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Dream Theater - Band Members (Past and Present)

  1. How do new band members learn all the old songs? faq id: 76
  2. How do Jordan, Derek and Kevin differ from each other? faq id: 247
  3. Which vocalists worked with Dream Theater between the time that Charlie was in the band and James joined the band, and in what order? faq id: 267
  4. Has Dream Theater kept in contact with Kevin Moore (original Dream Theater keyboard player)? faq id: 392
  5. How is Jordan's role in Dream Theater different from Liquid Tension Experiment? faq id: 393
  6. When did James join the band? faq id: 394
  7. Had the decision to fire Derek happen before or after the 1998 Semi-Unplugged Xmas shows, and was he aware of it? faq id: 395
  8. When did Dream Theater first meet Jordan? faq id: 396
  9. Why didn't Jordan join Dream Theater back in 94? Did Dream Theater want him to join back then? faq id: 397
  10. What sort of things were played at Jordan's audition? faq id: 398
  11. What was wrong with Derek? Why did Dream Theater fire him and hire Jordan? faq id: 399
  12. What songs did Dream Theater do with James when he auditioned? faq id: 400
  13. When was Derek made an official member of Dream Theater? faq id: 401
  14. What songs did Derek play for his audition with Dream Theater? faq id: 402

Questions and Answers

  1. How do new band members learn all the old songs? faq id: 76
    MP: In Derek's case, I made him CD's of I&W and Awake with *just the keyboard tracks* isolated from the master tapes. In Jordan's case, he had somebody transcribe all of the songs I gave him for upcoming set lists and that helped him prepare. There's still has alot of the back catalog that he hasn't had to learn yet.

  2. How do Jordan, Derek and Kevin differ from each other? faq id: 247
    MP: Jordan and Derek and Kevin are three absolutely different types of players. Jordan is the ultimate musician. He lives and breathes practicing and trying to constantly improve. So he's based on musicianship. Derek's the ultimate rock star, born to be a performer and born to be on stage. He loves the whole rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Kevin is from a different mindset altogether. He's like an artist, a composer. That's his biggest interest - in creating lyrics, songs and melodies, using loops and samples, rather than the technicality of playing keyboards. He's doing things in that Jordan and Derek wouldn't necessarily experiment with.

  3. Which vocalists worked with Dream Theater between the time that Charlie was in the band and James joined the band, and in what order? faq id: 267
    Answer: Dream Theater first worked with John Arch, although John really didn't have any intentions of joining another band after having just left Fates Warning (to focus on his family). They then worked with John Hendricks. Next they worked with Steve Stone, who was fired immediately after his poor live (debut) performance with the band on June 9th, 1990. Finally, they worked with Chris Cintron (who was in the band during the time of Dream Theater's instrumental gig on Nov 19th, 1990), who they felt was the vocalist they wanted, that is until they were told about James. There were many others who auditioned to be Dream Theater's vocalist, but those above are the only ones they considered as possibilities.

  4. Has Dream Theater kept in contact with Kevin Moore (original Dream Theater keyboard player)? faq id: 392
    MP: We stay in occasional contact via email, but have not played together since recording Awake in 1994. I did extend an invitation to him to join us on stage at the Roseland show (I wanted to do "Space Dye Vest" and a 6 piece version of "Learning To Live") but he declined. I think that is not at all where his head is at these days. [Mike has since worked with Kevin in the side project "OSI"]

  5. How is Jordan's role in Dream Theater different from Liquid Tension Experiment? faq id: 393
    MP: I think Jordan takes more of a backseat with Dream Theater, because he's been very respectful of the role he has to play in this band, as opposed to his role in Liquid Tension. With Liquid Tension, he's very much in the forefront, because he and John are basically singing the melodies between the guitars and keyboards. But in Dream Theater, he knew that there was a style that has already been established throughout the years and he was respectful not to try and change that while bringing his own sound and style to the band. He knew that the band is very guitar heavy, and that the songs are obviously very vocal oriented. It's a whole different mentality writing for Dream Theater and Liquid Tension.

  6. When did James join the band? faq id: 394
    Answer: James went in for his audition on January 19th, 1991 and was asked to join the band 3 days later.

  7. Had the decision to fire Derek happen before or after the 1998 Semi-Unplugged Xmas shows, and was he aware of it? faq id: 395
    MP: The decision had been made, but Derek didn't know. Basically the decision came about when we were doing LTE2 during the second session in November. John Petrucci, Jordan and I were sitting around one night, and we said to Jordan hypothetically 'if you had the chance to join the band again, would you?' Then it ended up opening up a can of worms because we all started talking about it, and then days later, he ended up saying he'd been thinking about it and yes he would given that opportunity. Then we started thinking we should do this - this is a good point for a clean break and really it would be best for the band. We really felt horrible to do it to Derek, but it's what's best for the band and that's when we made the decision. We went to James and John Myung with the idea, and there was some hesitation, especially from John, maybe because of the Platypus connection, but the discussion had already been put out in the open at that point between the four of us without Derek, and we knew it was going to happen. So it was kind of awkward for us to be doing something like that behind his back, but if there's no way around it, you have to. We even considered canceling those Xmas shows just because it would be really awkward, but we figured that wouldn't be fair to the fans.

  8. When did Dream Theater first meet Jordan? faq id: 396
    MP: The first time was when he came down for an audition, before the Foundations Forum in September of 94. We'd heard of him because he won the Keyboard Player Magazine polls, beating Kev (Moore) out. I remember that I won the polls, John Petrucci won the polls and Kev lost to this guy Jordan Rudess. We were like "who is this guy?" So when Kev left the band, we said we gotta get this poll winner into the band. So we had Jim Pitulski (ex-manager) find him and he auditioned, and then we took him onto the Foundations show.

  9. Why didn't Jordan join Dream Theater back in 94? Did Dream Theater want him to join back then? faq id: 397
    MP: Jordan would have been our first choice. But he was also working with the Dixie Dregs at the time, so he had the choice of going with us or the Dregs. At that time we were still very heavy tourers - the Images and Words tour was pretty relentless and the Awake tour had a schedule that was looking very much like that. He wasn't ready to leave his family and go on the road for that long time - none of us had families yet - so it didn't make sense for him at that point in his life. We were sorry that he wasn't able to join because his talents are obviously incredible and he would have been a great addition to the music, but it was just a matter of the circumstance not being right.

  10. What sort of things were played at Jordan's audition? faq id: 398
    MP: We did a lot of jamming and I think we played Take the Time, Pull Me Under and Caught in a Web with and he actually played a Rudess Morgenstein Project song - Over the Edge - at his audition just by himself and we were completely floored. That was before he was working with Rod. We actually spent a little time working on a Dream Theater arrangement of that song.

  11. What was wrong with Derek? Why did Dream Theater fire him and hire Jordan? faq id: 399
    MP: There were absolutely no hard feelings on our part and it was a very hard thing for us to do. All four of us really admire Derek and like him as a person, but it was really just a business decision. It was more about what was right about Jordan, as opposed to what was wrong about Derek. We decided that Jordan was what we wanted and where we wanted to take the band in the future. After John P and I worked with him, we thought "why should we work with him part-time? Let's work with him full-time." And it wasn't out of disrespect to Derek, it was just what we thought was better for the band. If we didn't give ourselves that opportunity to try it, we would feel short changed. It's not like some of our previous members that never went on to do anything, that disappeared or just did very low-key things - Derek has always played with great people. He's always gotten great gigs and he knows a lot of people, so we were confident he'd continue his career. That's it - there's no other story behind it!

  12. What songs did Dream Theater do with James when he auditioned? faq id: 400
    MP: Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' (Journey) was the very first song we played with him when he auditioned for the band in Januray of 91. We also did Metropolis, Don't Look Past Me, A Fortune in Lies, The Killing Hand, To Live Forever...

  13. When was Derek made an official member of Dream Theater? faq id: 401
    Answer: Feb 21st, 1995

  14. What songs did Derek play for his audition with Dream Theater? faq id: 402
    Answer: Pull Me Under, Take the Time and Caught in a Web.