Dream Theater is legendary for its complex, progressive music, and James LaBrie, their lead singer, is legendary for his ability to weave a melody over rapidly evolving time signatures and musical textures.
James has a massive range and a distinctive, gathered sound which cuts through to deliver his message. Not only does James sing complex music so well, but he actually overcame one of the most difficult things any singer ever faces – a serious vocal injury.
In 1994, James was stricken with a severe case of food poisoning that led to a vocal hemorrhage, which is essentially a blood vessel rupturing in the vocal folds. It was the most horrific thing that could happen to any singer.
Vocal health is closely intertwined with a singer’s identity and self-worth, and experiencing the trauma that James went through would have caused many singers to quit. But he kept going and is still releasing albums, including his new solo album “Beautiful Shade of Gray” which came out on May 20, 2022. James’s determination to continue and press through for the band and his attention to recovery and vocal health now make him a glowing inspiration.
In this episode, you will hear:
- Preventing acid reflux
- Vocal modification
- DoctorVOX: a great device for vocal fitness
- Dealing with the psychological aspects of being a singer
- Vocal fatigue
- How the melody guides a singer
- Why you should never stop learning the voice
- How James’ food poisoning experience led to vocal injury
- Working through vocal nodules
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