- What movies/albums were an inspiration for Dream Theater while making Scenes From a Memory? faq id: 66
MP: Movies – Dead Again, The Shining, Angel Heart
Albums - Pink Floyd – The Wall, The Who - Tommy & Quadrophenia, Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime, Marillion – Misplaced Childhood & Brave, Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Kevin Gilbert - The Shaming Of The True, King Diamond - Abigail & Them, Frank Zappa - Joe's Garage
- Will there be a movie for Scenes From a Memory? Has Mike considered doing one? faq id: 68
Mike has in fact directed the video/DVD of Scenes From a Memory which is close as there will ever be to a “movie” for Scenes From a Memory (it contains alot of footage telling the story of Scenes From a Memory intercut with footage of the band performing its final live performance on August 30th 2000 in New York City).
- Was the character of Victoria Page in Scenes From a Memory inspired by the movie “The Red Shoes”? faq id: 69
MP: No, did not know that. Did you notice the young kid in a coma in “The Cell”'s name is Edward Baynes? (and that came out after Scenes From a Memory!)
- What is Mike’s opinion of David Bottrill (engineer for the original mixes on Scenes From a Memory)? faq id: 70
MP: I loved David's work with Tool, King Crimson, Peter Gabriel and I Mother Earth...(those credentials are what sold me on the guy)
- What happened to David Bottrill’s mixes for Scenes From a Memory? Did they sound bad? Will they ever be released? faq id: 71
MP: They're not “bad” at all!! In fact, I REALLY liked em! Not everybody in Dream Theater did however. Someday, they'll see the light of day.
- Can Mike give a brief summary of the story to Scenes From a Memory? faq id: 308
MP: It's a story about a person in the modern day, 1999, who keeps having flashbacks or dreams of this other world, this other life, and he goes to a hypnotherapist and gets regressed. He finds out that he is in fact the reincarnated soul of this girl that lived in the 1920s. And as the album goes on, he investigates this girl's life and finds out that she was murdered at a young age, and she was caught up in this love triangle with two brothers. And that's where Metropolis pt.1 gets tied in with The Miracle and The Sleeper. Basically, it's a kind of murder mystery thing, where he's investigating the murders, and throughout the entire album, you're led down one path toward solving the mystery, but at the end it sort of twists into some different places, and you can find some clues at the end of the album that lead you to believe something else. It's very involved, and it's constantly shifting back and forth in time. It's like Pulp Fiction, where you're jumping back and forth between the past and the present, and it's totally non-linearly, so you never know exactly where you are. It's absolutely mandatory that you have the lyric sheet in front of you to understand who is speaking, and what time frame they're speaking from.
- When Dream Theater performed the entire Scenes From a Memory album on the M2000 tour, why didn't they open with Metropolis pt.1? faq id: 309
MP: When we wrote Overture 1928, we consciously began it's first chord the same as the last chord of Metropolis, which is a "D" - we intentionally did that so that we could connect them if we wanted in the future. But then the problem was we ended up deciding to open the album with Regression and the sound effects and everything like that. It became impossible to do Metropolis pt.1 and Scenes From a Memory in it's entirety back to back because Regression kind of interrupted that. So I made the conscious decision that whenever we were going to do Scenes from start to finish to open with the hypnotherapist and the clock and Regression, and unfortunately not be able to do Metropolis pt.1 because it would have kind of been anti-climatic to play Metropolis, then bring the entire thing down to do Regression, then go back up. So it was kind of a stumbling block to being able to connect the two.
- How did the cover for Scenes From a Memory come about? Did Dream Theater use Dave McKean based on his doing the cover art for Keep It To Yourself (Mullmuzzler)? faq id: 310
MP: What happened was, we had another artist do the album cover and I just did not like what was delivered - the guy just did not take any of the ideas or the concepts that we had put forward. After being unhappy with the initial cover, we were given a portfolio of different artists that were available and we came across some of Dave's stuff in there and there was this one image of this old man's face made up of a million different old fashioned photos, which I thought was perfect. So I went back to the label and said "let's see if we can commission this photo" and they went back to Dave, and it turns out that it had already been licensed for the Sandman comic book series, but Dave said he was more than willing to create a new piece of art based around the same idea and that's what happened. Within a few days, he had come up with the new artwork which became the album cover. The funny thing is, I didn't even know Dave did the Keep It To Yourself cover until afterwards. In fact, I showed the album cover to James after it was done and he didn't know that Dave was doing it, and he said "wait a minute! This is the same guy that did the Mullmuzzler cover!" and I was like "you're kidding me - I had no idea!"
- Is artwork from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Thir13en Ghosts ripping off the cover artwork to Scenes From a Memory? faq id: 311
Answer: No it isn't. As it is, the artwork for Scenes From a Memory is based on a design used on a cover for one of the Sandman comic books, and Dave McKean (the artist of the Sandman cover) was willing to do a new version for Dream Theater, following the concept closer to the storyline. In the same way, he used that same concept for BtVS. As to whether Dave also did the artwork for Thir13en Ghosts or not is unknown. However, even it wasn't done by him, whoever did do it would have been ripping off Dave, and not Dream Theater.
- Is the track Metropolis pt.2 that's circulating on the Internet really the original song that Dream Theater wrote in 1996 and later worked from to create Scenes From a Memory? If so, how does Mike feel about it getting out into the public? faq id: 346
MP: That is indeed *IT*!!! (well, only about half of it...as the first 10 minutes or so are missing....from the 0:30 second mark it cuts ahead about 10 minutes...skipping the entire section which became Overture 1928 as well as a few other bits...) As you can hear, there are still intact the parts that ended up becoming the end of Dance of Eternity as well as almost all of One Last Time...
And I'm not mad....although, I didn't want this to ever get released because it is live, under-rehearsed, loose as hell and incomplete (no vocals), if it's out, it's out...there's really nothing I can do about it...so I'm not gonna cry over spilt milk... However, let it be known that *I* still will never release the complete version...as that will then be perceived as it being released with the band's "seal of approval"...which it never will be as it is not good enough to meet our release's standards for all of the above reasons...
- Is Mike being a hypocrite if he condones bootleg collecting and trading, but doesn't want the Metropolis pt.2 "demo" being spread? faq id: 347
MP: Metropolis pt.2 is not from a concert or a demo or anything else that was ever played or presented to the public (and therefore in the understandable danger of being bootlegged). One of my biggest problems is the misconception of this recording - it is NOT a "demo" (in which case I probably wouldn't care). This is an extremely rough, incomplete, unrehearsed, instrumental rehearsal tape, that was never intended to be heard outside of the band. This is something that was clearly leaked (or stolen as far as I'm concerned) from my personal and private archives by somebody whom I haven't been able to put my finger on, but whom I clearly cannot trust.
I was tolerant about Metropolis pt.2 appearing to begin with on the net at all (as it was too late to do anything about it), but I surely do **NOT** condone the further spread of it!
- How much material has ended up on the cutting room floor during the sessions for Scenes From a Memory? faq id: 348
MP: Well, one example would be Through Her Eyes, for which we wrote two different versions. We didn't know if that long version would ever see the light of day, and then we ended up using it for the outro credits on the Scenes From New York DVD.
- How did the idea to do a concept album come up? Why base it on the Metropolis story line? faq id: 349
MP: During the second Liquid Tension album, we were in the studio and John and I had a lengthy discussion about where we wanted to take the record. We had the embryo for Metropolis pt.2 written in '96, and all the fans wanted to hear that. We knew that we wanted to expand Metropolis pt.2 into a full album and we'd always wanted to do a concept album, so we figured why not combine both ideas and do both?
- How did Dream Theater go about writing the lyrics to Scenes From a Memory since it's a concept album and being that more than just one person wrote them? faq id: 350
MP: Once we had the music done, we sat down with each song and mapped out the melodies and developed a story line. We broke it down to chapters, everyone was assigned their chapters. Then we took a break to write and later reconvened to apply the lyrics and have James do the vocals. There was a lot of talking involved to make sure we didn't overlap lyrically. In the past we'd just go off and write whatever we wanted, but this time we had to be very unified and focused. In the beginning we questioned how we could write a concept album with more than one lyricist, because in the past it was always Roger Waters, Pete Townshend, whoever. There had to be a lot of discussion to keep us all on the same page.