Rock chronicles: Rock Chronicles. 1990s: Dream Theater

artist: Dream Theater date: 04/06/2011 category: interviews
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Rock chronicles: Rock Chronicles. 1990s: Dream Theater
When: August 25, 1997 Where: Phone conversation What: The band had just recorded/released Falling Into Infinity. Bassist John Myung and guitarist John Petrucci took turns talking on the telephone. Myung began the interview and what I remember most about our dialog was how quiet and subdued his responses were. A very low talker to coin a Seinfeld phrase. And oftentimes I felt that my question was not always fully understood because his answers were, at times, a bit nonsequitir-like in substance. But we got through it. Petrucci loved to talk and his enthusiasm more than balanced out the pair. I'd speak with Petrucci several more times subsequent to this phoner. On one morning, however, I was scheduled to speak with John at 10 a.m. I made the phone call and no one answered. I tried again and the same result. I wound up speaking to one of his handlers, a manager or road manager or someone, told him about the muckup, and he didn't seem to care. In any event, that interview never happened. Hard to believe that John Petrucci had become too big for his own press. A more likely answer is simply, crossed wires (see separate John Petrucci interview for more details). _______________________________________________________________________________ During the mid-eighties, music was based in large part upon the technical proficiency and highly honed skill of schooled instrumentalists. Toto, Steely Dan, and a plethora of gifted pickers like Larry Carlton, Jay Graydon, Robben Ford and Allan Holdsworth elevated the creative bar several notches, giving notice to the other musicians out there that you'd better be up to the challenge. That Chuck Berry, simplistic two-stringed sweet wasn't going to get you there. Not that there was anything missing with this more basic approach, but excellence was now the benchmark and excess would not be tolerated. In the fall of 1985, guitarist John Petrucci and bassist John Myung saw drummer Mike Portnoy jamming in a Berklee School of Music practice room and at that moment, an unspoken bond was formed. The trio was instantly galvanized. Sharing a love for, what was then being labeled progressive music, they tapped keyboardist Kevin Moore (who had been working with a band called Centurion) and vocalist Chris Collins. This configuration would come to be known as Majesty. Borrowing heavily from Rush, the band shopped a six-song, four-track demo and receive a bite from newly established label, Mechanic Records. Portnoy's father suggested a name change to Dream Theater and thus the unit had an identity. Like most bands taking first steps, other changes loomed on the horizon the vocalist didn't have the upper range to accommodate the keys of many of the songs and was replaced by Charlie Dominici. With new lineup in tow, they recorded When Dream And Day Unite at Kajem/Victory Studios in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. Producer Terry Date oversaw the month-long project that was well received by international press and most notably, the metal radio stations. But Mechanic didn't have the funds to take advantage of this media support. Front man Dominici was given the boot in 1990 and for the next two years, a grueling search took place in seeking a replacement. Never allowing despair to tear them apart, they spent the time writing and performing new material, most notably "Metropolis." Many of these pieces were presented as instrumentals and would later end up on the Images And Words album. Singers came and disappeared like the seasons, including John Arch (formerly with Fates Warning), Steve Stone, and finally, Chris Cintron. Kevin LaBrie, at the time a member of Toronto's Winter Rose, was anointed. Dream Theater, after an exhausting 24-month odyssey, landed a deal with Atco/East West Records and recorded Images and Words with producer David Prater. Recorded at the close of 1991, the album revealed, for the first time, the band's true creative potential. They subsequently signed with Roundtable Entertainment, a press/media company with clout, and this resulted in heavy print, radio, and even MTV exposure (though DT would always have its ups and downs with MTV). Images and Words went gold in Japan and from that moment, the bound would forever maintain a stronghold in the Asian market. Following the release of IandW, everyone relocated to Los Angeles to begin work on the record that would become Awake. Released on October 4, 1995, it debuted at #32 on the Billboard chart and "Lie," the song and video, presented the group it's first certifiable hit. Milking this unexpected breakthrough, the band put out Falling Into Infinity in 1997 (this same year, an EP titled A Change Of Seasons was also produced). They'd go on to record five more albums: Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory (1999); Six Degrees Of Turbulence (2002); Train Of Thought (2003); Octavarium (2005); and the most recent, Systematic Chaos in 2007. Dream Theater truly stands out as an anomaly amongst the shrieks and moans of metal bands and the more melodic rock of Maroon 5 and that ilk, the group has managed to maintain both a live and record-buying following. Citing Steve Vai's Passion and Warfare as a huge influence, DT has used that guitarist's ideas and made them their own. Most of the bands the ensemble once copied everyone from Yes to Kansas have either disappeared entirely or become little more than musical blips. What makes Dream Theater such a mesmerizing unit is the manner in which they marry opposites. On their newest album, Falling Into Infinity, this five-piece glues the heavy guitar riff with the sensitive keyboard lick; the straight ahead chunk of Pantera and Metallica welded to the orchestrated ensemble playing of Yes and King Crimson. This dichotomy exists not only in the music they create but in the band itself. Art imitating life. In bassist John Myung, one finds the soft-spoken and serious individual, an inveterate musician forever seeking ways to improve on his own playing and in the overall sound of the band. And in John Petrucci, you're likely to find an intelligent and outgoing musician, an intelligent human possessed of a wry sense of humor. In a phone conversation, Myung and Petrucci revealed these identities as they talked about their new album and how they approached the recording of this record. UG: Dream Theater has been able to meld virtually flawless musicianship with songs that embody passion and emotion. Your records aren't just boring recitations of scales and mundane melodies. How do you achieve this? More generally, how does the band go about recording an album? John Myung: We start by getting together in a live situation and writing and developing ideas that each one of us has. And also people independently bringing in demos that we listened to and if everybody likes it, then we work on it and we develop it from a more blueprinted form. So it's a combination of the two. Then the process of writing songs is an ongoing procedure; you don't just write when it comes time to release a new album. Myung: Yes, definitely. It's something that's constantly developing; we're always practicing, we're always writing and recording ideas and growing. And essentially when it comes time to do a record, it's just a matter of sifting through all the material you've compiled and crafting it into a song with the band. And we all go through different ways of writing and listening and we all listen to different types of music. So I think all of that really enriches the quality of the music we write because we're all different personalities but when we're able to interact with one another, it really comes through in our own style. As the bass player, how would you define your input? When you're writing and composing, do you listen to other bass players and see how they contribute ideas? Myung: On the record, I brought in a demo of Trial Of Tears' where it was just a rough sketch of me laying down some guitar and keyboards and bass over a drum track. And I went with it the way I heard it and it was something that intrigued me because I'd never really brought in anything that was sort of a blueprint. I'd always been sort of reactive and collaborated with riffs and it was a very live thing for me. So it was a really interesting thing for me to do. I'd never done that before. I wanted it to be a part of you and I wanted it to be a really synergistic thing with your band mates. I wanted it to be a lot more better than what you'd started with. Trial Of Tears' was a sort of mini-vignette with three different sections. Myung: Yeah, I wrote the lyric for that; I usually only contribute only one lyric per album. It's not that I haven't been able to write but it's just the way it's worked out. But I do find writing lyrics very rewarding when you are able to capture something. When it fits well and gets with the music and adds to the personality of the song. I hope to be able to write more in the future. So you've been bitten by the writer's bug? Myung: Yeah, I'd say. Writing a lyric comes from both parts of the brain. The way you develop an idea is very analytical and certain parts are intuitive and flowing. That's the way it works out for me.

"I'd always been sort of reactive and collaborated with riffs and it was a very live thing for me."

Investigating this concept a bit further, what was going on in your head when you were writing New Millenium' the opening track for the new album? Myung: The original basis of the song was written with me, Mike and Derek (drummer and keyboardist respectively). I was behind the Chapman Stick (strange hybrid bass/guitar instrument designed by Emmett Chapman in 1969) and it was a very new thing for me and the band to bring in a new instrument like that. It was more along the lines of a bassist thinking of ways to play grooves and a chordal type of playing So I experimented and me, Mike and Derek worked on different parts and eventually it developed into this song which I was really happy with. I think it really added something different to this record. The tonality and sound of the Stick really dominates the opening track. Myung: Right; it has a really psychedelic sound to it. I listened to that type of music and I do appreciate what bands like King Crimson has done in the past. Tony Levin (bassist for King Crimson, Peter Gabriel and others) is a very big inspiration. There's a strong 70s influence in the type of music I listened to; it was a lot of the progressive stuff. Was the progressive music more an influence on you than the 70s metal/rock bands like Zeppelin? Myung: I was always listening to the progressive stuff but I listened to John Paul Jones with Led Zeppelin. They were one of the greatest bands ever. I found that growing up, my tastes opened up quite a bit. I listened to King Crimson and appreciated what was going on at the time; music such as Sting's Mercury Falling. When the band was in the mitt of recording Falling Into Infinity, did you take notice of the music that was contemporaneously being released? Myung: When we write, we generally work with ideas that we come up with and to a certain extent we are influenced by what goes on in popular music on the radio. We are influenced by contemporary bands who are on the radio. But it is a rough interpretation and is a combination of who we are and what's going on around us. So you didn't take a magnifying glass to the Nirvana album? Myung: Right; the way it comes across (in the music) is more subtle. In your estimation, is there much modern music saying anything? More specifically, are there bass players out there from whom you might pick up a lick or two? Myung: It depends on what you're listening for. But yeah, I like listening to a wide variety of music and if I want to concentrate more on bass players, I'll research and find out about those bass players who are doing exciting things. I don't know if I answered your question Yes, you did. Let's change directions slightly how do you and drummer Mike Portnoy develop a rhythm track? Myung: A big part of this is writing over a long period of time. If something is heavy, we'll take that direction. It's like a reflex; we can hear it going that way. And if something is mellow and soft, you want to develop part that work. We'll work around that type of idea. And then there's the more progressive stuff that's mad up of different groups of parts that are connected together. There are a lot of notes flying around and you want to be able to play them naturally so it's really just taking every idea we have and building our own style and finding what type of song it is. For instance, there's a song called Burning My Soul' and we wanted to keep it more streamlined; there was a very mellow element in the middle of the song so we decided to bring that out and make that an instrumental and make the style of the song so you could interpret the song without all those different sections glued together. You touched just now on one of the overriding elements of Dream Theater the progressive song that still managed to maintain an emotional spark. How does that happen? Myung: It's important to understand that if it's composed of a lot of different exercises over a drum beat, it won't realy merit itself as a strong song. But if you have a song that's typically a strong song and a groove then it's very strong and you find yourself making the effort to write a great song and I think that develops the longer we're together. On our very first album (When Dream and Day Unite) which I don't listen to very much, we were all trying to cut it at the same time; everyone was playing these busy parts. Which was cool but as a band, we've moved forward. By building songs that are centered around a groove and making an effort to write a song. What motions do you go through in preparing yourself for an album? John Petrucci: You've definitely got to put yourself in a record mode; I usually kind of phase out from society a couple of weeks before I'm going to record. My wife can't reach me the lights are on but no one's home. I get pretty focused in on what we're about to do. By that time, we already have all the material written. Personally, I'll be practicing the parts I have to play; certainly the challenging parts and I'll be getting my equipment together. Deciding what new stuff I'm going to use and that's always exciting. I feel like a little kid with that stuff. You become the mad scientist in your laboratory? Petrucci: Especially this time around; I call my friends at the places where I have endorsements and It ell them to send new stuff down and I borrow a whole bunch of stuff and just make kind of a music store in the recording studio. I think about the recording process and how we're going to do thing; are we going to play live? Are we going to play to a click? It's a lot to think about and I kind of zone in on it. It usually takes eight to ten weeks to record an album but this record we did pretty quickly, in about six-and-a-half weeks. We made good use of the time by recording during the week and mixing on the weekend and sort of recording one song at a time. We wanted to do it that way because we wanted each song to have its own identity. I think with all of our songs the songs different from one to the next but as far as the production is concerned, it's very even sounding. For example, if there's a heavy guitar sound, it will be the same heavy guitar sound on every song. So we wanted each song to have a different character and use different instruments and different drum kits. It was very experimental and I think the result was each song has its own personality. The other cool thing, the whole band was involved through the whole process. Let's take a closer look at the tracks and gear involved; the opening track, The New Millenium' is represented with seems to be an abundance of overdubs. Petrucci: Yeah, that was probably the most experimental track on the album. I didn't have a real concrete idea on how I wanted to record it; I knew what I wanted to play but I didn't know how I wanted to record it. So the way we did it was we started from the beginning and took one sound at a time and we meaning me and the producer, Kevin Shirley talked about a sound and I'd go into my room and get something up and we'd get that section and go to the next section. We never really repeated a sound. On this song, I used a guitar synth, a Roland VG8, and I also used a 7-string guitar on certain sections. That was an Ibanez custom 7-string and it's modeled off of my signature Ibanez 6-string. (The 7th string is) a low B. You have to think about it a little but it's actually easier than you think. It's a consistent tuning, a fourth from the low B to the E so it's really not that difficult. You do have to put yourself in a different headspace in terms of where your hands are going to fall but I'm pretty used to it. Most of your recorded guitar work has been performed on instruments roughly modeled after a Stratocaster; that is, guitars with vibrato bars. Have you done much work with Les Paul-styled instruments? Petrucci: I mainly play my custom Ibanez, the JPM model; my model. It has a Floyd Rose-styled bridge which all my guitars have but a couple of times osn this album, I did use a Les Paul. And I used a Strat for one solo and an Ibanez Talman which is a more traditional guitar with fixed bridge and lipstick pickups. I played slide on that, on Anna Lee'; that whole song was the Talman. Run down your default guitar sound how is that created? Petrucci: It starts with the amp. It's a combination of three things: the guitar, the amp, and the speaker cabinets. I had a bunch of different Boogie speaker cabinets with me and I ended dup using pretty much on everything this one Boogie cabinet which I a newer one they just made and is a smaller cabinet. More similar to the size of a Marshall cabinet and it has a Vintage Celestion 30 speaker in it. That's a change for me because I normally use the Rectifier cabinets which are larger and more bassy and they have the mid-range sort of pulled out of them. So this smaller one had more of a fat response and was truer to the sound of the head. I always use Boogie stuff; that's a real big part of my sound. I used the Mark II C-Plus, heads and combos, the Mark II B, a Heartbreaker, the TriAxis, and a Tremoverb all Boogie heads and combo amps. (And I used) mainly the Ibanez signature with DiMarzio pickups and it just sounds really good. And that's where the sound really starts. Did you ever become one of those Marshall users back in the 70s and 80s? Petrucci: The only time I used them was when I was a teenager and I used a little Marshall Combo. It was a cool 30-watt thing. But as soon as I could afford a Boogie, I got one. A lot of my favorite guys were playing them, guys like Pat Thrall, Metallica, Soundgarden, and King' X. The thing I love about the Boogie stuff is it's built real well, not only in the parts they use but they're real road worthy.

"It usually takes eight to ten weeks to record an album but this record we did pretty quickly, in about six-and-a-half weeks."

You can hear the heavier influences of the guitarists and bands you just mentioned; there is also the other side of your style that embodies elements of Robert Fripp and Steve Howe and Adrian Belew. Petrucci: Yeah, I definitely listened to Crimson and stuff but I was never really into them. But I never knew what kind of amps they used. I think if you listen to our music, the heavy edge comes from Metallica. A far as the progressive stuff, I listened to Steve Howe and Yes, the Dixie Dregs, and Frank Zappa. And early Rush. Getting back to the songs, You Not Me' plays on a more rhythmic solo as opposed to one made of scales and single notes. Petrucci: Yeah. I think the song kind of called for it because it's pretty straight ahead but the real hook is the groove and I didn't want to do a typical solo and say, OK, here's the guitar solo.' I wanted to do something that captured that moving groove and o it turned out to be more rhythmical. So I thought I'd keep it moving without making it sound too rock n' roll. The cool thing on that song is the sound is the same throughout but whenever you hear a wah or a chorus come in on the guitar, one side would have the wah-wah and the other side wouldn't. I thought that was cool; I kind of did that by accident on our demo and our producer liked it so it ended up being an effect I used. It kind of throws the ear a little bit. What about your effects rig? Petrucci: I use Dunlop wahs and I use either a CryBaby or a rack-mounted CryBaby. And I have a chrome one; I think it' a 550 with an adjustable tone on it. For delays and chorusing, I use T.C. Electronics, the 2290 and I have Lexicon effects: the PCM 80 and 70 and the PX1. I believe in having real high quality gear. Myung: I used a combination of a Yamaha RBX fretted six-string which was sent out to me for the recording and had an ebony neck. The fretless was a Yamaha TRB six-string they custom-made for me. And I used Mesa/Boogie amps. When we recorded most of the songs, I went through a direct channel and for the live sound, I used a Mesa/Boogie M2000 miked through a Powerhouse cabinet with 4x10s. Peruvian Skies' was interesting because I originally did that on a Yamaha RBX six-string prototype. The RBX series doesn't normally have a sixth string but I'm working with Yamaha on a signature bass and it's going to be a ix-string model based on the RBX design. I originally did Peruvian Skies' on a fretted but Kevin (Shirley, producer) thought it was too simple. We had The Wall playing in the control room and I would hear it and was floored by what Roger Waters was doing on the fretless. So I took that for a cue and went back and re-recorded the song on fretless. We comped several different tracks and Kevin gave me the freedom to play anything I wanted. So the first half is fretless and the second half is fretted. The first half is very dreamy, very Pink Floyd; the second half is very heavy, very Metallica-like. Petrucci: I was also influenced by Dave Gilmour on that song. It's that phaser sound. The sounds on this track are interesting: the opening is an acoustic, dry, on one side and a clean guitar with phaser on the other. And I'm playing slide during the verses and the choruses have a strumming 12-string going on. There are also some cool wah-wah parts going on during the chorus and as the songs gets heavier, that's all out Metallica and I just got my Boogie stuff cranking to get that type of sound. That song shows our influences pretty obviously. And the acoustic I used was a Taylor. For the slide, I once again used the Talman guitar and I had the action set pretty high. I use a chrome slide and I think I was playing through a Boogie Tremeloverb and got a real super creamy distorted sound and put it in the background with a little bit of delay. What is the situation on Hollow Years?' There's another string wrinkle there with the classical guitar? Petrucci: Yeah, the nylon is playing the melody and the steel string is kind of strumming out the chords. On the B sections, right before the choruses, I used the Tremeloverb to get a Chris Isaak-type sound. I also played a 12-string Rickenbacker on the choruses and you can kind of hear that jangling away. On Burning My Soul,' the 12-string on the beginning is a Roland guitar synth, the VG8. That song is pretty straight ahead with a heavy sound and it's doubled throughout the song. There are some unison fills I did with the band and I used the VG8 to get kind of a whacky sound. And then there's the instrumental, Hell's Kitchen,' where I'm using a wah-wah and volume pedal and it fades in on the chorus and it has some delay and chorusing on it. It's kind of a wishy-washy, soupy sound. And then the solo begins with the volume pedal swelling in, an Ernie Ball pedal. Lines In the Sand' was kind of interesting. In that song, there are some parts which are real keyboard dominant with organ and stuff and we didn't want the guitar and keyboards to get washed out, so we recorded the guitar on one side and the keyboards on the other. The sound we used was pretty raw and dry so it has a different kind of effect. It's very under-processed. I thought that was neat on that one. Myung: There are many different parts on that song but each different section really has a compatibility like a mini-movie. It's like a journey within the album. Obviously keyboards are a very big part of the sound of the band. Did you ever want to play with a second guitarist as opposed to a keyboard player? Petrucci: My best friend growing up played piano and keyboards and he was the first keyboard player in our band. So we constantly wrote stuff together and the bands we listened to always had keyboards like Yes and (Pink) Floyd and the Doors. We were into bands with two guitars like AC/DC and Metallica and Iron Maiden and stuff but at the same time I always wanted to play all the guitar. On Take Away My Pain,' there's more acoustic guitar. Petrucci: There are two things that are interesting about that song: one of them is there's an ostinato like muted rhythm guitar part that goes through the entire song, a loop, a rhythmical loop and I play that through the entire song and it never stops and that's what starts the song off right after the drums. And the other interesting thing about that is to make it weird, I came up with a sound that had a wah-wah delay on one side and the producer said, I'm gonna play the track and you improvise over it.' I didn't really know what I was going to play. He wanted weird sounds, like scratchy wah-wah things and I laid it down and we ended up keeping it. So throughout that song, you hear weird guitar effects going on me sliding up and down the strings and I thought it was cool. It added a sort of psychedelic thing to it which I thought was good because the song was going in a real pop direction. It kind of pulled it to the left a little bit. Lyrically, Just Let Me Breathe' is a bit controversial. The band seems to be taking a shot at MTV and that whole media thing. Petrucci: Yeah, Mike (Portnory, drums) wrote the lyrics to that one. It's pretty cynical. We've done videos before and they (MTV) never really play us so it's probably why we did that. I played a 7-string on that entire song. And then the next track, Anna Lee' is on the Talman. Myung: That's our Elton John song. Petrucci: Just about all the guitar on that song is live including the solo and there's one guitar where Kevin put a flanger on during the mix. I played through Derek's (Sherinian, keyboards) Leslie setup and some of it that sounds like a clean organ with a Leslie is actually guitar. That arpeggiating part which is very Beatlesque, very George Harrison. And the closing mini-trilogy, Trial Of Tears has, in my opinion, the most amazing guitar sound on the entire album. That part on the intro of It's Raining.' Petrucci: Cool! That's one of my favorite sounds on the album. It's two different amps, a stereo sound with chorusing and two different delays. I was going for a real Steve Howe kind of vibe. I love that song and the sound goes through most of the song. It sound kind of crystally but dirty at the same time. The guitar solo in that was a real bitch. It's a two-and-a-half minute solo over some pretty strange chord changes so I had to do some thinking over that one. We talked earlier about your basic guitar setup and we've touched on a lot of different guitar tones. What is the Petrucci theory of guitar soloing? Petrucci: It depends on the song. On most songs I'll blow through seven or eight different ones (solos) and they we'll listen back to them and we'll keep the best parts from each one. And then sometimes I'll go back in and do it all over again. Other times I'll just go straight through and keep that one solo. And then sometimes I build it. My philosophy with guitar solos is: I think they should be musical. I don't think they should be a lull in a song. They should keep the song up and it be a musical interlude that's interesting. And it should also along with the mood of the song.

"A guitar should be just as interesting, hopefully, as vocal part."

So you try and marry the guitar sound with the vocal and the lyric. Petrucci: Totally. It should carry the mood the way a vocalist would. A guitar should be just as interesting, hopefully, as vocal part. It should carry that section and be totally appropriate for the type of song. Have you learned, during the evolution of the band, how to more effectively capture these moods and tones than you did on earlier albums? Petrucci: Hopefully. I don't want to get worse at what I do (laughs). So I hope with all this playing and writing and stuff, I'm trying to get better. That's the whole fun of recording, the whole creative process that goes on. When you write something and interpret it and get in there and experiment, that's the whole fun of it with sounds and approaches. Some things you'll try and keep, some things you'll try and get rid of. That's the thrill of recording, I think. Along this same line of questioning, is there a fine line between playing a technically charged part versus a simpler theme that more accurately captures the true essence of the song? In other word, are you aware of playing for playing sake and creating a mood that is pure and maybe lacking any real virtuoso chops? Petrucci: Definitely. Some tuff is nonsense and as I said before, you try and keep things musical. It's really easy to write nonsense; you can get on the guitar and do something strange and atonal and double it and make it weird. I'm say it's easy; maybe it's not easy for everyone but it's just kind of like banging stuff out that doesn't make sense. And sometimes the effect of that is what you're going for you're trying to create something that sounds like mayhem or that sounds whimsical or will catch somebody's attention. But I think if you take it a step further, you can get that kind of effect but you can be more musical about it. Where you challenge yourself and use some sort of flavor or scale or influence that you haven't done before. And to rhythmically challenge yourself, try to do something that maintains an even groove as you're being weird. Instead of doing something that has no real time to it. You can be musical and have some sense of melody as you're going along. That's what makes, for example, Zappa; the stuff he's doing, that's what sets him apart. As opposed to some band with guys just hacking stuff out. There is a difference. We haven't even reached his level yet because Zappa's stuff is genius. And there's a difference between that and say, Stravinsky and Rachmaninov, and stuff like that, and getting on your guitar and banging something out that sounds weird. Myung: We try and find the right balance between songwriting and self-indulgence. What are the current and future plans for the band? Myung: We're all so into what we do and want it to go for as long as it can. We want it to keep growing. And I want to keep developing as a player. You grow older with your bandmates and it's a very powerful thing. The core of this band has been together for 12 years now. It's something we've worked really hard at and it's still growing. Petrucci: On a more business level, we're going to South America for the first time and play three shows in Brazil. And then we'll start a tour in mid-October that will go through the U.S. And in '98 we'll go over to Europe and Asia and other parts of the world we haven't been to before like Australia and maybe South America again and the U.S. So basically there's a lot of touring involved. You mentioned earlier that the recording of this album was different than the way you approached previous records. Did Falling Into Infinity capture these disparate elements effectively? Petrucci: Absolutely. You go in with a certain duality: you have a pre-conceived thing but then you also have a sense of what you don't know what it's gonna be. What it might evolve into? Petrucci: Exactly. It was interesting watching it unfold and a lot of that has to do with the producer and the chemistry you have with him and how he records the band and what types of performances he'll get out. The mood that he keeps in the studio. And Kevin was wonderful; he was really great. This was the first time we worked with him and he was just a great guy, a really talented producer/musician/engineer. Everything. I don't think previous producers brought this sort of thing out. I don't feel it, not to this level. Interview by Steven Rosen Ultimate-Guitar.Com 2011
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