Vocalist James LaBrie of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER was interviewed on the September 30 edition of Tony Webster‘s “The Metal Command” radio show (Facebook page). The chat can now be streamed using the audio player below.
When asked about what has kept DREAM THEATER together as a band for more than a quarter century, LaBrie replied, “There’s five different personalities, or however many members you have in a band; there’s no two people that are alike, especially being in a creative environment. And you’re not gonna agree on everything. So it’s a matter of compromising, it’s a matter of understanding, it’s a matter of realizing and appreciating that you’re all trying to put forth the best possible music or material that you can. So I think first and foremost it’s been the music that’s really kept us together because we’ve all been extremely proud of it and passionate [about it].
“The legacy of DREAM THEATER is much bigger than the parts, and I think because of that, that’s what’s kept us going — realizing that we might not agree on everything and we might have our moments of disagreement and displeasure at points, and that’s like any relationship, especially being in a band, and being in a very highly intense situation at any given time, whether you are in a studio creating music and recording music or you are out [performing] live in front of thousands of people. . . So I thinik it’s been, for the most part, us really appreciating one another for who and what we are and realizing that we’re not gonna agree on everything and we’re trying to maintain the goal and the direction as best we can where we all feel comfortable with it.
“I think we’ve been able to maintain, so to speak, as much as we can, a democracy, where we all feel that we’re connected. I think we started to lose a sense of that over time, where everything became, more or less, coming from one outlet. And I think when it becomes like that, where you’re giving too much responsibility to one person, as good as that might be for that person, and all the power to them, you lose sense of a unit — it’s not longer united and it’s no longer connected with some of the parts. And I think that’s detrimental, eventually. And I think we did see some of that happening and I think a lot of those points lead to what became our reality whereas now we feel that everything is very positive, everything is very connected. We’ve made a point of making sure that our world as DREAM THEATER exists under transparency — everything is very transparent — and we’re all in on decisions and we all have our various responsibilities within the band now so that we can make sure that it stays productive and it stays strong and we never lose focus of who and what we are as a band and what we’re trying to attain musically as a band.”