A Change Of Seasons (1995)
It was cool because we were putting together a track that had been around for a little bit. We just kind of wanted to rework it and make it into a powerful piece. And then at the same time, when we knew we were going to do this kind of an EP, we were over in the U.K. once again, and we thought, well let's do a night of covers in this little jazz club, but let's let the covers reflect who we want to pay homage to, our huge influences. A lot of fun, just a little moment in our career."
Falling Into Infinity (1997)
Well that was the first and actually the only full-length album we wrote with our last keyboard player Derek Sherinian. I guess there were a few things there. That whole period was pretty wild for the band. There were tons of personnel changes going on at the label. We were losing a lot of allies. There was a real lack of focus from the label towards us. We were also going through a whole management change. Personally, Mike lost his grandmother, who was just like a mother to him. John Petrucci lost his father, and then his wife lost her mother AND her father, so it was a very confusing, taxing time on all of us. And at the same time, while we were writing the music, just because of the whole label situation, it was very hard to communicate where we wanted to bring the music, what kind of album we wanted this to be. And so Falling Into Infinity is really, gee, I don't know, I would have to say personally for me it's a low point. It was a much more easily accessible album. I think that is just where we wanted to be musically. At the same time there was part of us, in all of us, who wanted to do something completely different musically. With everything that was going on around us, it came out pretty good. I think we all grew tremendously from it and we realized how you really have to pull together and decide what is important, what is priority, and stay focused. Which is really hard to do with things like that going on."
Once In A Livetime (1998)
Well, I thought it was an exciting evening. I had a lot of fun with it. We did three hours of music in one night. An hour and a half, then a 15 minute intermission, then back on for another hour and a half. There were technical problems, but I usually don't have to deal with them unless my microphone cuts out (laughs). I know there were problems with the keyboards, and the guitar was cacking here, there, and everywhere and some of those things had to be mended or fixed because it was just unacceptable. But I think what I really like about that album is it really is a face-value double live album. There is no doctoring here, there, and everywhere, unlike what you hear a lot in today's musical environment. Because if you ever see any of those bands and then hear the live album, you go "uh-uh, there's no way."