Mike Portnoy praises Moore in album study video for WDADU
Dec. 12, 2023 - Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy has shared his thoughts on keyboardist Kevin Moore and his contributions to the band's 1989 debut album, When Dream and Day Unite.
The outgoing Portnoy appeared today as a special guest on "In the Prog Seat," which is an "album study" video series featuring crew members of the progressive music website Sea of Tranquility. In the video, the drummer discussed everything from Moore's lyrics on the band's debut album to his various music projects since leaving the band in 1994.
"Kevin was not one of those kind of old-school retro keyboard players," Portnoy said in response to a tongue-in-cheek question about the debut album's lack of Mellotron. "He didn't have a Mellotron. He didn't have a Hammond. He was more about synth pads and piano. His keyboard influences were guys like Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman, but not necessarily the Mellotron sounds. He was into like modern Rush, believe it or not. We were really into the Power Windows album when it came out, and he was was very into Queensrÿche in terms of the way they used keyboards like on Rage For Order and stuff like that. But Kevin was never a retro analog sound keyboard kind of, Neal Morse, Ryo Okumoto, kind of guy."
Portnoy continued, "He was obviously a great keyboard player, but I think his strengths were in his composition. The music that we wrote together and his lyrics, like it's already been mentioned, the lyrics to 'Only a Matter of Time' are some of my favorite lyrics written by anybody ever, anywhere. So I think those were his strengths. I don't think he cared so much about the proggy virtuoso. That wasn't his thing. He was more of an artist type guy. He was way more about the artistry than he was about the flashy playing."
Regarding whether he has any contact today with Moore, Portnoy said: "No... I think he just really became disinterested in the spotlight, and that's why he left at the height of our blowing up off of Images and Words and Awake. The ball was rolling and at its busiest, and we had been waiting for years and years to get to that point, and he left the band. I think that's pretty telling of his personality. He doesn't really care about the fame and success. He's just an artist who wants to make music on his own. God bless him. He's an incredibly talented person."
To watch the full video, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkWPcwBXnRQ&t=328s