Sorry its taken so long to respond i been on the road working on a movie (im a prop guy not an actor) Well when you hang out with a guy at least 2 days a week, playing nintendo at his house. Drinkin beers, jammin, trading licks, he's usually considered a friend. Hell when sherinian was in the band we used to go hang at his place in astoria queens, and watch him jam with his cover band ethyl mertz. That was right around the time change of seasons came out. Since then ill admit we have lost touch a bit. Im busy doing the movie thing, and johns....well you know. But still man i dunno about you guys but i still remember my very 1st student, i also remember friends from the the 2nd grade and im still cool with them. As for Rena, shes always been cool. Ive known her just about as long as john, and we always had awsome times talking about other bands and shit. As for him making a bigger impression on me, John never made a real impression on me. We were friends, i always held him in high regard as a player till 6 degrees came out. his style went from tatesful and melodic to absolute shredd with 0% feeling. YO JOHN .. Sweeping arpeggios (the way you do it) has been dead since the 80's......lol Now that ive said my piece... I sill think mike kicks his ass every which way but loose. Songwriting, Feeling, Melody.... Id like to see trucci do this shit nowadays ... Hes too busy pawning overpriced guitars, and boss effects pedals, Not to mention in every damned interview kissin mark snyders ass. Not to say marks a bad guy, but come on ...... we've known since Awake mark snyder built your "CUSTOM MULTI-PIN SYSTEM" The new album still rips ... i love when they play hevy shit, but theres too many ripoffs on the CD. They been ripping off the same bands since Metro 2k Tool, Metallica, Megadeth..... My god .. labrae even does the distored grouch vocal just like mustaine. Not to mention the EXACT metallica riff in (o damn cant remember the song name..i think its in the name of god). i think Maynard needs to get in touch with John and kick his ass. Its boring now. it was a cool tribute to those bands the 1st time they did it ... i mean the riff in "HOME" IS!!! the riff from 46 x 2...... I think they are running out of ideas FAST. you can only play so much "CHROMATIC" shit before it all sounds the same.