- What would Mike have done differently with Falling Into Infinity if he would have had full control? faq id: 209
MP: Well without too many details, If *I* had total control from the label in the making of that particular album, the biggest differences would have been: 1. It would have been a 2 CD set with *all* of the songs we wrote throughout '96/'97 (including the original Metropolis Pt.2) and 2. I would not have changed any of the arrangements from the demo versions... Most obviously being: “Burning My Soul”, “Take Away My Pain”, “Lines In The Sand” and “You Or Me”. (therefore eliminating Desmond Child as well!)
- Was Anna Lee inspired/influenced by Elton John’s music? faq id: 210
MP: When we wrote Anna Lee, we specifically listened to both "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" and "Rocket Man" for inspiration.
- Did Dream Theater always plan on Hell's Kitchen going right into Lines in the Sand? faq id: 338
MP: We wrote that to connect. In fact, that's why that whole ending of Hell's Kitchen was written specifically to connect to the key of D to connect to Lines in the Sand.
- Would Mike say that Falling Into Infinity a blatant attempt at radio success? faq id: 339
MP: Yes, slightly. It *was* a blatant attempt at radio success - I can't deny that. But I can't say it was the direction *I* wanted the band to go in. We kinda had our hands tied by the label and were in a very vulnerable situation. All of our key people at Elektra had been let go, so we were dealing with all new people who couldn't care less about Dream Theater and would not give us a green light until we played their game and delivered some songs that they could understand. They also would not drop us from the label when we asked them to, so we had no choice but to play their game and hope they were right. They turned out to be wrong and finally came to their senses this time around and let us do things our way. There were a few good songs on Infinity (Just Let Me Breathe, New Millennium, Lines In The Sand), but if we didn't have the label and Kevin Shirley and Desmond Child involved, I would have made a COMPLETELY different record.
- How did Dream Theater figure out which songs to include and which ones to leave off of Falling Into Infinity? faq id: 340
MP: Rather than looking at which we thought were the weakest, we went for what we knew were the strongest. We knew Lines in the Sand, Trial of Tears, New Millennium, Peruvian Skies and Just Let Me Breathe were the strongest pieces that had to make the record. Initially, the record was only going to have 9 tracks - originally Anna Lee and You Not Me weren't going to be on the record. So those two tracks were going to be leftovers, and then it turned out with all the chopping that Kevin Shirley was doing to the songs, we had a little more room to fit them. So we ended up squeezing those in - those were the two that were backup choices. It was hard - I think Speak to Me is a strong song, and The Way It Used to Be has some really cool parts. And obviously it killed us not to include Metropolis pt.2, but it worked out since we expanded it into what became Scenes From a Memory.
- How did Desmond Child get involved in co-writing You Not Me? faq id: 341
MP: We weren't going to use the original version "You or Me" so as far as I was concerned, it was a track that was going to be thrown away. Kevin Shirley asked me "what do you think about Desmond looking at this song?" since I guess Kevin worked with him with Aerosmith. I thought about it and normally there's not a hope in hell we'd work with an outside writer, but it was a song that already existed, already written, and we're not even planning on using it, so if he wants to mess with it, let's see what he comes up with. So basically he changed some lyrics with John, and changed the key of the chorus, which we ended up changing to a different key anyway, and just minor changes as the music is pretty much intact. The way I saw it was, his contributions are not so much different from the role of what a producer would be: taking an existing song and making suggestions. All of this is what made it acceptable to try as an experiment. However as far as I'm concerned, the experiment failed and this will never happen again.
- How did the album title for Falling Into Infinity come about? faq id: 342
MP: Having sat with "Stream of Consciousness" (the original title) for a whole year, it gave everyone a chance to second guess themselves. John Petrucci and myself still wanted to call it Stream of Consciousness, but the other guys were starting to think it was too pompous. So we had to rethink an album title, and we did the usual method of going through all the lyrics, but nothing really knocked us out. This was the first time that an album title didn't stem from any of the lyrics. We actually toyed with the idea of just calling it "Dream Theater" because of the many changes and different approach, but we figured that was a cop-out. Actually John P brought in the idea "Falling Into Infinity" and we all liked it.
- What were the working title for songs on Falling Into Infinity? faq id: 343
Answer: Raise the Knife was "Showdown"
Lines in the Sand was "Cat's Tail"
Burning My Soul was "Carnival of Clams"