When Kevin left, Jordan was the band’s first choice for a replacement. However, the Dregs also approached him at the same time, and Jordan felt that he would rather be in the Dregs at the time. Derek was originally a fill-in for the Awake tour, but after realising how well he fit with the band, DT decided to recruit him as a full-time member.
But, after working with Jordan Rudess during recording for Liquid Tension Experiment I and II, the band felt that Jordan’s playing and writing style was more in tune to where they wanted to take Dream Theater as the new millennium approached. Unfortunately, this left Derek out of a job.
“With the recent release of our live CD and video, it seemed the right time to close this chapter and begin a new one. Derek’s contributions to the band both musically and personally over the last four years is something that we will always treasure, and we will all miss.”
– Mike Portnoy
“I am very proud of my musical growth and contributions to the band in the last four years. I have nothing but positive thoughts and feelings towards John, Mike, James, and John. Jordan Rudess is a friend of mine and a great talent. I wish all of them the very best!”
– Derek Sherinian
The full press release follows:
January 18th, 1999
For immediate release:
Dream Theater changes keyboard player
It is with much personal sadness that Dream Theater announce their decision to part ways with keyboardist Derek Sherinian.
Drummer Mike Portnoy: “Derek’s contributions to the band both musically and personally over the last 4 years is something that we will always treasure and we will all miss.
He will always be a part of the Dream Theater family.”
“With the recent release of our live CD & video, it seemed the right time to close this chapter and begin a new one…”
His replacement will be Jordan Rudess, who was once a touring member of the Dregs and has recently collaborated with Mike Portnoy & John Petrucci in their Liquid Tension Experiment project.
“After our experiences of working with Jordan in LTE, we came to the decision that his playing, writing and personality was more representative of where we would like to take Dream Theater into the 21st century.”
“We wish for nothing but the best in the world for Derek as we hope to always remain friends with him. We’re sure that he will continue to succeed in the music business as he always has, and wish him luck with whomever he decides to play with next