Thread: Mike Portnoy
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Old 01-19-2006, 11:06 AM
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finnhiggins finnhiggins is offline
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Default Re: Mike Portnoy

Originally Posted by Stu_Strib
Well finn, considering the odd meter of both of those tunes, there really isn't much room for too much creativity, and still having it sound like rock music. Prog is prog.
Are you kidding? There's no fewer ways of playing rock in 7/8 (the case for most of the stuff here) than in 4/4. Not only that, even if there was then there's a limitation on how you can phrase there's still no excuse for basically playing the same parts. Which is happening in all of these examples. When Tom Morello swiped a bit of "Walk This Way" on the first Audioslave album I seriously doubt that anybody would say "Oh, he's limited by the fact that he's playing in 4/4 so he had to make a riff using the same notes in a very similar order and rhythm". They said "Hey, that's Walk This Way!".

EDIT: Also, most of those aren't actually in the same time sig as the original, or if they are it's 4/4. "The test that stumped them all" is in 7+7+6 while the Pantera track is in 4/4, both the bass riffs are 4/4, and the other 46&2 crib is in 4/4 as well. No excuse there!

The difference between DT and Pantera (I like Pantera better, btw), is that DT actually thinks of the stuff and writes it out in musical form and structure. Pantera just takes a hit off the old bong and says, yeah, that sounds really good, let's do that. I'm not saying that makes DT better, I'm just saying, it makes them less likely to be the one's ripping off anyone else.
Or it would, if every album I've listened to so far didn't have a lot of very obvious cribs from albums that members of DT regularly reference as influences. Portnoy has referenced Pantera and Tool as influences in a number of interviews, and talked about them in some depth. I doubt he's unfamiliar with the songs in question here, given that they're two albums that are considered by many to be the creative apex of each of the given bands...

Also the indian sounding riffs (or whatever it is) are fairly stereo-typical sounding eastern music. It is just a coincidence that they sound similar. Our western ears hear that kind of music and it "all just kinda sounds the same".
No way. That's not an "indian sounding" riff, that's a Tool-sounding riff. If you can find me an Indian song that sounds like that I'll be very surprised, I listen to quite a lot of Indian and Middle Eastern music and am usually pretty capable of telling a riff in a given genre apart from another one. Not only that, both riffs are played on the same instrument (bass) in a similar neck position (up near the 12th fret) and are used for the same purpose in the song (intro).

As for the coincidence idea.. I'd maybe buy that, if these kind of things didn't keep turning up. For crying out loud, there's two cribs from the same song (46&2) off one of Mike Portnoy's favourite albums (Aenima). I don't think Portnoy would hear those bits and not think of Tool, given that he clearly loves the album (read some interviews), the DT stuff came out subsequent to that album and they sound nearly exactly alike. If somebody in my band played a riff like that I'd say "That's a Tool rip-off!". You think I know that album better than Mike does?

That's not saying that Tool are fantastically original and DT are clearly slavish imitations. I can show you a similar example of Tool ripping off Rush (intro to Lateralus = swung version of bridge from Test For Echo on guitar) but they do it considerably less regularly and in a much less obvious manner. They don't, for example, grab whole sections of songs, change a couple of notes and then use them for the same function in their own song.

The worst DT offender yet is that one from "The Great Debate" which not only borrows phrasing but also vocal inflections (I can virtually hear Maynard James Keenan singing "Life-to-save-life" like that, and it's not a very typical vocal approach for James LaBrie) and even structure - they use a riff under the vocals in a similar way, then punch it out staccato into a stop. The whole song is very Tool-influenced, but that bit is just directly lifted.

Now the most important part. Even if DT DID rip it off, the DT interpretations are much more lavish and interesting sounding, while the Tool part is more commercial and radio-friendly sounding.
We'll have to disagree on this point. I think the DT versions sound like cheesy prog nonsense while the originals are actually quite good. But which you like better is a bit beside the point, they're clearly grabbing whole chunks of stuff. If they want to play covers, why don't they play covers?

I don't get your point about Tool having such great chart success and DT doesn' what?
That was just in response to the suggestion that DT are "Bringing music like that to the masses". It's arguable that DT bring a lot less of that kind of music to the masses given that Tool's last album entered at #1 in the charts and DT's was what... #42 or something?

No other argument. It just seemed like a silly idea. "Oh yeah, that #42 album was totally bringing one of the better known songs from that other multi-platinum album to the masses, and stuff".

Last edited by finnhiggins; 01-19-2006 at 11:16 AM.
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