Why dREAm THE­ATER are get­ting down’n’dirty in the stu­dio.

Do not ad­just your sets: the kings of pro­gres­sive metal are go­ing ba­sic… kinda

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Contents - WORDS: DOM LAW­SON

Dream the­ater’s last stu­dio al­bum, The As­ton­ish­ing, was an elab­o­rate, 130-minute fan­tasy con­cept piece that spawned a board game, a novel and the band’s most ab­surdly over-the-top tour pro­duc­tion to date. For new al­bum Dis­tance Over Time, as gui­tarist John Petrucci tells Ham­mer, the prog metal leg­ends are get­ting back to “down’n’dirty” ba­sics again. But what does that mean for a band like theirs?!

how the hell do you fol­low some­thing as epic as The As­ton­ish­ing?

“Ha ha ha! Well, that was a very spe­cial and unique re­lease for the band and es­pe­cially for me, be­cause it was a project I had brew­ing for a num­ber of years. A lot of peo­ple loved it and the tour was re­ally suc­cess­ful, but a lot of peo­ple didn’t re­ally get it and I an­tic­i­pated that would be the case. But I couldn’t be more proud of what we ac­com­plished. It was a pretty amaz­ing un­der­tak­ing. But now we are onto the next one and we’ve taken a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ap­proach.”

so what’s dif­fer­ent this time?

“We weren’t look­ing for a stu­dio, we were just look­ing for a space to set up our gear and write a record, with­out dis­trac­tions. We found a place called The Yon­der­barn, in up­state New York, which was ex­actly what we were look­ing for. We’ve never gone away as a band be­fore, not like this any­way. There was a lit­tle house on the prop­erty and we all stayed there. In the morn­ing, we’d get up, make break­fast, walk up to the barn and start writ­ing. Within less than three weeks we had the al­bum writ­ten and we could’ve kept do­ing it for an­other two months and had an­other two al­bums writ­ten.

It was such a cool vibe and chem­istry. It wasn’t un­til we wrote the record that we de­cided, ‘Hey, this is such an amaz­ing place, maybe we should record it up here, too!’ and that’s what we ended up do­ing.”

how would you de­scribe your new mu­sic?

“It def­i­nitely dif­fers from The As­ton­ish­ing! That was about two-and-a-half hours of mu­sic, but this one comes in at around the hour mark and it’s not a con­cept al­bum. It’s more or­ganic. There’s no orches­tra, no choir, Jor­dan [Rudess] played a lot of Ham­mond or­gan. It just sounds like the band go­ing for it. It’s more im­me­di­ate and down’n’dirty, for sure. Be­tween the length of it and the style of mu­sic, it’ll def­i­nitely leave your head spin­ning a lit­tle!”

What in­spired the al­bum ti­tle, Dis­tance Over Time?

“Ba­si­cally, there’s this for­mula for ve­loc­ity, which is D over T, dis­tance over time. Me and my gui­tar tech were just jok­ing around, like ‘I won­der if we could make a for­mula for my gui­tar sound?’ and we dis­cov­ered ‘dis­tance over time’ and it just stuck. It just sounded very Dream Theatery! It was per­fect. When you think how far the band has come and how far the mu­sic has come and the great dis­tances that we’ve cov­ered tour­ing the world, it works on so many lev­els.

Will the next tour nec­es­sar­ily be a more stripped-down af­fair than the last one?

“We al­ways try to present some­thing that’s en­ter­tain­ing, fun and in­ter­est­ing, and vis­ually ex­cit­ing as well. So it’ll be cool, but the level of pro­duc­tion on The As­ton­ish­ing was some­thing we’d never done be­fore. It won’t be that crazy or over-the-top. That was the kind of thing you can’t do too of­ten!”

Dis­tance Over time is due out Fe­bru­ary 22 via in­sid­e­out

can’t be­lieve Dream the­ater are go­ing full nu metal, mates

What­ever, John, we all know you’re jam­ming cardi B through those cans

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