• FAQ home
    • » Office of Strategic Influence (OSI)

Office of Strategic Influence (OSI)

  1. Who was responsible for breaking up the large songs into a number of smaller songs on OSI? faq id: 90
  2. Who chose the cover songs that are on the bonus disc in the special edition version of OSI? faq id: 95
  3. What is being done in OSI that Mike feels wouldn't work in Dream Theater? faq id: 96
  4. Who made the decision not to send out promotional copies of OSI ahead of time? Why? faq id: 100
  5. How was it working with Kevin Moore in OSI after all this time? faq id: 422
  6. Is OSI an actual band, or does Mike consider it to be a Jim Matheos solo project? faq id: 423
  7. How difficult was it for Mike not to be taking the lead in OSI?
    Why didn't Mike take more of an active role in OSI?
    faq id: 424
  8. Why didn't Mike get any writing credit for OSI? faq id: 425
  9. What was the sequence of events that went into making of OSI? faq id: 426
  10. What was the songwriting process for OSI? faq id: 427
  11. Who wrote all the material for OSI ahead of time? faq id: 428
  12. What happened to some of the sections that were removed, that Mike spoke about in the OSI diary? faq id: 429
  13. What songs on OSI primarily had Jim Matheos' influence and which songs were more Kevin Moore's influence? faq id: 430
  14. Is there going to be an OSI tour? faq id: 443
  15. Why was it that Daniel Gildenlow wasn't part of OSI after it had initially been announced that he was? faq id: 444
  16. Why was Sean Malone initially listed as a full-blown member of OSI, but now he is referred to as a 'guest musician'? If there was to be a second OSI album, would Sean be made a full member of the band? faq id: 445
  17. Why didn't Kevin Moore do all the vocals on OSI?
    How was Steve Wilson chosen to do some vocals?
    faq id: 446
  18. There was talk of OSI using some different vocalists throughout the album - who were they and why weren't they used? faq id: 447

Questions and Answers

  1. Who was responsible for breaking up the large songs into a number of smaller songs on OSI? faq id: 90
    Answer: Kevin.

  2. Who chose the cover songs that are on the bonus disc in the special edition version of OSI? faq id: 95
    Answer: Set The Controls was picked while Jim, Kevin and Mike were in the studio doing the drums. Late one night they were just sitting around and decided that they should do a Pink Floyd cover because they all love Pink Floyd. New Mama was all Kevin.

  3. What is being done in OSI that Mike feels wouldn't work in Dream Theater? faq id: 96
    MP: Dream Theater is all about real players playing their instruments - musicianship. The stuff we do with O.S.I. is more soundscapish. Of course, I'm playing drums, but the focus isn't on musicianship; it's on composition and sounds and coming up with real original-sounding soundscapes. At the same time, trying to make something melodic and lyrically interesting, as well. For me, this style would never work in Dream Theater.

  4. Who made the decision not to send out promotional copies of OSI ahead of time? Why? faq id: 100
    Answer: Jim, Kevin and Mike agreed on that, as they didn't want it to be leaked on the Internet before it was released. While it came at the expense of having advanced reviews of the album, they weren't concerned as they knew that there was a set audience that were going to purchase it initially - specially fans of Fates Warning, Chroma Key, Dream Theater, Gordian Knot and Porcupine Tree.

  5. How was it working with Kevin Moore in OSI after all this time? faq id: 422
    MP: It was a little weird at first. It was eight years since we worked together creatively, so there was a slight awkwardness at first. But he and I have a long and strong history together, so that immediately came back and it was a fun experience for me.

  6. Is OSI an actual band, or does Mike consider it to be a Jim Matheos solo project? faq id: 423
    MP: No, it's not a Jim Matheos solo album. It all did stem from Jim's music, which was not truly collaborated on, in the sense that TransAtlantic, Liquid Tension or Dream Theater music is collaborated on. With all three of those bands, I was very much a part of the writing and arranging. With OSI, I don't feel as much a part of it. My role was more just as a drummer, although I made some suggestions in the arrangement department. But ultimately, they were Jim's songs. Kevin got very involved with changing the arrangements and doing a lot of post-production. And Kevin also was very involved with the melodies and the lyrics. So it's a little bit more than a Jim Matheos solo project, but a bit less than a true collaborative side project. So it's somewhere in between.

  7. How difficult was it for Mike not to be taking the lead in OSI?
    Why didn't Mike take more of an active role in OSI?
    faq id: 424

    MP: It was hard. It was different. Put it that way. I have no problem looking at it that way. I ended up being the passenger. It's a nice change of scenery from the back seat of the car. The fact of the matter is once it went in Kevin's direction with samples and loops and those kinds of things, that's his area and his department. I figure it was smarter for me to go along for the ride than to push myself in something that's already going in a direction that doesn't need me to be involved.

  8. Why didn't Mike get any writing credit for OSI? faq id: 425
    Answer: While he had a lot of input into arrangements and editing, he didn't have a part in the actual writing of the material.

  9. What was the sequence of events that went into making of OSI? faq id: 426
    Answer: It was just to be a side project to fill in between Fates Warning albums since the other guys in FW weren't ready to work on a new album yet. Jim had wanted to work with Mike for a while, so when Mike was agreeable to working on a project, Jim spent roughly 7 months to write the material. Originally, it would have been more of a prog metal project (as is evident on The Thing That Never Was), but when Kevin became a part of the project, the direction veered towards more of a Chroma Key direction.

  10. What was the songwriting process for OSI? faq id: 427
    MP: A lot of ideas were already sketched out by Jim and Kevin in Pro Tools, so it was a matter of working with the tapes. Kevin, Jim and I all pitched in with arranging and we recorded the basic tracks together. It was important for the three of us to be in the same room. It wasn't done through the mail. I am so against making albums through the mail. However, Sean and Steve did do their parts after the songs were arranged.

  11. Who wrote all the material for OSI ahead of time? faq id: 428
    Answer: Nine of the ten songs were written by Jim.

  12. What happened to some of the sections that were removed, that Mike spoke about in the OSI diary? faq id: 429
    Answer: Jim took out a few sections that he wanted to use for the next Fates Warning album, so he didn't want to leave them in as part of a repeating theme.

  13. What songs on OSI primarily had Jim Matheos' influence and which songs were more Kevin Moore's influence? faq id: 430
    MP: Jim's stuff, particularly, ended up sounding heavy and progressive like The New Math and OSI and shutDOWN. Those are ones Jim brought in and weren't tinkered with much. Hello, Hellicopter! and other songs were more Kevin-driven and ones he tinkered with. Lots of the instrumental stuff Kevin kind of backed off on. The songs with vocals are more in Kevin's direction.

  14. Is there going to be an OSI tour? faq id: 443
    MP: As of now, no, as I am busy working with Dream Theater again. So OSI is only a one-off project at the moment. We'll see if anything else develops in the future.

  15. Why was it that Daniel Gildenlow wasn't part of OSI after it had initially been announced that he was? faq id: 444
    MP: Basically it came down to Jim's taste. It's Jim's music and ultimately it was his project, at least at the inception stage. I think Jim's musical taste have gone away from that progressive, operatic vocalist kind of direction. Jim's way more into music like Marillion and Porcupine Tree, and vocalists like Steve Wilson or Steve Hogarth, or the Chroma Key direction. I was really pushing for Daniel, and Jim gave me the benefit of the doubt to incorporate him in the project and see if it would work. But I think once he heard Daniel's demos and ideas, it wasn't the direction that he wanted to go in. He didn't want to go in that kind of overly operatic kind of progressive direction.

  16. Why was Sean Malone initially listed as a full-blown member of OSI, but now he is referred to as a 'guest musician'? If there was to be a second OSI album, would Sean be made a full member of the band? faq id: 445
    MP: I guess what it boiled down to was his schedule. He wasn't able to participate in the basic tracks session, which was really the biggest part of the writing and the structuring of the songs. So I guess Jim or Kev made the decision that the three of us should be the perceived as the 'core' of the band. And even though Sean's playing on every song, his tracks were done afterwards. So I guess maybe that's why he's looked at in that respect. If we were to do another one, sure. With the recording of OSI, I was trying to instigate everyone to be there. I'm a big fan of the collaboration process. I hate all those side projects that are done through the mail. I'm completely against that way of doing things. It took some arm twisting to convince Jim and Kev of that, because I think Kev would have been happy to do his thing on his own. But I was real pushy in trying to get us together. To me that's what the beauty of the side project is, the actual personal collaboration. So if we were to do it in the future, I would do my best to convince Sean to be there, as well as any other vocalists that would be involved.

  17. Why didn't Kevin Moore do all the vocals on OSI?
    How was Steve Wilson chosen to do some vocals?
    faq id: 446

    MP: For starters, a different voice which was something we wanted to see for the project. Originally, Daniel Gildenlow from Pain of Salvation was considered. Steven was another obvious choice. Once it became apparent that Kevin would do all the vocals, it was important to me that it didn't come off as a Chroma Key album. So it was important to come in with a couple guest vocalists. Steven's also an asset because he's a pioneer of his genre. I think Porcupine Tree kind of falls into a similar category as OSI - psychedelic soundscapes. He's definitely a good asset to have on board with the project.

  18. There was talk of OSI using some different vocalists throughout the album - who were they and why weren't they used? faq id: 447
    Answer: Jim and Mike debated for some time on who should do vocals. Among the vocalists that were considered were Daniel Gildenlow, Steve Walsh, Steve Hogarth, Steve Wilson and John Arch. The whole idea of using different singers didnĂ­t get very far since there was concern about the album being too chopped up with too many different styles on it. Jim eventually decided that while he would have found it fun to have all these appearances on *his* project, it probably wasn't going to make it as enjoyable for the listeners, and so they went with Kevin as vocalist and one appearance by Steve Wilson.