axeman John Petrucci
brought up the matter of high technical skills robbing guitarists of genuine emotion and expression, an opinion widespread among his critics, as well as the critics of his fellow axe virtuosos.
The guitarist reached the given subject during a Grammy
chat, initially saying that "it's really hard to describe music without alienating somebody. You can say that this album
"] sounds a lot heavier, and people would say 'That sucks.' Some people might be really happy about that. Or you could say it's a lot more melodic, and people could get mad like you said."
Petrucci then switched to more specific examples. "To me, that mentality where it's one or the other drives me nuts,"
he said. "To give you an example as a guitar player, there has always been this argument, like these two sides where guitar players can only be technical or play with feeling, it's one or the other."
The guitarist continued, "But to me that makes no sense whatsoever. My favorite guitar players have both. Just because you have developed the craft on your instrument doesn't mean that you don't have the ability to be expressive emotionally on that instrument, or vice versa. Just because something is melodic or catchy doesn't mean that it doesn't have depth and substance and progressive sensibilities.
"Just because something is very technical or heavy doesn't mean that it's not melodic. You know what I mean? To me, it's not one or the other. That's part of the progressive spirit, that's part of the spirit of Dream Theater we try to keep all of those elements in mind when we write,"
Dream Theater are currently warming up for the release of their new, self-titled album on September 24 through Roadrunner Records. The record was recently streamed
in full, you can check it out here.
Can too much technical skill truly rob you of guitar emotion? Let us know in the comments.