In a new interview with “The Metal Edge Podcast”, earlier DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy talked about his involvement in “Lost Not Forgotten Archives”. The collaboration between the band and record company InsideOut Music has seen the virtuoso quintet his long standing Ytsejam Records catalog reissued, along with some brand new additions to this special collector’s series. (Ytsejam is the label imprint which DREAM THEATER had used for years to release official bootlegs of live recordings [“Ytsejam” is “Majesty” spelled backwards; MAJESTY was DREAM THEATER‘s original band name].)
Portnoy said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “First of all, I was one trillion percent involved in the originals. Actually, that was my project; I was the one who had the archives and put all these issues together with pictures from my archives and extensive liner notes. So I was the one who the original composed Ytsejam bootlegs back – I don’t know – 15, 20 years ago. So there were about 16 or 20 titles that I did back then. So when they started reissuing this one as their new one ‘Lost Not Forgotten’ row, I was not involved at all; they do it all on their own. But they were reuse many of my original Ytsejam titles. So, yes, I appeared on a lot of these, but I wasn’t involved in any of the artwork or anything. And it kind of bumped me up because I spent so much time on the originals, with the liner notes. The liner notes are really important for people to have context of what was going on behind all these demos or live shows or whatever. So I was not involved in these new reissues. But then John [Petrucci, DREAM THEATER] and I started working together [again] in 2020. I played on his solo album, and then him and me and Jordan Rudes [DREAM THEATER keyboardist] and Tony [Levin, bass]we did a third LTE [LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT] album. So once John and I started working together, no doubt I brought it up to him: ‘Hey, man, what’s up with that? Why aren’t the liner notes there anymore?’ And I noticed some wrong things on some of the credits on the ones they released without my involvement. So he was, like, ‘Hey, if you don’t mind checking some of the credits and stuff like that,’ just making sure everything is factually correct, because I’m very, very anal about that. So after about their first five or six releases, John began to oblige me to ensure that at least all the information was correct. Unfortunately, they don’t use my artwork or liner notes yet, but that’s their prerogative. And then I got involved once that level, asked him and the band manager if I would be willing to maybe contribute something more things from my archives. And I was, like, ‘You know, what the hell? Why not?’ There are a bunch of things in my archives that it’s a shame they’re just sitting here at my house. So I contributed a lot of new titles. Like, they just released our show at Madison Square Garden opening for IRON MAIDEN; that’s a new one. And then there are a few others coming out soon that came out of my archives. So I am light involved in this point. Not as much as I was with the originals, but enough where I can give them a few new titles to add to the collection.”
Asked if he appears on a few of the “Lost Not Forgotten Archives” releases, Portnoy said: “Of course I come up with all the original ones Ytsejam titles. And then there are some new ones that I contribute from my time, from my archives. But they also have a bunch of post-MP stuff they put out too.
“The only bummer for me with the liner notes thing is now, I think they have it streaming on some of the streaming services, and there’s no context for any of this stuff.” Mike admitted “Someone emailed me a few days ago, ‘Hey, what’s the deal with this song I just heard?’ And I was, like, ‘Where the hell did you hear that?’ And they were, like, ‘Oh, it’s on Apple Music or Spotify.’ And they didn’t know who was on it; they didn’t know who the singer is. There are some things on it that are demos with different singers. And without the context of my liner notes, it’s almost impossible for people to know what the hell these things are. But anyway, that’s either here or there.”
Ytsejam Records played host before DREAM THEATER‘s official bootleg release collection consisting of live shows, demos and studio outtakes from throughout the band’s prolific career. As part of the “Lost Not Forgotten Archives”, the entire collection has been reissued on CD, as well as vinyl and digital for the first time, with brand new artwork and packaging. The band has also been busy digging into their encyclopedic vault to find some very special, as yet unreleased material. The first brand new release in the reinvigorated archive series was a recording of the band’s start-to-finish performance of their classic second studio album, “Pictures and Words”taken from their performance in Tokyo, Japan’s legendary Budokan venue in September of 2017.
After this inaugural “Lost Not Forgotten Archives” release, the extensive back catalog of Ytsejam Records supply began to be reissued. Much more previously unreleased material gets its first publication, presenting an absolute wealth of DREAM THEATER music for fans, both old and new to explore.
Back in 2012, DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie denied that Ytsejam Records died with the departure of Portnoy in 2010. LaBrie said: “No, it didn’t die. I took care of it, so I have the recordings of every night, and I documented it. There is so much stuff from all over the world from this last tour that I already documented and have put in a master list that these particular nights… What I did is that I took them from certain areas of the world, and it sounds incredible. It’s just a matter of it makes sense to us, if we are going to releasing the next one Ytsejam [recording]. But it want happen I can guarantee you – it want happen At this point it is not a priority. But the game is there. At the moment we have more than enough that we can release a amazingYtsejam release at the moment – definitely. So it’s just going to be when we feel as a band, ‘Okay, let’s finally put it together and let’s get it out there.’ I have a few ideas where it could be really…something cool, something added features that would be really cool. And the other guys are involved as well, so it’s very collective how we want the first one Ytsejam [release] – to-Mikehis involvement, with all the previous ones Ytsejam [releases]… We want it to have a really big impact.”