JOHN PETRUCCI: “After ‘The Astonishing’ We Want to Return to Doing Something That’s More Definitive”

JOHN PETRUCCI Started Playing Guitar Because He Wanted to "Stay Up Late"

John Petrucci discussed mixed fan reactions to latest Dream Theater album The Astonishing, telling Music Radar when asked if he’d now “do anything differently“:

I couldn’t be more proud of the work that Jordan [Rudess] and I did as far as the writing, and that the band did in every aspect of the recording, and the enormity of the project, and the job that Richard Chycki did in engineering this insane amount of music – all these orchestral and choir elements – and then the crazy tour that we did with a production that took a year to build.

If I had the chance to do it over, I would do it differently, though.

We have the novel coming out now – in a perfect world, I think I would have had the novel done [first]; release the novel so people could read the story; and then do the tour and have the album available at the show when you leave. I think that would have given the whole experience a lot more meaning to fans.

Read more: DREAM THEATER Albums Ranked

I understand that stylistically, it might not be every Dream Theater fan’s cup of tea.

Some people think it’s one of our greatest works, and some people, it’s not something that they’re into. As a standalone album, it’s a soundtrack to a larger piece – to a live show, a novel, a movie, whatever – and sometimes, that’s hard to absorb in that big of a chunk, given there’s over two hours of music.

But the consistency as far as reaction has always been to the show. When we did that live show and people walked away and really saw what it was about as far as the story and the presentation, there was a common response that this was something really special.

John also discussed the direction of the next DT record, saying:

“After ‘The Astonishing‘ – which was such an experimental piece of work, and something that had such a broad scope – we definitely want to return to doing something that’s more definitive and classic, but hopefully also staying current and using the things that we’ve learned as writers and as a producer to take it to the next level so we’re not ever repeating ourselves.

“It’s like staying rooted and grounded in the initial sound of the band and moving forward as far as trying to create something that’s new and interesting and exciting. I can’t wait.”

Also, Petrucci confirmed that his relationship with Mike Portnoy is indeed good, saying about that photo:

Mike and I have maintained a relationship and have been friends all these years. Our families are all good friends, and we’ve gotten together several times.

“That just was the first time we took a photo and posted a photo. [There's] nothing to read into, other than it’s good to maintain good relationships. That’s really all it is.”

Asked if he got to hear the Sons of Apollo record, John replied:

Mike gave me the record. I haven’t listened to it yet. I heard the first song that came out. It sounds great. Those guys are all amazing, and Ron [Bumblefoot] is an incredible guitar player.

Mike‘s funny. He handed me a whole bunch of stuff that he had done – Flying Colors, Sons of Apollo, the Neal Morse record which I hadn’t had a chance to listen to – so I have a lot of listening ahead of me.”

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