Liquid Tension Experiment

  1. Will Liquid Tension Experiment record another album, tour, or play live? faq id: 116
  2. When will the extra improvised jams from the Liquid Tension Experiment 2 sessions be released? faq id: 117
  3. Did the rhythm have a hand in the naming of Another Dimension, the other way around, or is it just coincidence? faq id: 118
  4. Was Dimebag Darrell (of Pantera) one of Mike’s original choices for a guitar player in Liquid Tension Experiment? Would he still like to do a project with Dimebag Darrell? faq id: 119
  5. On Biaxident, about 4 minutes in to the song, where Mike has an upbeat ride pattern going and he’s doing some hi-hat swishes, there's one part where he does some timbale and china work that seems very, very difficult to do - were those overdubs? faq id: 120
  6. Are there any Liquid Tension Experiment shirts available? faq id: 121
  7. Who is Randy Constan and what’s this talk about him being involved in and recording a future Liquid Tension Experiment album? faq id: 122
  8. What differences does Mike see between the first and second LTE albums? faq id: 432
  9. How did Mike, John, Jordan and Tony determine what direction to go in when they got together for the first Liquid Tension Experiment album? faq id: 433
  10. What was the biggest difference musically between Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment (aside from one being vocal oriented and the other instrumental)? faq id: 434
  11. Who are Chris and Kevin, and what is their adventure? faq id: 435
  12. What's the story behind the name of the track "3 Minute Warning"? faq id: 436

Questions and Answers

  1. Will Liquid Tension Experiment record another album, tour, or play live? faq id: 116
    Mike has said that his reason for originally assembling Liquid Tension Experiment was to provide a musical environment outside of Dream Theater. Now that 3/4 of Liquid Tension Experiment are in Dream Theater, that is really no longer the case. He would rather focus that writing chemistry into Dream Theater. There are no future plans for new Liquid Tension Experiment studio recordings, but you may see some Liquid Tension Experiment material performed at Dream Theater shows occasionally. There also is an album’s worth of unreleased jams between Mike, Jordan and Tony that have yet to be released. Mike still would be up for some limited live shows, given that it would work with everyone’s schedules. You can get some past LTE info in the Side Project Links area.

  2. When will the extra improvised jams from the Liquid Tension Experiment 2 sessions be released? faq id: 117
    MP: Magna Carta insists that they cannot locate the *master* tapes which has been the biggest reason that this music has yet to be released. I have all of the live 2-track mixes on DATs which I believe are cool enough to release, but I guess Magna Carta disagrees. Given that they are all improvised jams, I think there is a nice rawness to the live mixes which I really like. I think there is some amazingly cool stuff that the 3 of us recorded and it would be a crime for it to never see the light of day. Hopefully one of these days Magna Carta will do something about it. (e-mail them!)

  3. Did the rhythm have a hand in the naming of Another Dimension, the other way around, or is it just coincidence? faq id: 118
    MP: The rhythm inspired the phrase which then became the song's title. (and to be honest, I think I got the phrase in my head from the Beastie Boy's “Intergallactic”)

  4. Was Dimebag Darrell (of Pantera) one of Mike’s original choices for a guitar player in Liquid Tension Experiment? Would he still like to do a project with Dimebag Darrell? faq id: 119
    MP: Yes, Dime was on my original wish list. I would still love to do something with him.

  5. On Biaxident, about 4 minutes in to the song, where Mike has an upbeat ride pattern going and he’s doing some hi-hat swishes, there's one part where he does some timbale and china work that seems very, very difficult to do - were those overdubs? faq id: 120
    MP: Those are indeed overdubs! I always have incorporated the possibility of utilizing studio technology and overdubbing various percussion and extra drum parts (some other obvious examples are the high-tom overdubs towards the beginning of “A Change of Seasons,” the percussion breakdown on “Caught in a Web” and the multilayers of drum tracks on “Take Away my Pain”). I've always figured that singers & guitar players always overdub layers of their instruments, why can't I? The better question is - how the hell do I reproduce that stuff live? That answer is something I am still trying to figure out!!!

  6. Are there any Liquid Tension Experiment shirts available? faq id: 121
    MP: Unfortunately, those were a very limited run for the quick tour we did. They are all gone now!!! Maybe one day we can re-print them and sell them on our sites....(???? I'm thinking out loud....)

  7. Who is Randy Constan and what’s this talk about him being involved in and recording a future Liquid Tension Experiment album? faq id: 122
    This was a joke amongst a bunch of the Forummers. Randy has a website where he shows his interest in Peter Pan and what Peter Pan stands for. Several Forummers joked about him and it eventually turned into him supposedly joining Liquid Tension Experiment as a fifth member. This was all a JOKE and should NOT be taken seriously.

  8. What differences does Mike see between the first and second LTE albums? faq id: 432
    MP: It's hard to say. They are very similar - they have a lot of the same type of elements. There's a John and Jordan duet, there's a me and Tony duet that didn't make the final cut on LTE2, there's some improves, there's a couple of really crazy progressive songs and there's a couple of melodic songs. It's got that same balance that the first album had. I think the biggest difference isn't even a musical difference, just more of a behind the scenes thing, is the fact that we had two weeks as opposed to one. We had five days for the first album, and for the second one, we had a week long session in October, and another session in November, so there was a little more time.

  9. How did Mike, John, Jordan and Tony determine what direction to go in when they got together for the first Liquid Tension Experiment album? faq id: 433
    MP: Originally, we all wanted to go completely and spontaneously improvised, with nothing but jams. 3 Minute Warning is a track like that. So our idea was to do the whole album that way - don't preconceive any single riffs - hit record and for a couple days just go for it. But Magna Carta was really nervous about that - they wanted some songs. So what we did is left it open and got together one day at my house, just for one rehearsal, and threw some ideas out so that we would have some concrete licks and riffs to work with. That first day, we ended up coming up with skeletons for Paradigm Shift, Kindred Spirit and Universal Mind. We had skeletons of songs to work with and then left the element of spontaneity open for a lot of the songs like 3 Minute Warning, Chris & Kevin's Excellent Adventure and The Stretch. Also, as a backup, I chose two songs for us to cover - so in a worst case scenario if we didn't have enough material we could always do two covers. We were going to do Peaches en Regalia by Frank Zappa and Egyptian Dancer by Al DiMeola. So we had those on the back burner in case we needed them, and it turned out that we ended up having 75 minutes and didn't even need the covers.

  10. What was the biggest difference musically between Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment (aside from one being vocal oriented and the other instrumental)? faq id: 434
    MP: The one thing that was really nice for me and John, was to be able to completely stretch out and do whatever we wanted. Within Dream Theater, there's a certain amount of independence and we've established this band to a certain level of being able to do anything we want, but realistically, there is a certain commercial sense we have to maintain within Dream Theater. We're responsible for creating music and songs that can sustain our career. Through the years, we've concentrated on song-writing in Dream Theater and the fun thing with Liquid Tension was that we were able to totally disregard that entirely and throw it out the window - we didn't have to worry about a single element of commerciality whatsoever.

  11. Who are Chris and Kevin, and what is their adventure? faq id: 435
    MP: When we were doing the photo sessions, for some reason the photographer kept calling me "Chris" and calling Tony "Kevin." He did it several times, so when looking for a title for our duet I suggested that.

  12. What's the story behind the name of the track "3 Minute Warning"? faq id: 436
    MP: Well, Tony just wanted to jam and improvise, so for some of the songs, it was really me, John and Jordan spending the time arranging and constructing them. Tony wasn't interested in writing - he just wanted to perform, improvise and play. So towards the end of the session, we were doing some proper writing and Tony just got very impatient. It was about 7 or 8 at night and he said "Look. No offense, but it we're not gonna jam in the next three minutes, I'm out of here. See you guys tomorrow. You can carry on writing." So he gave us a 3 minute warning and we put the song to the side and hit the record button, and what you hear is what happened.