Rich Chycki

All posts tagged Rich Chycki

By Carl Begai

Dream Theater can lay claim to devoted international fanbase, with some of those followers bordering on fanatic. It’s just a question as to which side of the room is waving that particular banner. There are the ones that find worth in every album the band puts out regardless of how much Dream Theater deviates from what’s been deemed their signature sound (established by their first three records, When Dream And Day Unite, Images And Words, Awake). Then there are those that pick and choose their favourite DT records and will gladly cyber-stomp on anyone that tells them they’re out of their proggy little minds. So it went that when music from the band’s new self-titled album started circulating, the widespread accolades for a job well done (save for the expected Mangini versus Portnoy bitching) was surprising. Sure, some folks have dismissed the new music as a letdown, but guitarist John Petrucci couldn’t be happier with the result or the positive feedback that’s been coming his way since the record landed in the laps of the press.

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“One of the great things is that the press has been very genuine and very up front about the way they feel about our music,” says Petrucci. “The album has been getting a very positive response, and what’s interesting is that we set out to do certain things on this album and people have picked up on those things without us really saying what they are. That makes me feel that we were successful in following through on what we initially planned to do.”

Ditching the journalistic neutrality schtick for a moment, my long-standing personal view on Dream Theater is that somewhere down the road they forgot how to write songs. Hard to say when, but as much as I enjoy prog rock and metal, the widdly 10+ instrumental virtuoso epics that have dominated the last several albums sucked the enjoyment out of the listening experience. It felt like math class; the foundations of the exercises were familiar but they’d become too damn complicated to follow. The new Dream Theater album, however, feels like a step back to the era of real songwriting for the band some 15+ years ago.

“It was definitely a conscious decision to do that,” Petrucci insists. “Every album that we make, we do what we feel at that time. Whatever the strength is that we focus on for any particular album, it’s definitely done on purpose. In doing that, I think it’s done a couple of things for us. It’s created a lot of variety, but it can also be divisive because the albums are very different. Fans might like a certain period of Dream Theater history or a certain style, but I don’t think that takes away from the overall catalogue. The new album is so different because we went in wanting to write a more focused album.” Continue Reading

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

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scarletcriswaterChapter 4 – Cris

For guitarist Cristina Bishop, the road that led to the creation of Scarlet Sins began with the tragic death of her best friend. Partners in crime from the age of six, their sudden and senseless parting in 2003 changed Bishop’s priorities and her views on life. Working through her grief she found a sense of purpose in music. Acting on it helped her to cope with the pain, and has brought her farther than she expected.

“You know when you’re finished school and you’re ready to take on the world, and the world shits on your head and tells you to wake up? It was kind of that moment for me,” says Bishop, having made peace on some level with the sad turn of events. “It was one of those moments where I though ‘Fuck, what am I doing with my life? I don’t want to waste it partying…’ At the same time I was grieving so hard and I didn’t have anyone to talk to who had been through something like that. I just got deeper into the music and started writing, and all these songs kept coming out. That’s basically the first album (laughs).”
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