Saturday, May 21, 2011
Paul Anthony of U.K.'s Rock Radio conducted an interview with vocalist James LaBrie of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER this past Wednesday night (May 18). Click on the audio player below to hear James talk about the departure of Mike Portnoy, the search for new drummer Mike Mangini and how much the band is looking forward to coming back to the U.K. for the High Voltage festival in July.When asked about the status of the recording sessions for the follow-up to 2009's "Black Clouds & Silver Linings" album, LaBrie said, "Right now, I'm talking to you, and then, literally, within about a half an hour after we're done talking, I'm going into the studio and I start doing vocals for the new DREAM THEATER. So I'm about six songs into the album. I'm recording up in Canada, and as I'm recording my vocals, Jordan [Rudess] is currently recording his keyboards, piano and putting on all his amazing sounds from his various software that he has, and he's doing that down in New York. The drums, the guitar and the bass are all done, so it's just a matter of Jordan and I finishing our parts, and the mix is to commence… I think May 30 or the 31st we're supposed to start mixing the album. But it's all going incredible and it's all moving ahead. We're looking at an early September release — somewhere around the 7th or the 10th, somewhere around there isthe release indication at this point."
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Magna Carta Recording artist Glen Drover is promoting a contest for all guitar players in The USA and Canada . By composing a solo to a track on Glen's new album "Metalusion", videotaping yourself playing the solo and submitting it on Youtube, a new Dean guitar and full package of guitar gear can be yours. Winner to be chosen June 15, 2011.
For all the details, click on the link below or download the attached file.
-Please find below Glen Drover Dean Guitar contest Press Release with complete information.
-Attached Press release PDF.
-Magna Carta website informations to Glen Drover Guitar contest:
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Blackfield are starting their North American tour today in support of their new album, Welcome To My DNA.
Blackfield, the acclaimed collaboration between Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and Israeli artist Aviv Geffen, launch their North American tour today in Washington, DC. The three week trek sees the band hit the US, Canada and Mexico with special guests Anathema on the first nine dates.
Their 3rd studio album, Welcome To My DNA, was released in April on Kscope and has garnered amazing accolades around the world where magazines such as Rocksound called it "Blackfield's finest hour" and Dave DiMartino at Yahoo Music says "Arty, melodic, adventurous, and significantly catchy throughout, Welcome To My DNA is a nifty and sophisticated rock album"
To celebrate the start of the tour, the music television network Fuse.tv is giving away a free download of "Glass House" at http://fuse.tv/music/free-music.html?artist_id=532
Another special promotion starting today is via Foursquare. When fans arrive at each date of the tour and check in on Foursquare, they'll get a discount code for the album from The Omega Order. Fans can find the code redemption instructions under the "tips" section of the venue called "Blackfield with special guests Anathema".
You can also purchase the new album now at:
and pick it up at great independent retailers such as
Repo Records, Rolling Stones and Rhino Records
The line-up is a 6 piece featuring both former guitarists Julian Hunt and Steve Anderson, along with the addition of new recruit Piers de Lavison on keyboards. The band is completed by ever-presents Martin Wilson on vocals and Sean Spear on bass along with original drummer Mark Robotham.
Further details are available on the band's new website at www.greyladydown.net, and also at www.facebook.com/greyladydown
The first gig will be on Saturday June 4th at Mattfest, which takes place at famed prog venue The Peel at 160 Cambridge Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 3HH. Doors are at 1pm, GLD will be on stage at around 6pm, and the line up is completed by From Great Height, Unto Us, Nerve Toy Trio, Alan Reed (ex Pallas) and Touchstone. Advance tickets are now available on 0208 546 3516 at £20. Full details can be found on Facebook at Mattfest
There has been some questions about availability of the GLD back catalogue. CDs remain in very short supply (with the exception of 'Star-Crossed' which is freely available) the band is considering the possibility of reissuing these in due course. However, the good news is that all of the studio albums have now been submitted via CD Baby which means they should appear on all the major download sites such as iTunes for the first time.
In other news, Martin and Steve are involved in another project called TheRoom. Full details are available at www.theroom.eu, and you can add yourself to their mailing list by contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Piers, meanwhile, continues to tour with well known Genesis tribute act G2. Further information can be obtained from www.g2online.co.uk or at www.facebook.com/g2definitivegenesis
Legendary keyboardist Don Airey (DEEP PURPLE, OZZY OSBOURNE, RAINBOW) will release a new solo album, "All Out", on August 22 via Provogue Records. The CD features a guest appearance by blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa (BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION).
"All Out" track listing:
01. The Way I Feel Inside
03. People In Your Head
05. Running From The Shadows
06. Right Arm Overture
08. Lon Road
09. Wrath Of Thor
Marillion formed in 1979 and have sold over 15 million albums worldwide. Rightly regarded as legends of progressive rock, the band have also continued to evolve and have been keen to embrace the possibilities of the internet, using innovative ways to interact with their audience resulting in an incredibly loyal legion of fans around the world. They were one of the first bands to have their own website and have been rightly acknowledged as internet pioneers.
The Marillion catalogue re-launch will start in April with a 2CD edition of the acclaimed 2004 release Marbles, which includes the Top Ten Single 'You're Gone'.
Racket Records’ Lucy Jordache says “we run a very successful direct to the fans business, but we know that some Marillion fans still want to purchase their CDs and DVDs directly from traditional retailers and Snapper has a proven track record on delivering successful campaigns to retail which is why we chose to do this deal with them.”
Snapper’s Johnny Wilks notes “We are delighted to have secured this deal with Racket Records. This is a great opportunity for retailers around the world to carry classic Marillion back catalogue much of which has previously only been available via mail order”
Recent News On Guapo's Upcoming Record
Following a year's hiatus in 2010 Guapo are currently resuming work on a new album for Cuneiform Records. It is with regret we announce our split with keyboardist Daniel O Sullivan but are happy to announce his replacement as Emmett Elvin. Both David J Smith and Kavus Torabi have played previously in Chrome Hoof with Elvin who also plays keyboards in Kavus Torabi's psychedelic band Knifeworld. Guapo wish Daniel O Sullivan all the best with the many projects he is involved with. The new album will see a return to the 'long form' composition of Five Suns and Black Oni while covering much ground previously unexplored by the group.
David J Smith has been editing and mixing the footage and audio from the performance of Five Suns at NearFest 2006 with artist & filmaker Tai Shani and engineer Antti Uusimaki. A memorable day in many respects, not least for the fact that the band were rushed through the night in two taxi cabs from Phillidelphia after our van broke down, leaving barely enough time to down a coffee before gracing the stage that afternoon. The results will be available as a bonus DVD with the new album on Cuneiform in 2012 Guapo will be resuming live duties in the Autumn and are planning a number of dates in the UK and mainland Europe in October followed by a short USA tour in November including a performance at John Zorn's N.Y. venue The Stone as part of Cuneiform's festival there. Dates will be forthcoming when confirmed. Many thanks for your continued support. Guapo.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
May 12th http://www.brain-damage.co.uk/2011-wall-tour/may-12th-o2-arena-greenwich-london-england.html), Roger played his trusty trumpet, David a mandolin, and Nick a tamborine! The morning following the show, the BBC's Breakfast TV programme covered the event, and many of you will be able to view Colin Paterson's Wall feature on the BBC website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-13389333) on demand.
Major Pink Floyd release campaign, Why Pink Floyd…?, to include unreleased music from the archives, collectors’ box sets and complete studio recordings remastered.
Pink Floyd and EMI Music, whose association dates from 1967, announce a comprehensive release schedule, to be launched on September 26, 2011, encompassing CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, SACD, an array of digital formats, viral marketing, iPhone Apps and a brand-new single-album ‘Best Of’ collection.
The legendary band, who are still one of the most successful and iconic artists of all time, recently signed an agreement with EMI which has allowed the development of a multi-format programme of packages, many containing archive material that has been collated during an extensive process between EMI and Pink Floyd for a range of media formats.
- The band No-Man will be headlining The Burning Shed 10th Anniversary Concert with special guests to be announced at the Leamington Spa Assembly, October 14th 2011. Further details, plus a link to book tickets can be found at http://www.no-man.co.uk/news.htm
- Pat Metheny is on the verge of releasing his new acoustic solo album on June 14th titled What's It All About?
Brice made his live debut with LEVAITHAN at the band's CD-release party on April 22 at The Toad Tavern in Littleton, Colorado.
LEVIATHAN will play another show at The Toad Tavern in Littleton on June 3, to be followed by the band's appearance at this year's edition of Headbangers Open Air festival, set to take place July 28-30, 2011 in Brande-Hörnerkirchen, Germany.
LEVIATHAN recently released its fifth official album, "At Long Last, Progress Stopped To Follow". The CD, which contains about 59 minutes of brand new music, was produced, engineered, and mixed by JCL at Killarney Street Studios in Aurora, Colorado. The cover artwork was created by Martin Schröder.
LEVIATHAN last year remastered and repackaged its critically acclaimed "Leviathan" EP (1991) and "Deepest Secrets Beneath" album (1993) on a single disc. A previously unreleased instrumental track called "Asylum" — which was originally intended for a bonus import disc from RTN Records — was also included.
Berklee College Of Music, located in Boston, Massachusetts, is the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world. Known primarily as a school for jazz and popular music, it also offers college-level courses in a wide range of contemporary and historic styles, including hip hop, reggae, salsa, rock, heavy metal, and bluegrass, in addition to its traditional jazz courses. It offers degrees in composition, contemporary writing and production, film scoring, jazz composition, music business/management, music education, music production and engineering, electronic production and design, music therapy, performance, professional music, and songwriting.
Commented Bolognese: "As the world knows, Mike Mangini has joined DREAM THEATER as their new drummer.
"Mike was my drum teacher for years, beginning back in 2000. He is one of the most talented, dedicated drummers in the world, and also one of the most inspirational teachers one could ask for. Unfortunately, Mike, or any of us for that matter, cannot be in two places at once. Therefore, he has recommended me to teach his classes at Berklee. It's an amazing opportunity and I'm totally honored.
"Mike is obviously irreplaceable, but I'm going to do my best to share the invaluable information that Mike has taught me. It always feels great to share the knowledge with aspiring students."
On Wednesday 18th May Blackfield, the acclaimed collaboration between Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen, embark on a tour of USA, Canada and Mexico in support of their new album Welcome To My DNA.
These dates follow a successful series of dates around Europe, which was the band's first tour for over three years due to both artists' busy schedules. Steven has been enjoying massive success with Porcupine Tree and Aviv has released his first English language solo album (produced by Trevor Horn) and has supported U2 and Placebo.
The son of esteemed Israeli poet Yehonatan Geffen and the nephew of Moshe Dayan, Geffen is Israel’s leading counter-culture rock musician. A huge star in his native country, his records have been greeted with critical adulation, earning him a string of gold albums. An outspoken peace campaigner, he controversially refused to do compulsory military service, and his lyrics have been fiercely critical of the Israeli military and their actions.
Aviv has worked with various artists throughout his career, including Brett Anderson (Suede), Mercury Rev and Belle and Sebastian, but it has been his partnership with Steven that has proved the most fertile, and both artists have been keen to return to their work with Blackfield and have been working on the album for the last few months. Aviv explains, ‘we made the album together, it wasn’t an email album. Steven came to Israel and I came to London. We both had a great year, Steven with Porcupine Tree and me with my solo stuff but now it’s a Blackfield year and we are both ready for it.’
At a recent gig in London Aviv was filmed answering questions that fans had emailed to Kscope, the band's label. The second part of this video has now been added to the Welcome To My DNA mini-site.
The digi-book and vinyl editions of the album are also available to order on the Welcome To My DNA mini-site. The mini-site features album info, downloads and more along with the chance to download a free MP3 of the album’s opening track Glass House when signing up to the mailing list.
'when they come together they create something quite magical ...a thing of melancholic beauty'. Classic Rock
Burning Shed – 10th anniversary gig featuring No-Man
On 14th October Burning Shed will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a special event at Leamington Spa Assembly. The evening will include performances by artists associated with the company over the last decade. Already confirmed are Theo Travis and No-Man.
No-Man will play a 45 minute set, including some pieces never performed live before. This will be the band's first performance since its successful 2008 Mixtaped shows.
Other acts will be announced soon.
The venue is the stunning, art-deco Assembly, situated in the heart of Leamington Spa (one and a half hours from London and less than half an hour from the Birmingham and East Midlands airports)
Please note, tickets can only be obtained from the Assembly box office
"This week, due to circumstances outside of our control, the full band will not be able to travel to the U.S. to perform with BLACKFIELD. Despite making every effort and exploring all avenues to make this trip possible, we were not able to find a solution.
"Our fans are our number one priority and so as not to let you down, we've generated enough support to keep most of our American Dream alive but this does still mean a few unavoidable changes to the plan.
"We wanted to let you know that instead of the full band appearing, myself and Danny [Cavanagh] will now be performing acoustically. We're really excited as it's our first time in the States and with absolute respect for fans who have bought tickets, we want to go over and give you a great show. Even though we'll be focusing mainly on the newer material, we're still ready to play some of the old songs if people want to hear them! In fact, to us, these acoustic gigs are more special and exciting in a way — they are less structured and more improvised than a full band show — there's room for a bit of freedom on the night. Additionally, due to the unprecedented style of these shows we have decided to record these rare acoustic performances for forthcoming special releases and exclusive online content.
"We really feel this is just the beginning OF ANATHEMA's U.S. story and Danny and I are looking forward to meeting everyone. We will be on the merchandise stand after every performance to greet you all and we will do our best to make sure the full band gets to tour in the USA as quickly as possible, perhaps even headlining before the end of the year.
"Whilst we realise this is a significant change from the original plan and we are disappointed that we can't perform with the full band, we are thrilled that we can still play to our fans in the USA. In true ANATHEMA spirit, the show WILL go on."
"We're Here Because We're Here", the eighth studio album from ANATHEMA, will receive its long-overdue U.S. release on June 7 on The End Records. A special, limited-edition deluxe edition will include three bonus tracks, a seven-inch single with two unreleased tracks, and a DVD 5.1 Surround Sound version of the album, along with the stereo version, both mixed by Steven Wilson of PORCUPINE TREE.
"We're Here Because We're Here" deluxe edition track listing:
01. Thin Air
02. Summer Night Horizon
03. Dreaming Light
05. Angels Walk Among Us
07. A Simple Mistake
08. Get Off Get Out
01. Angels Walk Among Us - Demo Mix
02. Presence - Demo Mix
03. A Simple Mistake - Demo Mix
Special limited edition will include the above plus:
01. Dreaming Light - Orchestral Version
02. Universal - Orchestral Version
5.1 Surround Sound & High Resolution 24-bit stereo album mix
* Everything - Demo Mix
"We're Here Because We're Here" was originally released in May 2010 via Kscope Records. The self-produced CD was mixed by Steven Wilson (PORCUPINE TREE) and features the exquisite string arrangements of Dave Stewart (STEWART/GASKIN, PORCUPINE TREE) and mastering skills of legendary Jon Astley (THE WHO, LED ZEPPELIN). The song "Angels Walk Among Us" features subtle backing vocals by Ville Valo of HIM.
FORMER YES LEAD SINGER JON ANDERSON SIGNS GUITAR FOR CANCER SUPPORT COMMUNITY OF PHILADELPHIA GALA AUCTION
FORMER YES LEAD SINGER JON ANDERSON SIGNS GUITAR FOR
CANCER SUPPORT COMMUNITY OF PHILADELPHIA GALA AUCTION
13TH Annual Evening in the Yard Being Held on Friday, May 20 at the Navy Yard
5/9/2011 - Philadelphia. PA - Scott Bluebond is the marketing and communications director at the Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia (CSCP). But he is also one huge Yes fan. He was able to combine his love for helping people with cancer and the group Yes this week. CSCP is having their annual gala on May 20 and this year, there will be an auction for the first time. Scott called his friend Rich Chodak, owner of Bluebond Guitars and Music School (www.bluebondguitars.com/Bluebond/Home.html), for help. Rich purchased the store from his childhood friend and neighbor, Dale Bluebond, who was killed in an auto accident in 1994. Dale was Scott’s cousin.
Scott asked Rich if he would consider donating a guitar for the CSCP’s auction. Unbeknownst to Scott, Chodak had just lost his dad, Harry, to esophageal cancer on February 17 (Harry was the owner of Oscar’s Tavern at 1524 Sansom Street for the last 40 years). Chodak immediately agreed to donate a beautiful Takamine Guitar! In the meantime, Scott, who assisted with promotion of Jon Anderson’s Philadelphia show at the TLA on May 4th, asked if Anderson would sign the guitar for the auction. He not only signed it, but did so on NBC 10’s “The 10! Show” where he performed and was interviewed that morning. The only way to bid on the Anderson-signed guitar is by attending the gala. There are many other great items up for bid as well to be announced soon. Please call (215) 879-7733 or visit www.cancersupport-phila.org for tickets.
THE 13TH ANNUAL EVENING IN THE YARD FRIDAY, MAY 20, 6:30 P.M. – 11:00 P.M.
CSCP anticipates 300 professionals, government officials, members and others will attend this gala/awards ceremony to see designer Tory Burch receive the Medal of Inspiration, founding board member Charlie Rose, the Ridgeland Award, Mary Lou Vitale, the Medal of Courage, Greg & Kathie (posthumously) Young, Anthropologie, and Gilda’s Club Delaware Valley, the Medal of Victory, and Ilana Wolfson, the Gene Hart Young Survivor Award. Guests will enjoy fabulous food and cocktails, a DJ, an auction with fabulous items and more, all to benefit CSCP. Chair emeritus Keith and Alixandra Morgan are honorary co-chairs for the event and will be joined by evening co-chairs Wendy Rosen and Lydie Brown. Taking place for the first time at Urban Outfitters at The Navy Yard, the Evening in the Yard presenting sponsor is Krispy Kreme Philly and the Morgan Family, and the radio sponsor is B101. Tickets are $250 per person. Help people affected by cancer and please call (215) 879-7733 or visit www.cancersupport-phila.org to learn more.
Photo caption: Scott Bluebond (L) and Jon Anderson pose with the signed guitar in the green room of The 10! Show.
The Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia (CSCP) is dedicated to providing, at no cost to members, a comprehensive and professional program of emotional support and education designed to enhance the mind, body and spirit of people whose lives have been impacted by cancer. CSCP offers programs at Ridgeland in Fairmount Park and other Philadelphia-area locations. Please call the Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia at (215) 879-7733 or toll free at (888) 819-3553. Visit CSCP’s website at cancersupport-phila.org for more information, “like” CSCP on Facebook, and follow CSCP on Twitter.
The Suzanne Morgan Center at Ridgeland, 4100 Chamounix Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19131
Phone: (215) 879-7733 Fax: (215) 879-6575 cancersupport-phila.org
Monday, May 16, 2011
Steven Rosen of Ultimate-Guitar.com recently conducted an interview with AVENGED SEVENFOLD vocalist M. Shadows. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: So "Not Ready to Die" is the first song with your new drummer, Arin Ilejay? And you've also been touring with Arin for a while now?
M. Shadows: He's a shredder; he's awesome. He's been playing all the parts great. I think one thing about this new song is we're really looking forward to getting into the studio with him and seeing how we gel with him and see what he brings to the table as far as writing goes. That was a great experience for us to be able to do that ("Not Ready to Die") just so we don't go into the next record completely blind; how he is in the studio.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: It's been a learning experience for the band?
M. Shadows: It's the first song that he drums on and he's been killin' it on the road — and he's a really nice guy. He's one of the nicest guys in the world, which is more than we could ever ask for so we're really excited about it.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: What were you looking for in a drummer to replace The Rev?
M. Shadows: What we were looking for was someone that was young and someone that was unknown. We wanted to give someone a chance that wasn't completely jaded; we didn't want them to feel it was a job. We wanted him to be a fan of the band and a fan of music and wanting to be out on the road and view this as their dream like all of us. One thing we didn't want was some older session guy or some guy that just saw it as a gig — 'cause it's not a gig, it's like our life. It's what we want to do for a long time. So basically we wanted a nice, young person that could obviously have the chops to play everything that's been laid down before but also we wanted them to be able to have their own style. It's gonna take years for our fans and for people to understand what Arin's style is and we're still figuring it out ourselves. But he needed to have his own style and be his own drummer but at the same time be able to play everything [Mike] Portnoy and The Rev
laid down. So far he's got two of those down and now we need to work on bringing out his style and what he can bring to the music.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Had you heard Arin play in CONFIDE, which was his band?
M. Shadows: No; I didn't know who he was. We talked to our producer — Mike Elizondo — and we talked to Mike Fasano who was Jimmy's in-studio drum tech and we said, "Hey, do you guys have anyone you could suggest?" And they both sent somebody down and we went and jammed with 'em both and they were both great and Arin came in and just killed it. That was the first time I'd ever heard of him or seen him or met him and he came in and he was super skinny and small and he hits the drums like a beast. And it was like, "Whoa." We were all kind of smiling like, "Wow, this kid's got every chop down. Not only has he played everything right but he's also transcribed everything right." Which is good to us because you have to have an ear — you have to be able to hear what people are doing. He played everything Portnoy and Jimmy were playing to a tee. And we were like, "Wow." So we had a couple more sessions with him and he was just the perfect fit right off the
bat — he just really blew us away and impressed us.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Do you have any feelings about the [GUNS N' ROSES] "Chinese Democracy" record?
M. Shadows: There are great songs there and Axl is a great singer; he's an amazing singer. It's hard because a lot of times it's that feeling a band gives you when you know they're a band and you know what it's about. And there's so much drama that goes around that camp. I've met [GUNS N' ROSES guitarist] Bumblefoot and a couple of the guys in that band and they're great guys and great players — it's just really hard to play in that shadow of what GUNS N' ROSES was. And I think that kind of takes you away from when you're listening to a record and what it's all about. What made "Dark Side Of The Moon" so great is some of the mystique and where it was coming from and just the authenticity of it. And that's what kinda sucks about the new GUNS N' ROSES — it's really hard to put your finger on it but it's not the same thing. I think for all of us it would be really nice if they could just get it together and do some stuff but that's probably never gonna
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Mike Portnoy [former AVENGED SEVENFOLD recording/touring drummer] won the "Best Drummer" award [at this year's Revolver Golden Gods Awards], which was presented by Vinnie Paul. Are you still on good terms with Mike?
M. Shadows: Yeah, we're on good terms — it just got a little out of hand for a while there with us. And the way he runs his camp is a little different than we run ours. It couldn't co-exist in that way and I'm really happy for him — I'm happy on a bunch of different levels. The Rev wrote those parts, Mike elaborated on them, and the record did really well. To me that's a success all the way around. Mike helped us out in a time of need and he really stuck true to what Jimmy's parts were, which we were really thankful for that. 'Cause he could have come in there and been like, "No, I'm not playing that — why don't we do this?" So he did exactly what Jimmy had written down and what we wanted him to do and kudos to him for doin' that.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: AVENGED won four Revolver awards — more than anybody else.
M. Shadows: It was nice that we got to go in there and basically sweep those awards — it was really cool. And I'm sure Mike appreciates it as well. I didn't get to talk to him afterwards but I know Zack [guitarist Zacky Vengeance] did and they exchanged some nice words. So it was good to see that he won that award.
Singer James LaBrie of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER has spent the past few weeks in the studio with Canadian producer/engineer Richard Chycki laying down vocals on the band's much-anticipated new album, tentatively due this fall via Roadrunner Records. Chycki writes on his blog, "I gotta tell ya, new DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Mangini (ex-EXTREME, STEVE VAI, ANNIHILATOR) is a monster player on the album. I worked with him on LaBrie's solo album 'Elements Of Persuasion' in 2005 and he was frightening (in a good way!) in the studio back then."
In a recent interview with Music Radar, DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess were asked if Mangini contributed to the songwriting on the band's forthcoming CD. "Mike didn't write with us," Rudess replied. "Basically, we got in the studio and did our thing. We wrote songs and sent them to him. He came in and just nailed his parts. He's incredible. I'm finishing my keyboard parts right now, and I'll go to the computer to see how things are lining up, and I'm just speechless. The guy doesn't mess up!" [laughs]
"We had the demos, had them fully written out, and he learned them and added his own stuff," Petrucci stated. "But every time he would do something, if I said, 'Hey, can you do that again?' he'd do it, and it would be perfect. The guy is… he's out of his mind! [laughs] People are not going to believe how great he is."
"But what's really special about him is, he's not just a technician," Rudess added. "Yes, he plays his parts perfectly, but he comes at everything as a total musician. Everything he does has real soul and a depth of feeling."
When asked how not having Mike Portnoy in the recording and writing process changed the band dynamic, Petrucci replied, "It was a lot quieter. [laughs] Mike Mangini's playing style is different. He plays very hard, but he's got a very deep groove. He almost plays behind the beat just a little bit — even through he's right on the money. He's extremely locked in, but if he does do something technical, he's still right there."