Dream Theater: 'Being Uncool Was Our Main Weapon'

John Petrucci hails the state of modern prog.

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John Petrucci from Dream Theater says being "uncool" became the prog outfit's greatest strength, Metal Hammer reports.

And the guitarist says the new generation of progressive rock bands is heartwarming for Dream Theater, who are relative veterans of the genre.

Ahead of the band's headline slot on the Saturn Stage at Sonisphere, Petrucci tells TeamRock Radio: "Yeah less cool is correct. At that point in the Seattle scene is when our second album came out and Nirvana and all that was all over the radio.

"For some strange reason for that time in 1992/93 Pull Me Under from that album somehow broke through and was a radio hit and it didn’t make any sense in the midst of what was going on with grunge – but it was poking through and it was interesting.

"The cool thing is, over time, those differences and the uncool factor and everything else actually became our strengths and what separated us out and make us successful in the long term."

On the state of modern prog, he adds: "I think it’s great for the progressive community and it's been a style of music playing since the beginning we naturally latched onto, just because of the influences we had when we were younger.

"It's always been this thing on the outskirts and now it's great to see younger bands and a splintering of the style and the genre. It is great to see it exploding."

64 comments sorted by best / new / date

    kind of funny how people take a few words and completely blurt it out of context. I'm pretty sure what Petrucci actually meant was that they didn't get locked into what the trend was at the time. Being uncool let them stick to their own game and thus gave them the longevity to keep going to this day and grow into a band with a formidable reputation and influence on the modern generation of prog and musicians.
    It's cool that Petrucci praises new prog acts, insted of complaining about the current state of the genre like many other artists. Kudos to him and the rest of DT.
    What's to complain about? The worse I see of it is the hate for Djent, which is a subgenre of progressive metal. And that's mostly from people who know more about the copycats and make generalizations about the progenitors. Man, what is it with metal fans and broad generalizations anyways? /irony
    maybe the appropriate word instead of "cool" could have been "trendy"?
    bands don't practice to sound sloppy why get signed if you never want to be more than a garage band Dream is a super talented metal band love'um!
    Tell me...why in the hell does it really matter if the rest of the world doesn't care about prog? Also, if you think it's all about technical wankery, then you have no idea what you're talking about. Prog has a lot more to do with excellent and unexpected composition than it does with "HEY LOOK AT THIS COMPLEX GUITAR SOLO! IT'S SO FAST AND STUFF!". Stop confusing guys like Yngwie Malmsteen with prog musicians.
    This cool/uncool thing is ridiculous. The way Petrucci is talking sounds like he thinks it's cool to be uncool. That way he totally contradicts himself. Either way they aren't theatrical artists, but that really doesn't matter, since most prog bands never were, and most prog fans don't care about theatrical performances.
    Sleaze Disease
    Ironically, the best prog band of all-time was incredibly theatric. I'm talking, of course, about the great Peter Gabriel-era Genesis.
    Genesis? are you serious?... man there is a band called Pink Floyd.
    Sleaze Disease
    Sure, Pink Floyd is a great band, but, as the other poster pointed out, aren't really a prog band. Also, as far as I'm concerned, Genesis was light-years beyond what Pink Floyd was doing. Not to sound condescending, but if Pink Floyd is your idea of the quintessential prog band, you really need to dig much deeper into that style of music.
    Pink Floyd aren't really a prog band. ...what... Also, your Genesis worship is pretty poorly argumented here, to say the least, and saying a band who basically went pop while Pink Floyd were still evolving was "light years ahead" is quite strange.
    Sleaze Disease
    Well, first off, I clearly said Peter Gabriel-era Genesis; as in, not the poppy Phil Collins stuff. I also said "as far as I'm concerned", which means it's my opinion and you don't have to agree with it. Also, Pink Floyd aren't prog and I'm not going to argue about that with you. I find it funny that you accused me of a weak argument when my point was never to really argue that Genesis was the best prog band. My points were that a.) some prog bands are highly theatrical, such as Genesis, who, in my opinion, were the best, and b.) that there is far more to this music than Pink Floyd. I'm not even sure where your argument or points are at in your response, so I don't know what else to tell you.
    But he's absolutely right. When I was growing up, listening to DT and Rush and reading comic books and worshiping Star Wars was considered waaaaay uncool, because they were geeky as hell. But, unlike 'cool', 'uncool' never goes out of style.
    Prog is retarded fretboard wankery and overuse of non-sensical time signature and key changes. Only nerds like this ****ery
    Only douchebags like metalcore. Only gangstas like rap. Only teenage girls like pop music. And apparently everyone likes generalizations.
    I actually think this comment is awesome, because it perfectly sums up the mentality of dumb DT haters.
    Bullet for my Valentine and Dream Theater are two of my favorite bands. Trolls like you need to keep your negativity to yourself unless it is constructive criticism. You make Matt Tuck look like a douche, and get BFMV further hazed. BFMV have been my favorite band for two years (I'm 17 now), and they have great songs and cool guitar harmonies, but lets be honest, the solos are generic licks strung together because Matt Tuck and Michael Paget do not have the musical ability to write musically complex, technically proficient, emotional solos like John Petrucci of Dream Theater.
    I agree. This guy is nothing but a shit-stirrer. Prog metal as a genre is full of great talent, this kid is obviously sore that matt hasn't quite reached the talent of a lot of today's prog musicians.
    The amount of people actually replying and getting worked up over this is f*cking ridiculous. It's such a blatant troll and each and every one of you has fallen for it, face first.
    TheRealMatttuCK is so controversial...If only today we had a term for those kind of people that go online find a topic people are having a regular discussion about and try to stir shit up because nobody in real life give 2 shits about what they think.
    The butt hurt is strong in this one ^
    I wanted to upvote that comment but my guess is that you enjoy the downvotes so I'll do that instead.
    The butt hurt is strong in your mother When she had a three-way with prog legends who I shant name here Whilst The Dark Eternal Night by Dream Theater pounds on in the background On mushrooms
    It's a shame you claim to be the real matt tuck. He is a great musician and are a complete *sshole
    Problem is the "wankery" and time signatures are beyond your abilities to understand and definitely beyond your ability to play them....of course that assuming you can actually play something....
    be a DT fan for a while but they became boring and now i realized the reason ! being uncool , serious with the prog elements , trying to look extra-pro ... maybe sometimes they need do a false note or change something in their "prog" "difficult-to-play" " time signature-key changes" music ! its just meeehh and unrealistic
    Let go of that horrible band. Be free from their musical shittiness. Listen to great bands like Iron Maiden, Slayer, Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium, Slipknot and of course, my epic band, Bullet For My Valentine \m/
    Ignore the haters/downvoters. Come to the light
    Mate. You're such a twat.
    I think Matt's just pissed off his guitar skills never passed that of a 12 year old jamming on smoke on the water in his bedroom.
    Really? Then how is it so that I pump out so many fast, bitchin riffs on my songs. Perhaps you are the 12 year old bedroom guitarist you describe, perhaps you are just pissed that there are so many guitarists in the world that are light-years ahead of you, such as myself, Mr. Matthew Tuck \m/
    everything this guys says is so embarrassing, how old is this guy? ahahah
    I don't think you are the real Matt Tuck. You probably hate the guy so you created a fake account of him to spread a lot of hate.
    You also no nothing....DT is merely a footnote in the prog world....enlighten yourself.....
    Prog has "no message"? That's an interesting statement about a genre which has created a ****ton of concept albums which more often than not criticise something in the society and which gets called "pretentious" on a regular basis for the same reason. Also, stuff like Beneath The Surface and Along For The Ride, so much technical wankery, man.
    Of course...you could do that back then. Now...if you're not churning out radio hits after 6 months of inception...no one cares and no one will know you. And there is no money to be had by sitting around an waiting for 15 years to emerge.
    John's guitar solos remind me of mortal kombat music, very progressive mortal kombat music. I wonder what John's finishing move would be? Probably involves a guitar no doubt.