Dream Theater

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by p0ke, May 23, 2018.

  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Kind of an anti-point, since they fired him.
    Also, if I was in LaBrie's shoes, I would probably consider quitting. He has one job in the band, and it's not so much that he does a bad job as it is that he's just struggling so hard to not sound like complete shit; there's no way that can be good for him.
     
  2. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    Source? Because every first-hand account I've read/watched said that Portnoy quit and later tried to rejoin, only to be warded off by a lawyer. They otherwise wouldn't have had the authority to 'fire' Portnoy. It was only after all attempts at reconciliation failed, and Mike forced himself out of Dream Theater, that he was given the cold shoulder. And even then, I'm not really sure how 'cold' it was--I suspect some members (probably LaBrie, but who knows) were more vocal than others about not letting him rejoin if he wasn't 100% committed to the band, and as soon as you get new drummers involved and are asking them to sign contracts, quit jobs, and so on, you can't just drop them like a bad habit to embrace an old friend for the sake of it. It's a complicated situation; I don't think you're correct in thinking 'they fired one guy, why not another?'

    As for LaBrie's abilities, we really don't know what he thinks of his own singing, or his feelings about quitting the band 'for the sake of the fans'. People have been bitching about his decline for years, and neither he nor the rest of the band seem to care. I reckon he's the type to stick it out for as long as possible. For all we know, he's looking at guys like Dio and thinking, 'yeah, I can sing late into my 60s, no problem'.

    Whether or not he should do that is a different conversation.
     
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  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    He wanted (demanded) to take a break from touring. The band told him they were going on tour with or without him, so he said, "fine, I'm leaving." I guess "firing" is not the most accurate word, but I think it suffices as close as one word can suffice to describe the situation. If they were this "family unit" looking out for each other, then there's no way it would have went down that way.

    Not to mention that they dropped Derek Sherinian like a kid running from the police drops a bag of drugs, as soon as Jordan said he wanted in. Also, they already fired two singers. It's not like "they fired one guy, why not another?" It's more like "they have fired plenty of people in the past, so the argument that they are a family and therefore would never fire anyone, is bullshit."

    I thought it was clear that I was only speculating on behalf of LaBrie.

    Weird, I thought that was the conversation we were having. :lol:
     
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  4. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    Do Dream Theater still play Learning to Live?
     
  5. thesnowdog

    thesnowdog SS.org Regular

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  6. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, that's definitely not a firing :lol:

    Says who? This isn't banning your friend from the treehouse, you can't just reverse a decision like that on a moment's notice. Look at it this way: as far as Dream Theater were concerned at the time, it was either the band hangs up the mitts for who knows how long, or Portnoy goes his own way (on his own accord, making it his choice) and everyone gets what they want. So they opted for the latter. I have no doubt it was a bittersweet parting for most of them. You can still view the band as a 'family' and have a member quit.

    Right, but not all members are equal. LaBrie is as close as it gets to being a founding member without actually being one. He's been with the band for over 25 years, and Dream Theater has been wholly invested in his voice from day one. By contrast, Derek Sherinian was only with the band for 1.5 albums, and was always a 'second fiddle' replacement for Kevin Moore. They wanted Rudess, but he went to play with the Dixie Dregs instead, so when the opportunity to work together came up again, they got rid of Sherinian. I love Derek's playing and Falling Into Infinity is one of my favourite albums, but his role in DT was this awkward middleground between 'hired gun' and 'compromise so the band doesn't break up'.

    Not really. Last several posts have been speculating whether LaBrie will quit the band and/or how long he'll last. That's different than saying he should quit for his own good. I realise the angle you were going for in your last post, but prior to that, you were saying he probably only has 5 years left before he quits. That's the part I doubt, but I do agree that his job is only getting harder for him as the years go on.

    Funnily enough, when I saw DT on The Astonishing Tour, LaBrie sounded really good. I was at the very first show, so maybe I caught them when his vocal chords were still fresh, but he sounded great singing new material. When I saw them again on Images and Words 25, he still sounded fine, but he was definitely struggling a bit at points. Plus the band had to tune down a step to accommodate his lost range, I believe.

    Obviously these aren't two unrelated problems: in any other band, a vocalist might get away with only being able to sing the new stuff and only 1 or 2 old songs for the tour. But I don't see DT giving up their touring format any time soon, and that requires LaBrie to have a solid grasp of a huge portion of the back catalogue. Some of it can be rearranged, maybe, but there's bits of LaBrie's singing (e.g. the rising melody on Learning to Live) that are as iconic to DT fans as Bruce Dickinson's vocal lines are to Maiden fans. Difficult spot to be in, honestly.
     
  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    So, if you requested sick leave from your job and they told you either come to work or you're being replaced, you wouldn't describe that as being "fired?"

    Says me, obviously. Look, if you wanted to go on your yearly vacation to wherever, and someone in your family said that they didn't want to go, what family would reasonably respond with "okay, then you're permanently out of the family?"

    This doesn't seem to address my point that the band has routinely fired people before in the past.

    Yeah, Sherinian was only there for two major releases, but that's because he was fired. Kevin was only around for three major releases. That's only one more major release. :shrug: The main difference is that Moore quit and Sherinian was fired.

    Splitting hairs, maybe? What he'd be more likely to do versus what he should do. We could argue about that, or we could argue about "might" or "may."

    Iron Maiden was a band that hired Bruce Dickinson as a replacement for the singer they fired. Dickinson later left the band and was replaced by Blaze Bayley. DT fired Dominici and replaced him with LaBrie, and now we're talking about the hypothetical situation where LaBrie quits and is replaced by someone else, and yet you bring up Iron Maiden as an example to support the point that LaBrie cannot be replaced.

    IDK, I'm honestly way off in speculation territory here. All I'm saying is what is possible and what I can see likely happening as a result of trends that have been going on the last several years. LaBrie might quit and DT might break up as a result, proving me wrong entirely. Or, LaBrie might be touring 5 years from now with them still, which I never said wouldn't happen, just that it'd be in LaBrie's best interest, and probably DT's best interest, if he quit before that point. Maybe we'll see, maybe we won't see. Who knows?
     
  8. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    I believe the term was 'indefinite hiatus'. Different connotation than taking a few weeks off work.



    That's not how families work. Mom and the kids go on the vacation, Dad stays home. I guess if the issue is serious enough (e.g. Dad wants to uproot the family to move them to the middle of nowhere for a few years), the parents consider a divorce. Yet plenty of people go through 'bittersweet divorces', not everyone hates their soon-to-be ex-spouse.

    Anyway, are we really taking things this literally?



    It absolutely addresses what you said by pointing out the context of the firing. Would Sherinian have ever been hired if Moore didn't quit? Probably not. Would he ever have been hired if Rudess accepted the first time? Probably not. So it's a completely different scenario, you're comparing apples to oranges.

    LaBrie is the singer that the band wanted after Charlie. When fans started the hate on him, even during the Portnoy years, LaBrie is still who the band wanted. We have no reason to speculate he'll be fired based on past lineup changes in the band (and especially not now, 25 years after he joined!)


    I don't really see the point of discussing this part further. 'James will quit in 5 years, just listen to his voice' is not the same as saying 'James sounds terrible, I wish he'd quit for his own good'

    Woah, hold on, that's one hell of a strawman. I can't name-drop Dickinson as being 'iconic' without you bringing all that baggage into the comparison? Come on. I was simply saying that LaBrie rearranging his parts for himself would be difficult because people expect them to be sung a certain way, NOT that LaBrie can't be replaced because his parts are hard to sing. On second thought, I think you just misinterpreted what I wrote.


    And you're entitled to an opinion. All I ever said is that I don't see it happening, and I stated my reasons. That's largely my own opinion.
     
  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    According to Portnoy, he wanted 2010 off from touring. ( http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/mi...-got-to-be-on-stage-with-dream-theater-again/ )

    I don't follow that analogy. Again, Portnoy wanted some time off from the band, and he was pressured out as a result. I simply don't parse that with "the band wanting to stick together 'as a family.'"

    Naw, dude, in the context of the band behaving like a family that doesn't accept kicking people out, it's totally apples to apples. I mean, the more we talk about it, the more shitty it seems to me that they fired Sherinian.

    There's a rumour that Geoff Tate was the singer they really wanted. Should they fire LaBrie and get Tate instead? [/sarcasm]


    Ok, now you're flat out misquoting me or confusing me with another user.

    Did I take that too far? You must admit, though, that example you gave was ironically parallel to what I was saying.

    I guess I really don't have anything to say about your opinion, but your reasons I can talk about all day. For me, the disagreement stems from the statement about how LaBrie would never be pressured to leave because DT is like a big happy family, when they've already fired two singers, a keyboardist, in my interpretation, a drummer.
     
  10. Zalbu

    Zalbu More time than skill

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    I wonder if Dream Theater will pull a Metallica and start tuning half a step lower live. But yeah, like what was previously mentioned, your voice only gets that shot like LaBries has been if you use improper technique and/or don't take care of it properly. Compare it to a band like Maiden, they played here in Sweden just yesterday and Bruce who's 60 in two months sounds half his age.

    And yes, I know Maiden doesn't come close to the technicality of the vocals that Dream Theater have.

     
  11. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    Not necessarily, they've already simplified their live shows. They used to rotate songs in and out of the setlists for each city on a tour. They no longer do this, and the last few tours have been exactly the same setlist every night.
     
  12. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    I've also seen him at different points in the tour and he's definitely sharper early on. With their insane touring schedule though, it only makes sense.

    I think if they allow him some more input into vocal lines and use his remaining range rather than what he used to be able to do in 1992, as well as rework some vocal stuff in older songs, he could keep going for a good while. Maybe as long as the band keeps going. It may not be as technically impressive but it depends on whether the band really wants anyone else in there. If not they'll likely try to make it work. Sure, DT has replaced members before, but aside from Portnoy, which was a complicated situation, not for a long time. It's not like they're a "revolving door of musicians" sort of band. Replacing Derek was to get someone who they wanted in the first place and who wasn't a founding member after Moore quit even earlier. Dominici was fired very very early in their careers.
     
  13. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    Regardless of this talk about LaBrie's live perfomances and his possible future with the band, I'm still interested to hear what DT14 is going to sound like. After the ridiculous cheese-fest that was The Astonishing I feel like we're going to get something more similar to Systematic Chaos or A Dramatic Turn of Events. I doubt we'll get a long instrumental, and probably no concept-stuff. Pure speculation though.

    Granted, I didn't hate The Astonishing. It's just my least favorite album of theirs. There are still some good songs on there, even if they're fewer and further between than usual. Particularly, Moment of Betrayal, The Path That Divides, and Our New World are solid. It was fun to see it all performed live.
     
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  14. wat

    wat SS.org Regular

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    They are tuning down a whole step now. Really doesn't sound very good, unfortunately.
     
  15. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    I feel like you're either being purposefully obtuse, or we have very different interpretations of how those past 'firings' can affect this situation. At the heart of it, you're comparing two singers that were with DT in their 'garageband' days, along with a keyboardist that was a compromise replacement, to a drummer/band leader who left of his own volition, in order to build a theory about the hypothetical firing of a vocalist who's been with the band 25 years. It's like arguing some bloke will divorce his wife any day now because he broke up with a girlfriend at 14 for having 'cooties'. Context matters when it comes to this stuff.

    Anyway, we're retreading ground here. No hard feelings, I'd just rather have this thread go somewhere else.

    Yeah, I knew that, but hadn't thought about it from LaBrie's perspective. The rotating setlists disappeared with Portnoy, who (not coincidentally) devised them for every tour. But I don't doubt that LaBrie prefers the new format. The band could have continued doing it the old way if they really wanted to.

    Yeah, exactly. The other vocalist was Steve Stone, who "was fired following a single, ill-fated live performance. According to Mike Portnoy, Stone moved around the stage in a rather odd manner, seemingly doing a bad impression of Bruce Dickinson. Additionally, he shouted "Scream for me Long Beach!" several times throughout the show, although they were actually performing in Bayshore." That's not exactly equivalent to shattering a lineup that's mostly remained unchanged for 25 years :lol:

    Regarding the writing: apparently James is largely responsible for his own vocal melodies. Maybe that just means he sits down with the songwriter and tweaks what's there...because Portnoy also claims to write scratch vocal melodies as part of his songwriting process, and I believe Petrucci does as well. But there's plenty of examples where what's being sung sounds so 'LaBrie' to me that I can't help but think he came up with it himself. For example, there's that one verse in Illumination Theory, around about 11:50 in this video:



    Pretty over-the-top, right? LaBrie also really hams it up live and embellishes a lot of vocal melodies. So I tend to think he's ambitious with his own abilities, arguably to the point of overconfidence. Rather than being DT's whipping boy (albeit he is that, to some degree), I think part of the 'problem' is that he simply likes to sing that way.
     
  16. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    Since we're changing gears: I wonder if Mangini will finally get any input in the songwriting? He's been pretty vocal about being more or less a 'session guy' since he joined, and the Astonishing was probably the least collaborative album the band's ever done, with Petrucci writing nearly all of it with some input from Rudess along the way.

    Also, what do you guys figure the plan is with anniversary tours going forward? Awake is nearly as iconic as Images and Words, and the 25th anniversary for that is next year. But that'd conflict the the touring for this upcoming album, I think, so maybe they'll just do a one-off show on the album's release date like they used to. They'll probably do a tour for the 25th anniversary tour for Scenes from a Memory though, surely?
     
  17. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Ok, I'm only responding because you think I'm being "purposely obtuse..."

    Go back and actually read what I've said, because I never said any of that. You were asserting that he wouldn't possibly be fired because the band is like a family. I never said they were going to fire him, only that your reasoning was bonkers. Much earlier in the thread, I suggested that LaBrie might consider retiring once his voice is completely blown out, in response to another person who laid out the five year plan.
    And Dominici was fired after their first major release. Before him they had other vocalists during their garage days. And I already posted the link explaining how Portnoy left the band, which I'm assuming you didn't bother to read, since your still stuck on the idea that he just quit out of the blue.
    I never said it was a revolving door, but you can't go around saying that they would never fire anyone in the band when they've already fired four people full stop.
    To get to your analogy, it's like a guy telling me his buddy would never get a divorce, when he's already been divorced four times, then the guy explaining that the first wife was 25 years ago, the second was shortly after that, and wouldn't keep a toned figure for him, the third was a rebound wife, and the fourth divorce was 8 years ago and was "complicated." I'm not going to say he's definitely going to get a divorce, but that line of reasoning just isn't going to make sense to me, you know?
    ...or just go on misquoting me and insulting me and putting words in my mouth, and then say your done talking to me or whatever.
     
  18. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    I would like to see some more input from Mangini, but I have no idea what that would sound like :lol:. He's basically made a career out of "replacement drummer" for any number of bands.

    The video JP posted to Facebook today shows their studio set-up and it looks like they're writing it together while jamming? Maybe?

     
  19. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    Saying someone is being obtuse is not an insult, and I specifically said there were no hard feelings. I just do not see the point in having a conversation with someone who is looking to argue rather than understand, and to antagonise and misinterpret rather than honestly discuss. And to no surprise: look at this message.

    Happy to leave it here, cheers.

    Looks pretty cool! Are they recording at Bear Track Studios again, or does it just look remarkably like it? If you've never seen it, the Behind the Scenes video from the recording of Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory is worth the watch. Studio setup looks similar, but I thought Bear Track had closed down or changed direction in the sort of projects they take on.

    Either way, yeah, that could serve as a jam room. Or maybe it's just all the gear under one roof. I just find it funny part of the selection criteria for the drummer auditions was an ability to jam with the band, and then Mangini later reports that he feels like a drum machine with no input.

     
  20. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    Skinny JP. Another era, for sure.

    I don't think it's Bear Tracks, but it is very reminiscent of it.

    Not sure what happened, but the video I posted disappeared.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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