- Why wasn’t “A Change of Seasons” indexed by section? (“The Crimson Sunrise” as track 1, “Innocence” as track 2, etc.) faq id: 208
To preserve the idea of “A Change of Seasons” as one song.
- Could Mike summarize the meaning and message behind the lyrics to A Change of Seasons? faq id: 297
MP: Yeah, it's about the cycle of life. Basically, I took a lot of personal incidents, like losing my mother and a couple of things that happened in my life, and I wrote them into the lyrics. Like, on a smaller scale, I wouldn't try to compare it with this, but when I listen to Pink Floyd's the Wall, there are a lot of emotions there- just a lot of frustrations and anger. He goes full circle, the character. He has a child and just as he's about to pass on and die, now his son is going to have to live the life he did and go through those same experiences.
- Is there a significance to the dates on the calendar flying through the air on the back of the Change of Seasons album cover? faq id: 298
MP: Yeah. November 16th. Actually, that's the day my Mom died. [Note: Mike has the date tattooed on his arm underneath CARPE DIEM tattoo]. A lot of the lyrics and Carpe Diem and all that stems from what happened with my Mom.
- Did the movie Dead Poet's Society influence the song A Change of Seasons? faq id: 304
MP: No. The whole Carpe Diem thing I wrote didn't come from the movie. I was in school the day my mom died and the teacher was giving a lesson on how you should appreciate life, and gave us a whole thing about Carpe Diem and then I went home and gave my mom a big kiss and a hug goodbye, and then she ended up getting killed that night. Anyway, it's a very, long, in-depth, pretty intense story. When I saw Dead Poet's Society I wanted to just pull a lot of those quotes and use them as samples. Actually, the main inspiration for the lyrics was another Robin Williams movie, The World According to Garp. That's totally dealing with the cycles of life.
- What kind of snare drum was used in recording the song A Change of Seasons? faq id: 305
MP: Contrary to popular belief, it was not actually a true picollo snare. It was the Mapex Maple 14x5 that I was using on the Awake tour. It was just tuned incredibly tight and poppy on top (ala Bruford or Copeland). In fact my snare was sounding that way on the whole Awake tour, it's just that David Prater OVERcompensated to make me happy with no triggers, that it ended up sounding as tight and real as it gets.
- Why is the CD A Change of Seasons referred to as an EP instead of a full length album? faq id: 306
MP: Realistically, it's a longer album than Images and Words, but it was called an EP because we didn't want it perceived the latest studio Dream Theater album. There's only one new original song - all the rest is live covers. It was important for us and the label for it not to be perceived as the latest studio record. That's why we tagged it an EP.
- Did Dream Theater always plan on including material from the Uncovered show on the A Change of Seasons CD? faq id: 307
MP: There were originally three plans going into it. The first idea was to record ACoS and then write and record two new pieces of music. With that in mind, we actually wrote Raise the Knife, which was the very first song we wrote with Derek in the band. In the end, we decided to hold off on new material until the next full length album. Then we were gonna put Eve and To Live Forever on it, but that got scrapped for a number of reasons - one being that those songs had Kevin on keyboards and we really wanted to make this the first chapter of the new line-up, and also because any of the die-hard fans out there already had those tracks since they were put out as B-sides. The final plan was to use the Ronnie Scott's tape; at first we were a little leary about doing that because we wanted to take those tapes and release them on their own, but then we figured beggars can't be choosers, and since they were giving us the chance to release this stuff now, let's go ahead and do it because who knows if we'd ever get the chance to. The Uncovered tapes would probably end up being what A Change of Seasons was, with fans asking us for the next three years when we were gonna release them.
- How much did the song change from the original version to the final recorded version? faq id: 337
MP: We changed it a lot musically. I altered it lyrically and James changed a lot of it melodically. In every respect we reworked it. We decided that when we got the green light to go ahead with it, that we should rework the whole thing and update it. It was cool because it was our first recording with Derek, which gave us the chance to do some writing and arranging with him for the first time and it was good for me because A Change of Seasons was the first song I ever wrote lyrics to. It gave me the rare opportunity to go back and change lyrics that I felt were no longer as relevant as they were then.