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Trivia / Dream Theater

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  • Approval of God: Roger Glover of Deep Purple mixed Dream Theater's Cover Album of Made in Japan.
  • Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: Mike Portnoy, with side-projects such as Liquid Tension Experiment, OSI, and Transatlantic, and even moreso after he left the band. Also Jordan Rudess, who, as of 2013, has been working on no less than four musical projects note  and continuing to develop and promote various apps note  and technologiesnote .
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  • Audience Participation Song: James will often get the crowd into singing along with the band, but that's nothing compared to Portnoy's Audience Participation Drum Solos, complete with call-and-response "Shave and a Haircut".
  • Black Sheep Hit: "Pull Me Under". Several subtle clues line the artwork for Greatest Hit ...and 21 other pretty cool songs, such as "Pull Me Under" highlighted in gold on the back cover; the front cover's subtle red text reading Greatest Hit; and the reoccuring motif of a seagull's feces staining things (the inner gatefold image shows 22 umbrellas, with only one bearing with a shitstain. Hmmm…) It's also pretty obvious right off the bat to people even only vaguely familiar with the band; it's mid tempo, stays in 4/4 the whole time, has no crazy shredariffic riffs or solos or even bass riffs.
    • To be fair, the band is amicable with the song, but do not enjoy the culture of Executive Meddling that surrounds it. In fact, Portnoy cited fan complaints about not hearing "Pull Me Under" in concerts as the basis for his song about the band's own overzealous fans, "Never Enough."
  • Creative Differences: One of the reasons Kevin Moore left the band after Awake (the others being his increasing alienation from bandmates and Reclusive Artist behaviour), and the main reason Dominici left after When Dream and Day Unite. (The band did not have major issues with Dominici but felt his vocals did not fit their style particularly well - Portnoy called the result "like having Billy Joel singing in Queensrÿche -, and he amicably left the band after the album was recorded.)
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  • Creator Backlash: By the time Mike Portnoy finished writing the 12-step Suite, he'd become sick of it, and felt burdened by the last few chapters.
  • Creator Breakdown:
    • Many songs came from Mike Portnoy's problems while writing the lyrics.
      • The "Twelve-step Suite" is a series of five songs in twelve parts written by him, which chronicles his experience with alcoholism; also known as the "Alcoholics Anonymous suite". "The Mirror" is also about alcohol, written well before he became sober.
      • "The Best of Times", from Black Clouds & Silver Linings and "A Change of Seasons", from A Change Of Seasons were written about his late father and mother, respectively.
      • "Never Enough", from Octavarium, is a Take That! towards DT's overzealous fans.
      • "Honor Thy Father", from Train of Thought, is a Take That! towards Portnoy's stepfather.
      • The unreleased "Raise the Knife" is about Kevin Moore's departure from the band.
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    • Kevin Moore also contributed "6:00" (about getting sick to work with the band) and "Space-Dye Vest", the latter of which is just depressive in general, both from Awake.
    • John Petrucci wrote "Take Away My Pain", from Falling into Infinity, after his late father.
      • Also, "A Nightmare to Remember", from Black Clouds & Silver Linings, is about a car accident where he was involved as a child.
      • "Wither", also from BC&SL, is about writer's block.
    • James LaBrie also has his share:
      • "Disappear", from Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, was written after he observed a young couple in a mall and wondering about what they would do when one of them dies.
      • "Vacant", from Train of Thought was written about the helplessness he and his wife felt after their daughter suffered a severe seizure.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: James LaBrie has sung several songs in the point of view of female protagonists. Notable examples include Scenes From a Memory note , "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" note  and The Astonishing note .
  • Executive Meddling: The most egregious example was with Falling into Infinity, where the meddling was so severe it almost caused the band to break up. After this point they renegotiated their contract to ensure they would have complete creative control over their future works. An earlier, less severe example is the triggered drum sound on Images and Words, which wasn't the band's idea.
  • Image Source: For Uncommon Time.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Pressings of Live Scenes from New York with its original cover (which was recalled after the 9/11 attack due to its cover depicting a burning New York skyline with the World Trade Center) have become quite rare and can go for as much as $150 on eBay.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Petrucci apparently regarded Octavarium as the band's best effort to date. While some of the album is universally loved by fans, the band's decision to incorporate influence from more mainstream acts like U2 and Muse was divisive; there's a particularly big Broken Base over songs like "The Answer Lies Within" and "I Walk Beside You".
  • Meme Acknowledgement:
    • In a magazine interview, John Petrucci said he thought the Psycho Exercises Gag Dub videos were hilarious. On the extra material of the Chaos in Motion tour DVD, he imitated them.
    • There was also a show in Perth, Australia that had to be moved to a new venue, among other complications, so a fan created an Angry Hitler Gag Sub. Portnoy saw it, thought it was hilarious and had it played before the show.
  • One-Hit Wonder: Only "Pull Me Under" charted high enough to be considered a real hit. The band lampshaded this with the title of their Greatest Hits Album: Greatest Hit (...And 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs).
  • Similarly Named Works: Dream Theater's third album, Awake notably shares its name with albums from Hard Rock bands Godsmack and Skillet.
  • Troubled Production: The band almost broke up during the production of Falling into Infinity in no small part due to label pressures and associated Executive Meddling. It was a result of this that the band insisted on full creative control over their future albums. The band retroactively credited Sherinian for keeping them grounded during the recording process of the album, saying that without him, they may well have broken up. They have also had wildly different stances on how much executive meddling affected the final product; Portnoy said it affected the songwriting and arrangements a lot, while Petrucci said they wrote the album they wanted to write. The release of the demos for the album does suggest Portnoy may have had a point, though; some of the songs (particularly "You or Me" and "Burning My Soul") differ significantly from the final products, and some of the material left on the cutting room floor (particularly "Raise the Knife") was a lot proggier than some of the songs that made it onto the album.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Falling into Infinity was supposed to be a double album, but the record label wanted it to be less proggy and more radio-friendly. Also, a shorter version of the song "Metropolis Part 2", before it was turned into an album, was going to appear in the second disc.
    • Petrucci felt that Metropolis Pt. 2 needed a "heavier and larger" mix and called in Kevin Shirley was to remix it, but due to time constraints, David Bottrill's original mixes of "Regression", "The Dance of Eternity", "One Last Time" and "Finally Free" were left on the album.
    • John Arch (who had been out of Fates Warning for several years at that point) was apparently offered a job after Dominici was fired, though he ultimately opted to not join due to personal commitments.
    • Aside from the drummers who did audition (Marco Minneman, Peter Wildoer, Thomas Lang, Virgil Donati, Aquiles Priester, and Derek Roddy), Bobby Jarzombek and Jason Rullo were apparently also called to audition. Both declined; Roddy was apparently going to as well (as he didn't really care about joining one way or another and was more than content to stick with his snake-breeding business), but he decided to accept the invitation at his wife's insistence.
    • Mike Portnoy had said he wanted a third disc for the Greatest Hits collection called 'The Epic Side', containing all their grand songs, but this never materialized.
      • Regarding Portnoy, he did have plans to play the entire Twelve-Step Suite live at one point, but unfortunately these plans never came to fruition following his departure. He eventually did play the Twelve-Step Suite with various other bands, but not with others from DT.
  • Write What You Know: The Twelve-Step Suite is a textbook example, as it was written about Portnoy's recovery from alcoholism. Actually, quite a few of Portnoy's lyrics qualify; for instance, "Constant Motion" is a metaphor for his experiences with obsessive-compulsive disorder, while "A Change of Seasons" was written about the death of his mother. Some of the other band members' lyrics also qualify.


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