OK, we're getting pretty deep here, aren't we?", James laughs, almost self-consciously, summing up that, it's basically that through this love triangle, we are getting into the concept that most of the time, murder is either caused by money or love. I don't want to go much further into the details of the story because I want to leave it up to people to figure out the plot for themselves. But that's the basic premise."
And the moral of the story would be? I think we're putting forth the concept that we have lived before and that we will live again. It is an eternity. The soul is transcendent and moves on to a higher plane, and that we learn from our past lives and we do it over again until we get it right. It's a positive message. Even though the story has a plot, there's also this overshadowing message that we do go on. The soul does live forever." Does the current soul suffer from the previous soul's transgressions? I guess you could say that, yes," supposes James. We definitely are a reflection of our past lives. We are what we are today because of what we were yesterday."
Asked for a highlight of the record, James offers the following. 'Spirit Carries On' I think is very beautiful because of its message, that the soul really does move on. I think it's directed at the disbeliever who thinks that we just go for the big dirt nap when we're dead. It's really disputing that notion; it's saying that the spirit is just too precious. The consciousness that we have, there's a reason for it. I don't believe it's something that just lasts 80 years or however long you live, and then the light goes out. I don't believe that. I think for that reason, I'm very partial to that piece, just because I find it very positive."
Musically, Scenes From A Memory is as bombastic and quick-stepping as the storyline. It is a record for the fans. So much so, that one has to ask, was it directed with that in mind? You can't help but be influenced by what you have become to be known as, which is usually what the fans saw as your introduction. You want to get back to that intensity. No doubt, we did get to be known as Dream Theater because of the music on Images And Words. So we asked ourselves, "why don't we get back to that and do something really exciting and special, and take it further and tie it all together in one long conceptual piece?' So after the other guys were done with Liquid Tension Experiment and Platypus (ed. well-received side-projects for the band), and I had just started with my Mullmuzzler project, we talked about what sort of album we want and it was unanimous: let's just go in there and do a really intense, technical, very progressive album."
Dream Theater Story Page 3