After a forced break Dream Theater is back on the road.
Like many others, the heavy / progressive rock band, which has been gaining strength since 1988 and has released 15 studio albums, was dropped from the pandemic in March 2020. The quintet canceled the planned dates of the world tour, and the participants went to their separate corners.
But they did not do nothing. Guitarist John Petrucci, in particular, recorded a new solo album “Terminal Velocity”, as well as the first album in 12 years Liquid Tension Experiment, his star band with Tony Levin and former colleagues of the Dream Theater (Jordan Rudes) and present past Mike Partnoy ). And Dream Theater also returned to the studio earlier than expected: four members gathered at the band’s new DTHQ studio in Long Island, New York, and singer James Labry contributed from his home in Canada.
The result of “A View From the Top of the World” came out in October, ranking 3rd in the Hard Rock Albums Billboard and 10th in the Top Rock Albums poll. Now, according to Petrucci, Dream Theater – which also produces branded brands of beer and bourbon – feels on top of the world and is happy to share his “Look” from the stage …
* 54-year-old Petrucci says on the phone that without a pandemic pause “View from the top of the world” “in fact would not have happened. If all went well, we would continue the tour until 2020, then take a break and probably start a new album somewhere in the beginning (2022). But because everything was so uncertain and we didn’t know when to go on tour, we felt, “We’re a band. We make music. Let’s not just sit there. Let’s go to the studio. ” So that’s what we did. “
* Dream Theater usually came to the studio with some prepared ideas, but Petrucci says that due to the circumstances this time the band “somehow went to waste” and created material from scratch. “As a producer I had no idea what type of recording I wanted to do. We literally came in with the first song: “Let’s see what happens. Let’s not put any restrictions on the length and style of the songs. ” It kind of raised the pressure. In the end we did not quite what I thought, but in the end it turned out to be something really cool, just natural or organic. In the end, we got a record of Dream Theater like an old school – very true to our style, a lot of energy, really heavy, really technical.
* Due to travel restrictions at COVID-19, vocalist LaBry worked remotely but was a full participant in writing and recording sessions. “We all got together last October,” Petrucci said. “The four of us were in our living room rehearsing, and we had James through Zoom on the big screen, and he was downloading music to his home studio. He will tell you that he preferred this path; I think as a vocalist it’s hard to be in a room with four guys spinning drums, guitars and bass, and trying to join the word. Then, when it came time to record his vocals, it was March of this year and he was able to fly and record in the studio, for which I am grateful. Everything went well. “
* The album was named after the DTHQ studio, which, according to Petrucci, worked in favor of the set. “First of all, there are no worries about what you are spending on your budget, your studio time. It just goes away, so you have the freedom to take as much as you want. We still do it, but in the past we have spent a lot of money. Now it is much more manageable. We can work day and night and also can only stay with us, especially during COVID. There were no other bands, the studio manager, just our own space, our own bubble, with everything we needed available. So it was very, very, very, very convenient. ”
* Another new direction in the album was that Petrucci first recorded on a new eight-string guitar, which he developed together with the instrumental company Ernie Ball. “I’m with Ernie Ball for 20 years, with the most incredible and incredibly successful line of branded guitars. I could no longer be proud of them. We talked about making an eight-string guitar; Finally we did and I play it on “Awaken the Master” on the new album. This extends the range of the tool below. It gives me more opportunities for range and just opens up another realm of possibilities where reefs can live and I can have a certain sound. This is very different. I am very happy to do more with him. “
Dream Theater performs Tuesday, Feb. 22, in Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. $ 35 and up. 313-961-5451 or thefillmoredetroit.com