Matt Guillory (Dali's Dilemma), Mike Mangini, Mike Keneally, and Bryan Beller. Mullmuzzler's first album, Keep it to Yourself is in stores, and a second album is in the planning stages.
TransAtlantic - Mike Portnoy is unstoppable. Here, he has joined up with Neal Morse (from Spock's Beard), Pete Trewavas (Marillion), and Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings). Their album, SMPTe was released in early 2000.
4.11 Do the members of DT appear on any tribute albums?Yes. Derek played keyboards on the songs "To Cry You a Song" and "Teacher" (with the band Wolfstone) on To Cry You a Song: A Collection of Tull Tales. Three band members appear on Working Man, a Rush tribute album. Mike and Mr. Big's Billy Sheehan provide the rhythm section for "Working Man," "By-Tor and the Snow Dog," "Analog Kid," "The Trees," "La Villa Strangiato," and "Jacob's Ladder." James sings on "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" and on "Red Barchetta," and John Petrucci contributed a guitar solo to "Jacob's Ladder." Mike was also the creative consultant for Working Man. Both titles are available from Magna Carta records (http://www.magnacarta.net/).
Also, John Petrucci and James appear on Dragon Attack: A Tribute to Queen. James sings on "Sheer Heart Attack" and "One Vision" (both of which have Mike Portnoy listed in the Additional Engineering credits), and John plays on "Another One Bites The Dust." Dragon Attack is available on DeRock Records.
In addition, Mike, Jordan, James and Derek are both slated to play on the upcoming ELP tribute album from Magna Carta. John Petrucci will be on Idiot Symphony's upcoming CD, and Derek added keys for an Alice Cooper tribute CD, Humanary Stew.
In addition to tributes, the band members have also helped out fellow musicians on their own projects. John Myung lends a hand an a Chapman Stick on Sean Malone's Gordian Knot, and Derek guests on keys on RFTC by Rocket From the Crypt. Also, James has added some guest vocals on Shadow Gallery's new CD Tyranny.
4.12 With so many 'super groups' and tributes out there, how do I know who played on what?
You can start by checking out the DT Member Discography. It's a small reference table I created to show who played on which CDs. It is available at http://www.gabbo.net/dt/faq/releases.html
5. Questions about DT performances and appearances
5.1.1 What songs have Dream Theater not played live?Here is a list of songs that either haven't been played live, or have never been recorded live at any known show:
A Vision"Scarred" was performed for the first time at the Malibu Night Club in Lido Beach, NY on December 28, 1995, and again the next night at the Birch Hill Night Club in Old Bridge, NJ.
5.1.2 What songs have Dream Theater only performed live?Here are a few songs that have ONLY been performed live, and never recorded in any studio or demo (yet):
In addition to these, there are several variations of DT songs that are played live. Most notably is "Caught in Alice's Nine Inch Tool Garden", a sort of techno infused version of "CiaW". There are also versions of "Metropolis" and others with bits of songs from other artists thrown in.
5.2 Who has toured with Dream Theater?Psychotic Waltz, the Galactic Cowboys, Chain Gang, Enchant, Saigon Kick, Damn The Machine, Meanstreak (with Rena Sands, Petrucci's wife, and Marlene Portnoy, Mike's wife), Threshold, I Mother Earth, Fates Warning, Push Monkey, echolyn, Jordan Rudess & Rod Morgenstein, Full on the Mouth, Big Wreck, Nicky Lemons, Einstein, Vanden Plas, Spock's Beard, Dixie Dregs, Star People, and others among a slew of local acts the band likes to use for openers.
5.3 What was the "Ronnie Scott's Uncovered Gig?"The "Ronnie Scott's Gig" was a show in which Dream Theater played a full show of cover tunes. Several special guests appeared as DT played the music that has influenced their own writings and styles. The complete set list (and guest list) was as follows:
Songs marked with (*) are available on the A Change Of Seasons release. Songs marked with (+) are available on the Dream Theater International Fan Club's Christmas CD.
Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club - 1/31/95
5.4 Has anyone else sung for DT since James joined the band?Yes. Mike had the dubious privilege of singing the end of "Surrounded" after James walked off the stage at one of their 1993 England shows. He also sang the beginning of "The Killing Hand" at Toad's Place in New Haven, CT in December of 1996, when James "...got caught up backstage." Mike has also done the first few lines of "Take the Time" at nearly every show on the last tour.
Mike also picked up lead vocal duties during the first verse of "Anna Lee" at the February 26th, 1998 show in Brussels Belgium. The verse was followed by "Where the f--- is James!?"
5.5 Who is Nightmare Cinema?
Nightmare Cinema is a warped version of Dream Theater, both in name and members. It features John Petrucci on drums, John Myung on keys, Mike Portnoy on bass, Derek Sherinian on guitar, and James LaBrie still on vocals. They made several appearances during encores in Europe, and a few US dates as well, starting with the November 1st, 1997 show at the House of Blues in Chicago. The set list consists of "Perfect Strangers."
5.6 Who is Nicky Lemons?
Nicky Lemons is another twisted touring extra, starring Derek Sherinian as Nicky Lemons, a lounge act.
6. Questions about the albums and songs
6.1 The early songs
6.1.1 What are the Majesty demos?Before they were Dream Theater, they were Majesty. However, there was already a band called Majesty, so they could not release the demos. They wound up on bootlegs and evaluation tapes. Between singers, Dream Theater did still more demos. These are referred to as the Dream Theater Demos due to the timeframe. Some of the songs DT has demoed include:
A Change of Seasons* Also called The Golden Weight
$ Later renamed Take The Time
% Later renamed Learning to Live
@ An old Rainbow song
6.1.2 Will DT ever release production versions of the old Majesty demos?In some cases, they did just that (see the discog). Mike Portnoy was asked about this, and said that while they might be fun to play live, it really wouldn't get the band anywhere to release new recordings of them. Since DT is concerned with moving forward, he said, it will likely not happen more than it already has. Half the first album was production from the demos, but the remaining demos are "just too old." They did play an instrumental "March of the Tyrant" at Palasesto in Milano, Italy in November 1993.
6.1.3 Who wrote "Don't Look Past Me"?
The music was written by Dream Theater, and the lyrics were written by Kevin.
6.1.4 Who sings on the satiric "Wanted Dead or Alive" demo?
John Petrucci originally recorded this demo as a practice tape for one of his guitar students before IAW was released. The demo tracks laid down by John were recorded with guitar and a drum machine only and no added vocals. Eventually, Chris Collins, one of Dream Theater's earliest vocalists got hold of the tape and decided to add some vocals of his own to the background music. The final result is the "heliumfest" you hear on the demo.
[note: It was previously listed that Rich Kern (Kevin's old roommate and programmer for "SDV") did the vocals. Kern himself denied this in an email message and said it was Collins. There is an alternate source (the DT Tourography) that says Kern was at a DT show and admitted he did them.]
6.1.5 Who wrote "To Live Forever?"
The music was written by Dream Theater. The lyrics to the song were originally written by John Petrucci. On the "Lie" single, there is an additional verse (which starts at 3:37) which was written by Kevin. This last verse was the last songwriting contribution Kevin made to the band.
6.1.6 Did the demos "Death of Spock" and "Cry For Freedom" ever go anywhere?Yes. They became "The Ones Who Help to Set the Sun" and part of several instrumental improvisations. (listen to "Bombay Vindaloo," "Moon Bubbles," and "Barfbag"... it's in there.)
6.2 When Dream and Day Unite
6.2.1 Andrea Held Leone and Ralph R. Dominici Sr. are mentioned in the liner notes to WDADU as the dedicants. What relation to the band are they?Andrea is Mike's late mother. Ralph is Charlie's father.
6.2.2 What is "A Fortune In Lies" about?
According to Mike, it was about a friend of theirs who was busted for stealing and the experience he gleaned from it.
6.2.3 What does "The Ytse Jam" mean?
YTSEJAM is MAJESTY written backwards; it refers to their original band name in that ambiguous way instrumentals refer to things.
6.2.4 What is "The Killing Hand" about?
John does not comment on it often, but Mike Portnoy opened up in an interview about why it was written and what he thinks it's about. In the interview, Portnoy was very careful to remind the reader that he could be all wrong, but that it was not likely. Petrucci wrote it as a sort of "Twilight Zone" story about war in which the main character witnesses all these atrocities and sees the names of the dead on a wall, and then realizes it's been him this whole time causing all the atrocities... then he sees his own name on the wall. Very Rod Serling-type of stuff.
6.2.5 Is "Afterlife" a Christian song? Is "Eve?"
While the band admits "Afterlife" has Christian overtones, it is not a religious tune in the same spirit as the music of King's X or Parallax. In fact when the band used to play "Afterlife" live with Chris Collins, the lyrics were completely different. "Eve", the piano/guitar intro sequence used live for both "Pull Me Under" and "Learning To Live" at different times, includes a lot of voice samples from James Joyce's "A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man." According to sources close to Moore, "Although Eve IS named for the "Christian" concept of Eve, it was more inspired by James Joyce and their shared contempt of Christianity than anything else."
6.3 Images and Words
6.3.1 What does the burning heart symbolize?According to Portnoy, it was original keyboardist Kevin Moore's idea and essentially a copy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The barbed wire represented obstacles and difficulties, the heart endurance and strength, and the fire their energy and passion.
6.3.2 Marillion is thanked in the liners. What's the relation?Dream Theater opened for Marillion at the Ritz in New York on 11/14/89. This was also Dominici's last show. DT also opened for Marillion at Sundance in Bay Shore, Long Island on 6/9/90. They played an instrumental show except that Steve Stone was introduced as the new vocalist and he came out and sang "A Change Of Seasons." The band promptly canned him after his horrible performance.
Since then, Steve Rothery and Steve Hogarth joined the band at their Uncovered gig at Ronnie Scott's. Fish was also invited to sing "In The Flesh?" at this gig but had to cancel at the last minute.
Mike Portnoy also said, "We're all really big fans. I really dig Misplaced Childhood."
6.3.3 In the liners, DT thanks "Fatez Warning (Jus'kiddin'!!)." What's that all about?
This is a joke regarding a misprint in the liners of Fates Warning's Parallels. In the liners, they thank "dream theatre," a commonly made spelling mistake which Dream Theater hates.
6.3.4 What is "Pull Me Under" about?
The current explanation goes that it was inspired by Shakespeare's "Hamlet". Prince Hamlet swore vengeance on King Claudius for murdering his father, the former King, and then marrying his mother, still Queen. Hamlet's famous Soliloquy was the passage in which the conflict in Hamlet's mind is detailed, and the second verse of "Pull Me Under" coincides pretty thoroughly with it. The very end of the song James can be heard singing this line from Hamlet:
"Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt."Furthermore, after seeing the video, in an interview, Portnoy said "Who the hell was that wolfman guy in the video anyway? We had written it based on something else entirely." Portnoy noted that while Moore did not write "PMU" about Hamlet specifically, he DID write "PMU" about what Hamlet was about. Same themes, ideas, etc.
The no-brainer explanation can be found at http://www.gabbo.net/dt/faq/dt-hamlet.html.
6.3.5 "Pull Me Under" stops abruptly on my CD. Do I have a faulty copy?
Nope. This sudden cut off was intentional.
6.3.6 What is "Another Day" about?On a Long Island radio show called "Fingers' Metal Shop", Gail Fluge (sp), who at that time was president of the Dream Theater fan club, stated that the song was about John Petrucci's struggle in dealing with his father having cancer. John Sr. passed away in 1996.
Two other schools of thought have previously emerged on this subject:
Suicide is the most obvious meaning. Pretty much every verse supports the theme of a person trying to talk someone out of killing themselves. "so die another day... better to save the mystery."
Another equally valid point of view is that of mental illness, and trying to cope with it as the sufferer and/or family. "they took pictures of our dreams..."
6.3.7 Who plays the saxophone on "Another Day"?Jay Beckenstein of Spyro Gyra, who owned the studio where IAW and ACOS were put to tape, Bear Tracks.
6.3.8 What is "Take The Time" about?
"We decided to write a song about everything we'd been going through for the past three years - looking for a new singer, a new label & new management - just all the changes we made & all the frustrations we went through...but, have it coming from each of our four different perspectives. So, we broke it up, and said 'Okay, you take the 1st verse, you take the 2nd verse,' went away, wrote lyrics about our feelings about all the stuff we were going through, and then put it together. Then [we] wrote the chorus together. That was the 1st time we had ever done that, and it's the only song on the album where the lyrics were actually written by everybody."- Mike Portnoy on "TTT"
6.3.9 What is being said in Italian in "Take the Time" and where is it from?It's Italian for, "now that I'm blind, I can see much clearer." It was taken from the film "Cinema Paradiso" as the following:
"Adesso che ho perso la vista, ci vedo meglio e di piu"In Ytsejam Digest 1734, Matteo Gagliolo wrote that even though these are the words seen in the video, the actual quote is "Ora che ho perso la vista ci vedo di piu," which he says translates to "Now that I have lost my sight, I can see clearer."
It's not a coincidence that LaBrie sings, "I can see much clearer now I'm blind," right before the sample.
6.3.10 What was the original title of "Surrounded?"Promotional cassettes for Images And Words had "Surrounded" labeled as "The Longest Night" on the sleeve.
6.3.11 What is "Surrounded" about?Exactly what the song is about is not known, but spiritual enlightenment seems to be the major theme. During the IAW tour, the band dedicated the song to Arthur Ashe, the pioneering African-American tennis player, who life was tragically cut short by AIDS.
6.3.12 What story is "Metropolis part I: The Miracle and the Sleeper" based on?It is based on the story of the telepathically-linked Romulus and Remus from Virgil's "Aeneid." It has no relation to the movie "Metropolis". Petrucci wrote it as a sort of fantasy epic, inspired by the likes of, you guessed it, Yes and Rush. The story itself is original (the twins are named Miracle and Sleeper and do not appear in literature) but the story type was Homeric.
6.3.13 "Metropolis, part I"? Where is part II?
Perhaps the only song in Dream Theater lore with more anticipation of a recorded version than "ACoS" is "Metropolis, Part II". According to the band, the song has been written and demoed once on Mike's DAT recorder. It weighs in at over 25 minutes, making it the longest DT song to date. There are no immediate plans for a studio version, although the band has hinted that we will see it on a future release. They promise that the song will be reworked with Jordan's influence rather than Derek's, since Derek was a member at the time of writing. This will allow more contributions from Jordan to the band, not to mention make the sole copy of Metropolis II with Derek on keys one of *the* most sought after recordings in DT history.
6.3.14 What is "Wait For Sleep" about? Who is the girl/woman in "Wait For Sleep"?Kevin Moore has said she was a friend of his who had a spiritual void and a hard time filling it, reaching for something to believe in. It dealt with her fears about belief and her grief over a loved one's death. His explanation is longer, but that about says it.
6.3.15 What is "Learning to Live" about?This has been the bigger topic of discussion on the YML because Myung has commented briefly on it and Portnoy has, while not wanting to confirm it, indicated that the premise is correct in an interview. "Learning to Live" was inspired by the AIDS epidemic. Particularly, the "From a common fear... reach for life" passage, but the rest fits very snugly with the AIDS theme.
6.4 Live at the Marquee
6.4.1 What is a "Vindaloo"?A Bombay Vindaloo is a hot spicy herb/pepper served on Indian food, usually chicken. It is also taken after drinks. My guess is DT got blasted in Asia or Europe and got to try this most interesting spice. :)
6.4.2 What is the pepper-like symbol in the booklet?There are two theories. The first theory states that this symbol is called "Alceringa," which means "dream time." It was used by another culture to describe what they believed was the "other" state of being. They were baffled by what happened when one fell asleep, what we today refer to as dreaming. So, they gave a name to this other world that one entered during a slumber - Alceringa, the Dream Time.
The other theory is that it doesn't actually mean anything, and it's just a neat-looking, albeit extremely common, printer's symbol.
Or maybe it's just a Vindaloo.
6.5.1 What did the band have to say about recording Awake?Japanese Awake Album Messages from the Band to the Fans:
"Being prepared was a key element that contributed to the successful recording of Awake. Unlike our previous studio releases, this one had the benefit of hundreds of live performances shaping sounds and developing new ideas for equipment and instrumentation. This, coupled with a trusting relationship with our producers, resulted in a truer expression of creative vision. We are very pleased with this recording and excited about playing it live."
"I had a great time recording, and working with John and Duane was a pleasure because not only do they get amazing sounds, but they truly understand the music."
"With the recording of this album, sonically I think we've all made individual improvements. Each of us has a distinct sound, you can hear each instrument by itself and also hear how they all work together."
"Upon finishing the never-ending world tour for Images and Words, the five of us found ourselves bursting with creative excitement ready to explode. The shrapnel of these ideas is what you are now listening to. I feel that Awake is our most diverse and complete work to date, and I hope it is as enjoyable for you to listen to as it was for us to create."
"I had fun experimenting with keyboard sounds with John & Duane. I'm very happy with the raw quality we came up with."
6.5.2 What is "6:00" about?
"...that actually was inspired by a story that James told me about one of his friends. He told me about one of his friends who he used to work with at a factory... James, I guess he worked with him like years & years ago. Anyway, this guy is still working at that factory & he [James] just met him like, I guess, recently, and he was talking to him about how he's got all these great benefits now and everything, but... and so that struck me as... that struck him, you know, it's kind of affected him and I thought about it too, and I was just thinking about how people kind of let life live them instead of living life sometimes, you know. And just get caught up in just being secure and having money, you know, to survive, which is a noble thing for some people. But some people don't even give themselves a chance, you know, this guy happened to be a musician who still had a dream about becoming a serious musician and making a career out of it, but it was obvious that he was never going to do anything about it. And this is kind of like a 'do something about it' song."- Kevin Moore
From what we have surmised, "6:00", of course is REALLY primarily about Kevin's thoughts about leaving the band and the indecisiveness that preceded this.
6.5.3 What is "Caught In A Web" about?
"...a person that's... it's not male or female, it could be either. And it's dealing with a person who has suppressed their feelings for so long and has finally had enough of it and feels that the only way that they can really live life to it's fullest is to live from the inside out. And that's basically what this person has come to terms with. And they're sick of society inducements and they feel the only way that they can go on with life is to live it the way they feel is the truth..."- James LaBrie
6.5.4 Anyone notice that "Erotomania" contains snippets of many of the songs on the first half of Awake?Yes. Also, part of "Erotomania" used to be contained within the solo of the demo version of "Pull Me Under."
6.5.5 Who is the Cassandra mentioned in "Voices?"
The verse goes:
Maybe I'm just Cassandra fleeting
Cassandra was a figure in Greek mythology who was the object of the god Apollo's affections. He gave her the power to tell the future, but when she would not return his love, he made it so that no one would ever believe the prophecies she gave, although they were right.
The Fleeting part comes in because she foretold the downfall of the city of Troy, but no one she told would believe her. So she knew it was going to happen, but couldn't warn anyone. 'Fleeting' means that she's trying to do something even though she knows it won't work, not 'fleeing' as in running from something.
6.5.6 What is the song "The Silent Man" about?Mike Bahr submitted a detailed comparison of "The Silent Man" and the story "1001 Arabian Nights" to the YML back in October of 1995. You can read Mike's in-depth analysis at http://www.gabbo.net/dt/faq/dt-tsm.html.
6.5.7 Who sings backup vocals on "The Silent Man"?As noted in the album's liner notes, John Purdell (Awake's producer) sang these backup vocals. John Petrucci sings them live.
6.5.8 What is "Lie" about?According to Moore, it's connected to the theme of "The Mirror." Betrayal and disillusionment are the main ideas. There seems to be religious symbolism in the lyrics. For example:
"At the bottom of a lake, it's a hundred degrees I can't breathe" = Lake of Fire / Hell
6.5.9 What is "Lifting Shadows off a Dream" about?
"...that song is more or less just reflecting the duality that exists between a man and a woman; the spiritual side of the relationship & how they both can compliment one another."- John Myung (Japanese Radio Interview)
6.5.10 What is "Space-Dye Vest" about? How did Kevin come up with this stuff?In Kevin Moore's words from a Japanese Interview:
"It was inspired by... I was looking through a clothing catalog & saw a picture of a girl modeling this piece of clothing called a space-dye vest. And, so, I fell in love with her [laughs] for some strange reason & so the minute I did that, the minute I was just like obsessed w/this person, I was like, 'why am I doing that?' & I noticed that I was doing it a lot lately. And I think the prime reason that I was doing that, and this is what I figured out at the time, was that I had just come out of a relationship where I'd gotten dumped, basically, and so I think the situation was that I wasn't finished giving all that I was ready to give, so I was just, like, throwing it around, you know, just aiming it in different directions. It was a total case of projection. And this song is just trying to sort it out & just kind of admitting that I'm just kind of lost. So it's kind of a dark song. It was very cathartic though."
6.6 A Change of Seasons
6.6.1 What is unique about the song "A Change of Seasons?"Several things. First of all, it's the first song for which Mike Portnoy wrote the lyrics. Second of all, it's the longest DT song at 23:05. This is a noteworthy distinction because it's very rare to find bands comfortable with lengthy formats.
6.6.2 What is the song "A Change of Seasons" about?When Portnoy has been asked about this question during his recent drum clinics, he has said that "ACoS was part autobiographical, part fictional." He has indicated that it deals, in part, with the death of his mother.
6.6.3 Where does the "Gather Ye Rosebuds" stuff come from?These lines are part of a poem by Robert Herrick called "To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time." The full text of the poem is as follows:
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,See Section 7.6 for the details of the sample.
6.6.4 Where do the various parts of "A Change of Seasons" start?According to Mike Portnoy, these are the official start times of each section:
I The Crimson Sunrise 0:00
6.6.5 What is this "Mercy Fuck" business I keep hearing about?As we all know, in the "Another World" section of "ACoS," there is a line that says "I don't need your sympathy to get me through the day." On June 9, 1995, at a performance at the Birch Hill Night Club in Old Bridge, NJ, James took the liberty of changing this line, and sang instead "I don't need your mercy fuck to get me through the day." At the same club on December 29, 1995, James changed the line again, and sang "I don't need your fucking shit to get me through the day." Other than these two performances, since the official recording of this song, James has always sung this line the way appears in the ACoS liner notes.
6.7 Falling Into Infinity
6.7.1 I heard that there is something strange about the FII cover, can you explain?
Many people believe that the cover is intended to be like a 3D Stereogram. If you stare at the cover and slightly cross your eyes, then the figures seem to come out from the background, and by rotating the cover left or right, one of the figures will seem to lift higher out of the water than the other.
6.7.2 I heard that the recording of FII was different from that of DT's previous albums. How so?On all of DT's previous albums, the recording was done instrument by instrument. Each band member would record his tracks and then they would all be mixed together at the end.
During the FII sessions, the songs were recorded one at a time. Each member would lay down the tracks for one song, then that song would be mixed. The end result was that each song had it's own characteristics and variances that would be missing with the previous method.
6.7.3 What is a Chapman Stick? On which songs is it used?To quote the Stick Enterprises web page at http://www.stickent.com:
The Chapman Stick is a unique electric string instrument. Instead of being plucked like a guitar, the act of fretting a note causes it to play. This means that you can play notes with both hands allowing you to play a much fuller arrangement. Emmett Chapman created this technique on a self-built guitar in the late 1960s. In subsequent years he created The Stick as the ultimate instrument for tapping technique.
John Myung plays the Stick on the songs "New Millennium" and "Take Away My Pain."
6.7.4 What is "Peruvian Skies" about?
Peruvian Skies is based on an article that JP read about an abused girl in Peru, which is where the title came from.
6.7.5 Did Dream Theater change "Burning My Soul" for the CD?
Yes, the song was slightly rearranged for the sake of the CD. The original version -- played live at some Christmas shows before the recording of the CD -- was almost twice as long, thanks to a 4+ minute long instrumental section. This instrumental section was lifted from the song and recorded separately as "Hell's Kitchen."
6.7.6 What is Hell's Kitchen?
Hell's Kitchen is the neighborhood in New York City where you can find Avatar Studio, the site of the recording of Falling Into Infinity.
6.7.7 What is "Take Away My Pain" about?
It was written by John Petrucci in memory of his late father. The original version is a very toned down acoustic song, and is preferred by many to the version that appears on the album.
6.7.8 Why does "Just Let Me Breathe" give me Deja Vu?Probably because the chorus "Just close your mind / you can find all you need with your eyes." is a direct reference to "Take The Time" off Images and Words. The song is a very sarcastic take on today's attitudes in life, and is a reversal of the theme of "TTT": "Close your eyes, you can find all you need in your mind."
Also, during the solo Derek goes back to the "WFS" / "LtL" riff used on IAW, adding to the 're-usable riff' theory (see 6.8.1).
The spelling of eMpTyV in the liners was most likely something Mike Portnoy picked up from its common use on the Ytsejam Mailing List.
6.7.9 Who is Anna Lee?She is a fictional character that James invented after being "deeply moved" by some books he had read about child abuse and incest.
6.8.1 Has anybody noticed the re-usable riff phenomenon?Yes. "Pull Me Under" and "Take The Time" share a melody, which is not quite a riff, but they are identical if juxtaposed on a corresponding major/minor scale. "Wait For Sleep" and "Learning to Live" also share a main riff. Thematically, none of the songs interconnect. Mike Portnoy has said that the music is written out before the lyrics are written and set to melody. It is possible (any interviews mention this?) that they were intended to be counterparts and that the relation was either scrapped or made more subtle. The PMU-TTT connection is not as direct as the WFS-LTL connection. The melody from "PMU"'s "This World is spinning around me, this world is spinning without me" in a minor scale sung by LaBrie is reproduced at 4:18 of the "TTT" instrumental section in a major scale played by Petrucci. So, the question remains, "are the 16-note melodies reproduced completely by coincidence on the same album by the same band?" Also, all throughout Awake, there is a lot of intentional riff sharing. Without referring to the obvious "Erotomania", which is MADE UP OF riffs from other songs, the "Space Dye Vest" piano melody was added to "The Mirror," "LSOAD," and "Scarred." The section of "A Change of Seasons" at 2:48 seems reminiscent of "Erotomania."
6.8.2 Has anybody noticed the Another Song phenomenon?Yes. DT has a knack, it would seem, for Another Song titles. "Another Won" (from the Majesty demos), "Another Day" (from IAW), "Another Hand" (prologue to "The Killing Hand" live and on LATM), and "Another World", part V of "A Change of Seasons," are the factors of this phenomenon. The album Awake seems to have escaped this trap of nomenclature. Mike assures us that this is a coincidence.
6.8.3 What songs has Dream Theater made videos for?
Pull Me Under"Another Day" did not make MTV's playlist, even though DT felt it had the most MTV potential. "Pull Me Under" was shot live and has received the most airplay. "Take The Time" was shot as a full-scale video production, but the song had to be shortened a lot and many unexpected edits in the song throw off the video's pace and consistency. "Lie" got regular rotation. There is no video for "Caught In a Web," contrary to what was previously thought. "The Silent Man" was shown in Europe - to our knowledge, it has not been sighted in the US on MTV. Mike Portnoy directed the video to "The Silent Man." There is also a live performance video for "The Silent Man." Again, this has only been seen in Europe.
7. Questions concerning the samples used in the songs
7.1 Where is the sampled voice in "A Fortune In Lies" from?Mike Portnoy recorded it off a television documentary about the prison system.
7.2 Where were the samples used in "6:00" pulled from?They came from John Huston's movie "The Dead" which is based on James Joyce's short story "The Dead" which is available separately (from Penguin books in the US) or as part of "Dubliners" (a collection of Joyce's short stories).
The words are (from the book):
--No, continued Aunt Kate, she wouldn't be said or led by anyone, slaving there in that choir night and day, night and day. Six o'clock on Christmas morning! And all for what?
7.3 Where are the samples in "Space-Dye Vest" from?The first sample in "SDV" is from the Merchant/Ivory film "A Room With A View". The complete passage says:
"...he's the sort who can't know anyone intimately, least of all a woman. He doesn't know what a woman is. He wants you for a possession, something to look at, like a painting or an ivory box. Something to own and to display. He doesn't want you to be real, or to think, or to live. He doesn't love you. But I love you. I want you to have your own thoughts and ideas and feelings, even when I hold you in my arms...it's our last chance."These lines are spoken by actor Julian Sands' character, George Emerson. In this pivotal scene, he's trying to convince the woman he loves, Lucy Honeychurch (played by Helena Bonham-Carter), who is engaged to be married to someone else, that she's making a horrible mistake and that she truly belongs with him instead.
Another interesting connection between "SDV" and "A Room With A View" is that Kevin based most of the song around a chord progression that's actually from the background music in movie! It only appears a couple of times in very short sections, but it's definitely the same chord progression that Kevin used in "SDV."
This sample was taken from TV commentator Jim Hill of KCBS in Los Angeles during the O.J. Simpson police chase.
"Some people gave advice before about facing the facts, about facing reality. And this is, this without a doubt, is his biggest challenge ever. He's going to have to face it. You're gonna have to try, he's gonna have to try and, uh, and, and, and get some help here. I mean, you know, now no one can say they know how he feels..."The following is (unconfirmed) from a Conan O'Brien show:
"That's what they say that, like that in Houston, or something. They say 'yeah, it's 180 degrees, but it's a dry heat.'"These samples have been identified as being taken from the documentary "The Trouble With Evan," from a Canadian series called "The Fifth Estate":
Evan's stepfather: (unintelligible talking)"...I'll get up with the sun...she doesn't, she doesn't want you to sleep in...I don't care what you do, I don't care what you say, you're grounded... that door gets locked, that door gets locked at night by 9 o'clock. If you're not in this house by 9 o'clock, then you'd better find someplace to sleep...you think you can go to your mom's house and sucker her into it?..."(unintelligible talking)Irene Raceu explains that the documentary is about child abuse. As Irene explains, "The show was filmed by some researchers because the parents supposedly complained that Evan was a problem child, had all sorts of behavior problems, etc. So they set up cameras in the house for many months and filmed what went on." Sander Moes also helped to compile this information.
7.4 Where are the samples from "The Mirror" from?Mark "Itchy" Bredius wrote to the YML with the following information, which to date has neither been confirmed nor proven wrong by anyone else (so feel free to help out!). He says that the woman's voice ("Everything you need is around you. The only danger is inside you.") is Mary Beth Hurt's, from a movie called "Lightsleeper," directed by Paul Schrader in 1992. It also starred Willem Dafoe and Susan Sarandon.
Mark also wrote that the male voice is Jeremy Irons' from the movie "Damage," from Louis Malle, also in 1992. Mark transcribed the passages this way:
(Jeremy Irons in Damage)Mike Portnoy also pointed out that the man and woman saying "What are you doing?" after the first verse are Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep from the movie "Falling In Love."
The low spoken parts, such as "Resistance", etc., at the beginning of the song, are Mike speaking.
7.5 Where are the samples in "Voices" taken from?They're actually not samples. As noted in the liner notes to Awake, the dialogues in the song were provided by Prix-Mo, who is a rap artist that was recording in the same studio at the time of the Awake sessions. He was reading lines from the book "Cultural Revolution," which inspired John to write the lyrics.
7.6 Where are the samples in "A Change of Seasons" from?Most of the samples were taken from the movie "Dead Poets Society." The "Gather ye rosebuds" part is a reading of the poem "To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time" (see section 6.31), and it was read by the actor James Waterston, playing the character Mr. Pitts.
The part of the song after "Goodbye" and before the now-infamous "Please Don't Go!" is a collection of lines taken from the movie "Table For Five." The voice is John Voight's.
7.7 Where are the samples in "Don't Look Past Me" from?The version of this song on Subconscious, with Jon Hendricks singing, contains samples from two movies. The sample at the beginning of the song is Robert DeNiro from "The Deer Hunter." The "Let me feel bad about this" lines, spoken by Timothy Hutton, are from the movie "Ordinary People."
8.1 Did the band "Blind Melon" bash DT? What did they say?Yes. In the magazine "Guitar For the Practicing Musician", two members of Blind Melon were asked to listen and critique several recordings. There is a transcription of the article at http://www.gabbo.net/dt/faq/dt-melon.html. You can read John Petrucci's response to the article at http://www.gabbo.net/dt/faq/jp-melon.html.
8.2 What is the correct pronunciation of the word - 'YTSEJAM'?Per Mike Portnoy, the correct pronunciation is 'yit-say-jam'.
8.3 What are "Ytsecons"?Ytsecon I was an event that drew lots of those on the Dream Theater mailing list together to meet the band at a 'convention' like atmosphere. The event was organized through the Ytsejam mailing list by Barb Battaglia and Jeff Chew. Ytsecon took place on June 3, 1995 at the Smithtown Sheraton in New York. For the first hour, all of the ytsejammers gathered in the "conference" room and mingled, got to know each other, etc. Finally, Mike, John Myung, and Derek came in to meet everyone. They signed autographs and there was a poster raffle of rare Dream Theater European tour posters. Afterwards, Mike popped in a tape of the studio recording of "A Change Of Seasons." No one else had heard it yet because they had just recorded it a few days before the Ytsecon. When everything came to an end and the three left, a bunch of people were cleaning up, and Jeff Chew pulled out a freshly autographed acoustic guitar and played the Silent Man, with everyone singing along.
There was also a Tokyo Ytsecon on May 14th, 1995 in Shimo-Kitazawa. Can anyone give me more details...?
YtseCon II was held on December 28, 1995 at the Holiday Inn in Rockville Centre, NY, the day of a DT performance at Malibu Night Club in Lido Beach, NY. The second YtseCon was organized by Trey Allen.
YtseCon III was held on October 12, 1996 at the LaGuardia Marriott in Queens, NY, and was organized by Jeff Chew.
8.4 Misheard Lyrics"Did I really hear that?" Probably not. :) Taken from the YML and compiled with the help of Scott Herman and various other Ytsejammers:
8.5 Have the FAQ Maintainers ever played any practical jokes on the readers?Funny you should ask. For April Fools Day 1997, Chris replaced the FAQ with a joke page, which you can still see at http://www.gabbo.net/dt/faq/af97/
On April 1st, 1998, Pat Griffin replaced the FAQ with this one: http://www.gabbo.net/dt/faq/af98/
And of course, who could forget 1999's April Fool's Day entry, found at http://www.gabbo.net/dt/faq/af99/
Sometimes the best April Fools jokes are the ones that are close enough to the truth that some people actually fall for it. My apologies to those who thought the 2000 joke was for real: http://www.gabbo.net/dt/faq/af00/
FAQ you all. :)
Again, for any corrections, information, or suggestions, or if you would like to
mirror the FAQ,