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About Mike/Personal Stuff - Family

  1. Does Mike take his family to Walt Disney World (in Florida)? What parts does he like the best? faq id: 36
  2. Have Mike’s kids taken an interest in music? faq id: 37
  3. How has becoming a family man changed Mike? faq id: 39
  4. How does Mike deal with being separated from his family while being on the road? faq id: 40
  5. Does Mike’s wife Marlene ever get involved with the band? faq id: 272
  6. When did Mike and Marlene get married? faq id: 273
  7. What happened to Meanstreak (band that Mike’s wife Marlene was in)? faq id: 503

Questions and Answers

  1. Does Mike take his family to Walt Disney World (in Florida)? What parts does he like the best? faq id: 36
    MP: My family and I usually go about once a year. In fact, we spent the great Millennium New Year's Eve 1999/2000 at Epcot. It was awesome! If you look hard enough through the new walls as you enter EPCOT (they now have these metallic photos branded into these monuments), you will find pictures of myself, Marlene, Melody and Max! (A Dream Theater fan has already spotted it and emailed me a picture of it!)

  2. Have Mike’s kids taken an interest in music? faq id: 37
    MP: Yes they both love music! (So far Melody more than Max). They have a little drum set at home. They love coming on tour with me and sitting behind my drums during the show. I started Melody off on The Beatles and Pink Floyd, but as she’s gotten older she’s discovered Britney Spears and ‘NSYNC as much as I’ve tried to avoid it!! If they ever decided to choose a career in music for themselves, I would be 100% supportive... For those keeping tabs, their kit includes an 18" kick, 8" and 10" toms, 12" floor tom, 12" x 5.5" Melody Master Snare, 13" HHX Sabian Stage hats, 11" Sabian Max Splash and 14" Sabian HHX Stage Crash! And oh yeah...Pro Mark made them custom "Kids 420" model sticks with their names on ‘em!

  3. How has becoming a family man changed Mike? faq id: 39
    MP: It changed me entirely! My priorities are different – now everything I do is involved is around the kids and their future. If push comes to shove, they come first over everything and the hardest thing about being a musician and being in a busy touring band is trying to balance the two worlds and letting them both co-exist. Luckily, everyone in Dream Theater has wives and families, so we’re all very understanding of each other’s personal needs which really help. I have brought Marlene, Melody and Max on tour many times and I’ll continue to do so in the future – it’s the perfect scenario as you get the best of both worlds, having the people you love and miss with you, but you also get to continue playing and being productive.

  4. How does Mike deal with being separated from his family while being on the road? faq id: 40
    MP: It is definitely the hardest part of touring. Luckily, we are in a position that we can afford to make arrangements for our families to join us whenever possible. To me that is having the best of both worlds. However, I do realize that it is not a financial reality for alot of bands...and also some bands that don't *all* have families may not be as understanding. Daily phone calls help alot too.

  5. Does Mike’s wife Marlene ever get involved with the band? faq id: 272
    MP: No, she lets me do my thing. In fact, she’s interested in what I do, but she doesn’t want to get involved. It’s not like a Yoko thing. She stays out of my business mainly because she has her hands full with the kids and other things at home anyway. In fact, a lot of times, she’ll say to me “go call up John Petrucci, or call up Jim Matheos or call up your dad – call up one of your friends that your gonna tell all this stuff to, so I can overhear the conversation and find out what is goin’ on with your life!”

  6. When did Mike and Marlene get married? faq id: 273
    Answer: Mike married Marlene Apuzzo July 30th, 1994. Oddly enough, the band hired to play at their wedding reception was fronted by none other than Charlie Dominici, who Mike and Marlene specifically hired. Even though it was his wedding, it goes without saying that Mike couldn’t resist getting behind the drum kit briefly, so there was a brief reunion of Mike and Charlie sharing the stage together again.

  7. What happened to Meanstreak (band that Mike’s wife Marlene was in)? faq id: 503

    MP: Long story short, they eventually broke up around ‘94 or so... A quick history for those of you that don’t know: Meanstreak was an awesome all-girl thrash metal band around the late 80’s/early 90’s. I had seen them play around the New York area many times opening for bands like Anthrax, Motorhead and Overkill. I was blown away by how f***ing HEAVY they were!! AND they could play!! Around ‘88/’89 or so, I became very good friends with their drummer Yael and their bass player Lisa. During Sept of ‘89, John Petrucci and myself went out to LA for the Foundations Forum Music Convention. While there, I was hanging out with Yael alot who eventually brought her 2 guitar players (Marlene & Rena) around to hang out with us. After a few days of this, John & Rena hooked up....and then Marlene & I hooked up shortly afterwards back in NY. (Cut 12 years later to 2001: Marlene & I are married with 2 kids and John & Rena are married with 3 kids.) In the meantime - back in NY in the early 90’s, Meanstreak decided to make a bass player change and let Lisa go. (who years later married John Myung!!) They never quite regained the momentum after that....they went through several different female bass players (Irene & Jennifer) and several other male stand-ins live (Petey Martinez from Murphy’s Law, Nick Douglas now in Doro, and even our very own John Petrucci for one gig!!) Eventually, Marlene decided to fill in the spot and switch over to bass making the band a 4 piece....this is around the time that I funded their ‘92 demo. They also opened for Dream Theater on several occasions. (Sundance on Long Island in 1990, a show in Connecticut in 1992 and The Chance in Poughkeepsie in 1993.) ...they should have been signed and very successful.....but bad management, loss of momentum with the bass player changes and a serious shift of the musical climate (from Thrash to Grunge) eventually ruined the band. Yael then left the band which I think was the final straw. They continued with a new drummer (Zoe) and even added a keyboard player (Sylvia) towards the end. Their final gig was as the house band on the Lifetime Network’s cable TV comedy show “Girl’s Night Out” which lasted one season (sometimes still in re-runs!). They were no longer a metal band at this point and were doing TV house band kind of bits in and out of the commercials. Shortly after, they called it quits. Obviously – Marlene, Rena and Lisa are all still friends (being our wives!), but none of them are really playing anymore these days because of the crazy responsibilies of being Mommies!! They do still keep in close touch with Yael (who is still playing - currently in a great metal band called “My Ruin”) and occasionally with Bettina (the vocalist). One day when all of kids are old enough to be the road crew, there will be the long awaited Meanstreak reunion (with their husbands as the opening act!)