Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bruford To Have Speaking Events In US In December

An evening appearance at the Guitar Center, Manhattan, NY has been added to the public dates on Bill's US trip in December.
December 1st: Guitar Centre, Manhattan, NY
December 2nd: Drummers Collective, NYC, NY
December 3rd: Manhattan School of Music: NYC, NY
December 7th: Drumshop, Memphis, TN
December 8th: Borders, King of Prussia, PA.
Bill will also be at UArts in Philadelphia on December 6th, but that is a private event for students only. Full details here on all of the above as soon as we have them.

November News Bytes

  • The next Van der Graaf Generator album, "A Grounding in Numbers", will be released on 14th March 2011 on Esoteric/Cherry Red.
  • German legand band Eloy will release double DVD's called "The Legacy Box" in December.
  • A recent rumor has swirled that Dream Theater's new drummer is Mike Mangini. He has played with both James LaBrie and Jordan Rudess in the past. The others who auditioned were Virgil Donati, Marco Minnemann, Thomas Lang and Peter Wildoer. Dream Theater is to work on a new recording in January.
  • Karmakanic is to play NEARFest 2011 as announced on the Gagliarchives radio program on Saturday 11/20/10

Friday, November 26, 2010

MIKE PORTNOY Thought He Could Control DREAM THEATER, Says Keyboardist RUDESS

U.K.'s Classic Rock Prog magazine recently spoke to the four remaining members of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER — guitarist John Petrucci, vocalist James LaBrie, bassist John Myung and keyboardist Jordan Rudess — about the surprising departure of the band's drummer and founding member, Mike Portnoy. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the August 30 meeting between the DREAM THEATER bandmembers in a New York City hotel room when first learned that Portnoy wanted to take a break from the group:

Petrucci: "It's definitely a bit surreal and I'm okay, but it's just so weird how things change. Basically, we went into a meeting expecting to talk about details of the studio and when and where, and it took a whole different turn. We were supposed to go into the studio in January and we had actually extended our break a bit so that Mike could finish out the rest of the year [as the touring drummer for] AVENGED SEVENFOLD. Then he brought up that he wanted to take a hiatus. There wasn't anything that led up to it in our minds and it kind of shocked us, you know?! We weren't expecting that at all."

On Portnoy's only proposed solution — for DREAM THEATER to go on an indefinite hiatus, believing that a break would help to rekindle his enthusiasm for both the DREAM THEATER machine as well as his relationship with the other members:

Rudess: Yeah, he was saying a few years, three years, five years, or whatever. I really believe that's what might've been best for him and I'm sure he doesn't want to let go of DREAM THEATER. Why should he necessarily have to? Of course, there's the reality that there are four other guys who also happen to have DREAM THEATER as their lives. I think a lot of the problem was with us personally, but to me the vibe within DREAM THEATER was fine. I mean, so you've got John Myung who wasn't really socializing with us at all anymore, but as I said to Mike, 'Tell me how it's any different to when I first joined this band.' I don't see it. And I've really got no problem with him doing what he's doing with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. I think it's pretty cool going out and playing with a really successful rock group. I just have a little bit of a problem with him thinking that he could control DREAM THEATER. It's like a captain who is trying to command his ship when he's
not even standing on the ship. And all the other guys are just sitting there , cruising along with a guy saying, 'The captain has left the ship. Okay, boys, here's what we're going to do: You're going to take a break.' And they're, like, 'But wait a minute, we're standing on the ship.' But Mike remains our very good friend and I think there's a lot of love there between everyone, really, when it comes down to it. He may have been a little tired of us, but the bigger picture is that we're all brothers."

On DREAM THEATER's decision to carry on without Mike Portnoy:

Petrucci: "You know, we've known each other for a long time, 25 years-plus, and I love Mike. One of the first things I said was that I was trying to understand where he was coming from and that I don't judge him. Everyone is their own man and I get it. But from my perspective and from that of the other guys, you could take those same elements mentioned by Mike, the fact that we've been a band for 25 years, that this is something that we have built up and that we love, as a reason not to stop it or even take a break."

Myung: "We love what we do and we didn't want to wait around as things became unstable. What was initially a four-month break suddenly turned into a hiatus, then changed to a year and four months, which then could have turned into anyone's guess."

Petrucci: "It was an extremely emotional moment and the whole thing to me is very heartbreaking and very sad. You know, you walk around afterwards going, 'Is this really happening?' It's almost like that feeling when somebody dies. You feel like you're in some kind of weird, limbo dream state and it's hard for me to imagine this band without him. But I think the whole beauty of DREAM THEATER is the collective nature and everybody has their talents. I think we've always been about more than just one individual and that's part of our strength. Of course we are going to miss Mike a lot, but we move forward, as is our right."

On the fact that DREAM THEATER is replacing more than just a drummer — Portnoy was the band's mascot, chief interviewee, driver of concepts, selector of setlists and was always at the forefront when the band was deliberating over a musical direction:

LaBrie: "Yes, Mike was all about those things and not to simplify it or belittle it, but that will just have to be something that we allocate to each and every one of us to take over. So that will be a major difference in the band. Instead of one person handling all of those responsibilities, it's going to be spread out over four others."

Rudess: "I guess we're excited about being able to look at all the cool stuff Mike did and spread them around a bit. We've got an amazing team of managers and tour managers, we're all very capable guys and we're not scared. This is not rocket science. This is not curing cancer, this is a rock band, and I think we can handle it."

On whether in a few years time, when all this turbulence has subsided and Portnoy feels sufficiently recharged, he would be welcomed back in DREAM THEATER:

Petrucci: "You know, I've played with Mike for so long and we have done so many things together that at some point we will play together again, and we told each other that. It would be ridiculous to think that we won't play together again. That's kind of silly. Whether it's in DREAM THEATER or something else or we reunite down the line, who knows?! If that's the way the planets align and things work out in both of our lives, then I'm certainly open to that. But in the meantime, I think we owe it to ourselves to carry on with focus and intention. Right now, we have to find an ass-kicking drummer…"


Thursday, November 25, 2010

RUSH: Scandinavian Tour Dates Added

Canadian rock legends RUSH will bring their revered three-and-a-half-hour "Time Machine" tour to Europe this coming May 2011.

Confirmed dates so far:

May 04 - Helsinki, Finland - Hartwall Arena
May 06 - Stockholm, Sweden - Globe
May 08 - Malmo, Sweden - Malmo Arena
May 12 - Dublin, Ireland - O2
May 14 - Glasgow, UK - SECC
May 16 - Sheffield, UK - Motorpoint Arena
May 19 - Manchester, UK - MEN Arena
May 21 - Newcastle, UK - Metro Radio Arena
May 22 - Birmingham, UK - LG Arena
May 25 - London, UK - O2
May 29 - Frankfurt, Germany - Festhalle Frankfurt

The "Time Machine" tour is an evening with RUSH, where they will perform their classics, give a taste of the future and will — for the first time ever in the U.K. — feature the "Moving Pictures" album live in its entirety.

The North American leg of the tour kicked off in June of 2010 and led to RUSH ranking #1 on Billboard's "Hot Tours" chart, followed by a return to Brazil and first-time shows in Argentina & Chile on their South American tour this past fall, all the while rabid demand warranted extending the tour to Europe.

"'Moving Pictures' is our most popular album and it's the one that seems to have passed the test of time most gracefully," observes singer/bassist Geddy Lee. "We're playing better than ever, and I'm not sure we're quite ready to put that tour away," he adds.

TESSERACT Announces DVD Plans

U.K. progressive metal hopefuls TESSERACT just spent the last month touring across the United States with DEVIN TOWNSEND in support of its "Concealing Fate", EP which was engineered, produced and mixed by TESSERACT bandmembers Acle Kahney and Amos Williams.

Commented the band: "So, we've just returned from what was possibly the most incredible first tour of the U.S. and Canada that any band could ever have hoped for. We've seen many wonders like the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls and experienced trials and tribulations like a two-day drive and a GPS that said 'in 704 miles, turn left.' We ate more food than any one man should ever be able to eat at breakfast,

"It's a shame, but for the rest of the world, North America has a lot of stereotypes, most of them negative. However, within the first 24 hours, most of these were dispelled and all of us fell in love with the place. The people, the crowds and the country were wonderful and in many cases simply epic.

"You can see a portion of the silliness in this album of photos taken by Kristell Gathoye who was on the road with us.

"We feel we must thank Devin Townsend and the wonderful band of musicians collectively known as THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT for their kindness, hospitality and genuine humility. Along with DTP, we have made so many good friends and are looking forward to meeting them all again and catching up in person when we tour 'over the pond' once again. Speaking of which, we're just confirming a mammoth six-week U.S. and Canadian tour to coincide with the release of our debut album next year; more information will be released on this soon.

"Wishing to strike whilst the iron was still hot, we headed straight in to the studio upon our return to record and film a DVD that we will include with the release of 'One'. It will be a stark example of what a band sounds like live and in one take. So see it as a take on a live performance, but in the studio environment.

"You don't really get the opportunity to hear music in its pure form these days, but with this DVD we hope to show you a band without the typical production tools and 'smoke and mirrors.' So no quantization and no over-dubbing, just plain and simple TESSERACT, warts and all, as you would see us live at a gig. We also aim to give those of you with the capability the whole thing in 5.1 Surround Sound.

"Things are coming together and slowly building up to the release of 'One' next year, but before that we still have two exciting tours to complete. The first is in December in India, as part of the Great Indian Rock Festival 2010, alongside MESHUGGAH, ENSLAVED and PURIFIED BY BLOOD, as well as a whole host of homegrown Indian talent. The second is around the U.K. as part of the 'League of Extraordinary Djentlemen' with PERIPHERY and MONUMENTS.

"The response to the release of the 'Concealing Fate' EP has been fantastic. We are so grateful to all of you that have taken the time to check us out and listen, be it on the web, CD or in the flesh at a gig. We look forward to seeing you all at a gig in the future."

TESSERACT's promotional video for the song "Conceling Fate Pt. 1", directed by Khaled Lowe and produced by Campbell Beaton, can be viewed below.

With constant support from the U.K. media, TESSERACT has been able to achieve a loyal following in its home country as well as the rest of Europe, having their video for "Concealing Fate Part II" in constant rotation on Scuzz TV and other media outlets. They've toured throughout Europe, playing everything from clubs to festivals and last spring made it over to Russia for the first of what will surely be many stops.

Formed in 2003 as a solo writing project in the mind of guitarist Acle (who was a founding member in FELL SILENT), TESSERACT first broke through in the scene with their 2007 demo and later appearances at U.K.'s Bloodstock, Hammerfest, Caos Emergente in Portugal and the Hellfire 2 festival at the Birmingham NEC arena. TESSERACT soon become one of the most-talked-about bands among musicians and tech-heads, thanks to the quintet's time signatures and musical complexity.


Acle Kahney - Guitar
Amos Williams - Bass
Dan Tompkins - Vocals
Jay Postones - Drums
James Monteith - Guitar

For more information, visit


Monday, November 22, 2010

Greek Progressive Metal Band Wastefall Reforms

Two years after announcing their split, Greek progressive metallers WASTEFALL have reformed. The band states, "We are more than glad to announce that Domenik [Papaemmanouil; vocals, guitar, keyboards] returned from exile and Alex [Katsiyiannis, guitar] decided to abandon his haven. The only difference is that we decided to recruit Tassos Loukos behind the drums, since Kostis [Papaleksopoulos] is still in exile. Apart from that, the members remain the same."

WASTEFALL's third album, "Self Exile", was released in 2006 via Sensory Records. The CD was mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen (HELLOWEEN, TNT, JORN LANDE) at Jailhouse Studios in Denmark.

Greek Progressive Metal Band Wastefall Reforms

Two years after announcing their split, Greek progressive metallers WASTEFALL have reformed. The band states, "We are more than glad to announce that Domenik [Papaemmanouil; vocals, guitar, keyboards] returned from exile and Alex [Katsiyiannis, guitar] decided to abandon his haven. The only difference is that we decided to recruit Tassos Loukos behind the drums, since Kostis [Papaleksopoulos] is still in exile. Apart from that, the members remain the same."

WASTEFALL's third album, "Self Exile", was released in 2006 via Sensory Records. The CD was mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen (HELLOWEEN, TNT, JORN LANDE) at Jailhouse Studios in Denmark.

MIKE PORTNOY: DREAM THEATER Carrying On Without Me Will 'Seriously Damage Our Relationship'

Former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy recently spoke to Classic Rock Prog magazine about his decision to quit the band he formed and led for 25 years. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

Classic Rock Prog: Were you expecting the guys in the band to agree with you that DREAM THEATER needed an extended break?

Portnoy: "Well, I knew my proposal would be met with some shock and hesitation, but I honestly hoped the guys would see my need for a break or a hiatus and respect it. It's not the most insane request in the history of rock... MANY bands have done it, only to return bigger and stronger than before. SOUNDGARDEN, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, JANE'S ADDICTION, FAITH NO MORE, ALICE IN CHAINS, MEGADETH, PHISH, etc. etc. Even RUSH, GENESIS, PINK FLOYD have all taken extended breaks in order to keep the band together."

Classic Rock Prog: Were you shocked and upset that they ultimately decided to go on without you?

Portnoy: "I'd be lying if I didn't say I am devastated they chose to continue without me rather than take a break. After me giving my heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears to them and the band for 25 years, I hoped they'd value me and our relationship enough to respect my need for us to take a little break. I am truly heartbroken over their decision. I suppose it also kills me that in the past the guys NEVER would question or ever debate my direction within the band. They always let me call the shots and always trusted my vision and guidance. And NOW, with such a huge and personal conflict.. they disagreed with me for the first time... on the biggest decision of them all.

"DREAM THEATER is my baby and I NEVER wanted to abandon my child. I only felt the parents needed a little breather to help save the marriage.

"The big irony here is that I wanted a break to help mend and strengthen our relations and ultimately bring us closer together.... and now by them chosing to move on without me it is ultimately going to seriously damage our relationship.... as well as the DREAM THEATER legacy I spent so long building and protecting."

Classic Rock Prog: Apart from wanting a break from the DREAM THEATER routine and the guys in the band, was there any part of the music that you needed to escape from? (e.g. Were you happy with the musical direction of the last two albums or had it become stale for you? Had this become a "day job" and you were worried you might just be going through the motions?)

Portnoy: "Honestly, it had nothing to do with the music itself or the musical chemistry within the band. I was always very inspired when writing and recording together and am as proud of our last few albums as anything else in the catalog. It really was more of the behind-the-scenes, personal relationships within the band. Yes, on the surface it may seem that life was great and full steam ahead for DREAM THEATER... things like playing Download and Wembley, the recent [IRON] MAIDEN tour in the U.S., Top 10 entry on Billboard were all nice feathers in the cap... but beneath the surface, there was a lot of friction and burn-out. I mean, we have one bandmember that would literally not even sit in the same room with the rest of us for years now and we'd only see him on stage or at meet-and-greets...and then other members just doing a lot of complaining about the day-to-day stuff... To me, these are obvious signs of wear and tear and a need for a break from
each other in order to recharge the batteries and reignite the flame. On the opposite hand, I would go out on tour with TRANSATLANTIC or AVENGED SEVENFOLD and all of the band members are hanging out, eating meals together and enjoying each other's company.

"I think DREAM THEATER really needed a bit of a break to rejuvenate our relationships. Of course, now in the wake of this split, the four guys HAVE to pull together to keep the band together, so I'm sure they will surely look at these issues and change them. I'm just saddened that they wouldn't wait for me to do it."

Classic Rock Prog: Do you regret your decision?

Portnoy: "Well, I absolutely HATE the outcome and the situation I was put into to have to make it. But I could not honestly return to the band to make an album in January without feeling resentment and being uncomfortable that I was forced into doing something I wasn't ready to do. I have chosen the harder, more challenging road rather than the safer, easier road. But my heart has never steered me wrong. I've always followed it and only done things that I knew would make me happy.

"At the moment, I am very happy playing with AVENGED SEVENFOLD...and I do not want to stop doing something I am happy doing to go do something I'm not very happy doing. I cannot do something with my life and career because I 'have' to, I need to 'want' to do it.

"For 25 years now, I have made decisions for DREAM THEATER and our fans...for once in my life, I needed to make a decision for Mike Portnoy."

Portnoy, who is currently out with AVENGED SEVENFOLD as their touring drummer, previously said of his decision to quit DREAM THEATER, "Please believe me that it is not a hasty decision . . . it is something I have struggled with for the last year or so . . . After having had such amazing experiences playing with HAIL!, TRANSATLANTIC and AVENGED SEVENFOLD this past year, I have sadly come to the conclusion that I have recently had more fun and better personal relations with these other projects than I have for a while now in DREAM THEATER."

Portnoy added, "I love the DREAM THEATER guys dearly and have a long history, friendship and bond that runs incredibly deep with them — it's just that I think we are in serious need of a little break."

The drummer said that DREAM THEATER's "endless write/record/tour cycle for almost 20 years" was the main factor in his decision. He said he wanted a "break," not a "split," but that the band decided to move forward without him.

Portnoy added in a separate post on Facebook that his current gig with AVENGED SEVENFOLD had nothing to do with his departure from DREAM THEATER, writing, "They are just as shocked as you guys."

AVENGED recruited Portnoy to play on its new album, "Nightmare", following the death last December of the band's drummer, James "The Rev" Sullivan. Portnoy was Sullivan's favorite drummer.

DREAM THEATER said in its own statement, "All of us in DREAM THEATER wholeheartedly wish Mike the best on his musical journey. We have had a long and meaningful career together. It is our true hope that he finds all he is looking for, and that he achieves the happiness he deserves. He will be missed."

JON LORD To Perform 'Concerto For Group And Orchestra' In Germany

According to, former DEEP PURPLE keyboardist Jon Lord has confirmed three German concerts, billed as "An Evening With Jon Lord Featuring Concerto For Group And Orchestra."

The dates are as follows:

May 11 - Koblenz, Germany - Sporthalle Oberwerth
May 13 - Frankfurt, Germany - Jahrhunderthalle
May 14 - Stuttgart, Germany - Liederhalle Beethovensaal