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1  General Category / General Music Chat / Re: My "Far From Heaven" Vocal Cover on: May 06, 2013, 07:48:45 pm
I don't have anything helpful to share about the mix, but I really enjoyed your cover. You have a lovely, velvety tone to your voice.
2  General Category / General Music Chat / Re: LaBrie album? on: April 09, 2013, 12:42:30 pm
Thanks for sharing the video, Diana! Chloe has a lovely voice.
3  General Category / General Music Chat / Vote for DT to win this poll! on: April 03, 2013, 03:09:28 pm
I came across this poll through Jordan's posting on FB. Loudwire is having a March Madness contest for best metal album. DT is currently pitted against Megadeth. Help them win!

Update: DT beat out Megadeth and then went on to beat Metallica's Master of Puppets album to win the contest. Pretty darn awesome! Grin
4  General Category / General Music Chat / Re: Kamelot on: February 26, 2013, 12:29:17 pm
I like Kamelot. I can't say I'm an expert on the band, but it seems to me that a lot of their albums sound almost the same. Love Khan's voice, though (and so does Donna).
5  General Category / Off Topic Discussions / Re: Got any jokes to share? on: February 01, 2013, 05:48:23 pm
A vampire walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a cup of boiling hot water. The bartender asks, "I thought you guys only drank blood?" The vampire pulls out a bloodied tampon and replies, "I'm making Tea"
ew.... Horribly funny. I somehow missed seeing this six months ago.

When a Dream Theater fan is about to get bullied, what does he say to the bully?

Pull me under, pull me under, pull me under, I'm not afraid.

good one :-)
6  General Category / General Music Chat / Re: A New DT album already? on: February 01, 2013, 05:45:21 pm
For those wondering about the DVD Smiley

more info from Facebook page:
New York, NYóLive At Luna Park, a live concert captured on 2DVD, Blu-ray, Digital Video, 2DVD/3CD, Blu-ray/3CD, and a deluxe edition (2DVD/Blu-ray/3CD), will drop in May 2013. To whet the appetite of their fans, Dream Theater have released this trailer:
Live At Luna Park was filmed over two nights in South America Ė home to one of Dream Theaterís most ardent fanbases. The DVD was filmed after a 15-month world tour, hitting 35 countries.
 ďThis is without a doubt the closest a viewer at home will come to experiencing a live Dream Theater concert,Ē states guitarist and founding member John Petrucci. ďBetween the hi-def and 3D video, the huge audio mix and the documentary style behind the scenes footage, you are truly transported to the arena and completely immersed in the entire live experience.Ē
 ďWe have the greatest fans on the planet and the people of Argentina are no exception!Ē adds Petrucci. ďThe energy and vibe at Luna Park was truly electric and contagious. The perfect synergy between band and audience. We are immensely proud of this DVD and incredibly excited to share it with everyone!Ē
 Eagle Rock Entertainment is the largest producer and distributor of music programming for DVD, Blu-Ray, TV, Audio and Digital Media in the world. Eagle is a Grammy Award winning company and has received over 30 multi-platinum, over 50 platinum and over 90 gold discs, worldwide.
7  General Category / General Music Chat / Jordan & JP interview on: January 29, 2013, 07:28:48 pm

Dream Theater are currently burrowed in at the recording studio, preparing the follow-up to 2011's A Dramatic Turn of Events. We got guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess on the phone (separately) last week, and asked them about how they prepare to enter the studio, whether they've gotten any new gear lately, their songwriting methods, and much more.

Did you get any new gear over the holidays?
JORDAN: Oh, Iíve been accumulating keyboards and stuff just to have fun and get inspired. Actually, besides my usual amazing gear like the Korg Kronos, things like that that I use on the road, I got my hands on an Access Virus synthesizer, and then I got an instrument called the Sledge, which is this bright yellow synth with a Waldorf sound engine in it. So what I try to do for sessions, unlike my live show, is I try to surround myself with a lot of different keyboards, so I can put my hands on a lot of things really quickly, so it ends up looking like a Rick Wakeman setup or something like that in the studio. And when I go out live I scale it back, usually with just the Korg Kronos, and I figure out a way to do whatever it is I did in the studio with my computers and all my synthesizers Ė basically streamline it into one very powerful instrument. But those are a couple of things I got in the keyboard world for the new record that are pretty cool.
JOHN: Yeah, the latest thing guitar-wise is the new [MusicMan] JP13, Iíll be using that on the new album, and also from Boogie, I have such a big Boogie collection, but the latest is this amp called the Royal Atlantic. I just got one in the studio yesterday, and we started experimenting with that. So thatís gonna be a change as well. Thereís always toys.

Has a new piece of gear ever inspired a musical idea thatís made it onto a DT record?
JORDAN: Oh, totally. As a matter of fact, before I left the studio the other week, I was talking to John Petrucci, and I said ďYou know, we should sit and go through some of these sounds on my new synthesizers.Ē Because for me, as an improviser, the sounds can be extremely inspiring, and they can lead to compositional ideas. Thatís a very common thing for a musician, to get a new toy and have it be so inspiring that it leads to a new composition.
JOHN: Oh yeah. 100 percent. Whether itís a new guitar, or the sound of an amp, or an effects patch you found, or whatever, as soon as you start playing with it, if itís something you identify with, it takes you down a certain creative path. I always look forward to that type of thing Ė you start playing, and next thing you know, youíre writing something that maybe you wouldnít have if you didnít hear that sound.

Whatís the most narrow-purpose item of gear that you own Ė do you have something that literally makes only one noise, or something like that?
JORDAN: Thatís an interesting question. Well, I have a theremin; itís a really cool instrument, but it basically has one sound. Itís an old electronic instrument that you play by waving your hands in the air.
JOHN: [laughs] Letís seeÖlike, I need this for this one thing that it doesÖthatís a funny question. I suppose I zone in on certain pedals. Guitar amps and Boogies and my guitars are so versatile, but every once in a while youíll find a pedal that just does one thing really amazingly, but what would that pedal be? Thatís a tough one. I used to Ė I guess TC is a good story, because for a long time, when I wanted to do chorusing, I would use this one TC pedal, a stereo chorus flanger, and Iíd have to use it for that one sound, but that became the basis for my Dreamscape pedal from TC Electronic, but it also does a whole bunch of other things, so Iím not locked into one thing. I used to set up crazy sounds in Eventide Ė I think it was the solo in ďMisunderstood,Ē I had some weird effect on and it was harmonized and backward and every time we played that song, I was like ďOh shit, I need to use that effect to get that.Ē

How prepared are you going into sessions? Are songs fully plotted out, or are there just vague ideas that get shaped in the studio?
JORDAN: Well, with Dream Theater, we really like to write together, but thatís not to say we have no ideas going in. Weíll have seed ideas, things to get us started. Riffs, motifs, eight bars, maybe 16 bars. For the most part, thatís how Dream Theater works. Occasionally, John will bring in a ballad he wants to put on the album, but we enjoy having these seeds that whoever came up with them did, and then we all work on them together.
JOHN: We always talk about the concept for the album, so we always come in with a plan, the direction of the album, the type of album we want to make, and we get everyone literally on the same page, so that weíre all focused in a general sense and even in some specific senses. But as far as actual ideas, throughout the touring year, as weíre playing live, if someone has an idea and they bring it into soundcheck and we start jamming on it, we always record it, and so those little recordings, whether theyíre jams or chord progressions or whatever, weíll archive them and have them ready to go. And then, ideas that I come up with by myself at home, in the hotel room or whatever, I archive them in a special folder, New Album Ideas, whether theyíre completed demos or just little seeds or riffs or whatever, but those are good starting points. Weíll go through all that stuff and use what we want, and at the same time we come up with fresh stuff in the studio, just having nothing to do with previous ideas. So itís a combination.

That seems like itís only possible in the era of portable digital recording. In the tape eraÖ
JOHN: Oh, totally. Itís so easy. As long as I have a guitar, with the iPhone, I use voice notes all the time. I just play a riff into the thing, or sing an idea, or type lyrics into my notes, itís infinitely easier than it once was. And all that stuff is easily shared, emailed, whatever.

How much writing do you guys do on the road? Do you practice together or separately, and does it ever bleed into a writing session?
JORDAN: Sometimes. We donít generally write on the road, but on this last tour there were a lot of times when weíd be inspired, partly because we had this amazing new drummer and weíd just sit there and go ďWow,Ē and come up with some cool musical ideas, or [Mike] Mangini and I would walk onstage a little bit earlier to do the soundcheck because we knew we could just go have some fun, so weíd start playing and record it and review that at some time during our stay in the studio. So thereís definitely stuff that happens in soundcheck, but weíre not formally trying to write on the road. As long as Iíve been in this band, itís been the kind of thing where we know weíre going to block out a certain amount of time, and itís going to be our job to go in over the course of these months and write an album. And itís really great for us, because all of us are family guys, weíve got kids and families and responsibilities, but we love our music and we want to be able to focus on it, so to be able to put aside a block of time where we know thatís what weíre going to do, thatís what really seems to work best for all of us.

When youíre in writing mode, do you listen to less outside music, to avoid ďidea pollutionĒ?
JORDAN: Thatís an interesting question. I know everybody has different feelings about it. I generally like to hear different music, but I like to mix it up. One second Iíll be listening to the Deftones, the next Iíll be listening to Aphex Twin, and the next moment Iíll be listening to Gentle Giant. And I feel like, if I listen to these things that inspire me, that trigger my imagination, and if I mix them up, then theyíre going to go into a stew of musical ideas. Iíve always been a natural at putting together all the different influences that come into play and creating an original recipe out of it. Iíve never been someone who likes to necessarily go, ďIím gonna learn this tune, and play a cover song.Ē Iím more interested in figuring out the elements of a sound. Like, Iíll listen to the Deftones and say, what is it that makes this sound? Why does it have this effect? Whatís going on melodically, harmonically? Same thing holds true with anybody. When I listen to Coldplay, Iíll say, Well, thatís a very smooth sound Ė what makes it so smooth? And Iíll sit at the piano and figure out the nature of the chords theyíre using and how the melody interacts with the chords and kind of roll all that into my mindset, so I can call upon a certain kind of sound if I want to mix it in.
JOHN: I do. Iím really paranoid about that type of thing. One of the most important things, when writing music, for me, is identity. I think there has to be an identity, and the identity has to stay true to the band and to the players and musicians writing the music. Even though itís great to listen to new music, and stuff you like certainly seeps in and you might get influenced, I find that Ė and Iíve had this experience both ways, so I find for me itís better if I have a little less musical exposure before an intense writing session. And that helps to alleviate the risk of getting into using some newer things that maybe you wouldnít have otherwise, that are outside of your style. And the other side of that is, if Iím purposely trying to pick up a style because I want to incorporate it. Letís say thereís a certain composer that I happen to like, and I want to find out where theyíre coming from, as far as their chord voicings or their movement or whatever, then Iíll study that composer, like research, trying to get more knowledgeable in musical styles more than it is being directly influenced by something that just came out. Because I think thatís dangerous. I think it can possibly infringe on the originality of your work, you know?

When you were younger, who was the player it took the longest to work out of your system?
JOHN: [laughs] Iím still working players out of my system. Itís a funny thing, because a more recent version of that phenomenon was when I was first on tour with G3, and every night I was onstage jamming with Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, and at the end of the show weíd trade solos, and every time I played, in my mind, I was like ďOh shit, that was a Steve Vai lickĒ or ďThat was a Joe Satriani lickĒ Ė I was thinking I was exposed, because I was so influenced by those guys. But I donít know Ė sometimes when I was younger and still to this day I was a huge Rush fan, so that sound, Alex [lifeson]ís sound and that compositional approach, has always been part of my sound, and I donít think itís something Iíve never shook off and donít think I want to, because itís something I love, but some of those early big influences remain part of your identity. The challenge, throughout the years, is to make it your own.

John, youíre one of only two founding bandmembers left; how has your role changed over the years?
You know, in some ways it hasnít changed, in that my role as a guitar player is a prime compositional instrument and it always has been, and just playing the kind of music we play Ė you call it prog, but itís a metal version, so the guitar sound and the presence of a metal-sounding guitar is really important, so those two roles havenít changed. Starting in 1999, before Scenes From a Memory, weíd used outside producers, and from then on Mike [Portnoy] and I were co-producers until he left, and then on A Dramatic Turn of Events and now the current album, Iím the sole producer, so Iíve become fully responsible for that, and thatís something that I love. And Iíve always been the main lyricist, but even more so over the years and especially on the last album. So more responsibility as it goes on, I guess.

Jordan, youíve been in the band since 1999; how has your role changed over the years?
Well, when I first got in the band, I had just come from working with the guys on the Liquid Tension Experiment. And that started out as a very open book, where everybodyís ideas were accepted Ė you throw íem in, you mix íem around, and the next thing you know, we have a song. When I started in Dream Theater, I didnít really know what to expect, though I had been working with two of the guys in LTE. So it started out where I prepared like 60 different ideas, brought them all into the studio and kind of bombarded them with a whole bunch of stuff. And I learned very quickly that that was not the best thing to do, because they were a little intimidated by that, it wasnít the way they worked. But it was a really strong lesson. I would say the things that have changed mostly [would just be] a comfort level with understanding the parameters of what has made Dream Theater who they are for all these years. Thereís certain elements of our musical lives and personalities that created what we have, and thereís a respect on both sides for what that is, and thereís a real knowledge, musically, of what Dream Theater means. So that makes it a lot more fun these days, and flowing, just really knowing how things work, and what works best for the band.

Whatís Mike Manginiís role in the writing process this time around? Are you looking forward to having him be a participant in the creative process?
JORDAN: Well, we just got started, so itís hard to answer that. I will say that Mike comes into this being very respectful of all of us, understanding that weíve been a functioning organization without him for all these years. So Mangini comes into this knowing that the compositional forces are alive and well in the band [laughs]. And yes of course heís somebody we want there, because we think heís fabulous, but heís coming in with some care and understanding. Thatís first of all. But Mike Mangini is one of the biggest rhythm experts on the planet Earth right now. He can do things with rhythm no one else can do. Heís inspired; for him, math and music is totally one thing in his brain, and itís an incredible thing for us to have that mixed into the writing process. Itís exciting. Because somebody like myself, Iím really terrible at math, but somehow when it comes to rhythm, Iím really good. Not as good as Mike Mangini Ė I donít think anybody is. But having that skill, as part of a band that already has a fairly high skill set when it comes to different aspects of writing music and making music, is pretty cool. Itís major for us. I feel like it brings in this element that will put us even more on top of our game. So thatís what Iím looking forward to in the writing, and so far, even though weíre just getting started, I can tell thatís the way itís going to go.
JOHN: First of all, itís been going great with him, and as much as weíve been a band together for about 15 years, we havenít really experienced that process together. Weíve been in the studio for a few weeks now, and heís been amazing. Amazing chemistry is great, the writing process and the whole vibe is great, and his role is to let his personality shine as a drummer, creatively and to have his input and his musical personality really come through. And I gotta tell you, itís happening. When people hear the drumming on this album, theyíre gonna be pretty freaked out. On the last album, he did a great job, but he wasnít there for the writing process and he was interpreting drum parts that I had programmed. Even though he used his creativity, of course, to change them up and do his thing, I feel like now heís just Mike Mangini unleashed. Itís all him. Itís all his creativity, all his decisions and ideas and man, the guyís an animal.
8  General Category / General Music Chat / Re: BREAKING NEWS: Richard Chycki recording new Dream Theater album on: January 24, 2013, 01:34:42 pm
Sweet! Grin
9  General Category / General Music Chat / Re: 12th Dream Theater album on: January 14, 2013, 01:50:36 pm
Awesome! Can't wait to hear the rhythmic party including the Genie Grin
10  General Category / Off Topic Discussions / Re: The Movie Review / Discussion Thread on: November 18, 2012, 05:44:36 pm
I saw Skyfall last weekend. Had lots of great callbacks to the old Bond movies. And of course, it's pretty easy to stare at Daniel Craig for two hours. Wink

I've heard from a lot of people, that if you don't usually like Bond films, that you'd actually like Skyfall.
I'm a Bond fan, so I'm probably not the best judge. But I would imagine that it's pretty easy to like this movie. Lots of good action in it.
11  General Category / Off Topic Discussions / Re: The Movie Review / Discussion Thread on: November 15, 2012, 01:45:30 pm
I saw Skyfall last weekend. Had lots of great callbacks to the old Bond movies. And of course, it's pretty easy to stare at Daniel Craig for two hours. Wink
12  General Category / General Music Chat / Re: Wither + Gangnam Style on: November 05, 2012, 07:45:05 pm
My husband came into the room while I was listening to beginning of this. He was so disturbed that he had to leave. Roll Eyes
13  General Category / Off Topic Discussions / Re: The Movie Review / Discussion Thread on: October 15, 2012, 12:52:02 pm
I also saw the Expendables 2 of course. I'm the biggest Sly fan ever and wouldn't have missed that one for nothing. Must say another Masterpiece. The movie is simply great. Have nothing more to say. It's got a lot of action and it's brutal, really really cool. Took me back to the late 80's early 90's when movies like that were at their best. Yep Sly you did it again.Bravo!!!!
Expendables 2 was awesome! I especially loved the scene with Jet Li and the pots and pans in the beginning of the movie.

I've seen a couple of awesome movies over the past few weeks. I saw Argo yesterday. I was holding my husband's hand near the end of the movie because it was so intense, and nearly squeezed his hand off. Two weeks ago, I saw The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The previews are selling this movie as the new Breakfast Club, but it is much more dramatic and deep than The Breakfast Club could ever hope to be. The characters are fascinating, and the plot has a great twist at the end of the movie.
14  General Category / Off Topic Discussions / Re: What book are you reading right now? on: October 12, 2012, 04:27:28 pm
I can't figure out why people are so worked up over 50 Shades of Gray. There are so many "erotica" books out there, and they've been around for so many years. It's not like this is the first one ever. Why is this one so special?

A good marketing, maybe?

Honestly, I've never heard about this book before, and its description didn't inspire me to read it.
The description didn't inspire me to read it either. The only plus side to this book is it has apparently inspired a whole new audience to check out classical music (I think the main male character in the book is supposed to be a pianist or something). There was some classical music label which released an entire soundtrack which can go along with the book, and apparently, the album has been selling really well.

@Donna, I'm looking forward to the Hobbit movie as well Smiley
15  General Category / Off Topic Discussions / Re: What book are you reading right now? on: October 11, 2012, 12:33:18 pm
I can't figure out why people are so worked up over 50 Shades of Gray. There are so many "erotica" books out there, and they've been around for so many years. It's not like this is the first one ever. Why is this one so special?
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