Folks, another huge announcement for us today! James Labrie, a longtime vocal hero of mine, and lead vocalist for progressive metal giants Dream Theater, has graciously joined Symphony North as a featured vocalist on our Bell Ringer album!
My friendship with James goes back quite a ways. I knew him first as a powerhouse vocalist, but after getting to know the person behind the voice, I can tell you he's as genuine a guy as you're ever going to find.
Then, as I got writing The Bell Ringer, I wrote a very personal song. It had some really big notes for a male voice, some C5s. I needed someone who could hit the big notes, but also deliver the calmer parts with humanity and edge by turns. I'm not ready to talk about why the song is so personal, but I shared it with one person--James. I wanted him to understand where it came from.
He got it immediately, partly because we'd spoken of the source once before. But I went a little deeper, and he took everything I said and put it into his delivery. It came out amazing!
For folks who don't know James, here's a little more about him:
At age 21, he began vocal training with the renowned vocal coach Rosemary Patricia Burns. After working with several Canadian bands, James became the vocalist for Winter Rose, which almost signed with Atlantic Records. Then Pierre Paradis, who managed the band Voi Vod, approached James regarding a solo project with Aquarius Records. He also told James about a New York based band called Dream Theater who were looking for a vocalist. The rest, as they say, is history.
James has also appeared on releases by Fates Warning and Shadow Gallery, Trent Gardner's Explorer's Club and Leonardo the Absolute Man, the first Frameshift album (Unweaving the Rainbow), Ayreon's The Human Equation, True Symphonic Rockestra, as well as tribute albums to Rush, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and Queen.
In 1999, James completed and released the first MullMuzzler cd, Keep it to Yourself to much critical acclaim. The followup, James LaBrie's MullMuzzler 2, was released on September 11th, 2001. In 2005, James dropped the MullMuzzler moniker (for the more recognizable James LaBrie band) and released Elements of Persuasion, the third and arguably greatest of his solo efforts. James' highly anticipated fourth solo effort, Static Impulse, was released in September 2010 and offers up brilliantly dynamic and melodic extreme metal mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Paradise Lost).
I am thrilled to have worked with James musically! He's an amazing talent, and a giving soul!
Can't wait for you all to hear it!
Until next time,