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Jordan Rudess (DREAM THEATER): “The composition has never really changed since Mike left”

2019 is a great year for all the DREAM THEATER’s fans. First, they have a new studio album, Distance Over Time, which was released on February 22, and second, the band set a world tour in which are playing the legendary album Scenes From A Memory in it’s enterely, to celebrate the 20th anniversary.

We wanted to talk about these issues, so we talked with the one and only Jordan Rudess, keyboardist and composer of the band, and asked him about the composition process of the new album and the importance of recording Scenes From A Memory, his first record with DT, among other things.

How was the experience of get together in an isolated place and write and record the new DREAM THEATER’s album?

The experience of being with all the guys in a place so far away from everything, in a country, all together was actually really really fine, you know, it’s kind of a big deal go with a bunch of guys and commit to be in the same place, living together. Originally was supposed to be for two months but we ended the writing part in three weeks, we have done the writing so quickly, but we have a good time cooking hamburgers, John Petrucci was making steaks, Mike was doing chicken wings,  have the whole vibe, we’re having a good time and having a lot of laughs, also, even we was working so hard, like twelve hour days, it was pretty relaxing as well being with the guys and everything.

It was your first time doing it that way, right?

Well, yeah, we never really escape to this type of locations, so this was a new idea.

Who came with the idea?

It was something we bounce around for a while, all we said “oh we should go to an island, we should go over there” its kind of more like “this is the right time to do that”, and you know, we figure it out.

And after the result, you will do it again in that way?

Maybe, yeah, notably we noted that it works, you know, we were totally sure that this gonna be something totally positive, but it really ended being really cool and we like the musical result as well. We were actually gonna… originally, write music. It was like a barn, that we convert in a nice beautiful practice space / kind of studio, we had a lot of gear in it, so we were gonna stay there and write and then we got to move out of there, but we like it so much, we talk: “this is the vibe, this is like we talk, let’s stay here, bring the gear in and then we record here as well”, so, it worked out.

We are excited with the news about you will be playing “Scenes from a Memory” In its entirely.  Will you come to South America? Any dates yet?

Well sure, yeah, there’s nothing planned yet, we have to plan that for advance, we’re only put the US and some festivals in summetime, but you know, in our masterplan we already spoke about, we already thinking about it, so, very likely.

Scenes from a Memory was your first album with DT, right? what do you remember the most?

Well, it was recorded in a right beautiful studio, beartrack studio, which actually was all that far from when I live at that point, so it was a really nice vibe there too, an incredible building, I really enjoy being in and I was just getting used to the situation and the people, because as I’ll say tonight in my story, although I had been in Liquid Tension Experiment with John and Mike, in the one band that they change John Myung for Tony Levin, I could thought that was can be all they was doing but, that was just a fantasy, because really Dream Theater was a whole entity, was a big operation, so when I walk into that, that year everything kind of hit me, the whole plan, so, you know, just the way that they work, the way they record, what they expected from me, everything was kind of coming through in those days, so those are my kind of memories.

Since Mike (Portnoy) left the band, the sound seems has changed. Did the composition process of the songs changed? I mean, in the past, Petrucci and Portnoy seems to be the most relevant on the composition process…

Stop! That’s not true, that is so wrong, as long as I have been in the band John Petrucci and I have been the main composers of the music, right? So, it never really changed. Mike Portnoy is very talented, a wonderful drummer, was very important deciding what would use, what wasn’t use, he wrote some very nice lyrics, but the main composers has always been John Petrucci and I, and that’s why when Mike left, the band route is go on

Well, is good to know! Do you want to send some greetings to your fans?

Yes, and in your case, and everybody in Venezuela, I really  do hope we get back there because is such a wonderful place to play and, you know, I have an special connection having done my orchestral stuff there, having friends there…

Thanks Jordan! We all hope the country get well soon, so you can go back, and the whole band, of course, we miss Dream Theater in Venezuela

Awesome, thank you very much.

Frank Hernández
Director en Rocktambulos
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