DREAM THEATER's JAMES LABRIE: Being On Tour For Extended Periods Of Time 'Makes You Appreciate All The Things You Have' At Home
April 27, 2023
During an appearance on a recent episode of the "Saint" podcast, DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie, who celebrated his 33rd wedding anniversary to his high school sweetheart last September, spoke about his secret to a happy, loving marriage. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We've been married — it'll be 34 years in September. And then we went out for nine before that. But we broke up, like, three or four times.
"She's been through it," he continued. "And I've always said, if you're gonna get into the music industry, whether you're a girl or a guy, your partner better be strong — completely independent — because if they're not, it's not gonna last. And I've seen so many marriages break up. And here's the crazy thing — in [DREAM THEATER], everyone's still married [to their longtime wives]."
LaBrie elaborated on the challenges facing partners of touring musicians, saying: "At the beginning of it, it's exciting, but then they go, 'Oh, okay, now it's the third world tour they're about to start and embark on, so he's gonna be gone again four or five weeks at a time,' or 'She's gonna be gone four or five weeks at a time.' And I think on the partner, it's just, like, 'Oh my God. It's either you're here 24-7 or you're gone.'
"It's a different world — for sure it is," he continued. "But I think, too, being in an industry like this, or any kind of business that takes you away, makes you appreciate all the things that you do have, especially the simple things. Like just getting up, going downstairs and having a cup of coffee and sitting in your living room and having a conversation. I think we get too stuck in a rut. It's, like, like, 'Oh, same old, same old.' Well, go away for a bit. Not that everybody has that luxury, but flip it up and then come back and then you're going, 'Wait a minute. This is a good thing that I've got going on here.'"
LaBrie previously discussed his marriage this past January in an interview with "The Mistress Carrie Podcast". At the time, he said: "As far as keeping a marriage together, it's all about compromise. It's all about understanding. It's all about — definitely one hundred percent, first and foremost — respect. You have to respect one another and appreciate one another. And, yeah, you're gonna go through your lows and your highs. Everyone has these moments of… Or even consternation I can think of, where you're, like, 'What the hell is going on here?' But I would say that those points are the most important. You have to be willing to compromise. You have to be willing to be extremely understanding, respectful, compassionate and caring, considerate."
Asked if keeping a band together is harder than keeping a marriage together, James told "The Mistress Carrie Podcast": "Once again, it comes down to the individuals, their personalities. And I've said this several times in a lot of interviews. I've said you've gotta think about when you are married, that's one person that you're dealing with and that you want to get to know intimately, and through the years you do — I would hope you do. But I said, with bandmembers, however many bandmembers you have, that's how many people you have to figure out and you have to come to an understanding. Because we all have our idiosyncrasies; we all have our good points and our bad points. And it's a little bit of a whirlwind. And I think that's why a lot of bands don't stand the test of time, is because we're all coming from a different place, and at times you have some huge frickin' head banging going on. And it's not behind the sense of the song; it's just these personality conflicts. And then you're also in a creative environment. So that in itself is a very sensitive situation to be in. And you have to be respectful and at times very diplomatic. Because if you don't like something that somebody's presenting, you don't just go, 'Dude, that sucks.' So you have to be, 'No. You know what? I'm not hearing it. I don't feel it. I'm sorry. Can we try another angle? Can we approach that a little differently? Let's kind of twist and bend it, or whatever, to get around it.' Because, yeah, it's just difficult.
"I would definitely say that… band… I think with marriage, I would hope that you're worried about the repercussions if you don't smarten up," James added. "With band, yeah, there are repercussions, but at the end of the day, if you can't really stand being around that person, you do have the option to [walk away]."
DREAM THEATER won its first-ever Grammy in the "Best Metal Performance" category in the pre-telecast ceremony at the 64th annual Grammy Awards, which was held in April 2022 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. DREAM THEATER was nominated for "The Alien", a track from its 2021 album "A View From The Top Of The World". DREAM THEATER's previous Grammy nominations were for the song "On The Backs Of Angels", from 2011's "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" album, and the single "The Enemy Inside" from 2013's "Dream Theater".
"A View From The Top Of The World" was described in a press released as "DREAM THEATER at its musical finest, expanding on the sound they helped create while maintaining the elements that have garnered them devoted fans around the globe." The seven-song album also marked the second studio album with InsideOut Music/Sony Music. The artwork was created by longtime cover collaborator Hugh Syme (RUSH, IRON MAIDEN, STONE SOUR). "A View From The Top Of The World" was produced by guitarist John Petrucci, engineered and additional production by James "Jimmy T" Meslin and mixed/mastered by Andy Sneap.
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