By Carl Begai
In a new interview with BW&BK (found here), Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie discusses the departure of co-founder and drum legend Mike Portnoy and the making of the band’s new album, A Dramatic Turn Of Events. Over the course of the conversation he revealed that Portnoy’s absence allowed the band to work differently in comparison to previous records; this included LaBrie recording his vocals at home instead of New York, as he has in the past. On top of that, he was able to work with close friend, former Winter Rose bandmate, and critically acclaimed producer – known in particular for his work with Rush – Rich Chycki.
“I was only down in Long Island when we were putting the music together,” LaBrie reveals. “I recorded all my vocals here at home in Canada with Rich. We recorded at his house; he has an amazing home studio. We had an absolute blast. I wanted to go about this album a little differently, so I mentioned to the guys – mainly John Petrucci (guitars) because he was wearing the producer hat – that I didn’t want anyone around when I was recording my vocals. It was like, ‘I was singing before I met you guys, and seeing how things have changed lately, I think it’s time to go back to what worked once upon a time.’ And it worked extremely well.” Continue Reading
By Carl Begai
For some diehard Dream Theater fans, vocalist James LaBrie’s new solo album, Static Impulse, is the equivalent of a kick in the teeth. At the very least it trashes the belief that LaBrie is “just” the singer, his creativity limited to composing vocal melodies and delivering them on stage. The new record proves this is anything but the case, with LaBrie and longtime collaborator Matt Guillory (keyboards) taking what became LaBrie’s signature sound on Elements Of Persuasion from 2005 and twisting it into something much more volatile. The most provocative element in this metamorphosis – no pun intended – is the involvement of Darkane drummer Peter Wildoer. Not only does he serve up trademark Swedish thrash from behind the kit as required, LaBrie and Guillory had the audacity to invite Wildoer to lay down full-on death metal vocals. Also as required, and much to the chagrin of Dream Theater purists.
“Well, like so many times before this was pure luck,” Wildoer says of being asked to sing, aware that some people are cursing that luck. “Matt and James knew they wanted Jens Bogren to mix the album here in Sweden, and Jens told Matt that he knew a great studio called Studiomega where he wanted the band to record the songs. Matt called a mutual friend of ours – Teddy Möller from F.K.Ü. – and asked him if he knew any Swedish drummers that he could recommend, and he recommended me. Very nice of him; thanks Teddy! Matt called me one night, introduced himself, and asked me if I wanted to play drums on James LaBrie’s new album. Of course I wanted to!” Continue Reading