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John Petrucci Talks Re-Signing With Roadrunner And New Dream Theater Album

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In an exclusive interview with MetalInsider.net, Dream Theater's John Petrucci revealed what lead to the band's decision to re-sign with Roadrunner Records.

Petrucci also provided an update on Dream Theater’s new album, gave his pick to take home the metal/hard rock Grammy, and shared his thoughts on Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe’s current legal woes.

In addition, MetalInsider.net is giving away a pair of film cels from the “Forsaken” video signed by the entire band. Read the entire interview and enter the contest right here. Excerpts from the interview are available below. Dream Theater was also recently covered in our Sunday Old School column here.

Metal Insider: Congratulations on re-upping with Roadrunner. What led to your decision to go with them again?

We’ve been with Roadrunner for about five years spanning the life of the three records we’ve done with them, and it’s been amazing. They’re a great record company, we love all the people there, they get Dream Theater, and they’re truly on board with what we’re all about. Having said that, when we heard there were some changes, especially some big ones, of course we were concerned. It’s fairly common in the music industry, and we’ve experienced it before. We were on Warner since our original contract with Atco, and that deal, which we signed when we were really young, was for eight albums, which is insane. The label changed so many times, it was Atco, it was Atco/EastWest, it was Elektra, and there were constantly changes in personnel. There were presidents leaving, key people in A&R leaving. So we were concerned with it.

It was really a matter of asking the right questions, and speaking to everybody there. Some of the key people aren’t there any more, like Monte (Conner, Sr. VP of A&R) who I worked with so closely and become friends with over the years, that was a very upsetting change. And the recent change with Jonas (Nachsin) leaving, those are big changes. At the same time, there are people that are still there that are equally as big a part of our career. The idea that those people were staying and were still going to be a part of this was incredibly reassuring. We’ve also had a bit of a good experience with this kind of change that I wasn’t even aware of. When similar changes happened a few years ago and the offices in Japan merged, I didn’t realize that a lot of those people had merged into the Warner office, and our experience in Japan last time was incredible. So fortunately, I didn’t notice anything that was a problem.

Another big concern for us was Europe and the UK, where we have a very big market presence. So the idea of those offices closing and not working with those people was very shocking to us. But it was a matter of speaking to Roadrunner and talking about the new arrangement between them and Warner. And we felt really good about it. We felt like re-signing and continuing to build off of the history. Doing three albums together means three tours, means a lot of promotion, and a lot of working together. So we felt like it was definitely the right move.

Metal Insider: Did the signing of fellow prog band Rush play into your decision to continue with Roadrunner?

Absolutely! We’re huge Rush fans, and we operate by WWRD, What Would Rush Do, in terms of career choices, from having Hugh Syme do our artwork to always trying to get our shows to come as close to a great Rush show as possible. So the fact that they signed to Roadrunner meant a lot to us. We’re happy for Roadrunner, and it was a great move, and it’s huge. It puts us into great company with our contemporaries, and gives the label a lock on the progressive scene. That definitely played a factor.

Metal Insider: How developed is the new album?

So far it’s not very developed at all. We’re scheduled to go into the studio in January. Being a month out or so, we have a handful of ideas we compiled while we were on the road, and we have those archived. And since I got back from the road, and have had some off time, I’ve been spending more time compiling, writing and demoing some things. There are a bunch of seeds, a bunch of ideas, and a definite direction. Everybody is hired, the studio is locked, and the vision for the type of album has been talked about and secured. The only thing that’s not there is the main material, but we’ll go in January full force.

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