Revolver magazine conducted an interview with guitarist John Petrucci of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATERfor its July/August 2011 issue. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
On the departure of drummer and founding member Mike Portnoy:
Petrucci: “I love Mike. We’ve known each other for so long… I met him when I was, what, 17? We went to Berklee [College Of Music] together. We went through everything. He’s an awesome guy.
“It was a heartbreaking chapter in our lives, but it’s just one of those things in life where there’s a big change, and you don’t expect it, and what matters is the way face that change. You can embrace it or you can run from it. We just chose to move on.”
On writing the new album without a drummer:
Petrucci: “We thought it would be the best thing to do, as opposed to bringing in a new member and a new personality. We wanted to focus and get back to that sort of writing and arrangement that happens between guitar players and keyboard players in an intimate situation, where you can really get into the raw structure of the songs and reach down deep and put forth your best work.”
On DREAM THEATER‘s new album, “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”:
Petrucci: “It’s everything that makes DREAM THEATER what it is. It’s all our elements — metal elements, progressive elements, melodic elements, and all the playing and fusion elements we’ve always had. I try to stay pure to the initial conception of our band; we’re a progressive band and we’re a metal band, mixed.
“We always try to push some sort of boundary and do something that’s a little bit different, some sort of element we haven’t done before. You’ll hear that for sure. You don’t want to repeat yourself, but at the same time it’s important to stay focused on what makes up the sound of the band.
“My favorite bands growing up were YES and RUSH, so ‘Hemispheres’, ‘Close To The Edge’, ‘And You An I’ — those big, dramatic songs are a huge part of what we do, married with the metal sound and melodic sound that makes us unique. That’s always be there.”
Fan-filmed video footage of DREAM THEATER‘s July 10, 2011 performance at the Bospop festival in Weert, Netherlands can be seen below.