Roadrunner Records recently conducted an interview with bassist John Myung of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Q: You’re one of only two founding members left. What’s your creative relationship like with John Petrucci this many years in? How do you two write or play together; do you have a unique musical language between you?
Myung: Sure, I mean, there’s a real comfortable chemistry and the people that I play with inspire me. It’s so great to be working with the people I work with. But as far as chemistry, sure. We’ve been working together for a really long time, and when you’re in the moment, working on stuff, it’s almost like you’re multitasking on the same thing but everything that’s happening is relative to the same page we’re on, so it’s definitely cool. I don’t know if you’d call it style, it’s more of a chemistry and a relationship and just getting whatever it is we’re doing done.
Q: As DREAM THEATER‘s bassist, did you have a special role in helping integrate Mike Mangini into the group sound? How quickly were you two able to lock into a groove, and from a bassist’s perspective, what kind of drummer is he to play with?
Myung: He’s very critical of keeping values together. We talk about this all the time, where he tells me the important things he learned, and those are the things that I love about playing with him. He says, “One of the biggest things I learned, one of my teachers told me, ‘Why are you rushing? Why are you hitting that? Give each note its 100 percent value and don’t invade that space, don’t do that.'” And that’s one of the hardest things to do in life, is knowing your limits and thinking of the big picture and navigating on that level. So it’s really kinda cool playing with someone that has really high regard for that. It makes things a little bit more comfortable for me, and I’m noticing little things, like I’m hearing a little bit more sound, it’s a little bit more locked. So I don’t see it as me bringing anybody in. I see it more like him being a really cool guy and a great drummer, and being really complementary to what’s going on.
Read the entire interview from Roadrunner Records.