Author Topic: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?  (Read 3462 times)

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Offline McNugg

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #35 on: November 07, 2017, 04:21:14 AM »
I found him the most entertaining person to watch when seeing the band live.  He's so animated behind the kit, always pulling faces, smirking and just looks like he's having an absolute blast for the entire show.  Couldn't help but spend most the show watching him when the I&W Anniversary tour came to Scotland last year which I can't say i'd do for many other drummers.

Online ChuckSteak

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #36 on: November 07, 2017, 05:42:57 AM »
For fairness sake, if people aren't allowed to say that MM has no soul in his playing, then people aren't allowed to say that he does. Especially since the argument generally seems to be a lack of definition or simply "nuh uh" "yuh huh".
Not in here. If someone said they find Mangini "robotic" and "soulless", they would get crucified in an instant.

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #37 on: November 07, 2017, 07:02:56 AM »
I am one of the most vocal fans of Mangini here, but I can see how some could find his playing soulless because he is always plays on the beat. He doesn't play behind the beat, which is why his drumming in ballad type songs like AFTR is not his strong suit.

The criticism of MM's drumming which I can not get, though, is when people say that Mangini makes a simple 4/4 beat sound more complex than it is. Really? I dare anybody to point me any section where MM actually makes a 4/4 not sound like 4/4. If anything, he makes complex patterns sound simple, which is why many do not "hear" the polyrhythms in OTBOA, Enigma Machine, and IT. The funny thing is that people who make this criticism are all praises for pieces like TDOE which is the textbook definition of complex drumming for complexity's sake.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #38 on: November 07, 2017, 08:26:36 AM »
Sick to death of it. Dude should buy a soul already.

I don't know as I'd go so far as to honestly call the dude soulless, but I can definitely see why people have that feeling for a variety of reasons. He replaced somebody who was animated and engaged, and who contributed a great deal of character to the band. He's Barry Manilow to MP's Barry White. I've seen MM plenty of times, and I usually find him interesting to watch but mostly on a technical level. He's never moved me or inspired me. To his credit he seems happy as can be when he plays, and it rubs off on you when you watch him, but it never really translates to playing with feel or contributing energy to the performance.

There's also a trickle down effect on the entire band. There's a sterility that wasn't there in the past. DT is a band more concerned with flawless recreation than playing with heart now, and that magnifies the view that Mangini is robotic. To JLB's credit he's putting more effort into energizing the live show, but that's a far cry from where they used to be.
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Offline Tony From Long Island

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #39 on: November 07, 2017, 08:31:28 AM »
I wouldn't call him   "soulless,"  but he's being compared to Mike Portnoy . . .  Most drummers would lose in that contest when it comes to "soul."

I loved Mike Mangini in Extreme.   I simply prefer the original DT drummer.
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Offline Thoughtspart3

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #40 on: November 07, 2017, 09:17:26 AM »
I think that when most people talk about "soulless" they are referring to the writing of the music and MM's style of playing not so much his live performance which I agree is very energetic.  There is a big difference between the drumming now and when MP was involved in the writing.  MM's drumming does not assert itself and take center stage at times in songs like MP's did. It feels as if JP and JR do the composing and the drums are fit into their ideas, never the other way around.  When MP was involved in the writing he would compose with the drums in mind in the initial composition and be there every step of the way.  I remember first listening to DT and that was one of the things that really jumped out.  I could feel the presence of the drummer in the compositions and see him featured as an instrumentalist like the others.  I don't get that feeling so far with MM in the band. It doesn't feel like we get to see his personality, which many rightly see is great live, in the composition of the music. I know many probebly disagree with this but I notice something different and I think this difference is what many people are trying to get at.  Souless just might be there way of saying that something has changed and they are not crazy about it.

I don't even know if this is really his fault.  JP and JR being the lead composers need to give him more freedom and let him take center stage more.  If he is doing anything wrong it might be that MM needs to be more assertive in the composing process. 


Offline erwinrafael

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #41 on: November 07, 2017, 09:32:03 AM »
I think that when most people talk about "soulless" they are referring to the writing of the music and MM's style of playing not so much his live performance which I agree is very energetic.  There is a big difference between the drumming now and when MP was involved in the writing.  MM's drumming does not assert itself and take center stage at times in songs like MP's did. It feels as if JP and JR do the composing and the drums are fit into their ideas, never the other way around.  When MP was involved in the writing he would compose with the drums in mind in the initial composition and be there every step of the way.  I remember first listening to DT and that was one of the things that really jumped out.  I could feel the presence of the drummer in the compositions and see him featured as an instrumentalist like the others.  I don't get that feeling so far with MM in the band. It doesn't feel like we get to see his personality, which many rightly see is great live, in the composition of the music. I know many probebly disagree with this but I notice something different and I think this difference is what many people are trying to get at.  Souless just might be there way of saying that something has changed and they are not crazy about it.

I don't even know if this is really his fault.  JP and JR being the lead composers need to give him more freedom and let him take center stage more.  If he is doing anything wrong it might be that MM needs to be more assertive in the composing process. 

It may also be that MM just has a different drumming philosophy than MP. MP plays the drums like a lead instrument. MM, on the other hand, treats the drum seriously as a rhythm instrument. His MO as a drummer from his first recording up to now is to to highlight what the other instruments are doing while providing a solid rhythmic backbone. He is not the type of drummer that calls attention to himself.

You could see it in how he changed parts of I&W songs in their current tour. It's not the attention-calling drum fills that he changed. It's in how the drums sync up with the keys and the guitars going up and down scales.

In DT12, in the parts where he acknowledged he had a lot of input, you would not hear the drums taking center stage. Instead, you would hear distinct rhythmic patterns. Like the "Mothers for the children..." part in Illumination Theory.

Offline ToT-147

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #42 on: November 07, 2017, 09:38:05 AM »
MM is actually quite animated and entertaining. Just watch him on LALP and BTFW dvd's. He's playing his heart out and smiles all the time. He takes a very unique approach to the drums and has amazing chops!
 People that say he is robotic or souless don't know what they're talking about..

Exactly.. But they don't because the terms are very subjective themselves, and not just because.. What does it mean "robotic" and, especially, what does it mean "soulless"?..

As @Adami and @DarkLord_Lalinc said, the problem is to think one can judge and say "this musician has soul" and "this other one hasn't" only based in what?.. Their looks? their techniques? their styles?.... their smiles?.. No.. We can't do that.. We shouldn't do that.. Otherwise we'd be thinking that Myung doesn't have soul or, even worse, that he doesn't like playing because he doesn't "smile" on stage.. He doesn't smile almost anywhere! Because he's like that, and Mangini smiles because he's like that..

Two very separate things to really feel and like what you're playing and your own way to express those feelings to the rest of the world..
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Offline rumborak

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #43 on: November 07, 2017, 09:41:42 AM »
I think people are getting hung up about the specifics of people's discontent here. Most people are ill-equipped to voice the exact musical reasons why they don't engage with MM as much as with MP. It's a bit like people saying "I didn't like this dish, I dunno. It was bland."
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 09:48:54 AM by rumborak »
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Offline RoeDent

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #44 on: November 07, 2017, 10:37:17 AM »
Most people are ill-equipped to voice the exact musical reasons why they don't engage with MM as much as with MP. It's a bit like people saying "I didn't like this dish, I dunno. It was bland."

Who can, though? Very often, it is just the way it is. I'm kind of having to learn that myself now. Many times, I simply cannot grasp why other people absolutely despise a song/album/band that I absolutely adore. Complete polar opposite reactions to exactly the same music. Am I right to love the music? Or are they right to hate it? Which is the correct response to it? It's a conscious, and incredibly hard, effort to just say "It is what it is." It does, however, make music an intensely personal experience that only you can truly enjoy, on your own. You eventually retreat into your own shell and just enjoy the music you enjoy without publicly saying so. It can be frustrating sometimes, but it is the way it is.
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Offline Dublagent66

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #45 on: November 07, 2017, 10:45:38 AM »
I think MM is a complete drummer and band member, which includes his relationship with the other band members.  There's a lot to be said about that.  Now, whether he thinks he contributes to the final product as much as he would like or not is between him and the band.  I think they are all professional enough to figure that out amongst themselves.
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Offline smegolas

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #46 on: November 07, 2017, 01:23:23 PM »
Listen to the drums here, they sound just awesome.  In fact the audio is awesome all round.  Too bad the video is terrible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED8_xaxeiWk&t=1s

Offline JayOctavarium

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #47 on: November 07, 2017, 01:44:30 PM »
Listen to the drums here, they sound just awesome.  In fact the audio is awesome all round.  Too bad the video is terrible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED8_xaxeiWk&t=1s



Someone dubbed the recording from the Happy Holidays release with fan shot video. This is cool.
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Offline Dublagent66

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #48 on: November 07, 2017, 03:12:20 PM »
I don't think they even played TCoT on the BC&SL tour, at least not at the Phx show.  That would've been so cool to see live.  Awesome!
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Offline JayOctavarium

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #49 on: November 07, 2017, 03:17:33 PM »
I don't think they even played TCoT on the BC&SL tour, at least not at the Phx show.  That would've been so cool to see live.  Awesome!


Define BC&SL tour


They played it in LA during ProgNation 09. I was incredibly disappointed with that show at the time because they had a whole thing with Steve Vai and Dweezil coming out and doing a 4 way shred battle, and then they encored with TCOT in the end. I was a newer fan and really hadn't listened to TCOT much yet. I wanted to hear Metropolis, Damn it!
I just don't understand what they were trying to achieve with any part of the song, either individually or as a whole. You know what? It's the Platypus of Dream Theater songs. That bill doesn't go with that tail, or that strange little furry body, or those webbed feet, and oh god why does it have venomous spurs!? And then you find out it lays eggs too. The difference is that the Platypus is somehow functional despite being a crazy mishmash or leftover animal pieces

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Offline rumborak

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #50 on: November 07, 2017, 03:20:09 PM »
Non-thread related, but in that video is such a cool shadow effect with JP:

https://youtu.be/ED8_xaxeiWk?t=313
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Offline Podaar

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #51 on: November 07, 2017, 03:29:24 PM »
Maybe they should bring back TCoT to their live set. It really seems to suit JLB's voice. Cool video.

Offline Madman Shepherd

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #52 on: November 07, 2017, 05:22:42 PM »
Non-thread related, but in that video is such a cool shadow effect with JP:

https://youtu.be/ED8_xaxeiWk?t=313

Whoa.  You aren't kidding. 

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #53 on: November 07, 2017, 05:52:02 PM »
A good recent Music Radar interview witH Mangini:

http://www.musicradar.com/news/mike-mangini-talks-philosophy-visualising-sound-and-having-his-soul-ripped-apart

He might record next DT album with his smaller clinic kit. Good! Maybe Chycki could finally get the right sound, as they always had a problem with the bleed with the large kit.

He freaking improvised the drums for TA in the studio.

Offline gzarruk

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #54 on: November 07, 2017, 10:09:32 PM »
To the OP: I am. Really tired of people accusing him of having no feel or being a robot, only because he's not Portnoy. Just listen to the drum parts on TA, he plays with a lot of ghots notes on many tracks and has definitely great sense of groove and orchestration.

What's really sad is the fact that some people think they can only like MP or MM, but not both, and since some of them are diehard MP fanboys, they just judge Mangini with a very narrow mindset.

Getting Mangini is one of the best things that have happened to DT in the last decade, imo.
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline Herrick

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #55 on: November 08, 2017, 12:09:56 AM »
*raises hand*

To be fair, I'm no more tired of it than I am of folks who insist that shred guitar isn't "emotional".

What's even worse than that are people who complain about lack of emotion when a guitar player (or any other musician) is just demonstrating some highly skilled technique. It's not supposed to be emotional.

Years ago I was talking to someone about music and they said something like, "Oh so you like the more cold technical approach" insinuating that there was no "emotion" in the music I listened to. I just smiled and nodded. I'm not going to bother convincing someone that just because emotion is expressed in a way they don't like doesn't mean there's no emotion in the music  :lol

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Offline Drinktheater

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #56 on: November 08, 2017, 04:40:21 AM »
*raises hand*

To be fair, I'm no more tired of it than I am of folks who insist that shred guitar isn't "emotional".

What's even worse than that are people who complain about lack of emotion when a guitar player (or any other musician) is just demonstrating some highly skilled technique. It's not supposed to be emotional.

Years ago I was talking to someone about music and they said something like, "Oh so you like the more cold technical approach" insinuating that there was no "emotion" in the music I listened to. I just smiled and nodded. I'm not going to bother convincing someone that just because emotion is expressed in a way they don't like doesn't mean there's no emotion in the music  :lol

Those type of comments you describe usually comes from snobs who have the talent for melody but haven't studied or have very little understanding of Music theory and don't have the technical facility to do some fast runs

Its best to stay away from musicians like that. I have encountered a lot of those types in Music college specially those Jazz Funk wannabees who thinks improvisation is all and only thing that is great in music.

Offline Podaar

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #57 on: November 08, 2017, 06:34:28 AM »
*raises hand*

To be fair, I'm no more tired of it than I am of folks who insist that shred guitar isn't "emotional".

What's even worse than that are people who complain about lack of emotion when a guitar player (or any other musician) is just demonstrating some highly skilled technique. It's not supposed to be emotional.

Years ago I was talking to someone about music and they said something like, "Oh so you like the more cold technical approach" insinuating that there was no "emotion" in the music I listened to. I just smiled and nodded. I'm not going to bother convincing someone that just because emotion is expressed in a way they don't like doesn't mean there's no emotion in the music  :lol

I don't know, I'm a little confused by the italicized part. Joy at accomplishing a particularly difficult run isn't an emotion? I think what nearly every commentators means by "emotion" is in a range of depressive to spiritual elation. I think we experience a much greater range of emotion in our lives.

Take the sublime emotion of laughter for example. Name a song that you think was a great example of the musician's craft that is also humorous. I'll wait...

...for whatever reason, these are always seen as a novelty or a gag. I happen to disagree and it's partially why I've kept my avatar as the cover of Studio Tan for so many years. I find that album hilarious and also a very challenging listen for its excellent music.

Offline mikeyd23

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #58 on: November 08, 2017, 07:14:04 AM »
A good recent Music Radar interview witH Mangini:

http://www.musicradar.com/news/mike-mangini-talks-philosophy-visualising-sound-and-having-his-soul-ripped-apart

He might record next DT album with his smaller clinic kit. Good! Maybe Chycki could finally get the right sound, as they always had a problem with the bleed with the large kit.

He freaking improvised the drums for TA in the studio.

Cool interview, I've often wondered if MM's non-traditional setup was hard to capture in the studio. Maybe going to his clinic kit, which is much more traditional, will help them capture a better kit sound in the studio.

Offline gzarruk

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #59 on: November 08, 2017, 12:03:54 PM »
A good recent Music Radar interview witH Mangini:

http://www.musicradar.com/news/mike-mangini-talks-philosophy-visualising-sound-and-having-his-soul-ripped-apart

He might record next DT album with his smaller clinic kit. Good! Maybe Chycki could finally get the right sound, as they always had a problem with the bleed with the large kit.

He freaking improvised the drums for TA in the studio.

Cool interview, I've often wondered if MM's non-traditional setup was hard to capture in the studio. Maybe going to his clinic kit, which is much more traditional, will help them capture a better kit sound in the studio.

He's been slowly scaling down his big DT kit on each tour, anyway. His ADTOE tour kit had much more stuff than the one he plays now.

I'm not one of those people who think that less is more, but I don't think a different approach would be bad for the DT14 drum recordings. I just want someone like Nolly Getgood or Jens Bogren to mix the drums :hefdaddy
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline Podaar

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #60 on: November 08, 2017, 12:30:34 PM »
Quote from: Mike Mangini
I didnít know what I knew, I didnít know what it was until I spent a lot of time reading and researching. Itís like this, you can pay $25 for a book which contains 300-400 years worth of knowledge, thatís a good way to spend $25. I can spend $25 on a few beers that I will just pee out. What do I get for that $25? Well, it might be a little fun but that book could change my life.

WTAF?  :lol

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #61 on: November 08, 2017, 03:34:50 PM »
A good recent Music Radar interview witH Mangini:

http://www.musicradar.com/news/mike-mangini-talks-philosophy-visualising-sound-and-having-his-soul-ripped-apart

He might record next DT album with his smaller clinic kit. Good! Maybe Chycki could finally get the right sound, as they always had a problem with the bleed with the large kit.

He freaking improvised the drums for TA in the studio.

Cool interview, I've often wondered if MM's non-traditional setup was hard to capture in the studio. Maybe going to his clinic kit, which is much more traditional, will help them capture a better kit sound in the studio.

I think MM realized that he actually doesn't use the whole kit for new songs. The reason why his touring kit is so big is because he tries to capture all the drum sounds in the MP era.

Best example are the cannon drums / octobans. He never played those before he joined DT. That's why it ended up in the overhead position. MP played octobans before so MM had to place them in his kit. In the MM-era songs, those octobans were used prominently only four times: BAI intro, Outcry drum "solo", and the IT and Enigma Machine drum fill.

This seems to be a reasonable set-up.



It is his clinic kit plus the cannon drums and with an overload of chinas. :P
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 03:45:35 PM by erwinrafael »

Offline gzarruk

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #62 on: November 08, 2017, 05:09:59 PM »
The extra chinas are his usual set of 5 stacks ;D

And Mike has used the rocket toms (Pearl's octobans) a lot more on the last 3 albums. I think he uses them in a better way than Portnoy. MP used his octobans on very cool ways on Awake, but after that he's mostly used them just for long fills and not much else.
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

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Offline Madman Shepherd

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #64 on: November 08, 2017, 05:53:28 PM »
Mangini tacos!

Offline El Barto

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #65 on: November 08, 2017, 06:19:24 PM »
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Offline gzarruk

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #66 on: November 08, 2017, 06:20:07 PM »
I found it interesting:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Dreamtheater/comments/40m73i/mike_mangini_posts_response_to_criticism_of_the/

I remember that, he answered a lot of similar comments and I saved screenshots of all of them. Seems to me that he's not too happy with the sound they've given to his drums, but he trusts JP's and Chycki's judgement enough not to complain about it.
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline jhonvictor

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #67 on: November 08, 2017, 06:23:39 PM »
For me, it's not about having soul, or feeling the music, or anything like that. But what MP represents to the band, he's to DT what Lars Ulrich was to Metallica, and that means being head to creative process for the whole band. I don't know to explain but it's something that you feel right away, just watch the Score documentary and you'll see.

Offline SystematicThought

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #68 on: November 08, 2017, 06:33:23 PM »
He's been pretty vocal about not being a fan of his drum mixes on DT albums and I remember before The Astonishing was released, someone commented on his page that they hope the snare sounds better than it did on the self titled and he responded back and said that the problem was fixed. And it was, to a degree.

I'm sorry, his drums sound triggered to me.

Commenting on the topic, I don't think of Mangini as being soulless, watching the man live is a treat. The drummer in Dream Theater remains the person that interacts with the audience the most and his playing keeps on progressing
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Offline erwinrafael

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Re: Who else is tired of people calling Mangini soulless?
« Reply #69 on: November 08, 2017, 06:35:04 PM »
And Mike has used the rocket toms (Pearl's octobans) a lot more on the last 3 albums. I think he uses them in a better way than Portnoy. MP used his octobans on very cool ways on Awake, but after that he's mostly used them just for long fills and not much else.

That's the thing about Mangini. He never used those drums before but when he added it to his kit to play old DT songs, he adjusted his style so that it would now be part of his arsenal of techniques.

I found it interesting:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Dreamtheater/comments/40m73i/mike_mangini_posts_response_to_criticism_of_the/

I remember that, he answered a lot of similar comments and I saved screenshots of all of them. Seems to me that he's not too happy with the sound they've given to his drums, but he trusts JP's and Chycki's judgement enough not to complain about it.

And that's another Mangini thing. He is open to other's ideas. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. Drummers who continuously grow have this attitude. Virgil Donati, for example, downtuned his snare in the Icefish album based on Marco Sfogli and Alex Argento's suggestion. He did not think it would work, but he trusted them even though he was the producer of Icefish's album. Fortunately, it really worked out well.