DREAM THEATER Book Author Discusses JAMES LABRIE's Near-Dismissal From Band

Sweden's Metalshrine recently conducted an interview with author Rich Wilson about his recently released DREAM THEATER book "Lifting Shadows - The Authorised Story Of Dream Theater". A few excerpts from the chat follow:

Metalshrine: Can you tell us a little about who you are and why you decided to write a book about DREAM THEATER?

Wilson: "I'm a freelance rock writer, living in England. I've written for a number of magazines, including Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Record Collector. I guess the reason why I wanted to write the book was because I have been a fan of theirs for years (since their first album) and I thought there was a story to tell. Also for me to write a book it would have to be a about a band that I loved otherwise it wouldn't be much fun! So DREAM THEATER were the obvious choice."

Metalshrine: You must have spent quite some time interviewing the bandmembers. Can you tell us something about each member that maybe the standard fan doesn´t know?

Wilson: "The thing that comes across about them all is that they're all great guys. Believe me, that is a rarity in this business! I guess Mike [Portnoy; drums] is the obsessive fan, who just loves everything about being in a band, collects everything he can. John [Petrucci; guitar] is another perfectionist but this is usually in terms of his gear and how it is set up. John Myung [bass] has a very firm handshake that could crush bones! Jordan [Rudess; keyboards] just loves to play music and is a very funny guy. And James [LaBrie; vocals] used to fight people!"

Metalshrine: One of the "scoops" of the book was the fact that singer James LaBrie almost was fired from the band a few years ago. Since this wasn't common knowledge, was he comfortable talking about it?

Wilson: "Yes, he was. Admittedly I had spoken to Mike and John Petrucci about it first, so when it came to speaking with James, it made it easier for him to talk about it. But I am sure it was hard for him to remember that period of his life, much like it was hard for Mike to recall events in his past — such as his drink and drug problems and the death of his mother. I also think that period when James was under threat was the last great internal 'battle' and things have — on the surface at least — settled down."

Metalshrine: According to recent interviews the vibe in the band seems pretty good at the moment and they don't show any sign of stopping anytime soon. Is that your impression as well after conducting these interviews? What's your prediction of DT's future based on your interviews?

Wilson: "I hope so, and I would agree that the vibe in the band is good. It is, of course, hard to really know what is going on inside a band, as even though I spent hours talking to them, I never really became part of the band's inner circle. So who knows? These things all tend to come out later, but certainly I know Mike thinks that the vibe in the band is the best it has ever been. As for the future, it will be very interesting. For the first time in a long time, they are attracting younger fans to gigs, who I guess all must love the 'Systematic Chaos' album. It will be fascinating to see if these fans stick around, and if the band continue in the same musical vein to ensure that they do."

Read the entire interview at Metalshrine.

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