JORDAN RUDESS Says ‘It Looks Very Good’ That LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT Will Regroup

DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess says that “it looks very good” that LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT will regroup in the not-too-distant future.

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT is the instrumental progressive rock/metal project featuring Rudess and fellow DREAM THEATER member John Petrucci (guitar), alongside ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy and progressive rock icon Tony Levin (bass) of KING CRIMSON and PETER GABRIEL fame. The band has not performed live since 2008, when it embarked on a brief tour commemorating the tenth anniversary of its self-titled debut.

Rudess addressed the prospect of a LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT reunion while filming a video message on Cameo, which lets users hire celebrities to record brief, personalized video messages about virtually any topic.

Asked if he thinks LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT will ever get back together, Jordan said (see video below): “Well, the answer is we are looking at our schedules, we are organizing a time. With the [coronavirus] pandemic, it’s been a little difficult to coordinate personal kind of gatherings, but it looks very good, my friend.”

In February 2019, Portnoy and Rudess reunited on stage during the Cruise To The Edge to perform “Instrumedley” from DREAM THEATER / LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT. They were joined by NEAL MORSE BAND guitarist Eric Gillette and HAKEN bassist Conner Green.

Back in April 2015, Portnoy and Rudess both joined the British progressive metal band HAKEN on stage in New York City. Three months earlier, they were photographed having what appeared to be friendly banter at the 2015 NAMM show in Anaheim, California.

More than two years ago, Portnoy posted a photo of him hanging out with Petrucci in a move that clearly represented a thawing of tensions between the two musicians who had been friends for more than three decades.

In February 2019, Rudess discussed his Cruise To The Edge encounter with Portnoy during an appearance on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation”, which is hosted by Eddie Trunk. The keyboardist said: “I think it’s really nice. People whose music you love, you wanna see them getting along. So, even from my perspective, I see John and Mike together, and I’m, like, yeah, that makes sense. They were so close. They made so much music together.”

He continued: “I told Mike the other night. I said, ‘The way I look at our relationship is that we’ve toured around the world together numerous times, we’ve written all this music together, we’ve been on tour buses everywhere. How many people in this lifetime that we’re in can you be that close to and have that many experiences with?”

Although Portnoy and his former bandmates in DREAM THEATER engaged in a public war of words following his exit from the group, Rudess said that he harbors no resentment toward his longtime friend.

“When Portnoy left the band, there was tension — natural tension — because it was a big deal,” Jordan told “Trunk Nation”. “But what’s really important to me is finding that… especially somebody who I care about, who I had so much life experience with. And he’s a really great guy. There are so many wonderful things about him. So I wanna enjoy that.

“People will say, ‘Oh my God! DREAM THEATER is gonna have Portnoy back in the band.’ That’s not what it’s about,” Rudess added. “This is about people and people who spent a lot of time together being able to be close together and be friends.”

Rudess acknowledged that some of his other DREAM THEATER bandmates have “their own feelings” about maintaining a connection with their former drummer. “But Mike and I enjoyed hanging out and chatting about old times and all the stuff,” he said. “So it was really cool.”

In November 2017, Mike told Loud that he left DREAM THEATER because he wanted to expand his musical horizons. “[I didn’t] want to go to my grave and just be the drummer from DREAM THEATER,” he said. “I knew there was way more to what I had to offer.”

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ASKING ALEXANDRIA’s BEN BRUCE: ‘We Have To End Racism’

ASKING ALEXANDRIA guitarist Ben Bruce has spoken out about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and ensuing protests across the country.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on Monday (May 25) as Minneapolis police arrested him outside a convenience store on a report of a counterfeit bill being passed. The 46-year-old was seen on a bystander’s video gasping for breath during an arrest in which an officer knelt on his neck for almost eight minutes. In the footage, Floyd is heard pleading with officers, “I cannot breathe… Don’t kill me,” while the officers ignore his pleas. He eventually stops talking and moving. Video of the killing sparked riots and outrage across the country.

Earlier today, Bruce took to his Twitter to write: “I haven’t said anything about what’s going on in the states at the moment in regards to the riots etc…not due to a lack of caring….more so because the inexcusable, disgusting, racist behavior and actions that have plagued the nation have simply left me at a loss for words.”

The 31-year-old British-born musician, who currently resides in Arizona, continued: “People say to me ‘you’re not American so it doesn’t concern you’ but the fact is it’s not just an American problem….it’s a HUMAN problem.

“We need to treat each other with love, respect and compassion. We are all equals. We all love, hurt, feel, breath the same…

“I just can’t understand how racism is still such a huge problem….

“It’s not enough at this point to just not be racist….we have to beat this. We have to end racism.

“It’s a sad time in history….but it’s a necessary time in history…. Maybe 2020 can be the year that they teach future generations about as the year that racism was beaten.

“We are all in this together.”

As cable news networks carried images of fires and destructive protests in Minneapolis, President Donald Trump called the protesters “THUGS” and tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” He later sought to clarify what he meant, saying “the looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters.”

He tweeted: “looting leads to shooting and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night – or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot.”

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EVANESCENCE’s AMY LEE Blasts DONALD TRUMP Over Response To Death Of GEORGE FLOYD: ‘I Am Angry, Horrified’ And ‘Ashamed’

EVANESCENCE singer Amy Lee says that she is ” angry, horrified” and “ashamed” over the alleged murder of a black man in police custody as well as President Donald Trump‘s response to the subsequent protests and riots.

George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on Monday (May 25) as Minneapolis police arrested him outside a convenience store on a report of a counterfeit bill being passed. The 46-year-old was seen on a bystander’s video gasping for breath during an arrest in which an officer knelt on his neck for almost eight minutes. In the footage, Floyd is heard pleading with officers, “I cannot breathe… Don’t kill me,” while the officers ignore his pleas. He eventually stops talking and moving.

On Thursday night, protesters filled the streets outside a Minneapolis police station and set fire to it. Trump tweeted that the protesters were “THUGS,” and wrote: “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Twitter put a warning on the tweet, saying it violated it rules by “glorifying violence.”

Earlier today, Lee took to her social media to share the following message: “I am angry, horrified, ashamed and have been trying to put my thoughts into words all day.

“Evil abuses of power and murder in the streets… A president who calls a press conference in the middle of a nationwide outcry, only to try and change the subject and not even MENTION the murder of George Floyd and the immeasurable injustices that came before it, on top of his threatening, racist tweet.

“My blood boils…

“This is what I want to say: Your voices are not unheard. We are grieving with you and this is not ok.”

This past February, Lee opened up about her political views for the first time, explaining that she couldn’t “stand by” and keep her mouth shut while her “country’s freedom is taken away.” He decision to speak out was apparently prompted by the GOP-controlled Senate’s vote to acquit Trump on both articles of impeachment without calling witnesses.

She wrote at the time: “I do not accept lying, cheating or bullying from my government… Accepting this abuse says it’s okay for our leaders to lie to us, cheat on us, make decisions without our input, and silence us when we try to speak up. This isn’t about your policies or beliefs, it’s about our freedom.”

Lee added: “I will never bow down to a dictator.”

EVANESCENCE‘s long-awaited new album, “The Bitter Truth”, will arrive later this year. The disc’s first single, “Wasted On You”, came out last month and is the first in a series of songs that the band will make available from “The Bitter Truth” incrementally, culminating in the release of the full album.

I am angry, horrified, ashamed and have been trying to put my thoughts into words all day. Evil abuses of power and…

Posted by Amy Lee on Friday, May 29, 2020

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BILLY SHEEHAN Says MR. BIG’s Record Label ‘Ruined’ ‘Defying Gravity’ Album: ‘We Got Screwed’

In a brand new interview with the “Music Mania” podcast, MR. BIG bassist Billy Sheehan was asked how he looks back on the band’s latest album, “Defying Gravity”, which came out nearly three years ago and marked late drummer Pat Torpey‘s final recorded appearance with the group. He responded (hear audio below): “We fell into a trap again with the label [Frontiers Music Srl], [where they] had to have the record by a certain day. And that has ruined so many records. If the label would just realize, ‘The record isn’t ready to go yet. You’ve gotta give us more time.’ Instead, they insist on having it and putting it out when it’s not ready. ‘Cause we had a problem with mastering. We took it to a mastering place. I was there for the final mixes, and they were killer. The mastering came back, [and I thought], ‘What in the world happened?’ It was unlistenable. And so they tried to do a second mastering, and that didn’t quite work, but then they had to ship it off.

“The label ruined the record, because they insisted on having it,” he continued. “If we had another day to get it to proper mastering and get it done right, it would have been fine. ‘Cause I was there for the final mixes — I went in there every day and listened to mixes. Pat was there with us too. We went through the mixes, and they were sounding great. And, unfortunately, we got screwed.

“I’ve seen it before in many other situations with many other bands,” he added. “We’ve got the marketing department and they’re ready to go and they’ve gotta have the record now. And then I’ve also seen other bands just say, ‘No. The record is not done. You’re out of luck.’ And I wish we would have just said that, because I just don’t think the record had the kind of life it had when I heard the final mixes.

“I thought there were some great songs on the record,” Billy said. “I thought ‘Be Kind’ was a great piece of music. I thought that could be kind of a hit anywhere — really, really great. And there was some good stuff on there. Some stuff I didn’t really… I thought the title track, ‘Defying Gravity’, didn’t do much for me. I wouldn’t have picked that as the title track. That little oddball time signature thing didn’t work for me as a regular straight-up rock song. So it’s certainly not my favorite MR. BIG record, but I think if we wouldn’t have gotten screwed on the mastering, it would have been a lot better. We had to defend it — a couple of people were commenting right away, ‘Oh, man. This record sounds horrible.’ And what am I gonna do? Agree with them? I’ve gotta defend it and stick up for the record, but in our hearts, we knew — I knew it didn’t sound like the final mixes I had. So the producer, Kevin [Elson], was heartbroken, because we couldn’t get the label to give us more time to get it mastered properly. So there went that record.”

Sheehan also once again addressed the possibility of MR. BIG carrying on following the passing of Torpey. The drummer died in February 2018 at the age of 64 from complications of Parkinson’s disease.

“I don’t know,” Sheehan said when asked if there is a chance of MR. BIG embarking on a “proper” farewell tour. “There’s no reason why myself, Paul [Gilbert, guitar] and Eric [Martin, vocals] couldn’t go out — get a drummer and go out again, or just go out on our own. But I don’t know what Paul thinks and I don’t know what Eric thinks about it. I’m open to going out and taking care of the fans as best as we can, because they really put their hearts and souls into this band and we’d love to go see them again.”

In a recent interview with “Music Mania”, Martin was also critical of “Defying Gravity”, saying that he didn’t enjoy “the pressure and [being] thrown against the wall to hurry up and do this… We only had, like, six to 10 days to write, record and mix it, because of some… I don’t know why. Maybe some of the guys had some tours that they had to go on, or the producer had some other projects… I just felt a little pressured.”

“Defying Gravity” was released in July 2017 via Frontiers Music Srl.

After announcing his Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2014, Torpey continued to write, record and perform with MR. BIG, who also recruited Matt Starr to share drum duties.

MR. BIG, formed in 1988, produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres — be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock. Their hits include “Alive And Kicking”, “Just Take My Heart” and the chart-topping ballad “To Be With You”.

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