Thread: Mike Portnoy
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Old 01-19-2006, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Mike Portnoy

Originally Posted by tymile
and, as stu strib said earlier, the fact that tool came out so much later than drea, theater (and three to four years is a lot of time) can so act as proof that dream theater did not copy them. when an already big band hears this up and coming band's brand new debut cd, rarely will they go try and copy it.
It happens, regularly. I cited several examples in my reply to Stu. It is less common with bands like, say, The White Stripes. Mostly because they form because they want to play a certain style of music, and they're not that open to change. However in jazz and progressive genres it's extremely common. Yes changed their style in the 80s to align more with current musical trends started by other bands. So did King Crimson. This is also true of most of the virtuoso shred guitarists that I'm sure Petrucci is a fan of, too. And Frank Zappa, who Portnoy is a big fan of.

what do you think, mike portnoy and john petrucci were sitting around one day, listening to the brand new tool album, and mike goes, "hey! these tool kids are pretty good. lets blatantly copy them because we only have an unsurpassed amount of talent and have come up with plenty of completely original material ourselves. hell, we have another decade at least worth of original material, and we can outplay most bands around. so, we MUST COPY TOOL."
No, I think they were jamming in a practice room one day, maybe they had a little riff on 46&2 and some interesting melodies developed over the top of it. They had a chat about it and decided that they didn't have a problem with the similarity. Or that they were looking for a chorus for a song and somebody said "Hey, what we need here is a staccato feel like on By Demons Be Driven" and they busted one out quickly, liked it and wrote it down. Maybe later they noticed how remarkably similar that section was, but I reckon they either consider it a homage or just liked it enough to make the borrowing justified.

I've been in bands that have done this with things. It's not neccesarily a bad thing, indeed it can actually be pretty awesome if you do it with something from outside your genre. There's a bit of Fredrik Thordendal's "Sol Niger Within" where one of the riffs is a dead ringer rhythmically for the head melody of "Ravayah" by John Zorn. Not a rhythm I've heard anywhere else, personally, and there's other parts of the Thordendal album that appear quite Zorn influenced. Could be accidental, but it's cool even if it's deliberate because one song is an avant-garde klezmer/jazz piece and the other is progressive death metal. Mixing and quoting is perfectly acceptable, if done well.

I just don't like the way that DT borrow pieces from bands in a similar genre and use them with similar inflections, on the same instruments, in similar places in their songs. That just strikes me as a bridge too far. There's paying homage, there's putting your own spin on things and then there's the kind of stuff that DT do all over the place.

But to deny that they're borrowing sections of music at all? Come off it mate. Everybody does it. Particularly muso people who play a lot of solos - it's called "quoting". The difference is, most people try to modify things enough that it's not immediately obvious if you're familiar with the source. It took me a while to peg the swiped riff from Test For Echo by Rush in the intro to Lateralus by Tool for a couple of reasons:

1) Swung rather than straight.
2) The tone is different
3) The tempo is a bit different.
4) The purpose in the song is very different (intro, rather than bridge).

That's still a pretty blatent bit of borrowing, but DT don't seem to want to obfuscate even that far.

sorry, thats not the way it works. from the sounds of it, tool takes an amazing amount of inluence and idea from dream theater.
Now that I doubt.

Ok fact time.

Fact: If you read interviews, Portnoy has repeatedly cited Tool as an influence. Ditto Pantera.

Fact: If you read interviews, not one member of Tool even describes a passing enjoyment of Dream Theater. In fact, there's numerous references out of Adam Jones to hating technical guitar virtuosos, which would suggest that he's not much of a fan. Danny Carey has listed a bunch of contemporary drummers of whom he's a fan, including guys like Sim Cain and Fish (of Fishbone fame). Portnoy isn't on the list.

Fact: After Tool released Aenima, Dream Theater released two songs which use near identical sounding sections from 46&2 (see MP3) below. I have heard no other songs written prior to the Tool song which have anything like as close a resemblance.

Fact: Most other technical bands do not see the same "Accidental" occurrance of similar phrases from other bands in the same genre. See: Fredrik Thordendal. His stuff sounds like him. Ditto Opeth. Ditto Death. Ditto Strapping Young Lad. Dream Theater's stuff sounds like other people, regularly. For crying out loud, there's a song on "Six degrees" which is a dead ringer for a very well-known Peter Gabriel song. I'll give you five points if you can name both songs.

If you can't see a pattern here then I'd suggest it's because you're blinded by admiration rather than because of the absence of one.
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