Before being picked up by DT for Images and Words, James sang in a Canadian glam band called Winter Rose. They released a self-titled album in 1987, which was re-released in 1997.
James beat more than 200 competitors to take the vocal position in DT.
Sebastian Bach revealed this fun tidbit a couple of years ago:
“I make a very short but very cool appearance on the brand new RUSH DVD: ‘R30’! What an honor it is to be included on a retrospective of the career of one of my favorite bands of all time.
“Trivia note: the DVD was produced by my old friend Rich Chycki, who was my guitar player in the mid 1980s in Toronto. We recorded many songs together, including ‘Saved By Love Again’, which is the song I sent to SKID ROW which made them hire me. After I left the band (which was first called ‘HOPE’ then it was called ‘SEBASTIAN’), Rich hired a cool singer from Northern Ontario named Kevin. I remember Rich introducing me to Kevin at one of my soundchecks at Rock’N’Roll Heaven in Toronto circa mid-’80s. Kevin joined the band with Rich and they changed the name from ‘SEBASTIAN’ to ‘WINTER ROSE’. They re-recorded ‘Saved By Love Again’ and the other songs I did with Rich and eventually released the material in Japan. Kevin changed his name to James LaBrie and joined DREAM THEATER! The rest is prog-rock history!
“Congrats, Rich, on producing ‘R30’. Great job!”
Richard Chycki has later become very involved with Dream Theater, engineering and mixing their self-titled album “Dream Theater”, the following concert video (“Breaking The Fourth Wall”) and “The Astonishing”.