Saturday, May 14, 2011

DREAM THEATER Guitarist: MIKE PORTNOY's Request To Rejoin Band Came Too Late

Joe Bosso of recently conducted an interview with DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess about the departure of the band's founding drummer Mike Portnoy and addition of Mike Mangini. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. You've all been free to explore outside projects, but how did you initially feel about Mike's [Portnoy] plan to play with AVENGED SEVENFOLD? Did you think it might be too much time away from DREAM THEATER?

Rudess: "Mmmm. There were a lot of feelings in the band about Mike's plan. We had a lot of discussions about that. Various people had differing feelings, too. My first thought was, Wow, that seems like a great opportunity. He'll go out and play with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, and that'll result in a lot of their fans coming back and checking out DREAM THEATER. So, at first, I didn't have a problem with it. [to Petrucci] You had a problem with it, though…"

Petrucci: "Yeah, I did. I remember he told me he was going to play on their album, which was OK by me. I thought, Oh, that's cool. But then he told me he was going to go on tour with them, and I remember telling him, 'I don't think that's such a good idea, Mike.' We had some pretty intense conversations about it. But you know, I can't control what Mike does or what anybody wants to do. Going on the AVENGED tour was his decision, but I made it very clear how I felt about it. Doing projects, that's fine. We all do outside things. But playing in somebody else's band, and to that degree… that's different. I thought it was treading dangerous waters, for sure." He went off with AVENGED, but in December, when it became clear that he wasn't staying in that band, he came to you guys and asked if he could rejoin.

Rudess: "Yeah, that was a very challenging time. It was several months later, and what basically happened was…[pauses] You know, just to give you an idea of how deep this was to lose him, how difficult it was…after we got off the phone with him, when he told us what was going to happen, that he was leaving…I literally sat on the steps of my studio and cried. This is a guy who's a friend of mine, who we all love and admire. We didn't want to see it come crashing down. The whole thing brought me to tears. But we all realized that we had to find a way to keep going. This is our business. We enjoy it, we love it — how do we keep doing this? So we went into motion. Through us putting our heads together, we decided, OK, we've got to find another drummer. And that resulted in us finding these seven amazing drummers to check out. And that, too, was also very emotional: How do you bring a new guy into a situation where you've been with somebody else for
so long? It was a very heavy thing."

Petrucci: "It was sort of like when somebody dies. After you're done crying, the planning kicks in: 'OK, we've gotta do this, we have to arrange the funeral and put everything in order.' Even though we were in shock and were filled with a lot of emotions, we knew we had to carry on." But still, Mike asked to rejoin…

Rudess: "Yes, well, OK, so we put everything together. We got the drummers in, which everybody knows, and we filmed the audition process and put a lot of care into the documentary. So after that whole process, we found somebody who we thought was great — Mike Mangini. 'Oh my God, this guy is fantastic! This can work. We can do it.'"

Petrucci: "And something I should point out — Mike Mangini's life changed dramatically. He was a professor at Berklee, and he had to give notice that he was leaving. He's got a wife and two kids — the whole thing. So he came down and we started making a record. Everybody was supportive at the label. Things were feeling good. We had our feet on the ground again. And then Mike asked if he could get back in..." [He shakes his head] It was too late.

Rudess: "Yeah. You know, Mike Mangini resigned from Berklee. You can't just tell him… We were in motion with him. We were invested in Mike Mangini and our future. Everything was going full steam. So Mike Portnoy came to us and asked to rejoin: 'Hey, guys I've reconsidered, I've made a…a mistake.' It was like, 'Oh my God, you can't do this to us. You can't pull the rug out from under us like this.' It was…[sighs] it was hard. Here we went through this whole drama, and we finally found this new guy who we were happy with. At a certain point, you just throw up your hands and go, 'This can't be happening!'" [laughs]

Riverside Returns To The Laser's Edge For 10th Anniversary Release

Riverside returns to the Laser's Edge with its 10th anniversary release*

For the band's 10th anniversary, Riverside has prepared a special three song EP entitled Memories In My Head. The release marks the band's return to the Laser's Edge, which will release the EP throughout North America on June 28.

Memories In My Head contains 33 minutes of fresh music. "This new material, concerning (for obvious reasons) the themes of the passing time, will be a pleasant surprise for those who have missed the specific kind of melodies and space known from the band's early releases," says Mariusz Duda, lead vocalist and bassist. "We have consciously gone back to our beginnings to create a certain kind of a circle. This mini-album will contain three longer compositions most resembling those from our first two albums. The result is a quite interesting, spacious, film-soundtrackish, nostalgic, and most of all rock mixture, summing up our career's first decade quite well."

Riverside has performed at all the major progressive rock festivals in North America and Europe. Its extensive touring as a headliner and as a support act for Dream Theater has solidified the band's place in the progressive rock pantheon while establishing a foothold with metal fans as well.

For further information, visit

Friday, May 13, 2011

Detroit Prog Ensemble Tin Scribble Remain Un-Live In A Dead City

5/13/2011 - Detroit, MI - Out of the depths of the Detroit music scene arises one of the most innovative prog-rock group's to emerge on these Eastern shores in quite some time. Tin Scribble, who's debut CD release from 2005 'Children of Saturn' garnered critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, is preparing to release a new live CD titled 'Un-Live In A Dead City' on June 1st. Much to the anticipation of the band's fans and music press worldwide, Tin Scribble's new live opus promises to deliver exciting virtuosic performances. "It's a mix of live recordings done in the studio, acoustic demos and some out takes in order to cover the musical transition between 'Children of Saturn' and the new studio album due out later this year," explains band leader Michael Moore, who sings, plays guitar and keyboards with the group. "I'm very excited about the new album, it will show how the new line-up has evolved. I'm struggling to improve my craft and expand my musical eclecticism." The new CD also features several new songs; three new full studio tracks, “Wake Live” with a string section, two acoustic pieces written for unreleased films and two classic Tin Scribble tracks, “Separate Silence” and “Bleak” re-recorded with new band personnel. Also, original band member Clinton Sabon, who worked with Tin Scribble on their first album, returns to help out on the three new tracks.
Tin Scribble explores musical paths not travelled by many, but well worth the journey. With music reminscent of prog legends like Hawkwind, Gong, King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator, Tin Scribble is a force on the progressive rock front to be dealt with. In addition to Michael Moore, the band also features Ryan Looney (Drums), Danielle Colen (Bass) and Todd Richardson (Second Guitar). Along with the release of the new CD, Tin Scribble are fervently working on their follow-up studio album, tentatively titled 'The Most Unaccountable Of Machines'. The band hope to have the album completed for release late 2011.
Tin Scribble arose from the ashes of Michigan art-rock troupe House of Usher, who released a well-received CD in the late 1990s called 'Body Of Mind'. Band members Michael Moore and bassist Mark Jardine decided to form a new group to take their musical vision a step further, thus the birth of Tin Scribble and the release of a successful slice of eclectic prog 'Children Of Saturn'. Some of the band's influences, such as Marillion, Tool, Dead Can Dance, Steve Vai and Led Zeppelin, can be felt throughout their debut CD. Here's what some of the music press have said about Tin Scribble:
" 'Dark, tuneful, politically-conscious art rock' is how another reviewer (Joe Lisboa) described this debut album by the American band Tin Scribble, which is a very apt description to my opinion which I can't top, so I just borrowed that from him. 'Children Of Saturn' does indeed try to spread some conscious thought around the world about the 'insanity and ignorance around us' and it becomes pretty clear right at the start of the album that they are not very fond of the Bush administration (who is?). Some songs are a clear plea for independent and critical thinking and some others uncover the band's grievance about people's attitude towards each other and politics in the world. Michael Allen Moore who is the main writer of the band clearly has an urge for some world-improvement." - DPRP
"...probably the most essential observation: most of the music has a fairytale feel to it and is amazingly imaginative. Conclusion, Tin Scribble's success is due not only to their technical prowess, but also (and in large part) to their good taste to know when delicacy is more important than energy and vice versa. Although different, their 'Children of Saturn' is every bit as good as 'Body of Mind' by House Of Usher."
Along with recording the new studio album, Tin Scribble are ramping up to play some live gigs in support of the latest CD release. Tin Scribble's 'Un-Live In A Dead City' CD will be released independently on the group's private label, and will be available through CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes and the official band website

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

EVERGREY's 'Wrong' Single Certified Gold In Sweden

"Wrong", the first single from "Glorious Collision", the latest album from Swedish metallers EVERGREY, was certified gold in the band's home country for sales in excess of 10,000 copies. This marks EVERGREY's first award in Sweden as well the first award for Steamhammer/SPV in a Scandinavian country.

The "Wrong" video was directed by Patric Ullaeus of Revolver Film Company, who has previously worked with DIMMU BORGIR, LACUNA COIL, IN FLAMES, SONIC SYNDICATE and KAMELOT, among many others.

Commented EVERGREY frontman Tom Englund: "Once again Patric Ullaeus and the Revolver film crew made five stupid guys from Sweden look like a million dollars; well, maybe not like a million, but for sure better than the 20-dollar hookers we normally look like.

"The song will give all dark, tough and depressed people a soundtrack and most certainly a legit reason to cry your hearts out.

"If crying is not your thing, see if you're man enough to match that guitar solo. Or you can just enjoy the vid and the damn song!"

"Wrong" comes off EVERGREY's new album, "Glorious Collision", which was released in February via Steamhammer/SPV.

"Glorious Collision" track listing:

01. Leave It Behind Us
02. You
03. Wrong
04. Frozen
05. Restoring The Loss
06. To Fit The Mold
07. Out Of Reach
08. The Phantom Letters
09. The Disease ...
10. It Comes From Within
11. Free
12. I'm Drowning Alone
13. ... And The Distance
14. ... And The Distance (Carina bonus track)

"Glorious Collision" sold around 900 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 49 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

EVERGREY's current lineup includes Englund and keyboardist Rikard Zander alongside new members Marcus Jidell (guitar), Hannes Van Dahl (drums) and Johan Niemann (bass).

DEEP PURPLE: Only 'Wimps' Cancel Concerts In Israel

Ahead of their third Israeli tour, English rock band Deep Purple took a stand against other musicians who cancel their concerts in Israel due to politics, saying artists should not take sides in political conflicts, with drummer Ian Paice calling these musicians "real wimps."

The band spoke at a press conference Wednesday ahead of two concerts they are due to perform in Caesarea on Saturday and Sunday. This visit is Deep Purple's third Israeli tour. The last time they visited was in 2008, when they played four concerts to full crowds of cheering fans.

* Published 18:01 11.05.11
* Latest update 18:01 11.05.11

Deep Purple: Only 'wimps' cancel concerts in Israel
Addressing the press ahead of their Caesarea concerts later this week, the English rock band explains why musicians should remain impartial in politics.
By City Mouse Online Tags: Israel news

Ahead of their third Israeli tour, English rock band Deep Purple took a stand against other musicians who cancel their concerts in Israel due to politics, saying artists should not take sides in political conflicts, with drummer Ian Paice calling these musicians "real wimps."

The band spoke at a press conference Wednesday ahead of two concerts they are due to perform in Caesarea on Saturday and Sunday. This visit is Deep Purple's third Israeli tour. The last time they visited was in 2008, when they played four concerts to full crowds of cheering fans.
Deep Purple in Cyprus Concert - May 8 2011 - AP

In this photo taken Sunday, May 8, 2011, Fans of British rock bad Deep Purple react during a concert in Nicosia, Cyprus.
Photo by: AP

Deep Purple's vocalist Ian Gillen stressed to reporters that musicians should remain impartial in political disputes, and likened this to making the assumption that Deep Purple supported all of Tony Blair's policies because they gave a concert in London ten years ago.

Guitarist Steve Morse quipped that left-wing groups did not know what to say to them when they refused to cancel performances in Israel. Saying that in any case, Deep Purple doesn't respect politicians in their native England, and questioned why their attitude would be any different in other countries.

The band also talked about how it feels to have spent so many years in the limelight. Gillen described the change from the early days of the band, when things seemed far less complicated, to today when he needs to ask for his wife's permission before going tour.

Gillen also acknowledged that the band is a product of its time and that there is a difference between their music and what is being produced by new bands today. Touching on other aspects of popular culture, he criticized the unnatural way in which reality TV makes people into stars overnight.

Deep Purple also sent a message to their Israeli fans - they are looking forward to performing in what is sure to be an exciting show.