Kevin Moore, born May 26, 1967 is an American keyboardist, avant-garde musician and lyricist known for being a former member of Dream Theater, his solo career, and his work with OSI. Kevin Moore joined Dream Theater shortly after its inception and left the group after the Awake album to controversy. Since then he has launched his own solo career and has avoided contact or even mention of his former bandmates.
Early Life and role in Dream Theater Edit
Kevin Moore was born in and grew up in Kings Park, New York in Long Island. From a very early age he showed a keen interest in music, learning piano at age six and writing his first song at the age of 12. Moore grew up with other future Dream Theater band members John Petrucci, John Myung and Chris Collins. While Petrucci and Myung went to college at Berklee to study music, Moore went to a local college, SUNY Fredonia where he studied classical music.
Moore was eventually contacted by Petrucci and Myung, stating that they had met drummer Mike Portnoy at Berklee who shared their musical tastes and they had formed a band, "Majesty" which later became Dream Theater. Moore was offered the position of keyboardist, which he accepted. The four, along with Chris Collins formed the band's first lineup.
Moore's role in Dream Theater was quite a bit more subdued than his collegues, as he was quiet and brooding, seeing himself more of an artist than a musician. This attitude could be seen in concert, as Moore refused to take part in instrumental jams or improv sections, often leaving the stage while his bandmates jammed. An exception to this was for the filming of Images and Words Live in Tokyo.
During the writing and recording of Awake, Moore became increasingly distant from the other members of the band on a personal level, and showed a decrease in interest in their music, instead preferring to write more somber music which usually was electronic in nature and not appropriate for Dream Theater. One of his songs, Space-Dye Vest was included on the album to appease his changing tastes. Moore himself wrote the song 6:00 about his frustration with the band and his desire to leave.
After Awake had been recorded, Moore announced his intention to leave the band, informing them that he would not be joining them on the world tour. This caused an immediate rift between him and Portnoy, who felt that Moore's timing was unprofessional and left them in a bad spot, and later stated that if he had known that Moore was going to leave, he would never have included Space-Dye Vest on the album. Moore was left out of the mixing process for the album, leading him to criticize the album's mix later on.
Moore and Dream Theater never re-united and animosity between him and Portnoy has grown over the past years. Portnoy invited Moore to perform with them live on several occasions, at first to play the song "Space-Dye Vest" for Dream Theater fans who wished to hear it live (as Portnoy felt it would be wrong to play Moore's song without him in the band) and then again to join them for the 15th anniversary of When Dream and Day Unite in which he also declined. Portnoy stated he was insulted by Moore's refusal to acknowledge his past and stated he would no longer bother inviting him. Moore also notoriously turned down being interviewed by Rich Wilson, author of Lifting Shadows, stating he had no interest in a book about Dream Theater.
Solo Career Edit
Moore used his time in Dream Theater to launch a solo career, though crossover appeal for his music has been limited, as his compositions tend to be neither metal nor progressive, though he does have a fair amount of fans. Moore moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and released a demo tape, which later evolved into his first solo album This is a Recording. He also later released Memory Hole 1 and Ghost Book, which was the soundtrack for a Turkish film, Okul. Moore has since moved to Istanbul, Turkey and has worked on other Turkish film scores, but has never released soundtrack albums other than Ghost Book and later, on 2010, Shine.
Aside from his solo offerings, Moore also started to release solo albums under the moniker Chroma Key, a music project of which he is the only member, leading some fans to wonder why he released some music as Kevin Moore and other music as Chroma Key. Three Chroma Key albums and one EP have been released so far.
In 2004, Moore scoured public domain films looking for one that exuded a certain mood, intending to write a pseudo-soundtrack to it. The film he chose was Age 13, an educational film from the 1950s, originally for use in schools. He took the existing film, slowed it to half speed, and let it dictate the moods, textures, and even running times of the songs he wrote to it. The resulting album is titled Graveyard Mountain Home, which included a DVD containing the movie set to Moore's music. Moore is currently working as producer for a Turkish industrial band, Makine.
In 2003, Moore was invited by Fates Warning guitarist Jim Matheos to join his new music project, OSI. The two had worked together, as Moore had appeared on several Fates Warning albums. The group also included Portnoy, making it the first time that the two worked together in 9 years. Moore played keyboards and sang vocals for OSI. The sound has been described as a mixture of the dark, melancholy sound of Moore's solo work with the metal and progressive aspects of Dream Theater and Fates Warning. The project has released four albums and one EP of material so far, though Portnoy left after the 2nd album, citing differences with Moore.
Relationship with musicians and fans Edit
Moore's relationship with other musicians is usually strained, as he is said to be hard to approach and emotionally distant, being something of a loner. Moore prefers to work alone, and currently has no working relationship or friendship with his former bandmates in Dream Theater, despite growing up with Petrucci and Myung. He seems to have a working relationship with Jim Matheos, as they have released four albums together as OSI and Moore worked with Fates Warning in the past.
Moore's relationship with his fans is a mixed bag. Some fans have cited him to be very kind and thoughtful, though quiet, while others have claimed bad experiences, claiming him to be dismissive and rude. Moore refuses to acknowledge or speak of Dream Theater, even going so far as to not sign any Dream Theater merchandise, even albums he appeared on.
Personal Life Edit
Moore's personal life is very much a mystery, as he seems to want it that way. One can glean details from his lyrics, which are usually introspective and/or autobiographical. Moore revealed the meaning of Space-Dye Vest was about falling in love with a fashion model seen in a magazine after suffering a bad breakup. The album Free is said to be about his personal problems and experiences.
Moore is also seen as somewhat nomadic, being born in Long Island, moving to New Mexico, then California, Costa Rica, and then Turkey.
While living in Turkey, Moore maintained a working (and romantic, according to some sources) relationship with actress and singer Bige Akdeniz, who appeared on several albums he recorded during that time. Akdeniz died of cancer in 2012.
According to Ray Adler of Fates Warning, as of 2013 Moore has moved back to the United States and was attending medical school.
Other Skills Edit
Moore's talent with keyboards has actually been overshadowed by his other skills, including his abilities as a writer, lyricist, mixer, producer and singer. Most of his solo work features very little actual keyboard and is more revolved around sampling, electronic sounds and spoken word samples.
As a contrast to his bandmates in Dream Theater, Kevin Moore's keyboard style is much more subdued and atmospheric, choosing soundscapes over solos. Moore's writing style can best be described as avant-garde, using sounds and samples to create a feel rather than a melody.
- Images and Words
- Roland JD-800 - used for piano, distorted organ, synth pads and chimes
- Korg DW-8000- used for solo sounds for songs such as Take the Time and Pull Me Under
- Korg DSS-1 - used for samples
- Roland D-50 - used mainly for string and bell sounds
- Roland D-70
- A grand piano was likely used on the album, replaced with JD-800 piano live.
- Music In Progress Tour
- Roland JD-800 on the bottom tier of the Apex two tier stand
- Korg DW-8000 on the top tier of the Apex stand
- Korg DSS-1 on the stand on Kevin's right
- Roland JD-800 - used for piano, synth pads and most notably the "Wailing Guitar" solo sound used on 6:00, Erotomania and Scarred
- Korg DW-8000- used for solo sounds for songs such as 6:00 and The Mirror and for pipe organ sounds.
- Kurzweil K2000- presumably used for string sounds
- Acoustic Piano- used on Space-Dye Vest
- A rack sampler was also used during this album, most likely an Akai
* OSI/Chroma Key/Solo Moore switched to using mainly soft synths. He still used his Kurzweil K2000 and a Yamaha CP-70 piano. On You Go Now, in addition to this, an Access Virus, Moog Memorymoog Plus and a Nord Lead rack. On the OSI album Free, he used an OpenLabs Neko workstation.
With Dream Theater
Studio Albums Edit
Extended Plays Edit
Live Albums Edit
- 1993 - Live at the Marquee
Fan Club CDs Edit
- 2002 - Taste the Memories
Offical Bootlegs Edit
- 2003 - The Majesty Demos
- 2004 - When Dream and Day Unite Demos
- 2005 - Images and Words Demos
- 2006 - Awake Demos
Live Series Edit
- 2007 - New York City 3/4/93
As Chroma Key Edit
As Kevin Moore Edit
- 1995 - Music Meant to be Heard (demo)
- 1999 - This is a Recording
- 2004 - Memory Hole 1
- 2004 - Ghost Book (soundtrack)
- 2010 - Shine (soundtrack)
- 2003 - Office of Strategic Influence
- 2006 - Free
- 2006 - Free (EP)
- 2009 - Blood
- 2012 - Fire Make Thunder